Let freedom ring

Let freedom ring

This fourth of July I am thinking about freedom.

Not so much our nation’s or the freedoms we value every day.

Rather, it is the freedom that comes from no longer living with active addiction.

I see it in others, too.

Like the relief a mother feels when her daughter agrees to inpatient treatment, and after six months she is clear-headed for the first time in years.  Her recovery is just beginning.  So is her mom’s.

Or the young father with two small children and a wife slowly killing herself with alcohol who found his way recently to an Al-Anon meeting.  Finally, he says, I’ve found a home.

Or the parents whose son celebrates more than 11 years of sobriety this year, as does mine.

Addiction brings its own prison.  Not only does it ensnare the abuser of drugs or alcohol, but it builds bars around those who love him.

When Jacob was actively using, my freedom was limited.

Evenings, either my husband or I stayed home to ensure Jacob arrived safely from wherever he was. Weekends, when a hike or other daylong activity was planned, I often would stay behind then, too.

Trying to control what I couldn’t control, I gave up freedom for my son’s addiction.  Fear of what might happen enslaved me, much as opioids did my son.

But recovery brings freedom – both for those with addiction and for the people who love them.

Like any battle, it is hard won.  It took Jacob years, and me too.  Each of us still finds solace, support, and encouragement through programs like AA and Al-Anon.

Help is always close by – for anyone who chooses it.

And on this fourth of July, or any day, who doesn’t choose freedom?