Mothering Addiction: A parent’s story of heartache, healing, and keeping the door open– by Linda Harrison Hatcher (Full disclosure: the above is an affiliate link)
I am catching up on my reading since writing my own book. This one was on my list and it’s a page turner.
Lynda is emotionally naked, revealing the cracks in her marriage, her family, and her own mental health along the way. Watching our loved ones self destruct is agonizing and while our journeys are never identical, we can relate to the stories of others. And this one is definitely relatable.
I found myself wanting to be part of her “book club,” the group of friends who had children mired in the struggle of addiction and how they supported and were there for one another. I tried desperately to create my own group of intimate support but it never worked out which was devastating to me. Thankfully, I found a Families Anonymous group that pulled me through.
What Lynda does really well is help us understand, through her story, how to find your way to detach with love–separate yourself from the chaos of a child’s addiction and to lead your own life because their journey is not our journey. How ugly that journey is. How long, hard, difficult and painful.
Not to mention the guilt of feeling like that child is being abandoned. And how many times Lynda faltered or relapsed along the way, succumbing to the agony and just checking out emotionally because she couldn’t take it any longer. How many times have many of us felt that way?
Sam is the son who suffers from Substance Use Disorder, showing signs of impulse control early, one of the four traits identified as predisposing kids to addiction. Like many of us, we see those signs and struggle to keep things on track and find a place where our child fits, realizing that’s nowhere. Or nowhere cheap or close by. How other’s achieving children and the sage advice delivered by those parents prickles and validates feelings of our own parental inadequacy.
You see how it effects the sibling, often silent sufferers who try to be “good” to balance out the chaos and can suffer their own issues as a result.
She reveals the parts of her marriage that were brushed under the rug, and how the stress of and friction of a major disorder intensified those issues, sharpening the wedge that drove a dividing line between her and her husband. And how challenging it is to co-parent a child with SUD and how two parents are almost never on the same page.
The book is a memoir that incorporates a message of personal growth and hope while not departing from reality by delivering an unrealistic lollipop land ending.
Overall, this is a worthy read. And I think our stories are important so I hope you’ll share and support this author and her work.