A mother wrote an email message to me. This is part of it: My son is a high functioning (honor student in high school and at university) heroin addict. I can’t even believe that I can write or say these words. I feel so isolated most of the time. My son is very successful and he says that he’s in recovery. All I can say is that I think he is, but I am never sure. They are so good at deception. I analyze every single thing he does and says.  Sometimes I feel I will truly go crazy. In this crowded world, I feel totally and completely alone.

My personal reflection on the passage above, offering my thoughts today: This mother’s words – I feel totally and completely alone – are true for many of us. Silence rules the day and the silence keeps the addiction. We must break the silence in order to bring addiction out of the shadows and into the light. We are not alone. The research says that for every one addict four others are directly affected.

Today’s promise to consider for all of us who love addicts: I know that I am not alone. I will face the addiction with the help of others. Al-Anon and other groups provide for me a sense of community. I will break the silence that crusts over my heart and, in doing so, try to break the hold that addiction has on my family. 

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13 years ago

Please know that you are not alone. Al-anon has provided me a sense of community, safe haven to share my fears, isolation and despair. I have chosen NOT to give into addiction. It has dictated my life for so many years. I have chosen life…choosing life for me meant breaking the silence and reaching out to others. It has been a liberating experience for our family.