A mom and dad wrote to me, After our son was clean for 18 months, we began sharing our story at a local treatment center’s family workshop. First we talked with families, then separately with the patients. We always suggest Al Anon.
Last week, a young male patient, who had been lounging on the couch seemingly disinterested, spoke up. “Excuse me, Ma’am,” he began politely. “Thank you for coming and all, but I don’t want my mom to go to Al Anon. I don’t want her in my business. She’s already too much in my life and I don’t want her in any more of it.”
Several fellow patients jumped in. “You don’t get it,” they chimed. “That’s WHY you want your mom to go to Al Anon. It’s not for you. It’s for HER. That’ll get her OFF your back!”
My husband and I were surprised that in a roomful of addicts so many understood there was a program to help their families – and they were eager to learn more. The visit reminded us, again, that addiction is a family disease.
My reflection: There are many support groups for families of addicts. Although I attend Al-Anon, there are many others. The support of my group is essential to my serenity. When I finally stumbled, broken, into an Al-Anon meeting, I found compassion and understanding. The people in those rooms helped me carry my burden.
Today’s Promise to consider: Sometimes our burdens become too heavy to carry. There are other people who will help. Families can learn to heal. Love, compassion and understanding are available in support groups. We just need to reach out our hand.2186