My son wrote this to me about his first rehab center (he was nineteen years old): I was shocked that there were no secrets – no feelings that were uniquely mine. I still owned the details, but there was a community of other people across all ages that used drugs as I did and faced issues similar to mine. On some level, everyone was dealing with the same type of broken relationships, legal issues and personal shame. I remember being comforted by the commonalities, thinking that treatment would fix the addiction.
My personal reflection on the passage above offering my thoughts today: There are many commonalities among addictions and this is one reason why Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon work. Within the group, we see ourselves and hear our pain expressed by others. We learn that we’re not alone. My son found comfort in this, and so did I. In our trauma, we find ourselves in others. In our stories, we learn. I resisted attending Al-Anon meetings for several years, but it became my lifeline. It didn’t fix the addiction, but it helped me to fix myself.
Today’s Promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: I will acknowledge the addiction and allow myself to get help from others. I must give myself the gift of learning from other’s pain. I am not alone.311