Addiction breeds isolation, misery, fear and low self-esteem on the part of those with addictions and those who love them. I knew I needed support but did not know where to find it.
I tried talking to people I trusted but they did not know how to help me and often would say things that hurt instead of relieving my pain. I began to feel that I must keep everything to myself and this increased my isolation. I feared that others would think badly of my loved one, of me and my family. When I found someone I could talk to I often would overwhelm them with all the negative emotions and happenings in my life.
When I found support groups I felt a great relief and weight off my shoulders. Finally I heard other people’s stories that I could relate to. It seemed that everything others said they were feeling and experiencing were my feelings and experiences. I cried all the way through my first meeting. In time I was also able to share my feelings and what was going on in my home. I slowly began to heal, to find peace and hope.
What have I learned during my journey? I have learned to love and trust support groups. They are confidential and have taught me about the atonement. A good therapist can really help. They will keep your conversations confidential and can help you heal. My bishop has been an invaluable source of support. He has given me wonderful blessings that have helped me to see God’s love for me and to see His tender mercies in my life. I have learned that it is best not to talk to others about my loved ones addictions and my pain unless I am prompted to do so.
All of us need love, support and help. Having a good support system can make the difference between misery, despair and isolation or a healthy thriving life.