My daughter is an addict…

My daughter is an addict.

Writing those words breaks my heart. They sear my soul and steal my breath. I go to bed at night praying that she is safe, praying that she is sober, praying that she lives to see another day. Praying that I can be strong enough to get through this…wondering if it will ever end.

Nothing I do, nothing I say can change any of this.

My beautiful baby girl. My beautiful baby with a needle in her arm and a crack pipe in her mouth. Lying unconscious on a street somewhere. Beaten by a stranger. Lost and trapped in a haze of pain, shame and remorse.And I can’t help her. I can’t save her.

I’ve fought every way that I know how. Getting assessments done, speaking to counsellors, dragging her to detox, taking her to rehab. Again and again. Always hopeful that maybe this time…

I’ve fought with her, cried with her and prayed for her. Nothing helps. This vicious, evil cycle of recovery and relapse seems never ending. I try to remember that as bad as this is for me how much worse it must be for her. No one wants to grow up to be an addict. No one wants that kind of hell. Because it must feel like that for addicts. They must feel like they are in the very bowels of hell. Knowing how much they are hurting themselves and their families, yet unable to stop.

Recovery…a simple choice to make but such a hard thing to do.

So I worry…I know that her next fix could very well be her last. And I don’t want to lose her, my beautiful baby girl. So much potential there, if only she could see it.I can’t enable her anymore. I know this. Paying her rent, giving her money, believing her lies. Allowing her to manipulate me. Because that’s what addicts do. They justify, rationalize, look for someone who’ll buy into their deceit so they can continue to use. But it’s hard. People say that tough love is the only way to help them and intellectually I know they’re right. But emotionally…would you want to see your daughter homeless? Sleeping with strangers to get money for a fix? Having nothing? Having no one?

I get so angry when I get advice like that from people who haven’t been there. That includes the so called experts. Unless you have walked in my shoes you have NO IDEA. You have no idea what it’s like to tear yourself apart with such deep founded sorrow and fear. You have no idea, so don’t presume to tell me what you would do. Because you don’t know what you would do if you had to walk this path. And don’t presume that it couldn’t happen to you. Because you don’t know that it won’t, you really don’t. Just pray that you never have to find out.

My daughter and I have been walking this road for 5 years now. She’s an adult. I no longer have any say in treatment options. I know that in order to keep my sanity I have to get off the path because it is not mine, it’s hers. Even though my heart breaks for her and I am so very, very afraid. Giving her up to God is my only option. But I want her to know that I’ll never, ever give up on her. Not ever. I want her to know that even when I won’t give her any money or enable her to use or take the responsibility of her recovery onto myself; she’s not alone. I love her, whether she’s broken or whole, I care about her and won’t ever give up on her.

My daughter is an addict. And my heart is broken.

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13 Responses to My daughter is an addict…

  1. HerBigSad says:

    Your last paragraphs so sum it up for me. I will never give up on my daughter. I will never give up hope.

    My daughter is an addict also. Mentally ill, and an addict, and now, in prison. And yes, my heart is broken. My daughter is broken.

    But I will never give up hope. God bless you, and give you peace this night. I will add you to my prayers daily, you, and your beloved beautiful daughter too. Hugs and prayers to you.

  2. Helga says:

    I am so sorry you have to go through this. You are not alone. My daughter is an addict too. I have known this for 6 years. I have not had any contact with her in 2 years. My blog is I have not posted much lately, but I am following all members of our community’s blogs. Sorry you had to add yourself to this club nobody voluntarily joins.

  3. Barbara says:

    I’d like to give you a standing ovation for this blog post because I feel the same way about hearing advice from (well meaning but naive) people who have not walked in our shoes! Its just not possible to comprehend the depths of pain the parent of an addict goes through. I think it must be harder for parents of girls because of the whole selling their body….for me it was worrying about him getting shot because he had a gun put to his head more than once. No mother should have to live through this…yet we do. We keep going, keep hoping, praying and never giving up. I feel very blessed at the moment that my son has 8 months clean, but he is not “out of the woods” by any means, he’s still struggling daily.

    You are not alone. Hope you find the kind of support and understanding that many of us have found through our blogs.

