You can choose to feel however you want.
When you are facing your teen’s substance use It doesn’t feel like it, but you have a choice about how you feel.
For years I chose to feel angry because I thought substance use stole my daughter from me.
I felt robbed of our relationship and every dream I had for her.
I missed hugging her, being proud of her, and mostly I missed the way she made me laugh.
I spent several years in pain over the thought that I could no longer have those things that were so dear to me.
Eventually I figured out that all of it was still available to me.
I could choose to be proud of her for fighting her battle against substance use and the gritty determination and resourcefulness she uses to get through each day.
Once she points those attributes in the right direction, they will make her an unstoppable force.
I can love her when she doesn’t want me to.
I can love her from a distance even.
Most importantly, I can laugh with her and hug her even in the craziest moments.
When I stopped wishing she was different, or our relationship was different, or anything else was different, I learned to be present in the moment and fully enjoy any time I got with her.
None of my choices have changed her substance use, but they have changed my experience of it.
The thoughts and feelings I choose most days allow me to continue to live my life with happiness and hope rather than anger and despair.