Addiction: A Family Disease and a Family Recovery

On March 13th of this year, by the grace of God, I celebrated 10 years of being in recovery from drugs and alcohol. 10 whole years. 3,650 days in a row. No days off. No weekends off. Some days were really good and some days were really bad, but I stayed the course. You see, today I understand that using will not solve any of my problems. The fact that I have been in recovery for 10 years does NOT mean that I have done everything perfectly by any stretch of the imagination. The only thing that I have done “perfectly” is not pick up a drink or a drug, and I did this with the help of a whole lot of other people. One day clean for any addict or one day sober for an alcoholic is an absolute miracle. 10 years is priceless.

Each and every year that I celebrate the gift of being in recovery, my family celebrates with me. Every year my husband gets me a card or flowers, my daughter gives me a big hug and says, “Mommy, it’s your celebration day,” and my mother, father and sister tell me how proud they are of me. My parents and sister also always thank the people in my life who have been along this crazy ride with me. I am blessed to have a family that understands and supports my journey in recovery. Not every addict has a family that is quite as supportive. Addiction is a disease that affects the whole family - not just the addict. Addiction can rip families apart. Addiction is a powerful disease that destroys families, one addict at a time.

I am grateful to have a family that supports my journey in recovery. My hope in giving back to the residents at The Recovery Connection is to help women who don’t have their families in their lives. Dr. Drew Pinsky, who is better known as “Dr. Drew,” stresses the importance of family support in recovery. He believes that when an addict is in recovery, they NEED to have someone to disappoint. If everyone has abandoned the addict, they don’t have that in their life. Today, I want to be that person for the hopeless addict or alcoholic to disappoint; or even better, I want to be the person that can encourage the addict to stay the course and find a life worth living. Recovery is possible and will not disappoint.

Written by Meredith Speir , Co-Founder & COO of The Recovery Connection