A mother wrote to me: I talked with my son about what Jeff said – how the addict misses the chaos of his years of using. My son opened up to me about how much he agrees with this. He said that the drugs made him feel alive and now he feels like he’s just going through the motions. I appreciated his honesty and told him that I recognize and admire his courage to change, to talk about these things….and, of course, that I love him!

My reflection on the passage above: Jeff recently told me, “Anything that shuts down dialogue is dangerous. The silence keeps us isolated.”

Addiction thrives in the dark and needs to be brought out of the shadows and into a place of healing. When I was young, we didn’t talk about abortion, breast cancer or homosexuality. Today we talk openly about these issues and this brings hope.

Today’s Promise to consider: Open and honest dialogue takes courage. I will face the tough issues and fight for relationships with my loved ones and those for whom I care deeply. I will work with them to find a place of understanding and forgiveness.


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12 years ago

I appreciate hearing that. My daughter seems to be happy in her life right now, but it would be interesting to know if she misses the drug life. I think sometimes we think of addicts in only negative terms, and we think of people in recovery in only positive terms. But there is still a struggle when you have recovered, such as depression and as you said, wanting the freedom. Addicts, as well, are more than just their addiction.

Libby Cataldi
12 years ago

Dear Cathy,

Jeff has told me the same thing as has Dr. MacAfee. In fact, Dr. MacAfee says, “We know about living in addiction. What we don’t know about it living in recovery.” He once told Jeff, “In recovery, you will experience tremendous grief for all the time lost and the pain caused. It will be difficult, but cherish the grief.”

Nothing easy with addiction. My love to you.


Gina DeCosimo
Gina DeCosimo
12 years ago

Dear Libby, “Nothing is easy with addiction” truer words could not be spoken. My son is sober for now and he is experiencing the grief for all the lost time and all the pain caused, like Dr. MacAfee said. The thing that I didn’t realize is that I am experiencing the same grief, for all the lost time and all the pain caused. Does that even make sense??? Does anything make sense when it comes to addiction??

12 years ago

Dear Gina,

Yes, your words ring true with me. I experienced grief for all the time lost and pain caused. In truth, I still feel it – the loss of the ‘perfect’ family (whatever that means), the loss of time when my sons were still at home and the pain that we all felt in addiction’s grasp. Life is tough and addiction smothers life. I get it; I understand.

Ti abbraccio,