Tuesday, June 24, 2008

he ain't heavy....

"I can sympathize", "I can empathize", "I can relate", "I understand"....all things I've heard in the last few days. All things relate to struggling children or younger family members. All from people who lead good lives, serve God faithfully, are leaders in the church, love well and aren't a waste of oxygen on this planet. All people who because of trying to raise up the next generation have felt the sting of disapproval, lack of understanding or down-right criticism from those who should know better. All the children involved have, or had, addictions, mental health issues or a combination of both. One is dead. One is prodigal. One is trying to maintain among people who can't grasp the notion of acting out because of misfires in the brain. All agree-they understand our situation, have experienced different aspects of it within their own lives.

I can't explain to someone who has not lived it in one aspect or another what the effects of addiction/alcoholism/mental illness are like on an individual and the family that loves that person. It's days of uncertainty, feeling like the person you "knew" or thought you knew is gone forever, wondering what physical/emotion/spiritual cocktail of recovery will work THIS TIME? Gaining hope, having it leak out of your heart like a sinking ship when the next wave of misfortune hits. It's dreading phone calls, any type of law enforcement, doctors, hospitals, feeling like you are continually a second class citizen.

Well, I have hope today. And I have the sympathy/empathy/relating and understanding of dear friends who have been there and are still there. For us.


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