One of the most difficult, but critical, lessons we must learn on our journey with the addict is that of letting our loved one live the life they choose to live. For most, including myself, this is an exceptionally hard lesson to master. Why? FEAR!
We are driven by the worst case scenarios rolling through our minds like a tsunami. We react predictably and understandably by doing what comes naturally in threatening situations.... we attempt to seize control! Our hope is to steer the ship into a safe port, thereby avoiding disaster and the accompanying pain. However, our efforts to control never (yes, I said “never”) deliver the outcome we had hoped for and almost always make things worse for us and our addicted loved one.
The solution? The lesson we must learn? Surrender! Surrender is not giving up. Surrender is not giving in. Surrender is, among other things, a humble acknowledgment that I cannot fix or control this; that I cannot impose my will on another and call it “good” or “love”. Surrender is a spiritual act that requires faith. It requires that we allow others, even our children, to be who they choose to be. It requires trust and an acceptance that I can't do it alone; hence the need for God and others.
In upcoming blogs I will be talking more about the principles associated with surrender. In the meantime check out a PAL group. You'll be encouraged to know you are not alone on this journey.