  4. Annette says:

    Oh Momma, I’m glad you are here. I hear you, you are not alone. So many of us know the pain you speak of, the fears that are tormenting you. Keep writing and reading and reaching out for your own sanity.

  5. Sherry says:

    I have been a member of this community since 9/09. I found my son passed out on the floor of his bedroom and ultimately called the police to save his life. He spent 3 months in jail and 3 months in a “lockdown” rehab and has been clean for 8 months now also. He is doing really well – so there is hope. He had been an addict for over 5 years…I only knew since Mar. 09′. I pray for 65 people, almost daily and will add you and your daughter!

  6. Kristi says:

    I wish I had the words to ease your pain and your fear….just know that there are many of us traveling this same journey through hell with you – you are not alone. I turn my son over to God daily and I hold strong to my faith. Like you I will never give up on him, I will never give up hope. I hope that like myself, you will find some comfort in this community. I will keep you and especially your daughter in my prayers.
    Kristi (Jake’s mom)

  7. Renee says:

    I have walked in those shoes and feel exactly like you do. This post is powerful and so honest. I have found so much support, love and honesty in this blog community and I know that you will too. I will add you and your lovely daughter to my nightly prayers and I will keep reading. (((HUGS)))

  8. Lisa C says:

    You are now officially part of this caring, loving, experienced and inexperienced community of people (mostly parents, but not all of us), with loved ones (mostly kids, but not all) that are addicts. You are not alone, and we understand every bit of the pain and agony you are going through. My son has been addicted to heroin for 4 years; but there continues to be hope and he has been clean for 6 months. He is not out of the woods, but we are currently in a somewhat peaceful place. I continue to deal with issues of codependency (my husband of 25 years left me in January), and I continue to plan my “fire drill,” what will I do when Bryan relapses this time (I hope some day to say “if” he relapses, but I’m not there yet. My blog is

    My heart feels for you and your daughter. She did not choose to be an addict and you did not choose to love and care about an addict. It is now our world. So tonight I can only say that you are welcome here with open arms and open hearts. Your blog said it all and I felt every word and you will never be alone again. You and your daughter are officially on my prayer list.

  9. onemomtalking says:

    One more mom joining you here. My son is 20 and in jail for the third time in a year. Three rehabs already under his belt, unsuccessful. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for speaking the truth of your story. Our stories. My prayers are with you and if you need to chat, please send a note. We will never stop loving our children.

  10. Erin says:

    I feel your heartache being the Mom of an opiate addicted son who started recovery three weeks ago……… No one can possibly understand what we as parents go through, I have had person tell me that her sons did not turn to drugs because she had them involved in sports, this hurt me deeply as I could tell she was inferring that had I forced my son to be in sports that he would not have used drugs. How crazy is that? I will be praying for you and your daughter. I recommend that you get the new Melody Beattie book “The New Co-Dependency,” I have learned much from it. I had already read her books in the past but this new one is updated and it is absolutely excellent. I so appreciate your honesty in this post.

  11. Works Aside says:

    What a powerful post. Your love and empathy for your daughter made my eyes sting with tears. We can never give up on our children and I won’t ever give up on my sister. Anger, shock, disbelief and resentment is morphing into compassion. None of us are perfect and all we can do is try. Keep trying in life.

  12. Kathy says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for tonight. I have two daughters who are 24 and 22 and both are alcoholics and drug addicts. We have been living this hell for about 9 years at this point but did not realize most of what was going on until a couple of years ago. I have struggled with what my role should be and I have come to the conclusion that I will never give up on them or give up hope that they will find peace and live a sober happy life. I love them and will do what I can to assist them in their recovery. Whether you believe this to be a disease or not it is not something someone would choose for their life and we need to fight for them as those who fight for cures for any other illness or disease. Thanks for being here for me.

  13. Laura says:

    I’ve scoured the internet and read many posts but yours describes exactly how I feel. I feel alone in my pain. No one I know really understands. I tell myself I cannot do anything to help my daughter. I know this is true. But I find myself pleading and begging her to get help. How can I not? I miss her – the real her. 4 years ago my 3 year old granddaughter demonstrated bow my daughter uses a needle. I went numb. I now have guardianship of both my granddaughters. I am so sorry for your pain. We are not alone – unfortunately.So tragic.

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