Most of us know someone that has dealt with an addiction to some substance. It can be incredibly challenging as family and friends to watch the lives of those loved ones revolve around their beloved substances. It becomes the priority. Dashed hopes, disappointment and sorrow seem to go hand-in-hand with drugs and alcohol.
In talking with Mike, he showed the sunny shores on the other side of addiction. It probably goes without saying that life would probably be a lot easier to not deal with an addiction, but what is so remarkable about Mike’s story is how many people he’s been able to help as a result of making the decision to get clean 14 years ago. It is his beautiful boon; his blessing that he can be a guide and example to others in his family as they’ve had to navigate the choppy waters of their own recoveries from addictions.
One of the goals of Reflection is to share with other people what many of us consider the dark corners of our lives. So often we hide our imperfections, afraid that it will diminish what others on the outside will think of us. Yet Mike profoundly demonstrates the power of being vulnerable about our weaknesses. How do we expect to help each other if we don’t share how we’ve each overcome difficult times in our lives? Mike’s story is one that we all need to hear. Life is about our imperfections and overcoming them. We are a better human community when we share our weakest moments and seek help in getting out of them or share how we did it.
What touched me is how powerful Mike felt to me as we sat around the dinner table and talked. I have had my life directly impacted by others with drug and alcohol addictions. To some degree, I understand that those addictions are not just simply overcome. Yet Mike’s life brought him a measure of strength needed to do such a tremendously difficult thing. But with that strength there was a deep sense of humility. So much of addiction recovery is faith based. Whatever the belief of anyone overcoming a challenge, the ability to look outside one’s self is paramount. New perspective and a fresh view empower us to change for the better.