January 1st carries a powerful reset button in our collective consciousness as the date to begin to do life better.
Everyone has resolutions to make … and keep.
Lose the weight. Dump that boyfriend/girlfriend. Cut up those credit cards. Join the gym.
January 1st always carried a date with destiny for me during the years our son was in deep addiction.
It was the date when we would (once again) commit to double down on our efforts to find sources of recovery help for our son and for the rest of our family as addiction is a disease impacting the entire family system.
It was the date that in my heart carried a call to action for family recovery solutions. Many of these actions on behalf of our son were very, very difficult to do. Over the years as he struggled with addiction, we had to stop ourselves from swooping in to save him.
My husband and I deeply loved our son. His sisters deeply loved their brother. But there were times that loving him meant we had to let him fall and fall hard – always with the offer that help at a reputable residential treatment center with a strong aftercare program was always available to him to help launch a recovered life.
Ultimately our son, now more than 9 years in recovery and co-founder of a treatment center, experienced what he describes as his Gift of Desperation — AKA God.
We all know there is no one-size-fits-all method to recovery. Every addict and every member of the addict’s family has their own individual process for seeking help. We all need support on every level – spiritually, mentally and physically – to get there.
On this start of a new year and at the doorway of a new decade let us all have renewed hope that recovery is always possible.
But here’s the pivot: recovery only happens through change. The saying “Nothing changes if nothing changes” carries great wisdom, and in essence a great warning, in five simple words.
The line in the Serenity Prayer, “Courage to change the things I can” truly packs a punch and directs the way of change. It takes great courage to change things up in a family system entrenched in addiction behavior and thinking. My family’s addiction mess taught me over and over again that we couldn’t make those changes in the airless vacuum of the roles we were all playing in our addiction family system.
We needed help – a lot of help – over a very long period of time from many, many different sources. I am grateful for all that help: trusted family member and friends, 12- Step fellowships, family counselors, recovery professionals, detoxes, rehabs, outpatient programs, half way house staff, rehab family programs, faith- based support and the power of prayer.
Additionally, as my family now looks back on our shared story of how recovery happened, we all see there were also a countless chance encounters with caring people, who at just the right moment had just the right insight to help us.
I now think of those moments as pure grace: random wisdom generously given with perfect timing that brought a necessary measure of strength and clarity.
In this recovery community we share together, may we all feel renewed by the prospect of a new decade offering a new destiny to receive the gifts of hope, courage and strength for ourselves and all our loved ones.
For information and guidance for help and resources for you or your loved one please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy is co-author of Unchained: Our Family’s Addiction Mess Is Our Message.