When bones break

When bones break

A family member recently suffered an injury. Living through it, I am reminded how quickly life can be disrupted – and with no warning.

But it also reminds me how different it is when a son or daughter or spouse suffers from addiction.

The contrasts are stark.

For the broken bone the path is clear.

– Instant sympathy from others. They can’t do enough to help.
– A precise plan of treatment. Surgery. Rest. Physical therapy.
– Drugs to soothe the pain. Drugs to prevent infection.
– Offers of help to walk the dog, get groceries, “whatever you need.”
– Food and flowers. They fill the house.
– Phone calls checking in throughout the day.
– Requests for progress reports.
– Regular, follow-ups with the doctor to ensure healing is on course.

But most of all, there’s an openness to share.
No shame. No need to hide.
It was an injury. It happens. We talk about this. It’s even encouraged.

Not so with addiction,
When my son was actively using, we hid. We didn’t talk about it.
The shame was overwhelming.

What’s more, there was no clear path.
No food or flowers.
And no progress reports.

Addiction happens every day, maybe more than broken bones.

Why is there not acceptance and a similar, clear path?