We often hear about the collateral damage that occurs when a family is impacted by addiction. The pain, the heartache, the suffering, the losses.
And truth be told, there are many.
The loss of money, trying to get our loved one help.
The loss of time. Time off of work. Time away from the other children. Time not spent on the things that you love.
The loss of relationship. The many people that abandon you because your family is broken.
The loss of emotional well-being. The anger, the depression, the anxiety, the fear.
The loss of sleep. Wondering where your loved one is. Wondering if they will call today. Wondering if they are alive.
I experienced all of those losses as we walked through this journey with our person. I’m sure if I thought about it, the list could be even longer.
But as I was reflecting back today I realized that I had another list of losses.
I lost my judgmental attitude towards people. I remember so many times saying “I would never.” “I would never let my child do that.” “I would NEVER be that way with my kids.” “I would never (you can fill in the blank). I was a judgie person. But I was humbled. VERY humbled.
I lost my unrealistic expectations. That I somehow had the “right” to have kids that followed the perfect plan. Or that I had a “right” to a family that fit the perfect Norman Rockwell painting. That if I did certain things I would always get positive results. That my people would think the way I think or act they way I thought they should.
I lost my need to control. Well if everyone did what I thought they should it would all be ok right? Do it my way. But I have learned that my way isn’t always the best way. In fact my way could possible be the wrong way. Imagine that.
I lost my need to always worry about what other people thought of me. Honestly, when you are in the middle of a battle field, you don’t really care what your hair looks like. I was trying to just survive, just get through the next minute, hour and day. I didn’t have time to filter everything through the lens of whether or not someone was going to like me anymore.
But here’s the thing. With every loss comes gain. And I have gained much from this journey too.
I have gained a new way of looking at others. I no longer put people in files based on the color of their skin, their street address, their diagnosis, their bank account. I see them as people. Mostly I see them as people who are probably suffering in some way. Each with their own story of survival.
I have gained a new way of being. No longer over-reacting to anything around me that didn’t go my way, but learning to take pause, to be present, to be joy-filled in spite of my circumstances.
I have gained a deeper sense of compassion. Honestly, I was intolerant. I was a “pull yourself up by your bootstrap” kind of girl. “Take some personal responsibility for your situation” type person. Now I understand that empathy and compassion are the keys to unlocking connection.
I have gained relationships. For every one that I may have lost, I have been given the gift of 2 or 3 more. As I’ve opened up, reached out and become vulnerable with my journey, I have found my people, my tribe. Those who have experienced the brokenness of life in a deep and profound way and understand without the necessity of words.
And I have gained my sense of peace. A peace that I never imagined. The peace that passes understanding. A peace that can only come with the assurance that I am in the care of my creator and He loves me. He has loved me in spite of the ugly. He loved me in the before, in the during and now, in the after. And I can rest in that.
For every loss along this path, there has been a gain. The gains that could only come from the pain of the journey. The gains that have come with the healing of recovery.
You can choose to shift from the loss to the gain by going to www.family-rx.org and start with the 10 Day Detox or the Family Recovery 101 videos today.
Copyright @ 2019 Pam Jones Lanhart