Barry Lopez wrote: Remember on this one thing…The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memories. This is how people care for themselves.
My reflection: I needed to hear other parents tell their stories about addiction. I needed to hear about their suffering and heartaches, but also about their hope and love. That’s one of the main reasons why Al-Anon meetings were so important to me.
Today’s Promise to consider: There are few things more comforting than a moving story. When I was at my lowest point with my son’s addiction chaos, the stories of other parents connected me to them and helped me to feel less alone. I listened intently to how they handled their sadness, hardships, and joys. Their words helped me to understand and think about my own experiences, often giving the courage to move forward. Let’s continue to share our stories of both pain and joy.4624
Thank you for this. I waffle back and forth between thinking I never stop talking about my Son’s addiction and nobody wants to hear my story of woe. I have listened to others but don’t give myself the permission to share my story. My son is 33 days sober but we all know it is a day by day journey
Dear Jill, Your son is 33 days sober, and this is HUGE. My son says that even one day is a cause for celebration. You’re right that sobriety is a one-day-at-a-time journey, but we all join you in hope and prayer. How your son got to this point of sobriety is a story worth sharing. These stories inspire us all. xoxo
This is so important a post Libby. It was only when I began to tell our family story, that I started to get well. I had kept so isolated. I was careful, I didn’t always give details, I chose wisely, and I learned along the way there were people not to share with. There was some family education to do, \or chose not to do. It was only when I found a community of sharing, caring listening people– liken AlAnon and , wonder of wonderments, by telling me their stories my feeling of shame and isolation almost disappeared. I sat almost because some nights I only had God of my understanding to talk to. Being heard by even one person is powerful relief. Being embraced by many is a whole other feeling. Love and belonging not judgement or blame. What we find here , in the the stories. Praying for all who read this who might need to find courage to tell their story to a loved one they may have been avoiding because they were embarrassed or ashamed. The Truth will only make them love you …most will weep with you and hold your hand. (And they probably already know.) Bless all suffering parents & struggling children. . Bless their hearts so they are free to tell their story and become a little more healed in their brave hearts. Narrative Medicine. It Works! This works.
Precious Joy, Your words sing with hope and freedom. Thank you. You’re right that our stories are Narrative Medicine. I kept the secret of my son’s addiction for years, but – as you write – people already knew. When my sons and I wrote our story about Jeff’s addiction, my younger son said, “The best part of telling our story is that now people know. They can quit looking at us like they know our secret. The secret is out. We told the truth. There’s no more hiding or dodging. I’m relieved.” For Jeff, it was his twelfth step – service. For all three of us, it was reaching out a hand to help others. Stories are powerful. Yes, it works. My love to you. xoxo