Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Daniel's Call

Yesterday I had the most healing conversation with Daniel. Daniel and I don't know each other although we know of each other. Daniel is older than my own kids. His younger brother played baseball with my boys and his dad was their coach. So although we don't really know each other we come from the same community. Daniel has struggled with a heroin addiction for 17 years. His parents were there to love on his children when he couldn't. Eventually he spent time in prison for all the hurts he caused others and himself. Daniel is now free from drugs and working whole heartedly to help others that are struggling. I first learned about Daniel several years ago when he was working with my son at the Diner. T ached for the agony Daniel was going through. People wrongly condemn addicts for not being there for their families believing they are out having fun. Drug use is not fun. Selfish perhaps but it is not fun. The desperation to stay in the drug is a pull that leaves you isolated and ashamed. Tomorrow my T gets out of jail and is terrified. Addiction has been a part of his past and he is praying not a part of his future. Years ago, T was there for Daniel. Now a sober Daniel hopes to support T get free of his addictions. Daniel told me he never thought it would be possible to be free of drugs or to begin rebuilding a life with his now college age children.

Here are a few of the wise words and hope Daniel left this mom of an addict with.
~Addicts are selfish and they deceive.
~Families are powerless to redirect an addict until they are ready to change.
~It is okay to step back and protect your own heart.
~Addicts are not having fun.
~There is hope. Many not all do get free from the drugs.
~Familes are mostly there to welcome addicts back with open arms when they get sober.
~Free and sober addicts are the best resource for an addict.
~Even if parents advice is spot on it will not be received as such.
~T can overcome this with a complete surrender of his life.
~T is not the only one who has to surrender. The family has to surrender him too. The addiction is bigger than our love. But God has him and will walk through even his worse choices with him.
~Not all addicts die!
~Don't beat yourself up with the 'what if we did this different' thoughts.
~Lean on others and allow yourself to grieve this.
~Being emotionally healthy ourselves is the best way we can help.
~I don't have to be strong all the time.
~Don't give them financial support.
~Just be there to listen and encourage, not to judge and condemn.

I know there was much more that was said in our conversation. It was powerful to hear him speak of his own journey through addiction. There is power in hearing that even after drowning in this life for almost 2 decades there is hope. My prayer is that my son has hit the bottom and is ready to grab the lifeline to sobriety. My heart has to prepare for the truth that this might not be his turn around time. Remain hopeful even when there seems to be no hope. Praying for T needs to be paired with praying for the rest of us. Whole families live through addiction not just the addict.

Yesterday's tear filled conversation left me feeling comforted and acknowledged. Too often when I talk about addiction it is just about supporting T. Daniel made me aware that I need support. I need to allow myself to sob for my son and my loneliness. Grieve the holidays and family trips that are not whole without T included. My heart aches to wrap my arms around my son. My hope is that with support T can come back to who he is drug free and I can fully embrace him. Until then, I pray.

Thank you Daniel for your wisdom, your courage, and your love for my family.

In Him,


  1. God bless T and Daniel and help them both stay sober; that is a choice they make each day. Our church has a strong Celebrate Recovery program for addicts of all kinds; I hope T finds his way to health.

  2. Support is the key. Not in keeping to keep the addiction active but support that he is trying. Went through this with one daughter. Prayers for T and Daniel go on my prayer list. How brave of you to tell their story. Blessings sista.