Dr. MacAfee says, “The substance, the use and the search become the master of the addict’s life and everything they know and do revolves around using. We can get the addict to put down the drugs – look at all the thirty-day treatment programs – but to learn to live life, now that’s the healing.
“We need to see and understand how deeply robbed and impoverished the addict is from the addiction. When the addict quits using, he must face what’s in front of him, but also what’s behind him. Drinking stops, reality comes forward and even simple things become monumental.. Anyone who returns from addiction is a remarkable success. The failure isn’t in relapse. The failure is not trying again.
My thoughts: Jeff spoke to a group of newly sober high-schoolers enrolled in a safe school in Oklahoma. One of the young men, a skateboarder, told Jeff, “So many things that I did were about using, even the music I listened to while I skateboarded. I don’t even know what kind of music I like anymore.” Jeff responded, “When I got clean, I didn’t even know what color I liked or what to do on a Saturday night. I didn’t know what normal people did. Learning how to live a sober life is not easy.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Dr. Stephanie Brown, a drug addiction therapist and founder of The Addictions Institute, says that the crisis is in recovery. Living life on life’s terms is hard for all of us, and for the addict it must seem insurmountable. I will stay close and show compassion and respect for my loved one’s journey into sobriety.
This was good to hear Libby, thank you. To hear Dr MacAfee say that the failure is not in the relapse but in the not trying again was food for thought for me.. Of course I have heard similar statements before it is always good to hear again. I’m working at staying close tonight and doing it a little better
Dear Jane, I, too, found hope in Dr. MacAfee’s words that failure is defined as not trying again. During one of Jeff’s last relapses, I called MacAfee for help, “What do I tell him, Doc? I don’t even know what to say.” MacAfee said to tell Jeff something like, “Jeff, addiction can kill you and you have a lot of courage to try again. I learn from you.” He told me not to tell Jeff that I was proud of him because he said that Jeff had to find that pride in himself and for himself, but that I needed to say the words for Jeff to understand that I knew how tough the battle was and that I respected his struggle.
Love to you, Jane, and thanks for the wisdom you share with us week after week. I learn from you.
There is an invaluable tool to help parents understand how best to respond to their child who is in this period of recovery.
Go to http://www.familiesanonymous.org and just below the picture of parents holding hands you will see, “FA Literature,” click there and then click on “Booklets, Books and Pamphlets.” Click on page 2 and scan to the bottom of page and order, “What Do I Say?”
NOTE: If you are having difficulties ordering online, please call Angel with the FA World Service Office at 1-800-736-9805.
My son stayed sober as long as he went to AA and NA meetings. When he was in recovery, he literally attended the meetings at least once a day, maybe twice. I’s so imperative for the addict to have constant support. When they’re not in meetings, they need us to become the supporter. All we can do, as parents, is try to educate ourselves on how to communicate with our children when the using stops.
Thank you Pat – for giving us some tools to help us with communication. How kind of you.
Thank you Libby – for your endless giving.
Support for the recovering addict is critical and, as you write, AA and NA meetings provide the help they need. We can’t fix them or ‘make’ them sober. All we can do is stay close and allow them the dignity of their choices. I know how important Al-Anon is for me.
Also, a dad recently wrote to me and he just lost his son in May to an overdose. I’ve written to him, encouraging him to join our conversations here. Not sure if he will, but I thought that you might be able to help him in a way that I cannot. Keep an eye out, please? I pray he’ll write, but it might be too soon.
Love you, Barbara, and thanks for sharing your wisdom.
I hope the father who wrote to you joins our conversations, here. I wish I could tell him that this forum has helped me in many ways that pyschologists, psychiatrists and therapists couldn’t reach. This forum is “up close and personal”, and as a result of that, I have learned more about addiction than I could ever imagined.
The kindness and love I feel from this forum is real. So, I will pray this father who lost his son to addiction will write to us. I know that we will all give him the support he needs, just as you all gave it to me. I will be forever grateful for your support.
My love to you, Libby. And to Jeff, for sharing your lives with all of us. You make us better.
Dear Barbara, …and YOU make US better. Love to you!!