A mother wrote to me: Two of my three children are addicted to drugs and my life has been inextricably altered. The relationship between mother and addicted child is unique, but I know that that does not diminish the experiences of other family members. Through group work, I talked with another mother who just found out that her child is addicted. She is panicked, confused, and said that she feels isolated, alone, shamed, scared and angry. I realized that I am not alone.
My thoughts on the above passage: There are four S’s used with addiction: shame, secrets, silence and stigma. We feel as though we are drowning in our own emotions and we don’t know what to do. I kept the secret of my son’s addiction because I felt shame. In silence, the addiction grew. But when I reached out my hand for help, I realized I was not alone.
Today’s Promise: I will join together and bring addiction out of the shadows so it can be healed. My loved one is fighting a powerful force and I will talk with other mothers and fathers and break the silence. In our pain, I will understand; in our stories, I will find hope; in our love, I will continue to believe.
Dear Libby, this week’s meditation is such a powerful message. The 4 “s’s” you’ve mentioned are so very difficult to overcome. I, personally, had a huge problem with shame. But, it’s loving people like you and all who participate and write here, that have relieved most of the shame hanging over my head.
I thank you all for helping me so much. I pray for all of you each and every day.
I can’t thank Libby enough for writing her book and her blog. Libby, you are a true fighter and survivor. You’ve helped so many mothers come to terms with addiction as well as providing positive, sound advice.
Gratefully and respectfully, with love and admiration,
Yes, a powerful message. I too found Libby’s book so helpful. Thank you Libby and Jeff and Jeremy for sharing with us. The shame isolates us. The stigma makes us feel the shame and also is a blockade to seeking help or talking aboutthe big monkey on our backs. I got helathy when i got honest and started talking and sharing. I am a Nurse and an educator. I use my position whenever possible and appropriate to have discussion and conversation about addiction and its trauma on all members of the family. I work hard at trying to change attitudes and barriers to getting help. In this way I also find healing. I do have power in one way and that is to change the way health care providers may judge. I always sayto them if it happened in my family it can happen to any of you. This is where I can give back. I can do my part as an advocate now.
Barbara it is time to let yourself know that you did not cause it. This is a disease that tends to be familial. You have nothing to be ashamed of. But of course I know what you are feeling. I had to walk back into work at the hospital where my son was brought many times to the ER. I did feel shame too. But through hard work in working a program and Al Anon I am recovering and do not feel shame anymore. Keep going to Al Anon. You are not alone there or with us !
No longer drowning in my emotions, I feel the power of the Alanon fellowship work through me, day by day. I now know that addiction is WAY too big for any of us to walk through, alone. Although I still have moments of fear, confusion, anger and shame, I am grateful for people like you, Libby, that give us the forum to ‘be real.’
Thank you for this gift.
Love to you and your family,
Dear Barbara, Jane and Nanci,
Although we’ve never met, I feel as though I know you in a special way. I thank you for staying close and for trusting your feelings here. Recovering and healing is hard for all of us and we make progress a little at a time. I like the AA saying, “Progress not perfection.” Emotions boil up and over when we least expect them.
I send you my love and respect. Our walk is not easy, but together it can be more comforting.
I send you all my love too. be well
Thank you all for the support you’ve given me. Even though I’ve never met any of you, in person, I feel very connected to all of you. Each and every one of you has a special place in my heart. I will never forget any of you.
God Bless you,
Love to you all,
I wish addiction had never found my family, but through the addiction, there have been blessings like hearing your voices and hearing our collective voices joined together in compassion and hope. I’m grateful that we’ve found a place where we can help each other. Love to you all.
Beautiful post LIbby. I especially like these words: “In our pain, I will understand; in our stories, I will find hope; in our love, I will continue to believe.” Addiction will come out of the shadows when we all come together.
Thanks, Cathy. You are correct: We all need to hold hands and stand strong in solidarity. You are doing a great job with Treatment Talk. Keep up the good work!! My love to you.