Sunday, June 8, 2014

The turning point

This week, I read some posts by people who have decided to ask for help with their loved one's addiction, rather than go it alone. I know how much courage it takes to walk into a room of strangers and take a seat. Most of us did not think that we would ever need to reach out in desperation, admit that we had a problem, and seek out others.  But alcoholism and drug addiction can bring even the strongest of us to our knees.

I suppose it is shame and fear about the disease that keeps us from admitting we need help.  I remember that several years before I finally went to Al-Anon, a good friend suggested that I go.  I still thought that I could deal with everything. I could take what alcoholism dished out.  I didn't want to admit that I needed help, regardless of what my loved one was doing. But alcoholism doesn't give up. I suffered a few more years before I realized just how powerful the disease is.

I am not sure what the turning point was for me.  Maybe it was just a culmination of all the little things resulting from alcoholism that added up to my surrender. Maybe it was the night my wife drove off drunk and left me to walk home. Maybe it was having to make sure she didn't fall down the stairs in a blackout or aspirate on her own vomit. Whatever it was, something inside of me shifted, and I saw what a sham my life was.   So when another friend suggested I go to a meeting, I knew that it was time. I had come to the point in my life where I needed a life ring, because I was drowning.

So here I am nearly 8 years later.  I made the decision to get help and to help others.  I have heard my story countless times in the rooms of Al-Anon.  I have seen parents lose their children to the disease.  I have seen those same parents realize that there was nothing they could have done.  I have seen people who were broken, laugh out loud and have tears of joy. I have seen incredible grace reside in the roughest of people.  I have found friends that I did not think I would ever have.  I have been blessed with a renewal in my relationship with my wife, who I love more than anything or anyone. None of this seemed possible, but now I see that by shedding my pride and reaching out my hand, I have been granted a new way to live.

To say that I am grateful is an understatement.


  1. I learned when I was able to talk openly about what was happening it was liberating and I felt others literally and emotionally reach out and hug me with understanding and love.

    None of us are alone unless we choose to be.

  2. Dear Syd,

    I pray that your post/blog will reach out and help some individual in pain to 'grab onto your coattails' and follow. Simple statement, huh! But, it is in the simplicity of acceptance that the non-alcoholic person finally looks inside his/her own psyche to find out who THAT individual.

    This was a great affirmation post. God bless you. Keep on keeping on.

    With much love, and a giant hug,
    Anonymous #1

  3. No-one should face it alone. We believe we're strong, but in this case, we are not the stronger one. Alcoholism is. And we have to choose whether to fight or sink...

  4. Dear Syd, I feel like I have known you all these eight years. What a blessing. You are a shining beacon of recovery. MC

  5. nice...we all have to find that turning point and sometimes it is hitting bottom....when we do though...and realize we can not carry it alone, what a beautiful thing it can be if we find that right community to walk it with....

  6. It is always so amazing to me to read how much love you and your wife have found in recovery. I remember when you first began blogging and I sensed so much frustration and sounded ready to give up. Your story is such an inspiration.

  7. Thanks for your share. It took many years for me to be able to grasp some of the program I keep coming back so more is revealed.

  8. What a blessing the journey you and C have walked together, one step at a time. Thank you for sharing your gratitude and willingness to never give up, it is a powerful reminder to us all. No matter the outcome, I will continue my willingness and gratitude which will help me through my own journey. Thank you for being here.

  9. It is very hard to admit you simply can't do anything - or you have done everything you can possibly think of and nothing worked. I have gone to 3 meetings and only missing this Monday because I will be out of town. It is a great large group of people with so much to offer.


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