I read Courage to Change almost every morning as I start my day. This publication from the Al-Anon Family Group offers bits of wisdom in daily, doable doses. The title of the book says it all: recovering from my child’s addiction and freeing him claim his own recovery hinged entirely on my courage to change—to do things differently, to be open to the belief that our lives could be healthier and happier if I could take a leap of faith.
When my kids were little, we sprinkled the closet with Monster Spray to keep the monsters away. Somewhere along the way, it lost its power, and the Addiction Monster hunkered down in our home. Evicting that monster required every ounce of courage I could muster.
What does courage look like? Courage is my unwillingness to tolerate the status quo of addiction, which can become comfortably predictable in its insanity. Courage is my wiliness to take a stand, and at the same time step into thin air, believing that a safe landing lay in storeâ€¦ or at least a landing that is softer than the one addiction offers. My courage was fortified by my conviction that a power greater than me is calling the shots and that things will work out the way they are supposed to.
What does change look like? It is the acknowledgement that things aren’t working and the rules of the game need to be revised. Change meant setting limits, communicating more constructively, respecting boundaries, saying that I will not tolerate that any longer, acknowledging the insanity that had overtaken our lives and refusing to partake in it any longer.
There is familiarity in dysfunction, and changing entrenched habits is hard and scary. But what is more terrifying? The monster in the closet or the potential of recovery for you and your child? Make that leap of faith, muster your courage, and make the hard choices that banish addiction from your home.