Question & a Story


Once, not too long ago there was an addict.  He had used his drugs and abused his family and friends for years.  He stole from them and lied to them, he betrayed and used them.  He had burned every bridge. A few days ago the addict found himself all alone in the bitter darkness of downtown.  He had no drugs, no friends or/family, no food not even a blanket.

As the thick cover of night washed over the street, the addict began to shiver with fear and shame and bone-chilling cold.  His arms wrapped tighter around his torso but the thin sweatshirt did little to warm him.  The lost people of night began to wander the street and he suddenly felt lonely and strange. With nothing and nowhere to go the addict reached out, dialing his Dad's phone number.

"Dad, I know I don't deserve anything from you but could you please bring me a blanket.  I'm so cold."

The Dad pulled an old quilt from the closet, picked up his older son and drove the few blocks to where the addict had hunkered down for the bitter night.  When the Dad and the older son saw the addict they both wept. Grieving for the son and brother they once knew.  The son and brother they loved.

The older son said, "Brother, I will get you a hotel for the night."

And so, they drove to the nearest hotel and purchased a room.  The addict grateful for their kindness promised he would go to rehab the next day.  He gave tear-filled sorry's and promised to get clean and change.  He begged for their belief in him, so terribly aware of the acute pain in his own heart.

"In the morning I will check myself into rehab, I promise."

A few days later the Dad and older son saw the addict.  When they asked him why he wasn't in rehab the addict replied,

"Oh, yeah.  Those guys?   No, they're losers.  I'm not like them. I'm doing better now anyway."

Question:  What do you think?  How do you think the Dad and older son feel?


  1. i think the dad and the brother probably feel let down again. It seems like the addict gets out of his comfort zone and the dad offers a little kindness, in the form of a blanket, which sets him up for feeling used. I feel used too.

  2. Betrayed. Disappointed. Used. And yet grateful he is still alive.
    It's confusing.

  3. I think any help for an addict should ONLY come in the form of transport directly to a rehab facility. Anything else is enabling.

  4. Hurt - again, and again, and again! "Will it ever stop yo I don't know?" What can I do? I open my heart to love and its crushed again and again. If I become heartless and I no longer sympathize can I truly heal? what does 70 * 7 really mean? You tell me... What is the answer to this question? What if the addict changes and everything is hunky dunky and I slowly continue to open my heart and heal... I still live in fear that eventually it will happen again. Once and addict - always an addict.

  5. heart broken. incredibly sad.

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  7. This is incredibly touching.

  8. I think we can all agree that the dad and brother feel betrayed, sad and disappointed. But until the son hits rock bottom there is be no change and the addict will continue in his ways. There will also come a day when the Dad and Brother will not bring the blanket. The enabling will stop and the Dad and Brother will learn how to help in ways that protect themselves from future pain.
    Just my two cents. I've been there and I have learned that what I thought was rock bottom for my husband was not and in order to protect myself from future pain i needed to set boundaries and learn that I can only do so much. The rest is up to the addict.

  9. It's interesting how even a blanket and a warm bed given out of love can be a form of enabling and what would normally be loving isn't really as loving as what appears not to be loving at all...

    I can see it so much more clearly than I used to, but it's still a hard concept to accept sometimes.


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