- Addiction destroys people of every age, race & gender. Bringing hope to families of those injured by addiction requires an open heart & the simple desire to serve.
- Your efforts will help bring hope to children and families dealing with the disease of addiction.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Strength can come from knowing you are not alone in the feelings and struggles you in which you are engaged. We invite you to share your recovery story, whether you are a recovering addict or care about a recovering addict. We will share stories that encourage and uplift others. To share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAWN OF UNDERSTANDING
If you would have asked me about what addiction was 10 years ago my answer would have been much different than it is today. This isn’t to say I wasn’t exposed to addiction. My mother had been medically addicted after life-threatening surgery while I was in elementary school. I knew she was challenged with alcohol and prescription drug abuse, but simply considered it her problem. Now, I realize it was mine too – our entire family’s.
I had a high school friend who was a great student and a very gifted athlete. He became performance- and then recreationally-addicted after we went to college. I couldn’t understand and wondered why he was involved in such things. I should have tried harder to understand and help. I don’t think he ever understood and one day decided to end his life in the forest above where he was going to school.
It’s hard for me to say I’ve never been addicted because in a way I believe we all suffer from addiction of some sort or another. Fortunately I have never had an addiction that has kept me from saying “I can’t stop” or “I just need to do it one more time.”
My wife and I tried to be attentive to potential addiction hazards with our children and felt fairly confident in what we were doing for them. Then our confidence crashed when we found out our son was addicted in more than one way.
I was disappointed, disgusted and mad. My reaction was essentially, “How can you be so stupid?” I was embarrassed and felt I was somehow to blame. I found myself wondering what I had done wrong. One day I was essentially seeking sympathy from a friend. Rather than joining my misery he asked, “What would you do if you found out John had encephalitis or cancer?” I looked at him incredulously and said, “Everything I could to find a cure for him.” He answered, “I believe you would so why aren’t you doing the same thing for him now?” It took me a millisecond to answer, “He chose this path. It’s not a disease.” My friend smiled and said, “Are you sure? There is solid evidence that addiction is a disease. The first step may be a choice, but experimentation can turn into disease and then you are addicted.”
My friend gave me a small book to read and it was eye-opening. I started to treat my son like he had a disease. It has made all of the difference in our relationship and although he is not completely out of the woods he has made amazing progress. He has taken steps toward the light of sobriety and away from the darkness of addiction.
The experience and help received has been a dawn of understanding of what addiction really is. We will always be grateful for those who helped us into this new day. It was my friend and materials created by the Children’s Friend Foundation that opened the door for us.