A daughter of addicted parents wrote to me: I still struggle with the pain of what it’s like to live with and love addicts. I still struggle with issues of anger and despair over all of the ‘what if’s’ and ‘what could have been’s’ that circle around and around in my mind. But it is always cathartic to hear other people’s tales of their battles with this disease – whether they’re the addict or love someone who is. It reminds me that I’m not alone.
My reflection: There are millions of us affected by this disease, either directly as addicts or those of us who love them. That’s why groups like AA and Al-Anon work. There, I found friendship and a lifeline. In our stories, I found compassion and support. I found that I was not alone.
Today’s Promise to consider: It’s easy to isolate and sink into deep suffering when facing addiction. It took me years before I finally sought help in Al-Anon. My ego got in the way. I didn’t want people to know about my family’s problem, and I didn’t want to break my silence. Today, I will accept the help of others. In return, I will reach out my hand to help. No one has to be alone.
I would also add the parents support group of Families Anonymous. This is a support a group similar to Al-Anon but it is specific to parents of addicted children. Take a look at their website at familiesanonymous.org. Their literature is also specific to what parents are feeling and/or dealing with. They have online support groups and forums and a telephone meeting etc.
Thanks, Pat. This is an important reference, and the site is filled with information. Online support is critical as many people have a hard time getting to meetings. I’ll start recommending this resource. My sincere thanks. xo