When I first started on this journey with my husband, I underestimated the amount of shame and guilt I took on in the process. Then, I realized I carried the same shame and guilt while dealing with my father’s alcoholism as a child. More times that I can count I avoided sleep overs at my house or prayed my father would miss a dance recital because I didn’t want my friends to see him like that. I knew my father was an alcoholic, but I definitely didn’t want anyone else to know. What did that say about my family? What kind of people were we? Fast forward through time and I am now dealing with the same embarrassment in my home, with my husband and my children. Now, what does that say about ME?
Addiction does not discriminate.
Anyone can be effected. Addiction doesn’t care how rich, poor, pretty, ugly, smart, stupid, successful, or misguided you are. Look at all the celebrities who seemingly have it all together- money, fame, power- and still lose their lives to drugs and alcohol.
We all have the potential to fall short to the disease of addiction. I believe some may be more susceptible than others given genetics, history, mental illness or what have you, but no one grows up with a desire to be an addict. Little by little the shame begins to fade away. We all have our “stuff”. Walk down the street and with every person you pass I can guarantee they’re carrying around something they wish no one else knew about.
Just as addiction does not discriminate neither does recovery.
It is possible to get clean and stay clean. Russell Brand, Angelina Jolie, Robert Downey, Jr., Nicole Richie, Zac Efron, Demi Lovato have all opened up about their battle with addiction and fortunately, are still around to tell their stories of recovery. There can be life after addiction.