The groundhog day life of the parent of an addict

Before I go on, I just have to say this. Being the parent of an addict is highly unpleasant. The best way to describe is this: it’s like the moment your small child pulls away from your grip and runs into the road, directly into the path of a speeding vehicle. This moment happens every day, over and over again, and every day you go through the agony of watching your child get run over. In devastating slow motion, the child pulls out of your grip and before you can stop him, he’s running again, straight for the road. Then at some point, hopefully, miraculously, your child decides to get clean, or maybe somebody else decides that for him, and then the process of detox and rehab happens. All of a sudden you realize your groundhog day has stopped. For that blissful and serene 30 days or whatever the insurance will pay for, your life goes back to normal. And you, the fool that you are, think that things will always be good from that point on. Hopeful, ignorant idiot.

After rehab, for a little while things are peaceful. And then, one day before you know it, you wake up and you’re holding your kids hand again and inexplicably, after all the lessons learned and heartache suffered, he pulls away from your grip again and runs right out in front of the car and you watch, helpless, as his body gets thrown into the air, crushed and tossed and battered. And just like before, the very next day it happens again. The only difference now, in recovery, is that on some days, he doesn’t pull away. But you never know which day it is going to happen again. So you fear it. And you’re helpless. Fucking helpless.