Recovery vs. Sobriety
For years, I would wake up when I heard an ambulance and wonder if they were taking my sibling or my father to the hospital. I wondered if my sibling, who would become suicidal when intoxicated, had followed through this time. I wondered if my father, who was alienated from us because of alcoholism, was alive. I often tried to help and fix them. I could not stand to see either one of them drown. As a Christian, I worried about the fate of them physically and spiritually. I thought it was my job to rescue them and I became bitter and angry when I could not. I tried to be the hero and repress my resentments and frustrations. I suffered because I did not understand that my efforts to help were hurting me and my loved ones. I suffered because I avoided the acute pain of the present moment. I finally reached out for help when I saw my father at a family event for the first time in years and he did not recognize me. Soon after, I was informed that he was on the verge of homelessness and without food. Again, I was rescued. But this was a turning point for me. I had reached my limit. Through counseling and self-help groups I became aware of my powerlessness over my loved ones addictions and my family dysfunction. I came to believe that a power greater than me would have to intervene and restore my sanity. Groups like Al Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics have been tremendously helpful for me. They taught me my own dysfunctional behaviors and what healthy role I can play in my family. I thought I was engaging these groups because I wanted to help my family, but I found that it was about helping myself. I learned that I needed to let go of my hope for a better past, so that I could forgive and show gratitude in the present moment. Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center is a great place for families and individuals who have been caught in addiction. TRRC treats the individual and the family unit with the goal of bringing relief, sobriety and health to all involved. My hope is that this post will encourage you to recognize the burden you can not carry and, after acknowledging it, find healing.