When I was approached about writing a blog for Port 45 Recovery, I was humbled and overwhelmed. I overthink everything, so I immediately began to research the components of a good blog. What I found came down to one simple question to ask myself, “What am I passionate about?” That answer is easy, addiction and recovery.
My name is Kathy Newman and I am a grateful recovering addict. At a little over 9 years clean I am also a graduate of Ohio University with a degree in Social Sciences and I am a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. I am qualified academically but my passion comes from being a person in recovery, working with persons in early recovery, losing my sister to an overdose, having a child born addicted and having loved ones who are still using. I believe that I have more than passion, I have a mission.
In my work I get to address issues that affect someone in early recovery. Today I would like to discuss the ways that addiction can impact a family. I watched my family fall apart after the death of my sister Sam and I worked hard to repair the damage that I caused to my family in my addiction. Addiction is a family disease, and the addict holds the entire family unit hostage in the chaos.
I understand that it is easy to be angry at or fearful for the addict still using. I will validate those feelings because addiction is painful for everyone standing in the wake of the destruction that it causes. But these simple words may help to soften the blow of damage that an addict may cause, “hate the addiction, not the addict.” Addicts are human beings and still need to be loved.
Loving an addict does not mean you should enable them. If you are giving an addict money, providing them with a place to live, paying their bills or any other kind of financial relief, then you are preventing them from finding a bottom. An addict will not change until they get uncomfortable enough to do so. Everyone’s bottom is different, and some are lower than others. One person may have a legal obligation that will motivate the change to happen while others do not respond to a legal consequence. Just because someone is court ordered or have CPS involvement is not always the thing that will prompt change.
It really comes down to this analogy. We all have a puzzle sitting in front of us that must be complete in order to recover. Some of us will have pieces labeled probation or CPS. Some of us will have multiple pieces labeled treatment. Some have service work, 12 step recovery, MAT or church. Everyone’s puzzle is different, and the addict will need to discover what pieces they need or are missing so that they can move into long term recovery. If they have failed attempts at sobriety then they are missing a puzzle piece and need to find it. Do not give up hope. Recovery is possible and miracles happen every day. I am living proof.
Until next time,