Someone I love is in recovery from active addiction. Before I started my own recovery journey in another twelve step fellowship I couldn’t say those words. I was embarrassed. When others were sharing stories of what someone they loved was doing, I was silent. I felt guilty. What should I have done differently? I was angry and resentful. Why would you ruin your life by using drugs? You are destroying the life I thought you would have. But mostly, I was afraid. What if they can’t stay clean and sober? What kind of future will they have? What if they die?
When I worked my own Fourth Step I discovered some things that helped me. No matter how embarrassed, guilty, angry, resentful, or fearful I am about what someone else is doing, I am powerless over that person. Recognizing my powerlessness is a gift from my Higher Power. When I was angry or resentful, it was most likely because my life was unmanageable. Why was it unmanageable? I was so busy trying to manage someone else’s life (even when they didn’t want or need my help), I wasn’t taking care of my own. I heard someone say “you need to find some business and mind it” and they didn’t mean someone else’s!
Someone I love is in recovery from active addiction. Today I can say those words, but I do so carefully, to protect my anonymity and their’s. If someone you love is in recovery from active addiction, or even if they aren’t, find some recovery for yourself. There are twelve step groups for families too.