Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but never gets you anywhere.Erma Bombeck
I don’t know about you, but if the world gave out awards for worry, I would have a room full of big fat first prize blue ribbons!
My brains have well-worn roads where my worried thoughts speed like race cars.
Worry filled chapters of the story of my family’s generational struggle with the illness of substance abuse disorder.
Worry insidiously accompanies all the unknowns of how the disease impacts a family system.
And for good reason.
The worry caused by the current drug abuse crisis is very real. The statistics on overdose deaths are chilling. Fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death in the United States for adults ages 18-45, surpassing suicide, gun violence and car accidents.
We live with this fact and so many, many others painfully carved deep in our hearts as we seek recovery solutions for our families.
There were years that it felt to me that our family was encased in the cement of the family systems disease of addiction.
It was heartbreaking for all of us.
We became very intentional in seeking help for every family member to deal with what life was dishing out on life’s terms. That meant different things for each individual family member.
We went to family therapy. We met with medical doctors, recovery counselors, treatment center family program professionals and educational consultants.
Spiritual practices also helped tremendously. I upped my 12 Step program. Daily times of prayer, rest stops for silent reflection and mentors for spiritual growth played a big part in slowing down the persistent rock, rock, rock of the rocking chair of worry.
Our family sought to counterattack worry with a strong net cast very deep and very wide in the waters of potential solutions. Some things worked, and some didn’t. Ultimately, over the long haul, we crafted a support system that helped us to live in peace.
It is good to learn, and then to experience, solutions to an existence riddled with worried. Those solutions change merely existing to fully living the gift of each day.
What do you do to combat the grip of worry?
We can all be inspired by our collective experience, strength and hope.
Nancy Vericker and her son, JP, are co-authors of Unchained: Our Family’s Addiction Mess Is Our Message. Their book tells the true story of JP’s descent into opioid and alcohol addiction to recovery to become co-founder of a national treatment healthcare system.