VOICES – A Devastating Disease
I’ve given up trying to ferret out why one son is an addict and the other isn’t. I now spend my time learning about how best to support my son’s recovery.
Addiction is a misunderstood tragedy, too often hushed up. Too often hidden away due to shame, guilt, or fear of blame. Too often, addiction is a battle faced while all alone and afraid…
Growing up in a family where holidays, family gatherings, and ordinary Tuesday nights often ended in a drunken brawl, I swore I would not catch the family disease.
Adverse childhood experiences—or ACEs, also referred to as childhood trauma—are among the key risk factors for developing addiction. The other risk factors are early use (before age twenty-one), mental illness, social environment, and genetics.
Our daughter’s addiction lasted about ten years, though we didn’t understand the nature of the beast until almost the end. We rationalized, we were confused, and we were tolerant in a helpless way.
It was obvious to me, his mother, that I had been looking at life through a different set of lenses.
“I became obsessed with him: where he was, how he was, and what he was doing. I was in so much pain that I tried to learn everything I could about addiction.”
We question where we went wrong—If only I had been more aware. If only I had done more, or done less. The list is endless.
The pain and mourning experienced because of a beloved addict often seem more than one can bear. It’s like facing death, yet not so final.