Love in the Time of Addiction

“Enabling is fixing problems for others and doing so in a way that interferes with growth and responsibility.” Jeffrey Bernstein

I am the embodiment of this definition. It’s a painful and repetitive admission, and essentially worthless unless I stop doing it.

I claim to want to love without condition–and what does that mean if not loving people where they are at? Not necessarily loving what they do, but loving them at their core. It seems to be an impossible task and my problem is that at the root I want my love to change them. Can I figure out how to love if change doesn’t happen? Isn’t that what I’m asking for myself? “Just as I am?”

Family connections can be challenging in the best of times. They require a skill set that combines hope, empathy, forbearance, patience, and of course love. Addiction adds a layer to the mix that can break the best of families into fragmented pieces even when everyone truly wants to maintain connection.

Today, after assisting my youngest with transportation and an attempt at companionship and care, we found ourselves standing at my car ready to part ways. “Where are you headed?”, he asked. I replied that I was going to kill some time wandering around downtown until my friend arrived. “Where are you headed?”, I asked. He replied that he was not sure.

Riding off on a skateboard, pack on his back, I choked down my tears. For he spoke the truth. He has no place.

It is one of the hardest truths to embrace–a child in the claws of addiction unable to break the grasp. I have no answers and I barely know the questions.

One Comment

  1. Oh Wendy. I wish I had answers but I sure haven’t found them yet. Lots and lots of middle of the night prayers for me. That’s the only thing I know to do so far, always with hope that I will see the work I know God is doing. You and yours will be in those prayers. Big hugs my friend.


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