She is leaving and I am afraid.

The upside of having a child in a recovery program is the reassurance that they are safe. You can sleep with relative ease, because for now, literally this moment only, you know that your child is in a protected environment.

When they step down from RTC (Residential Treatment Center), which is full service with around-the-clock care and monitoring, it is a huge step down for everyone—the first of many that prepare the addict to re-enter the world. In this new stage, they have but one job—the hardest job in the world for them: to survive without the substances they have been taking to dull the pain of living in this world, in their body, soul and mind. Slowly but surely, they prepare to go back into the community of their friends and family and the places where they found trouble in the first place.

To that end, the decision of picking a Sober Living Home, the step down from RTC, is an important one. Location, level of care, proximity to family and friends, cost, kosher food availability, are all important considerations. Moreover, in our case, because of Covid, a number of previously available options are simply not there. We searched high and low, around the country, seeking the perfect fit. But there was nothing that seemed right for our daughter.

The meeting with the discharge team was upon us and we simply didn’t have any good options. Coming home was not, in our opinion or the opinion of the clinical team, a good idea.

It was time to let go and let G‑d.

A random call to a local friend about what might be right here in our own neighborhood revealed some options that were very close to home. We found one with a high level of care that we could work with to arrange kosher food. It sounded like a great option.

The longer this journey goes on and the deeper into it we go, the more we see that it is precisely when we let go that G‑d opens His arms to catch us.

Chassidus emphasizes the importance of bittul, humility or self-nullification. I've heard it translated as “get over yourself.” Meaning, get past the notion that you can control outcomes. You can’t.

If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t control anything. More specifically, we don’t control outcomes. We can only control what we do.

So humbling, but so freeing at the same time.

Dr. Jonathan Sacks said that “the answer to ‘why’ is ‘what.’” I may not know why any of this is happening. I may not know why my child has this illness. I may not know why there is trauma that causes so much pain that an addict will go to such extremes to dull it. And I may not know why parents who only want the best for their child need to live in immense pain and fear. I just don’t know.

However, I do know what. I know what is expected of me as a result of all these whys. And it is precisely what I am going to do with these whys that will give meaning and purpose to the struggle, fear, loneliness and pain.

Even if it is just for today, even if it is just for this hour, I am going to let go and get over myself, practice some bittul, and try to humble myself enough to know that I don’t control outcomes, I only control my own actions and reactions.