Sometimes It All Comes Back

My son in recovery frequently reminds me about complacency and the danger as related to addiction.

His mom and I went to the service of a young man who overdosed and died last week. Recently the newspapers report death or overdoses throughout the area. They’re usually young and carry the phrase unexpectedly. They’ve become far too common. I read the stories and know the hurt the parents, spouses and friends must be feeling. I know the hurt but have no idea of their entire story.

This service was different in that it was the mom and dad from our NAR-ANON group who suffered the loss. Since we joined the group more than three years ago, we hear the heartbreaking stories week after week. The good thing is that we’ve seen so many get better in terms of dealing with addiction. It’s a slow process for most but you can see improvement in their life as they start to work on their own lives. It is a difficult battle.

This mom and dad were getting better. They were doing fun things and once again finding some healing. It really helps the group to see these changes taking place even though the addict may still be a victim of this disease. So, week after week you become a part of their lives and suddenly the message comes that young man or woman has succumbed to the disease. This was the first we’ve had in all the time we’ve attended. Suddenly, you become aware that none of us are immune from tragedy at any moment. It is very painful to witness.

For me, I feel horrible when I hear these stories. Having lost a son myself to addiction I try not to revisit that part of my life where I lacked any understanding of addiction. With the successful journey of a second son recovering from heroin, my life has changed greatly. I no longer dwell on how miserable things were and how bitter I was. At least I thought this was the case.

Holding that mom and dad and looking into their eyes, I could not hold it together. I thought I was there to offer support and in fact later in the day, I found their hurt and feeling back inside me. It scares me to think I have control of this situation. My son knows better than I do that there is no place for complacency with addiction. What I hoped I had buried returned. I’m afraid again.

I’m not sure if I can get myself back to where I was comfortable with our situation. Comfortable does not even sound intelligent when discussing addiction. Attempting to take this subject to anything but grievous is a mistake. With all the political stuff today, the term nuclear option seems appropriate to describe all this. When you can’t win, change the rules. Maybe I was pretending. I’ll make my own rules that say I win.

Did I just blow my theory of regeneration out of the water? I believe I created some doubt for me at least about completely healed. I’m not sure how to verbalize what has happened. I am by no means where I have been. I understand the battles the boys  met. I’m  in a good place with them. This was a trigger for me, a bump in the road, in a way a relapse. I need to repair that emotion and physical part of my body and regain the spiritual part that helped me feel safe and unafraid. Maybe Regenerating would have been a better term to describe this journey.

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