“SHE THINKS I’M REAL”

In their book Stories of the Spirit, Jack Kornfield and Christina Feldman tell this story: A family went out to a restaurant for dinner. When the waitress arrived, the parents gave their orders. Immediately, their five-year-old daughter piped up with her own, “I’ll have a hot dog, french fries and a Coke.” “Oh no you won’t,” interjected the dad, and turning to the waitress he said, “She’ll have meat loaf, mashed potatoes, milk.” Looking at the child with a smile, the waitress said, “So, hon, what do you want on that hot dog?” When she left, the family sat stunned and silent. A few moments later the little girl, eyes shining, said, “She thinks I’m real.”

My reflection: When my son was in active addiction, there were few people who realized or understood my pain. In truth, I was closed and defensive during those years, and I didn’t want anyone to see my ‘real’ suffering.

Today’s Promise to consider: Addiction is cloaked in silence and shame – feelings that isolate us. The antidote is to reach out a hand to others. In Al-Anon, I found a safe place to be honest about my feelings, to share hard stories about my loved one, and to talk about my sadness and hurt. There, in the halls, I wasn’t alone. I felt real.

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Pat Nichols
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Support groups for parents are priceless! For example, a mom’s son overdosed and was in very serious condition at a hospital. The mom notified another member and immediately a text was sent out to all the support group members and within a very short span of time the waiting room was filled with support from parents who understood. later, the mom asked if her support group would join her in her son’s hospital room and they did circling the bed holding hands and praying for her son. He did live and went into recovery. A blessing and miracle form God.