Syd asks: Do you have a specific 12 step recovery program? If you do how did it help you? If you don't, how were you able to reach an understanding of powerlessness and letting problems go?
No, Syd I do not have a 12-step program. In the beginning of our awareness of our son’s addiction Darlene and I went to some NA, Nar-Anon and Al-Anon meetings. I didn’t feel they worked for me. Looking back I can it wasn’t necessarily that they weren’t for me it was more I wasn’t for them. I am a very focused answer oriented person. The answer I was seeking could not be found at a 12 step program because at that stage I had an answer, I was looking for an implementation strategy. This went on for me for 5 years. Personally I could never get past the powerless step because I could not see addiction as a disease, all I could see it as was a weakness of character and I took his addiction as a personal attack on me.
Just as I say in my videos to the class. The light bulb came on by way of Alex. We really did have a nasty fight about his using. After the fight we sat down at the kitchen table and he played the game with me about me holding my breath and him not thinking of drugs, wanting to use drugs and going to get drugs. He said he would lose the game very time. The light came on for me that very moment. I understood there was more to this than just willpower, want to, and poor character. More importantly I learned his addiction was not an attack on his father. When I learned that his drugs were as important to him as oxygen was to me I understood everything I had done in the past was useless. I then did a lot of thinking and deliberation on my own self. With a new paradigm I began to figure out what new life and actions would be required of me. I learned no matter how hard I fought my son was not the enemy, it was the disease. I had to learn how to battle a disease that not only I knew nothing about but had never even recognized as a disease. Peace for me came when I no longer took my son’s addiction and behaviors as a personal attack on me. I came to an understanding that one day the disease very well could defeat my son but it would only defeat me if I allowed it to happen.
Time alone, great support from family and friends along with a lot of deliberation of my beliefs and thoughts allowed me to reach a peaceful place inside.