COMPASSION

A mother writes: Today I went to my first Al-Anon meeting or at least that is what I thought I was going to. Instead it was the Narcaholics Anonymous meeting for users. So instead of hearing from family members about their loved one’s addictions, I heard from the addicts themselves. It was very eye opening and humbling to hear their struggles.

My reflection on the passage above: For many years, I was locked in my own pain and never realized the pain that my son felt. Dr. MacAfee said, “Few people understand how an addict loathes himself and his addiction. Living inside the addict’s skin is often more than the addict himself can bear. The heaviness of his reality, combined with all the lies he struggles to maintain, weighs on him. Addicts hate what they do to others, but the drugs call them home.”

Today’s Promise to consider: Compassion is difficult to feel not just with addiction, but with many of life’s problems. Even though my pain feels huge, I will be compassionate with my son. I must understand that I can never fully understand what he is going through.

 

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Sarah
Sarah
11 years ago

I read your book this week, and will be reading it again sometime soon. My family has been struggling with our son’s addiction for the past year. He is 17 years old, and the oldest of three boys. His younger brothers have always idolized him, even when they didn’t understand or like his behaviour. I found that your story took me further along my path of recovery in terms of understanding of how all of my children are feeling…and me too. My son recently reached the milestone of 6 months of clean time. As you so aptly illustrate in your book, it’s the feelings that he’s having to cope with that are the most challenging struggle of all. I pray for all of our children, and for us to be compassionate and loving, with clear vision of how to live our best lives, come what may.

Nanci
Nanci
11 years ago

Hi Libby,
Thank you for your gentle reminder and validation that compassion is difficult, even with many of life’s (other) problems. Today, I am struggling with compassion vs resentment. I am grateful to you, the Alanon fellowship and Alanon approved literature. Working the program gives me hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day.
The best to you and your family.

jane
jane
11 years ago

My thoughts are with all of you. Thank you Libby for the reminder of the pain our loved ones experience. They would love to be free of this disease I’m sure.

I found that my emotions would vascillate between compassion,anger, resentment, disappointment, disgust, and back to love, compassion etc. depending on whether he was working a program of recovery or back in active use or somewhere on that continuum. I remind myself to detach from it, love him, hate the disease and work my Al ANon program…..as thoroughly as I can. Hope lives on. Compassion does too…….for all of us

sarah
sarah
11 years ago

I ask for your prayers today Libby. et al. For my Chris. He is approaching the Two roads diverging in a yellow wood, Im praying he chooses the right one. Im terrified for him.

p,l,u.
Sarah

sarah
sarah
11 years ago

Please pray for me Libby, et al… My boy Chris is at a crossroads. Please pray.

PLU.
Sarah

Lisa Anderson
11 years ago

Your writings continue to help me see all the different sides to addiction. Thanks for writing….great picture of Jeff….That’s exactly how I remember him! Chris continues to fight the battle….seems to end up back at the same crossroad often but hasn’t given up yet.

Libby
Libby
11 years ago

Dear Sarah,

We will all join in prayer – we will bombard the heavens. Your son is at a crossroad. Love him, give him emotional support and let him know that you know that it’s hard. I once told Jeff, “Addiction – this thing can kill you. I learn from you, Jeff. I learn about courage. It takes a lot of courage to fight. Continue to fight. We are here for you.”

Dr. MacAfee tells me to lean on the relationship – the love of family. He says that the bond within a family holds truth for the addict. Jeff relapsed many times, but MacAfee told me, “Relapse if handled well is one step closer to recovery.”

Praying for you. You are not alone.

Libby

Libby
Libby
11 years ago

Lisa,

Those years that we both remember when our sons were little – everything seemed so easy then. Now they are grown up and have to decide for themselves. Their fight is not easy and I can’t imagine their torment. I only know ours.

Love you.

Libby
Libby
11 years ago

Nanci and Jane,

I agree that it’s hard to keep compassion close. I, too, struggle with resentment, anger and feelings of betrayal. I hold on to something Jeff told me, “An addict loathes himself and all the destruction he causes his family…but chasing the drug takes over life. I love you, Mom, and never wanted to hurt you, but I’m an addict.” Addiction hurts us all.

Love to you.

Barbara
Barbara
11 years ago

Compassion was the most difficult thing for me to feel when my son was actively using and difficult, as well, when he was in recovery. I was so hurt by him. Since addiction took my son, I have found that since his death, I have become a more compassionate person with everyone and everything in my life.

Thanks to all of you for the continuing support.

Libby, my love to you. You are truly an inspiration to all of us!

Sincerely, with all my heart,
Barbara

Barbara
Barbara
11 years ago

Dear Sarah, I am praying for you and your son!

Nanci
Nanci
11 years ago

Barbara, I am so very sorry for your loss.
Thank you for continuing to support all of us during these challenging times. Please know that you and your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

Libby
Libby
11 years ago

Barbara, I agree with Nanci. Your wisdom and truth help us all to see more clearly. We inspire each other – kinda beautiful. Love to you.

Kristen
Kristen
11 years ago

I’m writing because I’m scared and my emotions like many of you are all over the place. My daughter has been on the road to recovery but I knew she took something during my youngest daughter’s graduation. She admited to smoking pot but that is a slippery slope and I know it means she’s most likely using the harder stuff again. Her sister is mad, her father has stopped all communications, her aunts and uncles and grandparents don’t understand and I’m exhausted trying to address everyone and what to do next. I can’t figure out when I should focus on my addicted daughter, when I should focus on my other daughter, when I should focus on me etc etc. I dont know how to find peace.

Nanci
Nanci
11 years ago

Dear Kristen…please find an Alanon meeting. It has helped so many of us find peace, serenity and even clarity, in the context of chaos, fear and confusion. The program works if you work it…AND, keep coming back.
Prayers to you and your loved ones,
Nanci

Libby
Libby
11 years ago

Dear Kristen,

Reading your words, I remember again Jeff’s many relapses. I always felt punched in the belly, betrayed, angry, hurt, confused – a myriad of emotions, none good. Dr MacAfee offered me a new way to look at relapse and said, “Relapse, if handled well, is one step closer to sobriety.” I never realized that relapse is part of recovery. I always saw it as failure.

Dr Kevin McCauley told me, “Relapse isn’t the time to say to the addict, “Ah-ha, I caught you. You relapsed, you failure of a child.” McCauley offers another idea, e.g., “So, you’ve relapsed. What will you do now? You have choices to make. I can’t and won’t enable you with money, but I will stay close as you make a choice to find a program of recovery.”

I agree with Nanci that Al-Anon is the place where I found peace and direction. Pray and stay close.

Love to you,

Libby