A mom wrote to me: Sobriety has not been black and white for us – drunk, then sober, trouble, then hugs and kisses. A sober alcoholic may be unemployable, chronically depressed, riddled with rage and fear and suffer from a general lack of sober references that continue to make life unmanageable. Sobriety for us has been about accepting the “new normal” – we lived through our own private Katrina. We will never be who we were twenty years ago. Today we temper our joy with acceptance.
My reaction to the above message: We all have to accept a ‘new normal,’ especially after a long period of active addiction. It took Jeff more than one year to get his vocabulary back. There were times when he’d ‘reach’ for a word and he lament, “It’s like reaching into the fog. The word is there, I know it, but I can’t grasp it.” I remember telling Jeremy, “Your brother lived through a horrendous trauma and it changed him. We’re lucky he’s alive and with us.” In time, Jeff improved significantly, but we had to be gentle with him in the process.
Today’s Promise to consider: Dr MacAfee once told me, “The soul is too private to handle neon light, but listens wonderfully to candlelight.” Or as I believe children learn best, “The mind responds better to a light bulb than a hammer.”