A friend of mine had a daughter whose life had been turned upside down because of addiction to pills. It had started with pain killers, then sleep aids, then anxiety reducing drugs; then and then and then until she was taking pills constantly through the days. She asked her daughter, “Why is your doctor giving you all of these prescriptions? It is way too much! “
By this time the daughter was sleeping through much of the day and her children were being neglected. The doctor giving out all of these medications was fired for misuse of prescriptions and suddenly her daughter was completely cut off from all of the medications. It was absolutely the worst thing that could have been done. One can’t be on these amounts of drugs for at least two years or more and just stop. Her daughter went straight to alcohol which led her to bars and eventually a DUI.
Now, mind you, her daughter and her daughter’s family were active, temple-going members. Yet, in the space of a few short years, addiction was destroying her daughter and the family unit. Her mother told me that she had this overwhelming feeling that if she didn’t step in and do something immediately, her daughter would die.
She sent her grown son to see if the daughter would consider a rehab program. The son could hardly recognize his sister, the change had been so powerful. Yet, she did agree and went to rehab. It didn’t go well, and within a few weeks she was kicked out of rehab. Now what?
Things went from bad to worse and my friend stated she helped put her daughter in an apartment and try to at least to keep her safe. She then drove back to her own home, so upset that she went straight out to her garage to be alone. She felt overwhelmed and defeated. She felt a horrible fear for her daughter and felt that she could hardly bear the pain and despair of it all. She could see very little hope. As she paced back and forth in the garage, she said over and over again, “She is just lost! She is just lost!” She continued to sob.
Then quietly, a voice in her heart said, “She is not lost to me!” Oh, that voice, those words. She knew that she was not alone, but was being borne up. She heard them again. “She is not lost to me.” She knew then for sure that her daughter was in the Lord’s hands. There wasn’t much she could do, except be a messenger of hope and try and keep her safe. As Ala-non, the partner to AA states: We have to let go and let God!
Since then, it has been a long journey but slowly, ever so slowly, there has been progress made. Every day there is this mother’s prayer and prayers count. Every day there is Heavenly Father and her daughter is his daughter as well.
I have thought a great deal about the families that deal with addiction within their own homes. Perhaps it is a child. Perhaps it is the parent or parents. If we will turn to our Heavenly Father, somehow he makes unbearable burdens bearable. It would be wonderful if he would change people, make them stop, and shape them up. He does not. He allows agency. Yet, with the power of prayer, things begin to happen. Maybe it is just an understanding of what to say and what not to say, or what to do or what not to do. Remember, the adversary is happy to put his two cents in all the time. We need all the inspiration and guidance we can get.
As a retired addiction counselor I have watched the power of prayer and the miracles that it provides. No, not everyone gets sober. Somehow, though, the tone and tenor of what is going on changes when we involve Heavenly Father. We can bear it. We can be of help. We can lift up the feeble knees with love. We manage to see the wonderful things taking place around us and not just dwell on the negative. A son one time told his mother, “Think about the times I do say no, not just the times I fail.” He has a point.
There aren’t always happy endings, but one thing for sure is that our Heavenly Father is mindful, involved and there is probably much we don’t understand about accountability and forgiveness. Be positive and be grateful for any little thing, no matter how small.