A mother wrote to me: Two of my three children are addicted to drugs and my life has been forever altered. The relationship between mother and addicted child is unique, but I know that that does not diminish the experiences of other family members. Through group work, I talked with another mother who just found out that her child is addicted. She is panicked, confused, and said that she feels isolated, alone, shamed, scared and angry. I realized that I am not alone.

My reflection: There are four S’s used with addiction: shame, secrets, silence and stigma. We feel as though we are drowning in our own emotions and we don’t know what to do. I kept the secret of my son’s addiction because I felt shame. In silence, the addiction grew. But when I reached out my hand for help, I realized I was not alone.

Today’s Promise: Together we can bring addiction out of the shadows where it can be healed. Our loved ones are fighting a powerful, terrifying force and, today, we will talk with other mothers and fathers and break the silence. In our pain, we will understand. In our stories, we will find hope. In our love, we will continue to believe.

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