Sunday, 27 April 2014

Graduation season: Our sad reality

To my fellow parents of children battling addiction:

This is the time of year when young people walk across the stage at graduation ceremonies, and celebrate with their families who beam with pride. It is also one of the most difficult times for us.

Every photo of a smiling graduate with their proud parents is a constant reminder of what we are missing out on, and/or what we have lost. Life can seem very unfair.

It is through tears that we look at, or pass by, the happy photos on our Facebook newsfeeds.

With hurting hearts, we wonder why our journeys through life have to include something as devastating as addiction. Why do our children have to suffer this cruel, misunderstood disease? Why? Why? Why?

Many of us have other children who do follow the traditional paths in life and graduate from college, but we can’t wear it as a badge of honour like other parents can. We are robbed of this feeling of pride in a job well done because we learned the hard way that good parenting is not a guarantee of anything. If it was, all of our children would be doing well, but they are not!

On the other hand, we are probably ten times as happy for, and proud of, our children who graduate because we know how easily things could have gone off the rails. We know the reality of today’s world. We live it each and every day.

Some of us have learned to function through the pain of a child’s addiction, while others are still struggling to find their footing in the very rough terrain. This is not an easy journey. 

The disease of addiction cuts deep into our hearts. Graduations and other special occasions are like salt to open wounds.

I want you to know that you are not alone. There are many of us who feel sadness at this time of the year. If you are one of them, please do something nice for yourself such as taking a walk or going out to dinner.

If you want to give yourself a lasting gift that will make you feel better now and into the future, reach out to those of us who understand how you are feeling. There is nothing like talking to someone who truly understands your situation and the pain involved with it. Addiction in the family is not easy. You don’t have to go through it alone. Let us help you.



  1. Rose, you have described exactly what I have been feeling lately. I listen to parents talking about the upcoming costs of university and just think how I would give anything to have that problem. But today we celebrated a small but very special victory for our child....who is now on methadone... 30 days clean! It's not a graduation but it is certainly a step towards other good things.

    1. That is wonderful news about your child! I am so happy for you. My son is over 6 months into his recovery and it is wonderful. We are very grateful and happy. One day at a time!

  2. I am struggling with this on my own everyday. First with my eldest child, now my youngest son. My heart is broken. So broken and shattered that I too lost myself to addiction as I could no longer face reality. I had never in my life struggled w any addictions until life became too unbearable. Getting out of bed became my biggest chore. I went from being social, outgoing and beautiful to being lost, ashamed and ugly both inside and out. I could no longer facenter the reality of merely surviving. My boy still struggles, everyday is a blessing that he is still alive. Every night I cry myself to sleep worrying and wondering if he is going to wake up in the morning. It's a nightmare I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. My own worst enemy was myself for the last year and a half .. however I am proud to say that my own battle w addiction is NOT going to get the best of me. I no longer blame myself for the choices my children made. Why? Because I made those very same choices myself, and it wasnt until I could relate, that I could understand. I will be drug free 3 weeks weeks Saturday and I have never felt so determined in all my life about something. I will beat this for me so I can be healthy and happy for my children. I will be strong and dependable so that when they need me I will not let them down. Every day is a battle but with the help and inspiration from ppl like yourselves and the people in these groups, I will beat this .. and in my heart and soul I truly believe my children will too.

    Thank you for sharing. I now know that I am not alone .. and in working together I know I will find the strength to overcome this heart wrenching disease known as "addiction".

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry that your family has been hit hard with addiction. It is truly a journey like no other. It is so devastating, but you are doing the right thing by reaching out to people like me who know how you feel.

      Congratulations on your three weeks of recovery! You can do this. One day at a time.

      I wish you and your family well in this journey. Recovery is possible for all of you. My son will celebrate 7 months in May. We are so grateful. He is doing very well. I want this for all of you! I hope it gives you hope as well.

  3. See you at my very first meeting :)


Thank you for your comment. Please be advised that comments are moderated.