This title is a great truth. Our program is very simple when we finally get it. We have a great deal of trouble getting it because of all the stuff rattling around in our heads. The major stuff relates to our being a failure as a parent because we have an addict in the family. From this stems an entire belief system, usually at the subconscious level, telling us how we failed and what we must do to make it up to the addict. I believe this issue is the root of our extraordinary ability to sacrifice everything to fix the addict,never seeing that enabling is not the source of our redemption.It works out that this erroneous belief system makes everything about drug addiction worse for years. The more we enable, the worse the addiction and our lives get. This occurs because our premise is INCORRECT. We are not the cause of the addiction. It has nothing to do with us as parents. Our addict is sick because of a chemical disorder of the brain which I believe is present before the first pill , injection , snort,or drink. I believe it is a genetic disorder,like so many other diseases. Unlike other diseases however,this one can only be fixed by the person who has it; there is really nothing we can do about it. Similarly if we have an adult diabetic family member who refuses to take medication,is there anything we can do about it? Addiction differs because it is so visibly and rapidly self destructive. Diabetes takes years to kill. Drug addiction can be very lethal, very quickly. And addiction has , in my view, the potential to destroy all family relationships over time. Diabetes does not have that potential.
The key for us lies in recognizing what we are dealing with and that we did not cause this disease. Once we see the truth we can detach,allowing the addict to be responsible for his or her recovery. And we can attend to our own recovery.
As I said in the beginning,it is our complexities that make all of this so tough. Yes addiction is truly horrible,but so much of the driver of the horror is the garbage in our heads. Going to meetings with people who have worked on these issues for years helps us understand that we are not responsible for the addiction. The addict is responsible for the addiction and the recovery. We have our own recovery to work on. So much of our recovery is recognizing that what is in our heads is not correct and that there is another huge part of our lives that has nothing to do with the addict. As I have said before ,when we understand the truth about this addiction, everything gets easier. And none of this is beyond our reach.
Finally,there is a wonderful statement the source of which is debated. It says:"You shall know the truth,and it shall set you free." That is absolutely true!