Friday, June 21, 2013

Ending America's Greatest Tragedy

I started reading Clean yesterday.

Let me begin by saying there is no end to how much I love David Sheff.  I read Beautiful Boy during my ex-husband's relapse, and it helped me feel so much less alone. I wrote him then and have a letter back from him that I treasure to this day.

Clean begins:

"The view that drug use is a moral choice is pervasive, pernicious, and wrong."

I struggled through the preface. I was in tears most of the time.

The truth is, Clean s the book I would want if, Goddess forbid, either of my children became addicts.

I've always thought, particularly when sitting through Al-Anon meetings, that the hardest thing in the world would be to have a child that is an addict.

I can't compare that to my struggle whatsoever.  Because knowing my love for my children, I know, it would devastate me completely.

What is difficult for me as a parent is to watch how their father's addiction has hurt my children, again and again.

This week, he missed his parenting time again. I'm so tired of this addiction that he pretends not to have but that is so painfully obvious to the rest of us.

I read books like Clean because I worry about my children. I worry about the genetic component of addiction, but I also worry about how their father's actions will ultimately affect them.

The other day, my son was helping me in the yard. Midway through, he turned to me and asked, "Hey mom....Do you think I will end up being like dad?"

I asked him what he meant.

He wondered if he would turn out to be an alcoholic like his dad.

I told him that he could choose who he wanted to be like.

I usually devour books - typically around 4 a week.  I have a feeling Clean will be a slow, and healing read for me.  I do see hope in the book, particularly after hearing David speak about it here locally.

I still have many frustrations around addiction because I am still living with it. The truth is that even though my ex has long been out of our home, he will never be out of our lives.  When you have children with an addict, you have to deal with addiction - for "the children's sake."

I often wonder how much that is really in their best interest.

Someday, perhaps I will write a book on my perspective as a former spouse of an addict. It is easier to walk away from a marriage. No one can walk away from their child.

Perhaps Clean will also give me some more empathy for my ex.  Afterall, everyone is somebody's child.

I can not identify with his "parents" whatsoever. But I am trying, really trying, to understand this "disease" and make sure to protect my children the best I can.

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