I felt a nudge in my spirit to write about this tonight and decided I would not argue with God’s spirit. Generally that is an argument I will not win anyway!!! This is for the mamas and the daddy’s and the friends and the wives, the husbands and the sisters and the brothers, all God’s kids who are losing their lives because their loved ones don’t want to save theirs.
There was a time I felt like I could not put one foot in front of the other without begging God to move them. I wanted to pull the covers over my head and quit on life. I felt as though what good was it if I was successful at much of life but I had fallen awful short in the mom department.
Sheldon had already been in teen court by age 11, suspended from school, later expelled from school, too many dead end streets and rehabs to count. And in between were detox and withdrawals and just pure HELL!!!!!!!! I was not equipped, I had tried everything that I knew to do as a mother.
I packed his bags with comfortable clothes for all the rehabs. I visited and made sure I was there for family day. I participated, I prayed, I participated, I prayed, I gave up, I gave in, I cried, I screamed. I was embarrassed and then I did not feel much of anything anymore. I avoided people so I did not have to answer more questions. When the phone rang I took a deep breath and prepared for the phone call that said, “ Are you Sheldon Jernigans mom? “ At the end of the phone was the kind officer telling me that this time the overdose won.
Each time I got my hopes up and there was a short reprieve I never exhaled because the gaps were just gaps. He was sober and I wanted to breathe but I could not. I had hope because I had seen what sobriety looked like in the life and the eyes of my husband Hugh. I knew it was possible but when God, when?
One day, one painful day after his last overdose I let him walk out the door knowing that he may never walk back in. I realized no more packing his bag for rehab, no money for food because that turned into money for drugs, no more excuses. No more thinking that my happiness and peace was tied to his sobriety. No more was I going to hold my breath and refuse to exhale because he was not sober.
Mamas, Daddys, husbands, and wives and all those that love an addicted person. They will get sober when they are ready and only when they are ready. YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO POWER OVER AN ADDICTION THAT IS NOT YOURS. YOUR ONLY HOPE IS TO GIVE YOUR LOVED ONE OVER TO A POWER GREATER THAN YOU AND GREATER THAN THEM. When they run out of options, food, excuses, a place to lay their head, a person to enable them, they will then hopefully turn to God and He can save them when they are ready.
So many times my friends said, Surely he will stop now!!! What more can happen? Is he not afraid of death? The answer is addiction is stronger than any force other than a spiritual awakening and that is not something that you and I have a timeline on. It is but a daily reprieve based on our spiritual condition.
So now for Today, one day at a time, my family is sober. And nothing I ever did or said or did not say or did not do got them there. When they finally admitted they were powerless and God could and He would if He were sought, it was not until then we were set free.
There is hope for you and for your loved one, but the truth is it starts with you. Are you ready to stop making excuses for your loved one? Are you ready to stop making life easy so they want use? Are you ready to allow them to be responsible for their life and you be responsible for yours.
The simple truth is they will get sober when and if they are ready and not one moment sooner. I pray for all of you tonight that are dealing with this awful disease. The beauty in this is that the recovery is as sweet as the addiction is awful. The sober person when in recovery becomes so fully the person that God intended and they are able like no other to help their fellow man.
I never understood when I was young and heard Alcoholics say they were grateful for their addiction and even more grateful that it led them to a life of recovery. Now I understand it and I am thankful for all of it because I have a level of gratitude and hope that is unshakeable but I only rely on living in this one day at a time, because that is all I have.
And one more thing, you too can recover from your addiction to the addicted but only when you are ready!!!! When you are ready, reach out as there are those that have gone before you that can hold your hand and your heart. It is not something you want to do alone!!! So if you are hurting and confused, turn to a God that loves you and loves your loved one more than even you.
There is hope. I promise, Deep breaths and go ahead and exhale and enjoy your life and let God tend to your loved one!!!