Friday, July 23, 2010

Acceptance or Resignation

Acceptance or resignation, no matter what you call it we arrive there at different times. Looking back I can see definite stages of life parenting an addict. Fight it, fix it, love'em, frustrated, re-energize, WTF and finally we get to the acceptance stage.

I'm not sure unless maybe you have previous experience with addiction or alcoholism you can skip these; there may be even more but these are the ones I have been thinking about lately. Maybe with counsel and a lot of hand holding you can speed your way through but as a parent there is that inside feeling that you cannot get rid of without progressing through each stage at your own pace; this the emotional side of being close to an addict that also happens to be your child.

There is a lot more to it than the three C's, control, cause and cure. Maybe this is old news for some of you that are 12 stepper's. I've never been able to get into that program but I have a respect for anything that works for anybody. It's not about how you get to a place it is about arriving safely.

Personally I have finally come to realize that acceptance and resignation is not a show of defeat. If it was considered a defeat, with my personality I'd probably still be fighting. For me it means I have tried every strategy I could conceive to fix or manipulate this problem but the problem continues. I have now come to realize it is not a "problem", it is a "state of being" and a reality for me, my son, and for all of those around us.

The choice for us all is at what time we reach our destination. I can see for some they may never get there. Sometimes the ultimate tragedy is that our addict shortens the trip, that is a reality that can become so real every day. But ultimately it really is our choice about when we arrive.


VJ said...

Wow! I loved this post. It shows so much truth and progress on your part. I have been where you are and know that we all have to go down the same road. It's OK, there is no blame or shame as this is part of the journey; it is necessary.
My blog relays an incident in which I kidnapped my son from a drug house. It proved to be a disaster but I would not trade that experience for anything because I had to have that knowledge so I could eventually find my own truth.

Syd said...

Interesting post Ron. I wrote about awareness, acceptance and action yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Long time follower; first time posting. I love the way you chronicle this challenging journey we all find ourselves on. From what I know of you it appears that you have indeed tried everything under the sun. You are so right when you say that it is not about how you get to a destination, but that you arrive there safely. I also agree that acceptance and resignation are not signs of defeat, rather recognition that we are only so limited in what we are capable of as carnal beings. Wish that it would not be so! I used to say that if loving my daughter into sobriety would be enough she would be drug free a million times over! The bottom line is it is the choice of the addict. I have come to the conclusion that there are so many things I can work on in my own personal life and that has become my focus. I can be kinder to people, love my spouse more completely, be more careful with my words, just become a better person. Our addict children will come to that place sooner, later, or perhaps never. But it ultimately is their choice. For me, I have a life to live and I am going to live it to the best of my potential. This, I can control! Thanks Ron, for this wonderful safe place for people to say what is on their hearts.

Dad and Mom said...

I just read Syd's post from last night and he wrote very well on this subject. I would suggest everyone read his post too.

Meandu said...

Truly great post. Acceptance is not defeat, it is accepting that this is the way it is supposed to be. If our children choose to become addicted to substances or something else we need to remember it is their choice. We as parents can be there for them, guide them toward something better,if they will let us, otherwise we need to accept their choices for being theirs, not ours.

Anonymous said...

Don't give in, don't give out, don't give up. The situation changes in its own time, like the tide comes in and out, the day turns into night, then night turns back to day. The patterns seem to shift at the worst possible times, usually around holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and burials. Sometimes things go along fine and everyone's happy, then out of the clear blue sky, like a bolt of lightening, things turn to the blackest night and the roughest seas and we all hang on for dear life as we feel like victims being tossed about in a situation we cannot begin to control. That's when we say to our higher power
God, grant us the Serenity to accept things we cannot change, Courage to change the things we can, and the Wisdom to know the difference,
Patience for the things that take time, Appreciation for all that we have, and Tolerance for those with different struggles and Freedom to live beyond the limitations of past ways, the Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless. Amen.

Erin said...

Great post. I am right there with you. I love what anonymous posted as well and Syd's post last night was also great.

Yes, my prayer is that God gives me the strength to get up and try again even when I feel like it is hopeless.

Well said anonymous.

Barbara said...

Great stuff. Like what Anon. said too. I am numb tonight. Its such a roller coaster.

Anna said...

numb is good

VJ said...

Many well meaning individuals continue to post about the "choices" an addicted individual has. For example, "our children "chose" to become addicted or it's their "choice" to live a life of substance abuse. This type of reasoning is not justified by either medical or scientific research. These perpetuating "myths" create even greater havoc for the family and friends of those suffering from the disease of addiction.

Also, research clearly shows that it is much more difficult to "detach" and understand "acceptance" relating to a child than it is another addicted family member or spouse. So, if you are a parent of an addicted child and someone in AA simply say's, "You need to work your own program" don't let that confuse you and/or allow such unfortunate statements to break your heart. Just understand that you need specific support such as an Al-Anon parent only meeting, Codependent Anonymous or any Families Anonymous meetings.

"Recovery will only grow to the extent you do." Author Unknown

Dad and Mom said...


I have come to understand that the addict can choose to work on a recovery program . Using when addicted is not a choice.

VJ said...


See my post entilted, "Is Recovery a Choice?" I would like your viewpoint after reading it.


Anonymous said...


Kim A. said...

What I have learned on my journey is that the difference between resignation and acceptance is the whether I see myself as a victim/martyr. Acceptance let me know that my power and responsibility end at the tip of my finger. Resignation had me defeated, paralyzed and hopeless. Acceptance showed me I have alot of power, I just needed to start focusing on me, which helped to be become a better advocate/parent/human. Just my .02.