A mother wrote an email message to me. This is part of it: My son was addicted from age twelve to seventeen, and he is good today. He used LSD and marijuana laced with PCP and was in many rehabs. I started Al-Anon and stayed for eleven years. As the twelve steps teach us, in order to keep what we have, we need to give it away. I stayed in the program because I felt an obligation to give others hope when they were seemingly hopeless. The program and its principles never cease to help me through something at least once a day.
My personal reflection of the passage above offering my thoughts today: Al-Anon was a lifeline for me as it is for many of us. There aren’t many resources available for parents, but Al-Anon offers us a safe and anonymous environment where we know that we’re not alone and where we can learn from each other’s pain. The twelve steps are a model for good living and help us to face the addiction and find our spiritual awakening. The twelfth step teaches us about service, reaching out a hand to help another.
Today’s Promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: I will reach out my hand to another mother, father or loved one. Even though I’m in great pain, I will be there for someone. I will give what I’ve learned and try to help them, and in doing so help myself. As I start 2011, I promise to give back and help someone else.