Dear Debbie

Advice to My Younger Self

Debbie holding a picture of herself from several years ago.

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Dear Debbie,

It’s been 17 years since it all started, when life took a turn that would change your life forever. I know you’ve been noticing some changes in your son for some time now, like how he started distancing himself from the family and began struggling to pay bills. You have finally found out that the source of his troubles is an addiction. Finding this out is so shocking. You have no idea how it has happened, and you’re wondering how this could happen to you. You’re feeling guilty for not noticing, and you feel like you’ve done something wrong or caused it to happen. You’ll find yourself wishing you had been more observant or more involved. These are normal feelings, but please know that none of this is true. There is nothing you’ve done wrong.

Please remember that you are and have always been a good mom and a good example. You love your son, and you did the best that you could as a mother. Bad things happen to good children, and you can’t control the challenges they face in the world or the choices they make. You have always been close to your son, and he has always felt that he could talk to you about anything. Now that trust is being tested. Please keep your promise to be there for him and to love him always, even when that promise is tested by his actions. No matter what, never give up on him and always love him.

When you feel deep pain and anger, reach out for help at the Addiction Recovery Program support meetings. These meetings will be a lifesaver for you. The meetings will give you great peace and strength to deal with challenges that have arisen from your son’s choices. The meetings will also teach you ways of responding to the situation you’re in.

Most importantly, turn to the Savior in your time of need. He is there for you to help with all things big and small. Stay close to the Savior and remember to always listen and pray often. You will be able to find hope through prayer, Church meetings, and through scripture study. Turning to the Lord for help and guidance will give you understanding. Attend the temple regularly, and it will help you be closer to your children and help you find peace. Heavenly Father will answer your prayers, will give you love and guidance, and will never give up on you or your son during these struggles.

You will be tested more than you will ever know, but you will also find that struggling together will bring your family closer together. Your son’s recovery will be a lifelong process, but the Savior will be there to support him through it all. My advice to you is to never give up and to know that you are not alone. You are stronger than you realize.



Dear Debbie