Dear David: Dealing with My Son’s Addiction One Letter at a Time

DearDavidBy Martha Wegner

After seven weeks of in-patient treatment, David walked away from treatment for the third time. He was homeless due to his addiction, again. Wegner dealt with the pain of his disappearance by writing letters to him (all ending with Love, Mom). She describes the pain of having a loved one living on the streets, unable to be contacted. Since her letters couldn’t be mailed to him she posted her journal on a blog.

In one letter, she lists all of the events he missed due to his drug use. In another, she describes the experiences his drug use exposed her to, such as going to a pawn shop to look for her son’s watch, one of many items pawned to support his drug habit. David told her that it’s not personal. For Wegner it is. She reports the deep sadness she felt when she didn’t find the watch; however, she found another similar watch which she bought and wore for a time.

She is honest in her description of events and emotions including expressing her anger at what David’s addiction has done to their family. And she is hopeful when she discusses the duffel bag of stuff David left behind at the treatment center saying, “Then I will wash the clothes, fold them, and put them away. When you are home and sober, you’ll need them.”

She recounts what was discussed at the treatment center’s family program where they were told that the addict “has to want it more than you want it.” Until then, Wegner writes to let out the pain and let in the love.


If you have a book you’d like reviewed, contact Barbara.kummerreviews@ gmail.com. The Phoenix Spirit also seeks writers for the paper — we consider essays on spirituality and recovery, short stories (1500 words or less), and pieces on personal journeys of growth and renewal. Submissions may be sent to juliaedelman@gmail.com

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