The people we need

The people we need

People who need people,
Are the luckiest people in the world
We’re children, needing other children
And yet letting a grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside
Acting more like children than children     
Barbara Streisand, People album, 1964

The need for other people was never stronger than when my son was actively abusing drugs.

But it had to be the right people – those who wouldn’t judge, either openly or silently.  It had to be people who understood that I was hiding “all the need inside.”

I didn’t find them until I entered that small, back room in a nearby church on a cold Sunday evening in December.  That was almost ten years ago.  My husband was home watching a football game.  It wouldn’t have taken much for me to turn around and race home to sit beside him.  But some ache, some yearning to feel better, to quash the deep knot inside my chest, pushed me into that room.

Once there, I kept on coming back.

Today, ten years into my son’s recovery, I still find that room.

Because of COVID, Al-Anon is Zoomed each week.  On the screen are faces I’ve known since that first night.  Like angels, they smile back, reassuring me that the journey is worth it, daily-won, and forever fought.

Recovering from the effects of my son’s addiction isn’t something I could have done alone.

I often wonder, when I meet a mother worried over a daughter, or a dad troubled by his son, why they aren’t there, too?  Don’t they need the right people?

If they can find them, they, too, could be among “the luckiest people in the world.”



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