My youngest daughter visited over the holidays. Some of you may recall a post I wrote about this daughter several years ago. When I wrote it, I wasn’t sure she’d reach her next birthday, never mind milestones like college, career and children, and I was also beginning to comprehend that I couldn’t fix her problems. I thought she might die. I was worn down and the reservoir of hope I had been drawing from was nearly dry. One morning, without any real intention, I wrote it all down. It was a purge, an attempt at relief, but it was never intended for publication. I write a lot of posts that I never publish; they need work or they’re boring, or they’re whiny or trite or, as was the case that day, too raw. As soon as I finished the last sentence, however, I clicked the publish button. It felt defiant at the time. Where I come from, where a lot of us come from, we don’t talk about family trauma in public. We suck it up and take care of our own. In retrospect, my defiance was self-preservation. I needed to talk about it, about her, our relationship, and about everything that sucks about addiction; the pain, the need, the shame, and the relentless cycle. Publishing that post helped me start a conversation that I never could have initiated verbally. I broke through a barrier that day. I accepted her disease and my limitations. I asked for help. I got it from you. I’m grateful.

Today, through the grace of God and her own resolve, R is clean and sober, almost a college graduate, and the mother of a happy, charming toddler. I’m grateful every day that she fought, and continues to fight, for her recovery. I’m grateful that I reached out when I was so close to giving up. I believe it made a difference. If you were one of the people who read that story and responded, thank you for your kindness, your prayers, and for holding us in your thoughts. I was able to spend the last holidays with all of my children and grandchildren. I know that not everyone is so fortunate.

If you or someone you know is suffering and you need to talk about it, I will listen, not judge, share if you want me to, and hold you in my heart, the same as was done for me. You just let me know, okay? We’re better together.




Never give up

  14 comments for “Resolve

  1. jenny_o
    January 29, 2020 at 4:02 am

    I’m so, so glad to read this, Chicken. I have wondered many times if things were okay with your daughter, especially any time you were absent from Blogland for extended periods. Good for your daughter because addiction is a tough row to hoe and it is literally a fight to live. I’m glad, too, that you wrote about it. And that it helped. I wish you, and her, and your whole family many, many years of happiness, my friend. It is well-deserved.

    Somehow I have always felt I could talk to you if need be. Now I’m sure. And that’s a comfort to know.

    That is one sweet photo!


    • January 29, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Jenny, I meant to follow up on that post long ago when it looked like we were out of the woods but, as I’m sure you know, addiction recovery is never really done and I hate to admit it but I’m a little superstitious. I kept putting it off, afraid that, if I let everyone know she’s doing so well, I’ll get another 4AM emergency call the next week. I’m still knocking on wood but when I see her with my own eyes, when I watch her with her family, when I watch her accomplish her goals, it gives me hope that what was an awful period in our lives might stay in the past. Thank you. And yes, you have the number to the bat cave, right? I’ll be there if you need me.


  2. Doug in Sugar Pine
    January 29, 2020 at 8:26 am

    I am so happy to read this. You don’t get them all back, and addiction is infuriatingly hard to do anything about besides just be there for them, and even that comes with the built in distance between them getting high and anyone else who might wish to interfere with that.
    Seen it. A lot. Lost friends and family behind it.
    And then comes the anxiety about relapse. You imagine that the merest bit of bad luck or timing and all of the sudden all of that hard fought progress is out the window.
    But sometimes it works, and and the addict comes all the way back to the land of the living, and just stays there.
    Seen that, too, but not as often. Always leaves me wondering how to appreciate the accomplishment without screwing it up for them.
    Just please know how much I admire you for hanging in there for your daughter; it may not seem like an unlikely thing to do, but I’m here to say that I’ve seen people with addictions routinely abandoned by the very people who were their best hope for ever recovering.
    And it’s hard. (It was difficult to type that last sentence without using a swear word or six, but I did it.)
    So congratulations on your beautiful grandchild and your daughter’s progress, may the future hold many years full of such wonders.


    • January 29, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks so much, Doug. You put your finger on it exactly. I’ve been reluctant to talk about her progress because you just never know. But I’m more comfortable now. She’s an amazing young woman-anyone who manages to overcome an addiction is. I’m knocking on wood it’s forever but I have no rose-colored glasses and I still am watchful and still worry. The people who abandon their loved ones in the grip of addiction…I have empathy for them usually. The reason why is because it is the popularly held belief that the quickest road to responsibility is to not enable them. I just never believed that and her family didn’t either. There were too many ways for things to get worse and so we clung to her. It wasn’t just me. It really did take a tribe. Luckily, she had one. Take care and thanks again, Doug:-)


  3. former70schild
    January 29, 2020 at 11:07 am

    It’s a hard road. I’m glad it is working out.


    • January 29, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks former70s. It is a hard road, in all lanes. We’ve been fortunate.


  4. Anonymous
    January 29, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    You never gave up. You NEVER gave up. You never abandoned her or withheld your love and support. Through the hurt, through the fear, through the long sleepless hours, you were there. You were her line tender, and you never once let go of your end of the rope. She found the strength and the grace to pull herself to safety, and I hope with all my heart that she stays there. Love you, chick. ❤ GG


    • January 30, 2020 at 2:02 am

      Speaking of Tribes, thanks for being in mine and in hers, GG. I hope so, too. You are my lifeline.


  5. January 29, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing Chicken. Here’s to Love!!!


    • January 30, 2020 at 2:04 am

      Hi Judith-another member of the Tribe of R. Here’s to Love and energy. Thanks for sharing yours with us XO.


  6. Joanne Noragon
    January 30, 2020 at 12:43 am

    Hurrah for R. Such a hard job.


  7. March 13, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Mio caro consigliere, i miei complimenti per la forza e la comprensione della tua famiglia. It is good to see excellence rewarded.


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