This weekend, a friend of mine and her son were asked to share their story at a Family Recovery Workshop, and they invited me to attend. I was humbled by the honesty and compassion in the room as they talked about their journey with addiction and recovery. Today the son is eighteen months sober and the mom is a grateful member of Al-Anon where she is finding her own recovery. For all the parents who attended this family session, the mom-and-son team approach recounted both sides of their journey and offered a true and victorious message of hope.
My reflection: There is a saying in AA, “In order to keep it, you have to give it away.” Families, like this mom and son, are fortunate to have achieved recovery and they maintain it by reaching out to those still suffering. This requires courage for both the recovering addict and the parent. There are many ways to help others (to give it away). The important part is that through sharing our strength and faith, we help others to feel less alone and to find hope.
Today’s Promise for today: I am grateful for all those who held out their hands to help Jeff, Jeremy and me. I am grateful for all those who have the courage to help a brother, sister, parent or friend. I am grateful for people like my friend and her son, who believe that service is an important part of life’s living.
There is no greater joy in my life than receiving a call or email from a parent of an addicted child and being able to share my experience, strength, resources and hope with them.
Here is an email response I received yesterday from a mother in South Africa, ” Hello Pat, I thanku for that, I will carry that thought with me, and it will be easy to say “No”, knowing that I am doing it to help him. I thank God for people like u, who are prepared to share and inspire others who are walking the same road. God bless u xx”
This isn’t about me. This is about giving back what was freely given to me. This is about working my twelfth step daily.
In fact, I receive more in return than I give. My recovery is strengthened with each share.
I write this to encourage everyone to get involved in recovery. Regardless of where you are in your own path of discovery there is an incredible healing power that comes with active involvement in your local recovery community.
Step out there, do not be afraid as the God of your understanding is there for you, to guide you and give you strength.
Pat you said it beautifully as did Libby’s blog post. My sentiments exactly.
This very topic was discussed in an Alanon meeting I attended this morning. The new comer was praised for her courage and strength to walk through the doors into a room of ‘strangers’ as we promised her to embrace the possibility of finding peace and serenity in her life.
Today, I am good. My son is good. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I DO know that I wouldn’t be here today to share my story had it not been for the tremendous support/guidance/promise of hope (over and over again) from Libby, the Alanon fellowship and all of you amazing people who share your stories on this blog.
My recovery did not begin until I fully experienced the joy of giving back to others and to honor/treasure the tremendous gift they have (and continue to) give me…unconditional, unwavering love and support.
Ciao Libby, ciao Jeff e ciao Jer … Ho letto il vostro libro … Sono rimasto inchiodato dalla storia della vostra famiglia. Lavoro con tossico e alcodipendenti a Brescia … Mi piacerebbe incontrarvi … Vi lascio il mio cellulare 3355778526. Ci tengo tantissimo … Grazie del vostro coraggio.
Dear Pat, You’re so right. The mom from South Africa said it beautifully, “I thank God for people like u, who are prepared to share and inspire others who are walking the same road.” It is in giving back that we are blessed. This is what we offer to each other right here. We offer hope, joy and faith. We offer a helping hand. My love to you all. I’ll keep coming back 🙂
Caro Giordano. Ti ringrazio per il tuo gentile messaggio e il sostegno. Sarò a Calusco d’Adda il 18 Ottobre alle 9,00 di sera per una presentazione del libro Stammi Vicino. Non so se possa venire, ma quando avrò il volantino, te lo manderò qui. Grazie a te per tutto quello che fai per i ragazzi come Jeff.
Ciao. Ottimo farò in modo di essere presente. Entro la fine dell’anno io e mia moglie, medico agupuntore, apriremo un nuovo servizio con Istituto Suore Poverelle a Brescia per accogliere ragazzi con problematiche croniche di alcoldipendenza e tossicodipendenza; inoltre vorremmo impegnarci nella prevenzione per dare ai giovani il diritto di Non Fare Uso di Droga e alcol. Il nostro desiderio … venire anche a Brescia per un incontro … Ok ti farò sapere. A presto Giordano e Laura
Ciao Giordano e Laura,
Evviva! La nuova iniziativa é meravigliosa! Io non so la ricerca del agopuntura e la tossicodipendenza ma mi pare che é una idea utile e profondamente importante. Spero di conoscervi in Ottobre ma in ogni caso porgo i miei migliori saluti per grande successo.
Scusa, ma Jeff sta bene adesso?
Si, Jeff sta bene da sette anni. Sono grata ogni giorno della mia vita. Speriamo bene per il nostro futuro :).
A Calusco d’Adda ci sará anche Jeff?
Caro Giordano, Penso di no. Lui deve lavorare a New York City e probabilmente non può venire, purtroppo.