A mom wrote to me, My recovering son told me he still has a lot of fear, and sometimes it holds him back, even from doing wonderful things in his life like meeting friends, going back to school, applying for a new job or going on a date. I guess this is normal – many of us have fears – but how much harder it must be for a recovering addict.
My reflection: Dr. MacAfee says that addiction is the loss of self and that recovery of self is a transformative process that takes time and perseverance. When Jeff made the decision to live a sober life, I told him, “You have a lot of courage to do this again, Jeff.” He paused and then said quietly, almost to himself, “Courage? That’s a word rarely used with addicts. Yeah, it takes courage.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Recovery offers our loved ones the freedom to rediscover their identity and, in time, their real and authentic personalities emerge. Today, I will recognize the enormity of this fight and the tenacity it takes for them to face and win this battle. For me, I must trust God and work diligently my program of recovery so that fear is replaced with courage.
Time and time again, I watched my son in active addiction and recovery. When he was in recovery, his true personality always emerged. When he was in active addiction, he was solemn, never smiled, and very quiet. When he was in recovery, he was vibrant, funny, and caring. If only he could have stayed in recovery. If only he could have faced his fears and let them turn into the courage I know he had inside him.
As I approach the fifth anniversary of my son’s death, this month, I am humbled by all who come here and share their experiences. Instead of falling into a depression, I rejoice in the fact that my son no longer has to struggle with addiction. I appreciate and applaud the addicts like Jeff, who have found the courage to stay sober.
God Bless all the parents of addicted children, for they know the enormity of recovery. The fear is always there, but with hard work and perseverance, courage is achievable and can change the course of our lives.
What a beautiful post. As always, it is easy to see how big your heart is. And… Despite what you have had to endure, you are generous with your wisdom.
Barbara , I am grateful to have met you in virtual land on this blog. Your grace with what you have had to cope with in life, is an inspiration. Yes, parents of addicted children do see the enormity of recovery. It takes tremendous courage, and work. Addiction lies in wait always ready to re emerge and take control. God bless those who have been able to make it to the other side, and even more blessings to those struggling in its hold.
Thank you Libby and Jeff
Dear Susan and Jane,
Thank you so much for your kind words. It means so much to me. I am very grateful to have met so many wonderful people on this blog. I have never been part of a blog until Libby and Jeff created this one.
Thank you Libby and Jeff for bringing such positive inspiration to my life and others around the world.
With love and gratitude,