Courage faces fear and thereby masters it”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s not something I ever thought I had.

Courage is for soldiers and firefighters, police, paramedics and martyrs.

Because of Covid, it’s the stuff that makes healthcare workers, grocery clerks and delivery truck drivers heroes.

But addiction introduced me to another kind of courage.

Not so much my own, but the courage of parents I have come to know.

These are the fathers and mothers who have lost their children to drugs or alcohol.    Each story is different.  Each is the same.  In their 20s or 30s a beloved son or daughter dies, leaving a family with a lifetime of dreams unfulfilled.

At Al-Anon meetings these parents come and go.  They bring hope from a belief in a “higher power,” a faith or religion.  Always they bring wisdom born from a far-away place that’s now buried forever deep inside them.

Theirs is courage unlike any other.

As for my own, maybe there were moments I had it.  Like the Sunday evening I stepped into that church to attend my first meeting.  Or much later, holding back tears to share the shame and fear I felt about my son’s addiction.  And finally, the courage to let him go to find a path to the recovery he enjoys today.

In the end, perhaps we don’t know if we have courage until we’re tested.

Or perhaps it’s more common than we realize.  A phrase voiced often at meetings is to live one day at a time.

And that takes courage, too.

6 Replies to “Courage”

  1. I was just thinking of you all this morning. Tomorrow is my nephews birthday and he is 10 years clean and sober, and I thought of your son and your family. God bless you all for your courage.

    1. Denise, that is WONDERFUL! Congratulations to him. Seriously. That’s a great achievement, and always one day at a time.
      Love to you and that squire…

  2. Continue your dedication to speaking truth about your family’s journey dealing with a loved one’s addiction. I’m sure you’re helping more people than you can even imagine . You are COURAGEOUS !

    1. Janet, thank you, and thank you so much for your encouragement. I appreciate it very much.

  3. Courage is often in the eye of the beholder, As a longtime colleague , I always believed you were a courageous soul, while never knowing you were being tested until you told Jake’s story. And that took COURAGE. Thank you, Lisa, Dick and Jacob.