Panthera Tigris

Posted by Laura Clark Barefoot, Ph.D.Barefoot Chaplain Intervention Services, June 24, 2016

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but any way you do it, it’s messy.  Eric Thompson

It’s only been since Mother’s day, my adult son returned from a year long stint in recovery. This was the 7th time, over a period of 14 years, and the longest run of any. I had my doubts and concerns regarding his personal investment, usually questioning the solidity of it following a weekend family visit. But, as most any mother would likely tell you, we never lose hope.

My fate has dealt me the advantages of advanced educational, experiential, and personal knowledge of the disease known as addiction; a progressive, raging tiger when not in remission. The short version is, without treatment, addiction NEVER gets better, it always gets worse. In my beloved son’s case, there has been a variety of examples of this over the years.

There was increased usage each time, increased number of times during a 24 hour period he would use, desperate and horrific measures to get his “fix,” living situations worsening to the point of homelessness, loss of employment, and loss of stable relationships. His words weren’t worthy, and, his actions spoke for themselves.

This time, his lack of action following recovery, has, once again, spoken. And, I, the mother of a young man I dearly love cannot control the raging tiger. There are moments, even though I know better, I would like to swoop in and take the wheel. Rage against the swiftly gaining gale, but, the tempest would only devour any remaining energy I have left to contribute to others, and causes which; thankfully, remain in my future.

Sitting here, extending my love to the survivors of this torrential disease, I digress. Reflecting back to early winter, 2016, while reviewing my own words in a blog I so openly wrote. “The Truth About My Addict I Am Not Afraid To Tell,” which was shared all over the globe, and in several treatment centers. Clinging to my own advice within the article, “blatant truths,” remind me, I am not exempt from the enemy, “denial.” Nor am I above the pain and regret which haunts the heart of a mother of an actively using addict. Each of the lessons I spoke of continue to apply, clearly and soundly.

If there is a right, we, as parents have earned, it’s the right to continue to love our addict, our children; without shame, without the heaviness of a secretive burden which only seeks to guilt our integrity, goodwill, virtue, and kindheartedness.

On the flip side of the right I speak of, is a responsibility we share. Responsibility to do the best with what God has gifted each of us. Sure, there will be good and bad days, I give you that. But, remember, through raising awareness, while being available to our comrades against the disease, we win! As ambassadors of truth we, together, shine from sunrise-to-sunset, twinkling light on an otherwise gloomy affair.

PT Hand



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