I wrote this in my e-alanon group in response to a member’s question…
I am the mother of a 1. son who has been in recovery, has finally, (to my knowledge) managed to abstain from the use of hard drugs for a number of years. He still drinks though. I am also the mother of a mentally ill daughter who has/possibly/apparently still is using drugs since she was arrested this past week–first time on drug charges. Felony drug charges so I am told. *sigh*
I thought I had it all figured out with son. I began al-anon in ’88 and struggled through detachment/acceptance/letting go…all the other principles of the program as he was in and out of jail and rehabs. Finally, I had to send him packing since I had grandchildren he was endangering, so letting go and detachment was much easier. Daughter situation not so much–it was her children that son was endangering with his association with drug dealers. Still, as much as possible, she had to carry her own weight.
I really thought the past few months she was getting life in order. Her meds seemed to be working. She was calm under pressure, helping me out some, actively looking for a job. Then she began to not show up to help me, instead choosing to spend time with men, laid up in bed all day or sitting on the bank of the creek fishing. Her youngest told me she spent a lot of time trying to get men to come see her.
Then she left Tuesday, and when I finally heard from her or her where-a-bouts on Friday, she was in jail. She’s never spent time in jail before. She’s 39. She has 2 wonderful kids, ages 15 and 14. She claims it wasn’t her drugs. I say it was on her, in her possession or in the vehicle she was driving which is registered to her father.
I think it’s a mother thing to think of our children, regardless. I think al-anon helps us to not obsess over them, to not do for them what they are capable of doing for themselves, to not base our happiness on what they are doing.
I think of my daughter. I love my daughter. I am very angry at my daughter. I am very hurt by her actions. I even feel sorry for my daughter. To know that she has such problems that she will go to any length to feel good about herself breaks my heart, but I can’t fix it.
Alanon has taught me to step back, weigh the situation, learn the facts, get my answers, then make a calculated decision based on information I have not on my emotions. If I made a decision based on my emotions it would not be good. I’m not sure a decision based on facts will be right, but at least it will be an intelligent decision not an emotional decision..
I miss my daughter. I look up the hill where the truck she used was always sitting. It isn’t there now. It’s at my house. I then realize she is in jail, the truck is back home and she isn’t. It’s sad. These are normal emotions we mothers have; or anyone who cares about another person. I have always wanted my daughter to be happy. I am learning that isn’t my job nor should I allow her happiness or lack thereof to effect me. Happiness is an inside job.
It is sad, so sad to know where our children take themselves, the pain they go through and we can’t put a band-aid on it like we did when they were children. But regardless, unless they are babies, they have choices. They just sometimes make the wrong ones.