A mother wrote to me: My youngest daughter is 19; she started with alcohol at age 12 and ended up a heroin addict. After many false starts and years of fearing that phone call when I would hear that she was dead, she finally entered an inpatient center. After completion, she wants to come home. I want her home, but I am also very realistic that we are NOT out of the woods by a long shot. She is going to need help from someone who truly “gets it” and is not family. Our family is still healing – we have a very long way to go.
My reflection: We need to stay humble in the face of addiction because it lurks in the shadows, always taunting and biding its time, gauging just the right moment when vulnerability is high and relapse is possible. Addicts need to work their program. For Jeff, this meant the twelve steps of AA, meeting with a sponsor and attending AA meetings. As his family, we could provide a loving shoulder for him, but the work of recovery is a personal process forged between the addict and his support group.
Today’s Promise: AA talks about rigorous honesty and a spiritual awakening as the way to keep sober. Recovery takes work, plain and simple, for the addict and for those of us who love him. I will keep hope.