Let’s be real, loving someone who drinks too much or suffers from substance abuse can feel like the opposite of a blessing.
But one of the things that make our community different is that we refuse to just talk about the dark sides of this disease. Many, many blessings come out of a complicated relationship. And today, I want to talk about one of them.
I am divorced. I was the one who chose to leave my husband after ten years of trying to “help” him get sober. We have three children together, and one of the greatest fears that kept me suffering in my marriage was thinking that leaving would break our family apart. I was so afraid that I would do serious damage to my children.
A few years ago I was a Keynote Speaker for a Celebrate Recovery conference. I brought my oldest son, Lance who was 12 at the time to hear me speak. His response to my talk about his father made me weep.
Below is an excerpt from an email to all attendees and the entire church written by the man who ran the conference. He refers to Dr. Jerry Cade who is a wonderful guy that heads up the National Christian Counseling Association. I actually ended up being a Keynote from them after this talk.
I hope you find hope and see this disease really does bring blessings.
Not just for you, but for your children as well. It’s not all dark, and there is so much light just waiting for you. Have faith that blessings are just around the corner.
Michelle Anderson’s wonderfully titled program, Love Over Addiction, is giving wisdom to women about loving a man who suffers from substance abuse. Michelle’s young son, Lance, joined her for the entire day. She mentioned Lance in her address and the fact that this was his first time ever to hear his mom speak in such a formal presentation. Dr. Cade wrote, “I happened to sit by him (Lance). Maybe it was just me, but I think that at the end of Michelle’s talk, he jumped to his feet and began to applaud and led all the rest of us to a standing ovation. Love over addiction, indeed!”
No, Jerry, it wasn’t just you — I saw it, too — a boy who, without thought of embarrassment, jumped from the pew applauding; but, it was his face I will remember – a young boy’s face lit up with a righteous pride that shouted from the rooftop, “That is MY mom!!! I am HER son!!” If nothing else had happened in the entire conference but that one moment in time for that one boy, then Re-Creation lived up to its name!”
I adore you my reader and you’re an amazing mother. I promise you that this disease will not ruin them if you communicate with your kids about what’s going on.