Jeff and friend Jason

From my son, I learned: Recovering communities like Alcoholics Anonymous are a crucial part of recovery. There the addict finds people who know his journey and have walked in his shoes. As much as I wanted to help my son, I couldn’t understand all that he had lived. In groups like AA, they are sensitive to the nuances of this disease and the path out of it. They celebrate his successes and stand with him when he is in need.

My reflection: Much of the current research indicates that recovery is more successful when the addict is supported by people who understand his walk and who care about him and his daily struggle. As much as I wanted to be that person for my son, I couldn’t be.  

Today’s Promise to Consider: Fellowship with recovering addicts is often an essential part of a person’s journey to sobriety. We, as family members, can give them love and support, but people who know their walk provide community and understanding along the way. Today, I’ll encourage my loved one to attend AA, NA, or another support group. I, too, will attend a support group aimed at care for family members.

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Pat Nichols
5 years ago

There was a time I felt my responsibility was to make sure my son made it to his meetings. I would say things like, hey, your meeting starts in five minutes. You are going to be late! Or this, have you found a sponsor yet? And this, what step are you working? The biggest problem was me! I wan’t in a program and until I found my own recovery I was of no benefit to anyone.

Terry Ann Olsen
5 years ago
Reply to  Pat Nichols

it is so important to allow them to be responsible and own their recovery.

Terry Ann Olsen
5 years ago

You are so spot on. We all learn many lessons in ways we never intended. And I’m so glad you mentioned the family being in recovery also. That is often the missing link. We think our loved one is the only person who needs to change, while often we are guilty of holding them and ourselves in useless cycles.
After losing my 25 year old son to a heroin overdose in November 0f 2014, I was determined to find a way to create something positive from our tragedy. For the past year I have been leading a support group for Parents who have children who are struggling. And appropriately enough, its called CHANGES. Just as our addicts need support from peers who understand what they are going through, so do their families!

5 years ago

Terry Ann,

Thanks for writing. Your points are excellent, and your support group, CHANGES, is an important initiative. I’m sure you are helping many, many parents who are struggling.

I’m deeply sorry that you lost your son. There is no greater pain. I admire you for taking such immense suffering and bringing good out of it. If we all did that, the world would be a better place.

Keep up the good work. We all stand with you as you help others.