The most frightening moment is when you see – with sober eyes - how your addiction struck terror into the hearts of your loved ones. Mother smiles. Her warm joy dances on her face like sunlight. Father’s nod of approval jolts glee into his walk. Behind Mother’s smile and beneath Father’s strut is terror. Unadulterated fear. Attending to a sober life, repairing the damages done, paying the money back; making our own way on our own feet is good, indeed. However, the stark reality: the harm we’ve wrought upon others – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – we are scarcely aware. Years ago, an old sponsor said to me:
“I’ll probably never be aware of the full measure of my wrongs done others. If I knew, I may not be able to bare it.”
How appallingly true. Most loved ones
remained petrified for years after the addict recovers. This diseases affects loved ones at a cellular level. The disease takes its toll in active addiction, during convalescence and well after recovery finds its roots. Recovery is a lifetime gig; not only for the addict, but for the loved ones as well.
We are thieves of moments. We trespass the soul. We rob the natural joy a family holds. If levity were spotted, we take. If peace were seen, we break in and steal. We grab for more of everything. In this predacious seizing of what makes a life precious, we always stain the soul of the ones we love the most.
Obviously, family circumstances vary considerably. Yet when dealing with the family its important to maintain humility and transparency at its finest. Learning how to give joy, to bring peace, to overcome discord and become the catalyst of levity takes most a long time. I suppose that is our duty. We must learn to dedicate ourselves to “time”. It is moments that are the substance of what we call “time”. It is moments that we stole from others. So, moments we are here to give. We thieve no more. This moment is ours to give.