Recovery is possible for people with substance use disorder and for their families! And those things are not dependent on one another.
I am a family member in long-term recovery from the effects of my son’s substance use disorder.
What that means to me is that I have found a way to recover, reclaim, and live my life, while also loving my son. It means that my happiness, peace of mind, and well-being do not depend on his. It means I have accepted that we are separate individuals each walking our own journey and I can honor our paths and our bond. I am grateful to walk alongside him and for the depth of love this journey has brought forward for us.
It means that I am committed to living life fully, to embracing my days and showing up for my life, even on days when my son has struggled...even on days when I am struggling. It means taking it one moment at a time, one step at a time. It means that I have practices that help me to practice self-care and to be mindfully present - which means that I meet myself where I am honestly - some days are better than others. I am devoted to true self care as I define it: to be true to and gentle with myself one moment at a time.
It means remembering who I am and who he is before and beyond this disease. It means moving toward who we may become as we each heal and grow.
It means I have met some of the most amazing, sensitive, creative, wise, impactful , intuitive, generous and loving people who are on their own journey of recovery. They show me what’s possible and have opened my eyes and heart to the people they are beyond substance use disorder.
It means that I am committed to using the pain, lessons, love, compassion, and growth I have experienced to support others in their recovery, both family members and individuals.
It also means that I will join with other recovery advocates to break the silence and shatter the stigma around substance use disorder and call for love and compassion toward those impacted.