I was reading a blog post today by Mark Pew on Overcoming with Community . Mark talked about the isolation addicts usually are in while in the throes of their addiction. Mark advocated for all of us to be community for these troubled individuals.
I believe in the positive benefits of community. I too have spoken on the topic of opioids and addiction for probably the last 11 years. I always start my talks with a picture of a prayer card of one of my friend’s son. It is a prayer card from his funeral following a heroin overdose. I actually have two friends who have sons who have died from heroin overdoses. They continue to live out this sadness and will do so the rest of their lives.
But that is not what got me sensitized to this topic. It is my own personal experience. I have a niece and a nephew who both started using drugs in their early teens and quickly progressed to using whatever they could get their hands on. Both have suffered long lasting legal consequences. Both have had periods of sobriety accompanied by a return to their drugs of choice. Both are worse off each time they relapse.
Currently my nephew is in a phase of sobriety, however due to the legal ramifications of his past has trouble finding employment, which leads him to depression, which seems to make him more susceptible to relapse. Please pray for him.
My niece relapsed at Christmas after a year and a half of sobriety. Her children witnessed it all (again). They have their own issues as a result of their life with their mother. So here is where I get to my problem with being community for my niece.
I am MAD at my niece! She is ruining her life and negatively impacting her children. How do I be that community for her? I remember her as a baby, so sweet and smart. In fact her baby that is 18 months old is her spitting image and as she sits in my kitchen eating dinner because her mother dropped her and her two 13 year old twins unexpectedly on their grandmother, my sister, I can only think back on those days when my niece was an innocent child.
Again, how do I be community for her?