A new year

A new year

Each year’s end  – like an anniversary – stirs reflection.

The new year marks ten years since since my son moved to Florida, ten years since our lives changed forever.

Obviously, I don’t know what it is like to have an addiction.  But I do know what it’s like to love someone who does.

Ten years ago – because I loved my son and ached to help him – I walked into a Lutheran Church on a Sunday evening to test Al-Anon.   Little else had helped.  So why not try this?

Withdrawn, trembling, terrified that someone might recognize me, I wasn’t sure I would stay.  But the kindness of the three women and two men kept me anchored to my chair.

And when the meeting ended, a huge hug from the leader ensured I would keep coming back.

In years since, my son has whispered that one day I might be “grateful” for that time in our lives.  Really?  Would I wish addiction on any family?  No, but I am grateful for what living with addiction has taught me.

  • Understanding.  Whether addiction is a disease or a chronic condition, it’s something many people have.  We need offer compassion and help where we can.
  • Acceptance.  Our family has this. Lots of families do.  There’s no blame.  No shame.  It just – is.
  • Non-judgmental.  Who am I to tell another person what he or she should or shouldn’t do? It’s hard enough managing me.
  • Humility.  Addiction strips away all pretense. Naked before friends, family, colleagues, it forces the mantle of honestly

And finally, rising from anguish like a mighty oak is the belief in something outside and within me.

Whatever it is,  addiction has taught me to be grateful for a new year.

Because with “new,” there’s always hope.





10 Replies to “A new year”

  1. What a beautiful post, Lisa. I see how you live those lessons every day and am inspired by your journey to grow from the challenges in front of you. Thank you and happy new year!

    1. Therese, thank you, as ever. I love that you stay in touch – and are so encouraging.
      It always means a lot from you.
      With love and admiration,

  2. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your sorrow, fears and reflections on living with your grief and searching for meaning in life’s greatest loss of your child.

    Sadly, most of us can relate to your story and are grateful for your voice.

    With gratitude,

    Pat Klug

    1. Hi Pat. Yes, it is sad that so many can relate to what I write.
      I write in hopes of helping at least a few of us still suffering.
      Thank you for reading.

  3. Lisa, I am so grateful for your blog and posts! You put in print what I am feeling. Like a message especially for me. Thank you

    1. Hi Donna. Thanks for your kid notes…and thank you for reading.
      Best to your lovely husband and family, always.

  4. Lisa, you (and Squire Richard) are my role models. Seriously ! Two families here in Catonsville lost children to overdoses during the holidays. Denise was at he funeral parlor last evening; a nurse she worked with at St Agnes lost her son to an overdose. Twenty-eight years old. And I still have my head in the sand. I have a problem wrapping my head around the problem wondering if the issue is being overstated? Well I guess it is! And I thank God for people like you and Dick. No judgement. Just love.

    1. Fred, Squire R read this, too, and we both thank you – and send our sorry to you and Denise.
      I say it often, but I HATE this disease. Insidious, preying on the young, devastating to so many families.
      Please stay well – we love you guys.
      We’ll have to find time together in 2020.

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