I like this acronym for HOPE and thought I’d share.
E-ends (or becomes manageable)
When you love an active addict, or are living with the ongoing consequences left in the wake of addiction, the pain doesn’t exactly end, at least it hasn’t for me, but it has become manageable. It has been a process, and there have been many times when I have had to force myself to get out of bed, and I have cried an ocean of tears. There was even a period of time when I thought it would be okay if I just died. The pain was just too much. But with God’s help I am making it through my son’s prison term one day at a time. And so is he. The first time I visited him “behind the walls” I felt as if I had been punched in the gut, but the visits become easier as time goes by.
It’s really almost surreal when I visit him. There are families there playing board games, laughing, and eating terrible vending machine food as if it were just another family get together. And as I look around I realize that each inmate, each loved one, has a story just as painful as ours- maybe more so. Some of the guards are very nice, and some are arrogant and treat even the visitors as if they have committed some crime. I have to mentally “prime” myself each time I go visit because I know my son doesn’t need me to be stressed out and sad when I visit. So, I put on my game face, arm myself with a positive attitude, and I treasure each moment I have with him. The positive I find in this whole mess is that he's clean, and when I talk to him it is my son, not the addiction I’m talking with. No, he will never be the same and neither will I, but both of us are hanging onto our faith and as long as we both continue believing, we will make it through.