“Every time I was honest, it got easier”

Thursday meeting 8/30/18:

            Today’s speaker was inspiring.  I literally felt my heart in my chest at different moments during her talk.  Carrie brought along her husband who sat at her side holding their baby daughter.  Just the sight of the young couple was inspiring.  Carrie’s background sounded familiar—she’d come from a loving home and given every opportunity.  I appreciated how she spoke of alcoholism’s associated personalities, tendencies, and behaviors—much of the time we and/or others focus on the addiction alone, and don’t take into account “the recipe” for the addiction.  Her father was a dry drunk.  The first time she got drunk, he found out about it, got very upset, and sent her off to rehab fearing that she might be an alcoholic herself.  His fears would unfortunately become a reality.  I thought of my middle daughter and her need for instant gratification, her insecurities and habits, and how my husband and I knowing these things, projected into the future.  

            Carrie spiraled in her alcoholism and reached a low bottom.  She talked about a defining moment when her mother asked how she was doing, and she told the truth.  Instead of her usual lie of telling her that she had a few weeks or a month of sobriety (enough to be respectable, but believable), she simply replied, “Not well.  I used earlier today.”  She asked her mother for help, and was convinced she helped her because she was honest this time.  She called it “a kernel of honestly.”  “Every time I was honest, it got easier.”

            She recalled the time she was coming off heroin, and sat in a rocking chair clutching her newborn son, rocking back and forth, and holding onto him for dear life.  That baby meant the world to her, and she was going to do right by him.  It was the talk of her children, isolation from her family, and the feeling of hopelessness that hit me.  That was my truth, too.  My family did not isolate from me, but I was isolating in my addiction, and it was taking its toll on them.  Carrie’s mother shared with her how she and her father were terrified every day that she wouldn’t live to beat her disease, that one day they’d get a knock on the door.  Today sure was a powerful reminder for me to reflect on my family, what they went through when I was struggling, and how very blessed I am.

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