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Update: How I’m Surviving My Adult Daughter’s Drug Addiction

by Eric Jenican, Founder, Endorphin Warrior

Eric Jenican, Dec. 2015About a year ago, in this blog, I shared about how I’m surviving the anguish of my adult daughter Kate’s drug addiction – How I’m Surviving My Adult Daughter’s Drug Addiction. At the time, I had not seen or heard from her in about 8 months, and had no idea where she was.

Then, last June, I got a phone call from her. She was in jail and asked me if, after she got out of jail, could she come home. I told her “yes,” but under the condition that every day she call drug rehab programs and get into a professional program right away, and for a minimum stay of 90 days.

While she was in jail, I visited her on visiting days and took her collect phone calls during the week. I loved her up the best I could, encouraged her that she could overcome her addiction and live a good life, and told it to her straight when necessary. Then, she was released 3 days early and – except for a voicemail message on Father’s Day – I didn’t hear from her again.

I’ve had one other contact with her since. I have a general idea where she lives (homeless in Orange County, CA) and I drive around the area occasionally to look for her. One Saturday in October I spotted her, pulled over and we visited for about 1-1/2 hours. It is very bittersweet for me to see her. On the one hand, it is always very loving – she knows I love her with all of my heart and I know she loves me – but her addiction is always present, having its negative, depressing and sad impact on everything.

How my daughter lives is still hard for me to stomach. On the last visit, I asked her where she was sleeping. She told me behind the dentist’s office. I can’t really let my mind focus on the reality of this for too long. The thought of this just causes too much pain for me. And what makes all of this even harder for me is that I know her life doesn’t have to be this way. I can see a path for her to get well. The problem, I guess, is that she doesn’t want to – or believe that she can – overcome her addiction, pain or fear.

So here we are one year later and my daughter’s drug addiction continues to be the biggest disappointment and sadness in my life. Often, I am astonished at how well I seem to be coping. What helps me most is understanding that life comes with both the good and the bad. This is my “bad.” If there is something that I can do to truly help my daughter, I will do it. Otherwise, it is better for me to accept this loss of the daughter and relationship I’d like to have…rather than constantly fight against it.

Despite the condition of my daughter, I can sit here today and say, “Life is good.” There is so much good, ever-present, in every moment of life. With the good and the bad, I am grateful for life…and I Warrior On!

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