If tears could wash away all pain, this past year surely would have cleansed our world free of it.

How deep is that well? Tears shed over the loss of loved ones from COVID, from crazed gunmen, from bombings, and – of course- from opioids.  The tragedies strain our hearts.  Sadness exhausts our sympathy.

There was a time years ago I could not feel any of that.

Addiction – and its impact on my family – blunted all feeling.

Thinking about it today, I recall that there were no tears, at least not at first.

When I slowly realized my son was falling heavier and heavier into addiction, it was fear I felt.  Not sadness.  Fear numbed all feelings.  Fear that he would get worse.  Fear that I didn’t know how to stop him.  Fear that we’d be “found out” and the shame would forever paint our family with addiction’s own scarlet letter.

It wasn’t until I found my way to an Al-Anon meeting, where I sat with people who understood, that tears pooled behind my eyes.  There it was safe to cry – and to feel, again.

I am told those with addiction suffer a similar numbness.  That it’s not until they begin recovery that feelings like compassion, empathy and even kindness once again emerge.

Painful though it is, I am grateful today that I can cry.

It means I also can experience joy.

Like this past week.

I hugged my son for the first time in more than a year.

Tears flowed freely then, too.







4 Replies to “Tears”

  1. You have grown a tender heart – a lovable addition to your many other beautiful traits. Thank you for including us in your journey. love, ML

  2. Lisa, this is so well written. It brought tears to my eyes as well! So glad we can all now experience joy and tears!