Our twenty-nine year old son is an addict, hopefully in recovery after a stint in jail. My wife and I have found it difficult to cope with his disease of addiction. After being Nar-Anon members for only a few months, one of the most helpful things we had learned was the three Cs. We had come to realize that we did not cause our son’s disease, we could not control him, nor could we cure him. This has been a profound and comforting revelation for us. In the past, we had debated with police, recovered his impounded cars, paid traffic tickets, bailed him out of jail, paid his rent, and even provided a stipend while he looked for work over a period of years. We unquestionably believed that this was our responsibility as parents, and for several years, we had no idea that he was using drugs. Because of our experiences in Nar-Anon, we are reassessing our interactions with our son and our mutual responsibilities. On the one hand, we realize that it is unfair of us to set or mandate expectations for our son to meet. However, on the other hand, we realize that he must take responsibility for his own actions, and the resulting consequences. How to achieve this is the question. Our plan is simple, but it is not easy: we will love him, but not try to control him; we will provide support, but not bail him out of any self-generated misfortunes; we absolutely will not tolerate any hurtful or harmful behavior by him towards us.
Thought for Today: Every individual is responsible for his/her own existence. Any attempt to avoid that responsibility or to usurp it from another will result in heartbreak.
“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.” ~ The Eagles