A mother wrote me an email message. This is part of it: I guess those of us affected by addiction are so busy being wrapped up in our own journey we forget the pains of those around us. To hear Jeff say he had to learn about himself minus the drugs…even down to what colors he liked best…Wow, that sums it up! That statement really gives me a window into how shut down the addict becomes.
My personal reaction on the passage above: When I was in the midst of my son’s active addiction, I was drowning in my own struggles and my own suffering. It was difficult (almost impossible) to step outside of myself and see things through Jeff’s or Jeremy’s eyes. They were carrying immense burdens, but I was too beaten down to hear their hurts.
When I learned how to Stay Close and get out of the way, I was able to listen (really listen) to my sons. I heard their journeys and their heartaches. Every day, I try to remember to open my heart with compassion and honesty. I want to be fully present for my sons and for those I love.
Today’s Promise to Consider: It’s normal to get caught up in my own perspective, but today I’ll step away from my own hurts and look at problems through my loved one’s eyes.558