me too

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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Charlottesmom
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me too

Post by Charlottesmom » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:47 pm

I have never used this forum before, but I feel compelled to have a discussion about the secrecy of addiction. I have been thinking a lot recently about the stigma associated with addiction. We usually keep our loved one's addiction a secret outside of our Nar-Anon family, but I wonder if there should be a "me too" movement for addiction. Thoughts?

DontWant2BLost
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Re: me too

Post by DontWant2BLost » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:03 pm

I have been thinking about the secrecy too over the holidays. My husband and my's christmas has been spent monitoring my 29 year old son's withdrawals and trips to emergency rooms. Now how to cut him off from us. There is no celebration whatsoever. But I haven't even been able to tell my best friend any of this. She has all these stories about grandkids and traditions. I just try to end the conversation so I can go cry. Why can't I tell the truth and ask for support? I have been trying to figure out what that is all about.

DontWant2BLost
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Re: me too

Post by DontWant2BLost » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:29 pm

I do think it would help if we (and the addict) could come out of the closet and not risk judgment or pity. A 'me too' movement would help show that many of us (and our addicted children) are struggling. We could talk about it openly and remove the stigma's that surround it.

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jeanette
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Re: me too

Post by jeanette » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:38 pm

I have been in these rooms for a long time -

When I ended up "telling what was going on", very few of those around me were surprised.
They had seen the physical deterioration in my LO, they had seen my increased distress
no matter how well I thought I hid it - I hadn't.

And the truth is - when I became open to those closest -
nearly everyone knew someone near to them who was an addict.

Many don't talk about it -
but we here talk about it openly and honestly.

About how we have nearly bankrupted ourselves "helping" our loved ones
The hurt of rejection as they choose to love their drug over us
The pain of hearing a child ask for their addicted parent
The worry and the hurt

and then - as we begin to work this program
we realize that the addiction of our loved ones has nothing to do with us
they are not doing anything TO us
They are living the only way their addicted brain can figure out how to function
and alternatives are too scary for them to process

Many of our loved ones finally hit a rock bottom
but only after they have hit lows of discomfort that many of us cannot fathom
what I thought would be a bottom for my LO that would turn him around -
those many times were only blips on his radar

When an addict is really ready
the rooms of NA are there to welcome them -
free of charge and with people who truly understand what it is like
to have that unceasing desire for a poison
and can love them in a way that allows the addict to understand
that there is no easy way out of addiction
that they must face their physical and mental ailments
and learn a new way of life.

Similarly -
the rooms of nar-anon are free of charge
and filled with people who understand the heartache of
letting a loved one live with the consequences of their actions
of not bailing them out
of watching them deteriorate
and of loving them from a distance
and of learning a new way for us to live
of learning how to really listen when people talk
of being empathetic but not trying to fix another's problem
of not thinking that we know all the answers
of accepting that there may be another way than ours

of learning to live a life of happiness, joy, and gratitude

I don't have an answer to how to fix the epidemic of addiction
but nar-anon is the "me too" for family and friends of loved ones
Thoughts and Prayers, Peace and Love
Jeanette

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them FEEL. - Maya Angelou

Charlottesmom
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Re: me too

Post by Charlottesmom » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:49 pm

Jeanette, yes, my Nar-Anon family has been my personal "me too" space, but I wonder if a public "me too" movement may help eliminate the stigma of addiction. If addiction didn't carry such a bad stigma, would addicts and their loved ones be more inclined to seek help? I think so. BTW, my name is Jeanette also.

Claytonmomof2
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Re: me too

Post by Claytonmomof2 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:11 pm

I've thought about this a lot recently. When trying to figure out what/who/when/where to tell...it gets complicated. It would make things so much easier if we could just openly talk about it in the world and if that stigma surrounding addiction didn't exist, but it does exist. It's there. And the problem is that by me sharing publicly with the whole world - I'm not only telling my story but my loved ones story. And these stories aren't ones to be complimented. Yes, it's a disease but I feel that part of it is not my story to tell (although I'm drowning in the consequences of his choices). It's a fine line between me going public in order to get support vs. me going public in order to get the gossip out there. Those people that don't need to know could have a hay day with such information. That's why it's comforting to have a group of people that don't even know me where I can go to get encouragement, experience and comfort. The only people around me that need to know are the ones that truly love us and can truly support us no matter what. You find out who your friends are in times like these...I know I have!

