A recovering addict wrote to me: Addiction seems to be the epidemic of our world today destroying not only the addict, but also everyone around him. I read about Jeremy’s pain and frustration, and see my little brother’s hurt and inner battle. But the message is still hope. We are not alone. Ironic that a disease that is afflicting millions of people is a disease that isolates us. It does this because the one true defense, the true power against addiction, is standing together, walking together and holding each other as we trip and stumble.
My thought: These words strike me as true. Dr. MacAfee says it another way, “Only by taking addiction out of the darkness where it does its best work and into the light can it be healed.” Addiction thrives by isolating the addict and his family. If the addict keeps the secret, he keeps the addiction. Only by standing together in honesty, holding hands and working together, can we fight this disease.
Today’s Promise to consider: I will not keep the secret of addiction. I will not isolate myself in shame, stigma and silence. I will fight against addiction for my loved one and myself.
When I read the part of this week’s meditation, “addiction thrives by isolating the addict and his family”, I thought this:
Addiction is like some infections. Infection thrives on bacteria and grows and grows. It’s like a cancer that grows and strangles the addict to death.When we get infections, we go to a doctor and get antibiotics, etc., to combat the infection.
The addict who is in recovery, goes into combat every single day. No doctor, no antibiotics, no medicine. The addicts medicine is his courage, strength and resolve, to get through each and every day without drugs.
You’re right about bringing the addiction into the light and out of secrecy. If the addiction is isolated in secrecy, the “infection”, as I see it, festers until it dies. My son died in a secret drug house. Everything about his death was a secret.
Thank you Libby, for bringing all of us into the light. You’re doing God’s work by helping so many people and I appreciate your sincere and honest hard work. It’s precious.
Love to you,
You are such a strong person, you have gone through my worst nightmare and seem to encourage others. My son isolates himself when he is using and when we can’t find him I know something is wrong. Thankfully the last time, the police found him in his truck parked outside a drug house. He had been passed out for several hours, deprived of oxygen and near death. He is recovering but this time he will be reminded. He has memory loss, nerve damage and damage to other parts of his body from lack of oxygen. I hope he can learn and start his road to recovery by hearing others who were not so lucky to survive.
Thank you for your kind words. I pray your son will have a full recovery, both physically and mentally. I also pray that he’ll never use again.
As a mother, I know your pain. Try to keep your spirits up and always think positively.
With deep respect and love,
Thank you for posting this. I am going out on a limb and putting myself and loved ones on blast. I only have hope that it will not backfire on me and get negative feedback from some of my family members. Thank you respectfully Karyn
So true Libby. My wife and I no longer keep the addiction of our son or the suffering parents endure due to this disgusting disease a secret. In fact, The Oklahoman (a state wide newspaper) just did a article about my wife and I that appeared in Last Monday’s edition.
The article states that my son was in recovery but he was actually arrested for copper theft and sits in the county jail. I received a letter from him today telling me he read the article and shared it with his cell mates. He then congratulated his mom and me! Imagine that!!!
I encourage all parents to free themselves and to step out into the light of recovery. You are safe and understood in the recovery community.
In prayer for all who suffer from this disease.
Pat , I could not agree with you more. My healing began when I stopped denying, and started talking about it. I am open about it with everyone and I advocate whenever I can. This was the way I heal best, in service to others through Al Anon or teaching about the disease at work (I am a nurse educator). Silence keeps us sick. But, we can only do what we feel ready to do.
Love and blessings to all
I loved this. Thank you.
Isolation is the terrarium for addiction, and this was such a good reminder of how alcoholism thrives in secrets…
You ROCK Libby! Thank you for teaching my mom about addiction
🙂 I can’t wait until my book gets out there!
My heart soars with gratitude to all of you who participate here and make us better. Barbara, you are our fearless leader and I treasure your comments and strength. Pat, you’ve been helping people who love addicts for years. Jane and Hope, thanks for your steady support and care. To all – you make us better!!
Thanks, too, to our young teammates, Laura and Feather. You add experience from both sides addiction.
My love and gratitude. We are not alone. We have each other.
I just got a chance to read the article you posted. You and Vickie are doing God’s work by helping other parents. Both of you will be rewarded in heaven!
Thank you for sharing the newspaper article. And, I pray your son will soon find his way out addiction’s darkness and into the light.
God bless you and Vickie,
Barbara … and all,
You are very special to this amazing Blog Libby has created.
The parents who respond are also exceptional.
I have been involved in numerous forums, reviewed hundreds of Web sites and I believe, for me, this Blog surpasses all of them.
My sincere appreciation to Libby and everyone who makes this Blog so beneficial to so many.
In prayer for all who suffer from this disease.
I agree wholeheartedly with you that Barbara is very important to all of us. Barbara, you are amazing and we love you!!
Pat, your contributions and comments are insightful and deeply thoughtful. Thanks for staying close to all of us. We are better for you.
Love to all,
Although we all have different stories, they are the same. We are all caught up in this epidemic we call addiction. If we isolate ourselves, it will surely destroy all that is good. I know that the story I share with you and my Al-Anon friends is taken to your hearts. It is through this collective strength that today I cherish. Thank you to all who have shared their stories and thank you for letting me share some of my story. Just for today I will make the choice to be happy and enjoy all the good God has given me. I will also embrace the challenges I am faced with and use them as a means to an end. That end being serenity.
I am grateful to have found this site and the book you wrote Libby. In your first chapter, the first paragraph, i felt like you were writing from the words felt within my heart. You wrote:
“But look deeply into a mother’s eyes and tell her that her child is dying and it’s not her fault. Sure, it makes sense if it’s not your child. But for a mother to do nothing to stop the pain, to alter its course ~~~ is it possible for a mother not to feel guilt, shame, intense hurt? Maybe for some, but I’m not that mother. For me, I think I will wear this like a skin. Maybe I’ll forget I have it on sometimes, but it will be forever part of my being, my eyes, my smile, my thoughts ~~ like a breath that catches me short or my heart when it misses a beat. That’s it, Jonathan is my heart murmur ~~ I have allowed his aches and traumas to damage my heart, and sometimes I feel it is beyond repair. Maybe this isn’t the case for other parents, and maybe I’m wrong, or not healthy for thinking this way. But this is what I feel, this is my heart.”
Today I am looking for that beauty of serenity ~~ yet i am not close to achieving this feeling.thank you for sharing your story ~ you truly know the debth of how my heartaches for my son Jonathan ~ right now he is on the street I do not know how he is, only that he is in God’s hands ~~thank you again ~ Always blessing, mary beth
Love to you, Mary Beth. Thanks for being a part of our conversation. We’re all in this together.