This interview is the latest in our Family Interview series. We will be sharing one interview each month from the family members of those who struggled to get sober, those who are sober today and those who have died as a result of their addiction. Family members are often in pain after years of doing everything in their power to help their loved one. Living with the effects of someone else’s addiction is devastating and for most people it is impossible to bear without outside help. Our hope is that as a family member, you can find experience, strength and hope in these stories.
What crisis brought you to recovery? In March of 2020 I received a phone call from my daughter’s friend in New Zealand. She informed me my daughter had relapsed after being sober for almost 2 years. I had visited her in Florida during that time and had no idea she had relapsed. In March of 2020, my daughter checked herself into a recovery program at a rehab near her in Florida.
Had you ever heard of Al-anon or Nar-anon before this crisis? I did not grow up in an alcoholic family and I had never heard of Al-anon or Nar-anon until my daughter’s counselor recommended I seek out this program.
What have you learned about the importance of family members recovery? I have learned from Al-anon and family therapy offered by Turning Point of Tampa that I have zero control over the addict. This is a family disease and if family members work a program it is only going to help your loved one. You want to educate yourself about your loved one’s disease.
Does the recovery program that you are a member of have online meetings during COVID19? It has been very convenient during Covid 19 to attend Al-anon meetings through ZOOM. I am going to share a NYC group that I attend each morning, but they also have the same group in the evenings. It’s a very large group but they have been very informative and helpful. The name of the Meeting is Start Your Day Right and it meets on Zoom, Monday-Friday 730-830 am, Saturday 8-9am and Sunday 9-10am. If you google Al-anon meetings you will get a list of groups in various states. Literature can be very helpful also; daily readers keep me present and always mindful of what my role is in my recovery. Courage to Change and One Day At A Time are great pocket sized books.
Did you have any reluctance in accepting your need for your personal recovery? Meaning, did you ever have thoughts of “I don’t have a problem so why do I am I the one who needs help? I was very open to advice from the experts and professionals. If they said you need to learn about the disease and seek your own recovery and let the addict work their own program, then that’s what I will do little by little. Like they say “progress not perfection.” One day at a time!
What would you tell family members who are considering their own recovery? Please give it a try and be open minded; it will only help you and your loved one!!!!
Have you experienced any stigma surrounding addiction and recovery? I have not experienced any stigma. I know this disease can strike anyone and I feel for the individual who has to battle with it.
Is there anything else that you would like to add? Al-anon has many great slogans that I also say each day, along with the serenity prayer.