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Judith
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Re: me too

Post by Judith » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:25 pm

Me too!

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endoftheroad
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Re: me too

Post by endoftheroad » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:04 am

I have always thrived on the fact that Naranon, NA, AA and Alanon are anonymous programs. We protect each other's anonymity as we are healing and in recovery from very devastating circumstances. Maybe that is a very old fashioned concept, but it is what 12 Step programs are built upon.

I think there is a wave of consciousness that is erupting about addiction everyday! And people are telling their stories. Let them. But personally, I do not like the idea of a movement.......our stories are meant to encourage each other toward recovery and a better way of life. Not to show how many of us are out there. I don't want my story being picked apart by politics, the media, and those that have not walked our walk.

An interesting share......
This is the easier softer way.....

Ma1954
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Re: me too

Post by Ma1954 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:39 am

TYFS. I have noticed, lately, people have been saying things in their children's obituaries about drug addiction. There is a group in our town involved with addiction. They put articles in the paper. SESH. I have told people about my son. I quit some volunteer positions because I was unable to do them anymore (because I was so messed up over my son) People came forward and told me about their situations. We are not alone. It is so sad. I don't know if I would put my life in the paper. I am not brave. Sue
Sick and tired of being sick and tired

MarieW
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Re: me too

Post by MarieW » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:41 am

I am very open about what I have gone through with my son. In almost every case, my honesty was met with compassion and kindness. The one person who distanced herself from me and my son was my childhood best friend. We used to be invited to her house near Tahoe and our boys would go snowboarding together. While we keep in touch, I haven't seen her for years as the invitations ended after I told her about my son's addiction. I can understand it, though, who wants their kid to hang out with an addict?

Most people who know will never meet my son as they are part of my life, not his. Like others have said, I can't count the number of times I've shared my experience with addiction with someone only to have that person share about theirs. And I know that at least two people started attending meetings and working a program because I shared that it helped me.

There are people out there, including an author and mother of an addict that has shared her story and several organizations around the country, that are trying to end the stigma that is keeping so many addicts and families sick. What we share about ourselves is up to us, as long as we protect the anonymity of others in the program.

Keep coming back.
The only wrong way to work this program is to not work it.

Suejan
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Re: me too

Post by Suejan » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:23 am

Until I found Naranon I was ashamed. For my AS. For me, for all of it. But opening up in meetings about MY story, as the mother of an addict- changed everything for me. To begin with, I couldnt say addict, it was my “qualifier” that brought me to the program. Until pretty quickly I aknowledged the addiction by name.
Over the last 3 years of this, I have adapted and now share this information about MYSELF when I feel its right to do so. I had a bad day when I was seeing my surgeon one day, he is pretty well know country wide. When he asked about whether I was taking care of myself, I felt the need to be honest and explain why I wasnt- and he proceeded to tell me about his brother and how he died young from alcoholism. I never would have guessed.
I have a new job—8 months now- and I was having a discussion one day with my new boss. She asked about my son, I said I was excited to be seeing him for the first time in 6 months. She said, well he only lives over on the mainland, thats not too far away? And somehow I found myself telling her why- how he was in treatment- I never thought I would share that with her, we are not particularly close, but it just felt right. She then told me about her nephew who suffered from addiction, and asked me for information on my sons treatment facility!
I would guess 90+% of the time I have shared, I have received compassion, understanding, and shared addiction stories. Maybe that helped some one else as much as it helped me. I dont tell my sons story, or I try not to, but my story shapes me and my behaviors.
Also— to be fair my son does not have my last name so there is a measure of privacy there. And finally, sober as he is now, he shares his story freely, speaking on film, on the website and featuring prominently in pictures. Thats his choice.
I think this is my ME TOO movement. I share where and when I want to, not as part of a group movement. If there is anyone left that doesnt know the impact addiction is having on society-i haven't met them. And they would have to be living in a pretty thick bubble😟
TFLMS— Susan

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