Insanity – “doing something the same way over and over again and expecting different results.” According to this, I must be insane. I’ve tried to control, fix, and change my daughter many times but it doesn’t work. I simply can’t do it. Living with the pain and stress of having a child who abuses alcohol and drugs, engages in self-harm, struggles with mental illness and has suicidal tendencies can make you a little crazy. No matter how hard I try I get the same results. As desperate parents we often try to control things, believing our way is the right way for our child. Usually our way doesn’t work, yet we keep trying. Al-Anon says it’s insanity to live this way.
In AA and Al-Anon’s 12 Step Recovery Program, Step 3 says: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God . . .” I made a decision to do this when I was a young adult. I relinquished control of my life to God. Now I must do the same with all other areas of my life, including with my difficult child. I have to let go of my will, of the thoughts that I have any control or power to change them. This is choosing between an insane life and a sane one — my will (trying to make something happen) or God’s will (giving it to Him and trusting Him with it).
Courage to Change says, “Since my will had let me down time and time again, the real question was how long would I continue running around in the same circles before I was willing to admit defeat and turn to a source of genuine help?” (pg. 316)
Let’s stop running around in circles, doing the same things over and over again. I’ve realized this only makes me dizzy and sick. I don’t know about you, but I want to exchange my insanity for the peace of mind God wants to give me by letting go of my will and giving my child over to His care. I hate feeling so helpless and powerless, but I need to remember God is in control. He can work where I cannot.
This Bible verse gives me hope:
“See I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)