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For the last week I’ve been on Planet Moving. Among other things that were slow coming together, I didn’t have Internet for seven days and had to spend an hour on the eighth day with tech support straightening out what had been working the day before. AARGH!
One day, about mid-week, my husband and I were eating breakfast at a Waffle House at 2 p.m. (which is how it goes when you are immersed in boxes) and were served by an extraordinary young woman.
We noted we were in the process of moving in, and when she asked for our order my husband said, “Do you have anything for pain?” He was joking, but her response was serious.
“Well, I can tell you what I take, but I’m in recovery.”
“Really?” I exclaimed. “How long?”
“Eighty days,” she said proudly, “and counting.” I was riveted by her demeanor, the “I’m free” mojo of someone who has pulled away from substance abuse long enough to begin to feel who they are again, and know they can do the work of staying clean. I asked what her substance of choice was and she said it was Methadone.
Our server is part of a growing trend. According to the Internet site, Drug and Alcohol Rehab for Teens, 22.2 million persons aged 12 years or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in 2008. Of these, 3.1 million were dependent upon or abused both alcohol and illicit drugs; 3.9 million were dependent on or abused illicit drugs but not alcohol; and 15.2 million were dependent on or abused alcohol but not illicit drugs. And this was four years ago!
We talked about her treatment program, and I inquired how her family was handling it.
“My mother doesn’t get it,” she said. I briefly described my experience with this as a parent and how Al-Anon has been a lifesaver.
“I’ve tried to get her to go to Al-Anon,” she said, “but she won’t go.”
She left to place our order, and I said to my husband, “It’s everywhere,” I “just everywhere!”
When she returned with our food, I felt I could go further with the subject.
“I just happened to have written a book for parents like your mother and I that was released last month.” Suddenly, she was the riveted one. I gave her a card with name, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU — EXCEPT WHEN IT IS, and how to find it on the Central Recovery Press website. I also told her about the weekly blog.
“You will be my next subject,” I told her, and she smiled. “You’re a great story!”
Indeed. And her mother and other mothers and fathers are just the people I am trying to reach, struggling with children and young adults and adult children who are over their heads in addiction and its consequences.
I thought of my own young adult offspring whom I am living minutes away from now, not hours, the daily struggle for us both to work our programs of recovery.
When we rose to leave, I caught our server’s eye,and experienced the joy of true connection.
“I’ll be back to see you, we don’t live far from here,” I said smiling.“And I am looking for my next Al-Anon meeting.”
Bless.— Barbara Victoria

Buy the Book! - It's Not About You, Except When It Is - A Field Manual for Parents of Addicted Children

This blog was written by Barbara Victoria, author of the book, It’s Not About You, Except When It Is – A Field Manual for Parents of Addicted Children.