The Gift Of Desperation

21 July 2017 Written by 

In recovery rooms when a parent shares how their child's  life has unraveled and is completely out of control there are quiet voices that whisper, “They have been given the gift of desperation.”

Learning To Let Go

The first time I heard that phrase was from my own sponsor. My son, Max, was homeless and living on anyone’s couch who would have him. He was using pain pills and alcohol to numb his pain both physical and emotional. He was not working.  Out of money, friends, and pain pills he asked me if he could come back home until he got back on his feet. I chose to process this with my sponsor and take a different action. I had always opened the doors to my home and heart only to have both trampled on by his addictions.

Struggling To Detach

My sponsor listened and then carefully chose each word she spoke to me. “Max has been given the gift of desperation. Be careful or you may rob him of this gift. If he is to make any changes, it will be because he accepts what his addiction has done to his life.” I knew she was correct, but my mother’s heart wanted my son off the streets and in a safe bed with people who loved him. That is the irony and heartache of addiction. To get better he would need to be alone with his disease. It was an incredibly hard struggle, but I didn’t allow Max to come back home. I didn’t give him a lecture or even advice, I told him I loved him and believed he would figure this out on his own.

Finding Answers

He was angry that his sad tale wasn’t enough to manipulate me as it had always done in the past.
The emotional energy it took me to stand my ground can only be described as out of body. I believe my Higher Power gave me what I did not possess. I was able to let Max deal with his gift of desperation.

When Max realized he was out of options, he went to an AA meeting and listened for the first time. His life didn’t turn around immediately, but slowly his choices gave him better results. I worked my program and allowed him to learn from his. By allowing Max room to explore what worked for him was my way of  honoring him.

Sharing My Strength, Hope, Experience

I sit in the rooms of Al-Anon week after week and listen to parents struggle like me as their beautiful child is slowly taken over by an invisible disease of addiction. When these frantic parents want to jump in and save the day, I quietly whisper, “Your child has been given the gift of desperation.”  

A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By:Madeline Schloop

If your son or daughter needs help finding an addiction specialist click below.


Read 2763 times Last modified on Monday, 25 September 2017 19:53
Rate this item
(10 votes)
Madeline Schloop

Madeline is the widow of a man who died of alcoholism and the mother of 5 young adults whom she parents with the tools of Al-Anon. Her children continue to be affected by the disease of alcoholism. Her stories  deal with life's daily trials and what has and hasn't worked.
Click Here For All Of Madeline's Articles