The middle C

The middle C

At first, I didn’t get it.   Maybe no one does at the beginning.

When you’re new to addiction in a loved one or friend, you learn about the “Three Cs:”

  • You didn’t cause it.
  • You can’t control it and
  • You can’t cure it.

It took months, maybe years, to accept each of these.

Like a singer stuck on a note, it was the “middle C” that kept tripping me up.

I was pretty sure I could stop my son from using drugs.  Wasn’t this just a phase?  Don’t all kids experiment with alcohol and drugs in high school?

Just telling him to stop ought to do it. And to prove how serious his father and I were, we would take away some privilege, like the car.

Controlling his drug use would require focus, perseverance, and determination, but those skills worked in my professional life.  So why wouldn’t they work with my child?

First came the conversations – when he was clear-headed enough to participate.  Then the research to find the right therapist.  Then the written agreements we both would sign:  You do this, and I will do that.

How many did he break?

Finally came finding the “right” treatment center.  That was easy to control – at least for the first two.

By the time Jacob entered his third treatment center, I was forced to relinquish control to a trusted counselor.

Jacob was 21.  A man.   It was not my job to control how another person lived his life – even my son’s – drugs or no drugs.

The only control I could have was how to live my own.

Accepting the three “Cs” was an important step towards healing – for Jacob and for me.

Today, even in recovery, I still work hard not to let that middle C trip me up.

6 Replies to “The middle C”

  1. Lisa, you write with such amazing intuition, wisdom, compassion and above all, the inner strength to share your long journey with others, providing guidance and hope for their journeys.

    1. Linda, words just pour from the heart. Thank you so much for your very kind words.