Last week I heard an amazing story from a young man in recovery from an opiate addiction.
Among other things he said: “I wouldn’t trade the experience my addiction brought me for anything.”
His mother shot back in reply, “I would!”
People learn different lessons from suffering; they learn similar lessons too, but at a different pace. These pacing problems can exacerbate our feelings of isolation. Again, it is helpful to know this even if we cannot change it. Understand that we can be at different places in our recovery and still find ways to accept, encourage and support each other along the way. My self-pity parties want to tell me about what I have lost or never found; but there are other truths to be unearthed in the rubble as well. My guy friend in recovery has stumbled upon gratitude and it is a beautiful gift. His mother is traveling that road; she is still traumatized by the experience of having a son overdose in her arms four times as he was walking his addiction path. She is taking a little longer to catch up to his serenity.
In the meeting where they co-shared, both served as a comfort to individuals in the group. I suspect they were not comforting the same people. And that is totally awesome, isn’t it? Between the two of them they covered a wide swath of human need and met the freaked out family members AND the beloved addicts in the room with a message of love and support.
I don’t think it’s a bad idea to at least give it the good old college try and intentionally go looking for gratitude. See if you can find it. If you cannot, that’s ok. Maybe along the way you will find messengers who understand that as hard as you look, right now what you are experiencing is a lot of fear. That’s normal. It’s okay. Find support.