Letting Go of the Silence
Addiction’s best friends are shame and silence–without them, addiction couldn’t survive. They play together so nicely, hanging out under low-hanging limbs, deep in the shadows. A tight-knit gang of bullies, they’ve been left to rule through intimidation for too long. Addiction, shame, and silence—this trio with power.
Many times, out of fear, I’ve kept addiction’s secrets— fear of blame, fear of my failures being exposed, fear of embarrassment and disgrace. But now I see that was stupid; my silence and shame only help addiction to succeed at killing my son. So, I will no longer be silent. Or ashamed.
The best gift I can give the addict is to keep quiet— to keep addiction hidden away in the dark. But the best gift I can give my child is to talk about addiction. To bring addiction out into the light, to foster understanding and change. To change the way people look at my son. To change the way they interact with and treat him.
Maybe letting go with love means letting go of the silence.
“Stigma’s power lies in silence. The silence that persists when discussion and action should be taking place.” ~M.B. Dallocchio
Excerpt from ‘Tending Dandelions: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction’
“We may often feel fragile, but we are strong. And we are many.
We have the power to overpower the destruction that addiction spreads.”
Sandra Swenson is the author of The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction (Central Recovery Press 2014), Tending Dandelions: Honest Meditations for Mothers with Addicted Children (Hazelden 2017), the Readings for Moms of Addicts app (Hazelden 2018), and her blog.
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