Sunday, July 15, 2012

Parents & Spouses Take Steps

     Seven years ago, I got to escape to my cozy little treatment center to rest and recover, to nourish myself and feel better. I got to eat well, heal myself and focus on my spirit. I got to run away from the world all over again while my wife was left to deal with the bills, rent, insane phone calls from drug dealers... and a mountain of heartache. As my insanity washed away, her's sunk in. While she was preoccupied with my lunacy, a well of pain and resentment had built up inside her. She knew she had to do something, so she became willing, and then took Steps, just as I.

     What my wife did took untold courage. She could have said,

     "To hell with this, why do I have to get better? You’re the selfish piece of shit drug addict, and now I’m the one who has to change?! How fair is that? Screw it, I’m out of here!"

     But my wife knew she was hurting. And yes it’s my fault, but people in the addict’s life choose to respond in different ways. Someone else's addiction can become an excuse to avoid one’s own unresolved pain or anger, a way to remain in the comfort zone of victimization, a way to set the standard lower for themselves. One way or the other, families do not have to go on suffering. There is a solution for them too. Spouses and families can also take Steps. Anyone can. 

     Sure the Twelve Steps were designed for the alcoholic and drug addict. The bottom line, however, is they are simple tools of action that enable any person to heal, grow and change. The absence of Self, in my opinion, is to the benefit of anyone, addict or non-addict.

     This process pushed both me and my wife to do some growing up, to become honest, and to get outside of ourselves a little bit in an effort to serve others. We are far, far from perfect but now have the tools to cultivate a more selfless attitude, which, if used, can open us to deeper love, tolerance, patience, and most importantly, some humility. The returns are well worth it. Most of all, we have some peace of mind. We see good things happen to those we love and to ourselves.

     Cause and effect: Positive actions, positive results. Negative actions, negative results. Universal.

God, please help all those who suffer find their way to the Steps and to You...

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