IMG_0387Dr. MacAfee said, The struggle is part of the addict’s redemption. When the addict gets ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired,’ he realizes that he has pawned his life for the daily chase of dope or alcohol. In that moment of clarity, he acknowledges that life can be so much more, but he must be willing to change everything and fight for it. This can be an intense struggle, but the hard work allows him to redeem himself in order to fulfill life’s promise.

My reaction: We all fall down, some deeper than others. The path back to life, back to our hopes and dreams, is not easy. It is this time between the moment of clarity and the goal of living a renewed, fulfilled life that allows us precious time to learn critical lessons and grow in faith.

Today’s Promise: Today, I admit the mistakes I’ve made and I embrace the struggle before me. I won’t be discouraged by this realization, but I will accept the obstacles in my path. The addict has the opportunity to redeem himself in a life-affirming struggle. So do we all.




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Pat Nichols
10 years ago

My mistakes and difficulties eventually became fuel for my own recovery.

That “voice” in my head screamed, “Do this, do that” for my addicted child. The “voice” ruled my life.

The “voice” had me trained and I obeyed every command.

It never seemed to matter that the “voice” always created additional problems, never solving anything. I still listened and obeyed. How sad, but so very necessary for my future recovery.

I still hear the “voice” and it continues to repeat the same commands but I filter it’s message through my Twelve Step recovery program and respond in a manner that strengthens my recovery. A very healthy process for not only me but my addicted child also.

10 years ago

Pat, thank you for your wisdom

Libby Cataldi
10 years ago

Yes, Pat, thanks for your wisdom. Your sentence, “My mistakes and difficulties eventually became fuel for my own recovery” holds much wisdom. Dr. MacAfee calls this our ‘moment of clarity,’ when we realize what our life has become and we take the steps necessary to live a fulfilled life. I pray for continued moments of clarity for all of us, including for my sons and me. Love to you all.

10 years ago

Yes, Pat, thank you ! This post is so good -embracing struggle. Not fighting it –can free us. Such hard won wisdom — and for me seeing my old patterns more clearly means I’m more able to respond with compassion even when afraid or hurt–or angry–and to let go of blame or shame. What was past is past. There’s sometimes a sacred pause before I re-act.- not always but it’s there more and more. I’m surprised every time I do not go into “rescue” mother mode. To say forgive, forgive forgive, myself and some of the hurt in the wake of my son’s disease is ongoing.
Hope on!
Learning to walk the line between staying close and yet out of the chaos. Letting go of thinking I can help and letting God and my son do the hard work they have to do together. This past week, conversations with him from jail have been so loving. He’s beginning the work in there of recovery.
Step One is a good one to keep going back to every morning.
Barbara’s words telling me how important those calls from jail are- ring in my ears She has been a loving guide to all of us. Pat, your reflections make me know I can never turn away from my own recovery. This is a family disease.


10 years ago

Dear Joy, I am humbled by your words. I love your spirit. It’s so whole. And, in the long run, you will beat this struggle. And, with God’s guidance and love, your son will too.

Dear Pat, your wisdom is extraordinary. It resonates with each and every post. I learn from all of you, even though my son has passed on, I can’t learn enough why my son and grandson used hard drugs and killed themselves.

Love to all of you,