Sunday, May 24, 2015
Alcoholism and addiction are traumas which potentially keep traumatizing. A form of crisis which often repeats time and time again. There can be healing and recovery, but unlike some other traumas, the healing and recovery are truly lifelong. Even in recovery, the threat of re-occurrence looms dangerously in the wings ready to take the stage.
The affects are devastating, emotionally and physically, on the addict or alcoholic and the people who love them. The stages of relapse are overwhelming and complexly shrouded in denial, apology, guilt, shame, regret, fear, sadness and loss. Bearing witness to the affects of this trauma involve layers of love, fear, anger, confusion and hurt. It is overwhelming on all levels and all sides.
Support is vital to survival, whether facing the affects for the first time or the fourth-hundredth. We have to believe in each other's worth, even when we are struggling to believe in our own worth. Hope is mandatory, even when things appear beyond hopeless.
Even when doors are shutting you out and lights are getting turned off, even when people hide from view, we must support the opening of a window. We all must look deep for any glimmer of light and let more light in.
In the case of relapses, or slips, tt can be frustrating and additionally traumatic when the person needing support feels like they are letting people down again, just as it can be hard for the people offering support to find themselves facing a familiar situation.
You have to believe in recovery at all costs and you have to voice your belief, whether you are the survivor fighting to be sober or the person standing beside them offering support.
Like Peter Pan, the leader of the Lost Boys in Neverland, fighting to keep Tinkerbell alive, you have to clap if you believe. You can not let your own or someone else's light go out, no matter how often you have to clap or how loud. You can not stop believing or fighting, no matter how dim the light may become. There is hope, because love matters.
Peter Pan believed in Tinkerbell. Wendy believed in Peter Pan. Belief and love, along with understanding, acceptance and forgiveness, brought all those touched by Neverland together helping them to survive.
Hear the ruckus and reach for the sound of support. Keep making a ruckus until your clapping is heard. All is not lost, even when you feel you are at your most lost. Do not give up. Fight for the light within. We are each too important to lose. Our light matters and is treasured by another.
Note: Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous hold meetings and offer support with recovery every day throughout the world. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon offer support to those who love those struggling with alcoholism and addiction. There is help and understanding out there. You do not have to survive alone. We are all clapping together. We believe.