I asked a young man, who has been sober for almost three years, what he’s learned from recovery. He wrote: Today I can use my past to help myself and, more importantly, to help others. I don’t carry around shame and guilt about what I’ve done. I don’t dwell on the past, but it’s there if I need to use it. As for the future, I plan as far out as I need to, but I don’t obsess over events that haven’t happened. I don’t live in worry and fear. Instead, I have been made useful to others. I have a purpose.
My reflection: Dr. MacAfee says that addicts are saints in the making. They’ve lived a life that most of us will never know and, when they become healthy, they bring an immense energy, compassion and understanding to their families, communities and themselves.
Today’s Promise to consider: Recovering addicts know that they have an important purpose in life: to contribute, to serve and to help others. Jeff and other recovering people continue to teach me and to inspire me with their courage. They have wisdom born out of suffering and pain. We, who love them, also have a purpose: to reach out our hands and help another.2394
Thanks for this post Libby.
I have seen what Dr. MacAfee spoke of, it is quite amazing.
The potential for good is in all of us.
First of all, I love the picture you posted. It’s so unusual and fits the message, perfectly.
I also love what the young man wrote as a reply to your question as to what he’s learned from recovery. He sounds like such an intelligent man.
We all have a purpose. We all have a vision, a purpose, and a value. We just need to learn how to use it, properly.
My son had all those virtues when he was sober and also when he was using. Addiction is so complicated and we’ll never have all the answers to so many questions. But, I do know one thing for sure, we have each other. And, that is very powerful.
My love to you,
Whenever I went to an open NA meeting I always felt such warmth, kindness and unconditional love in those rooms. listening to the stories of the lives lived on drugs and seeing the incredible people there gave me such hope for my daughter.
As Dr MacAfee says in the post above, addicts have lived a life most of us can’t even imagine. When my daughter would talk about seeing old friends she always worried about what she would say to them about her life. I have always told her she has so much to give to others because of this life she has lived. Not many people can truly understand the kind of pain, suffering and loss the addict has experienced so it is a great opportunity to enlighten others and offer hope in this crazy world.
I know that for me it has been a true eye opener to hear the stories, to see the courage, faith and love of life that floods the rooms of NA. I hope that one day my daughter will see her worth too.
I too, like Sue went to a lot of open AA meetings to hear the stories and listen to the wisdom in their shares. I needed that hope, that one day my son would be in their shoes. We too , have that same purpose. We share our wisdom borne out of our own experience with suffering, loss, grief, and our recovery. The outcomes may not be what we hoped for, but our recovery from living in the midst of this tornadoe has changed us forever too. We have lots to share and that is part of my purpose too. I gladly embrace the newcomer to my AlAnon meetings.
Barbara you are so right. We have each other and that is powerful here, in meetings and on the phone. No need to go it alone!
Thank you Libby for sharing Dr. MacAfee’s words.
I would like to think of my son as a saint in the making. It has been hard to give him the benefit of the doubt or believe in his potential through the years of addiction. But I still feel in my heart that he is a kind and loving person underneath his illness, and sometimes I get glimpses of that person in his letters from prison. I hope I will get an opportunity to know him as a man living in recovery someday.
I have not heard from him in a month, since I told him that I can not fulfill his requests for packages or take his calls until he is making positive changes while in prison. I am praying that his silence is a sign he understands. But I keep in mind what Jane said-The outcome might not be what I hope for but my recovery from the midst of the tornado is changing me. And I am grateful for that. Thanks to all!
My heart feels what you’re going through with your son in prison. It’s as if I was reading my past life with my son.
My son would go months without writing or calling me, after I told him that I couldn’t give him any more money or send packages every week. When he did write to me, it was very special. He was warm, loving and truthful.
I stayed close when my son was in prison, but not too close.
I pray and hope that someday you will see your son as a man in recovery.
Hope, pray, love.
There is incredible wisdom in these posts. Thank you for your honesty and love. Yes, we have each other. No need to go it alone.
Dr. MacAfee has taught me much about addicts and their pain. He says he helps addicts with ‘candle light’ instead of ‘neon light.’ I thank God everyday that Dr. MacAfee came into Jeff’s life at the right time. If not, Jeff’s life could have taken a very different turn. Saints in the making: a beautiful way to think of our children.
Barbara, you are right that we all have a purpose. When I read your words, I thought of YOU and your purpose here. You have suffered the ultimate loss to addiction, yet you support us all with your wisdom and love. God bless you.
I stand with you all in faith and hope. My love and respect,
Thank you Barbara. Your empathy means a lot to me. My husband and I did each receive a loving letter yesterday from our son, and we are grateful for that.
I awoke this morning thinking about you and your son. Just wanted you to know that I join you in prayer.
With love and respect,