ADDICTS HELPING ADDICTS: “IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT”

Photo Credit: Davood Madadpoor

A recovering addict told me, In AA or in a recovering community, I was surrounded by people who had gone through what I had gone through. I trusted them. I don’t think doctors or psychologists ever helped me in the same way. Sure, experts have a place in recovery, but for me it was AA and the recovering community that made the biggest difference. I needed to hear from people who had been through it themselves. I needed to hear how they learned to live with their families and in society again. Trust is the first step to opening up, and I trusted those in community.

My reflection: I would have sold my soul if I could have helped my son when he was in active addiction. I dragged him from psychologist to psychiatrist to priest with the hope that someone could stem the tide of his use. Maybe some of these experts helped, but it wasn’t until my son met other recovering addicts that he made the decision to change his life.

Today’s Promise to considerPeople in pain respond best to others who have walked in their shoes – this is especially true for addicts. The overwhelming obsession that drugs incite is something non-addicts most often aren’t able to comprehend. Those of us who love them can ‘stay close’ with compassion, but real help often comes from within their community. Today, I’ll encourage my loved one to reach out for help in AA or another support group.

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Pat Nichols
Pat Nichols
4 years ago

Yes, absolutely true. In my opinion the same philosophy holds true for the family of the addicted child. Parents, grandparents and siblings who attend 12 step support group meetings regularly will find that through their own recovery they restore their own peace and serenity while also helping to strengthen the recovery of their love one. Recovery is a family endeavor making it a permanent part of the family dynamics is critical for long term recovery.

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
4 years ago
Reply to  Pat Nichols

So true, Pat. I love your last sentence, “Recovery is a family endeavor making it a permanent part of the family dynamics is critical for long term recovery.” Thanks for sharing your hard-fought wisdom.

Yvonne
Yvonne
4 years ago

Thank you for this post. I see my son thriving in a recovery house for the past 2 Years and wonder why he is still there but you answered my question in this post. He is still healing and learning from his roommates and he is helping them. ❤️

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
4 years ago
Reply to  Yvonne

Thanks, Yvonne, for sharing. My son’s fellow recovering friends inspire him and help him heal. Here’s to a strong future for our sons.

Nanci Morris
Nanci Morris
4 years ago

Beautiful…thank you, Libby and Jeff,
Love,
Nanci

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
4 years ago
Reply to  Nanci Morris

Love you, Nanci. Thanks for staying close all these years.

Anita Levinson
Anita Levinson
4 years ago

My daughter is doing well in her recovery community. They are the ones she relies on most for her recovery. They have been the ones who got her through a relapse and the ones she calls when she is feeling weak. I am so thankful for these wonderful people who help her daily. And she in return helps others.

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
4 years ago
Reply to  Anita Levinson

Anita, God bless you and your daughter. The recovering community can be a powerhouse of help for our children. Al-Anon has been a powerhouse of help for me. Service is key. xo

Mindy Bartholomae
Mindy Bartholomae
4 years ago

I know this to be so true, yet I have seen how our ALO has rejected this truth and continues to isolate but also rely on me, mom, for solace and support. It has created a co-dependent relationship that is not healthy yet is has become so insidious. I remember back in the early days of his using when we tried yet another way to get him help, we scheduled an appointment with a therapist, and afterward his response was, “mom, she doesnt really know me like you do. You’re the only one i really need.”
I now have really ramped up my support system. I have gathered more and more resources, am going to meetings, call my sponsor. I would torture myself with trying to figure it all out for myself. I also am beginning to experience the power of prayer and tapping in to that place of solace that is always there in my times of deep need, or just whenever!

libbycataldi
libbycataldi
4 years ago

Dear Mindy, Oh, yes. How your words resonate with me. My son did the same. When he needed me, I was his hero, his savior. This can be seductive, but so insidious (as you write). Our support group is critical for our mental health and for the health of our loved one. I join you in prayer and hope. Stay strong.