What the road sign says

What the road sign says

Summertime, my husband and I often travel.  Perhaps a road trip here and there.

Besides being fun, a change of scenery inspires the spirit, soothes the soul.

Whenever we leave home, I am struck by how prevalent addiction is in other communities, Signs of it are especially evident in small towns.  A poster on a coffee shop billboard announces weekly Nar-Anon meetings.  A flyer with tear-off tabs lists local churches where AA meetings gather nearly every hour.

The ads shouldn’t surprise me.  I know addiction is everywhere.

But on a recent trip to see friends in Maine I was startled to see a sign in a small, seaside park pronouncing it as a “Drug-free zone.”   Would anyone abusing drugs or alcohol pause to read it?  And would those who visit the park care about such a sign?

The posting made me sad.

When you’re caught up in the storm of addiction, there is no “free” zone – for you or for your loved one.

You both feel so alone.

That aloneness haunted me when Jacob was using.  Surely there was no one who was suffering as much as I.  No one was as ashamed, or as fearful that others would find out.

I had so much to lose if anyone knew, or so I thought.

With the perspective of more than 11 years in recovery – for my son and for me – I now realize it wasn’t reputation or a job or friends I could have lost.  It was my son.

Staring at the New England town-dock, I wondered, does this sign help – anyone?

Or does it just make those of us on the journey to recovery feel that aloneness once again.