Dealing with our daughter’s addiction was by far the most difficult and the most painful thing we have had to navigate together as a couple. In our early years, we were both sort of shell shocked and in my mind I can see the two of us just standing there with our mouths open, asking each other, “What just happened?” It was not good. Neither one of us could believe that one of our kids, to whom we had devoted our adult lives, would have, or could have, headed off in this direction. We lived in denial for a long time.
A big issue for me has been the guilt I feel as I move on without my daughter. How do you have fun or enjoy anything when someone you love is lost in their disease? Figuratively speaking, I keep the porch light on. I let her know we love her, we are here if and when she wants to seek help. We will do what we can but the reality is that she has to make her journey in her own time and I have to make mine in my own time. I choose now.
It has been four years now of actively working a program of recovery in Alanon. My daughter has been in treatment twice during that time. She has a foundation of recovery that she can turn to if she ever decides she wants to commit herself to living a clean and sober life. She knows what to do and where to go to find the tools that she will need. However, she has to be the one to choose to pick them up each day.