I am grateful you are in my life. You are beautiful, intelligent, creative, kind, and compassionate, and I love you with all my heart.
After a great deal of suffering, I am seeing the impact your dependence on alcohol and drugs has had on me. This disease has shaped both our journeys for several years, and I have feared day and night that you would die.
I have felt guilty, thinking that your pain was my fault and that I failed you as a parent. I have felt angry, recognizing that my trust was violated. I have felt taken advantage of and helpless about your lying, aggressive behavior, lack of cooperation, and lack of respect for my stated needs.
I have obsessed about and enabled you, bailing you out financially and rescuing you in other ways to try to prevent the next crisis. I have done things for you that you were capable of doing for yourself. I am sorry….
The biggest impact, however, has been realizing that I need to focus on my own recovery. I have learned that alcoholism is a family disease, that my life has become unmanageable (due to my reactions and issues), and that my recovery will occur a day at a time for the rest of this lifetime. I know that I have been a part of the problem, and I am sorry. I now realize I have choices. I am learning to be present and respond rather than react out of fear and worry. I am learning to mind my own business and let others take care of themselves (or not) by having faith, hope, and love for myself and others. Progress is my goal; I understand I cannot do this perfectly.
I love myself, and I love you enough to let go of you. Letting go does not mean giving up on you; it means accepting what is, learning how to take care of my own pain (not everybody else’s), and trusting that you will take care of yours.
I will not support living crisis to crisis. I will do everything in my power to help you be well, but nothing that, in my mind, contributes to your further self-harm.
Our souls are deeply connected. I will always love you. I honor you as my daughter, and as a child of your Higher Power, doing your best at any given moment, just as I am.
With eternal love,
By Cindy A., Alaska
The Forum, April 2023
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.