The concept of powerlessness is very present in my life right now. As an addict, I spent most of my young adult life wondering why everyone was so worried about me. I didn’t understand the fatal nature of the illness I was battling. Even after I got sober, it was still hard to digest how insidious and how dangerous the disease of alcoholism is. The people around the addict are stunned, terrified and panicked. This often manifests in anger, judgement and stonewalling. For me, being in touch with the families of addicted people is just as healing as working directly with addicts and alcoholics. There is something so grounding to see the reality of addiction from the outside versus relating to an addict who is currently living in their disease. Most actively addicted people don’t like to be called out and they definitely don’t like to discuss the devastation they have left in their wake. I understand that. I didn’t either. We often don’t even understand the depth of pain that we cause those close to us until we get sober.
Being a part of a fellowship is a necessary and beautiful gift of sobriety. It also comes with the high risk of loving other alcoholics and addicts, not all of whom will stay sober. One of the most painful experiences of my adult life wasn’t getting sober. Getting sober was surrender and survival. The most painful experiences thus far have been watching the people I love beaten down by the disease of alcoholism and addiction. To watch addiction play out in front of you and destroy your family is absolutely unbearable. It has also been a lesson in what I am and am not in control of. It has been a test of faith to let the universe provide things to myself and struggling loved ones in due time. I am so grateful I can love people where they are at instead of holding onto where I think they should be. I am so grateful I don’t have to be in charge anymore because I have a spiritual connection. And I am so grateful that I have a solution to my own alcoholism.