Thursday, March 29, 2018

Favorite-ist Day of the Year

March 27
Seven years clean today.
My Max.

Whenever I think of those hellish days years leading up to March 27, 2011  - I am so very grateful (like grateful x 1000) that he had the strength and courage to ask for help. You wouldn't understand the depths of my gratitude unless you too have watched someone you love become a slave to an addiction. It. Is. Hell. And it never leaves you. Every minute of every day, you worry, cry, pray, wish, hope that they are not using, that they are safe, that they have hit rock bottom, that they will ask for help, that they are tired of feeling sick, that they aren't driving around while high, that their bodies and brains will be able to recover when they eventually quit, that someday they'll once again be the person God created them to be, that someday there will be joy in your life again, that some day your family will be whole again. That one day, when he smiles, the smile will reach his eyes.

I am thankful for The Last Door; their program, their counselors, their support, their philosophy. I will forever love this organization for the way they welcomed Max and cared for me. And I will always remember the overwhelming feeling of peace that first night Max stayed there. I think it was the first time I'd slept easy in years. Knowing he was safe and substance-free lifted the worry blanket off my chest. Over time, seeing him with his new friends, watching him interact with the staff, hearing the stories of recovery, witnessing his confidence grow ... all of it was life-giving.

I am a huge fan of the AA and NA fellowships and how they build support systems and communities helping people live one day at a time. I love how they celebrate clean time; with much shouting, laughter, crying, and stomping of feet. I learned so much about friendships and encouragement and transparency and affirmation from listening to Max and his friends share at each others's cakes. I am grateful that I was allowed to witness those events.

I am thankful for the friends who've walked alongside Max on his journey. Seriously. Friends. Don't try to do life without them. Those guys? Saw each other at their absolute worst. Those guys? Picked each other up; talked for hours, did life together, were available for each other, unconditionally. For years, they celebrated each other's clean dates like it was a lottery win.

If you or someone you love is having troubles with drugs or alcohol, please, please, please get help. There are so many people who want to help you. Your family and friends need you to be clean. And whole. And healthy. Life can be good again. Please. Be strong. Ask for help.

There are so many good options available, but I'll recommend The Last Door because I know it works. And if that's just not an option for you, get yourself to an AA or NA meeting. Tonight.

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