Dr. MacAfee wrote me an email message in response to a request for reading. This is part of it: If you’ve not read Gabor Maté, please do. Maté is a poet and clinician with a depth of understanding beyond anything I’ve recently read. His voice is deeply heard and, if a person has an idea of the depth of the problem of addiction, his book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is stunning and informative. He returns to the theme of trauma as a basis for addiction, but also redefines what trauma really is.
My personal reflection on the passage above: When Jeff was in active addiction, I felt confused, stuck and shamed. I kept the secret and the silence and isolated myself and my family. It wasn’t until I reached out to others including professionals, Al-Anon, the Big Book and other reading that I found a sense of community and understanding. I realized that I was not as alone as I thought I was.
Addiction is confounding and isolating, but there is help. By reaching out to others and reading professional literature, I learned and continue to learn. I admitted that my life was in total chaos, but I also admitted that I didn’t have to stay there.
Today’s Promise: I am not alone with my loved one’s addiction. I’ll read professional literature, go to meetings and learn about addiction and the effects of addiction on a family. I’ll do what I need to do for myself and my family.537