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Who among us is truly strong?

Ol Ma
Who among us is truly strong?
So often some one will post how strong they consider another. Yet what others perceive as strength, is for most of us, both the addicted and loved ones, a continual battle.

The addicted who have not yet found recovery fight a battle to be able to continue to avoid that which they hide from. The people who love them fight many battles, even before they know what has gone so terribly wrong.

Long before the addiction there was pain, pain so strong there was no living with it. After addiction there is only the drug and the relief it gave, at least for a little while.
Hardest of all for any of us to understand is that the first time a drug enters lives, the user of such a drug begins hurting those that love them the most, and hurting him/herself.

Those who love the addicted, cry, beg and plead, all before the knowledge of addiction is realized. They experience anger, outrage and fear. They only have one target, one obvious source for this, that is the one who had begun to use.

We speak of forgiveness, yet that began the moment we discovered and acknowledged there was an outside source for our agony. Yet we fail to understand that there is and isn't a choice for the one we love he/she knows in some part of him/herself that what he/she is doing is wrong on many levels, but Addiction doesn't care, and Addiction is in charge.

We, both addicted and the ones who love them go about our ways, seeking that which we believe we need most, some of us seek out information, some seek support, some simply seek escape. The addicted seek the escape they believe the drug offers them.

Long before the addiction is realized, damages are done. Some are financial, some are self esteem issues, all of it emotional for both sides of the addiction issue.

The people who end up at these message boards, KCI, Methmadness, Crystal Recovery, Ma's Place seek both knowledge and support.

We share pain.
We share hope.
We share our lives, sometimes intimately.
Some of us go through our day, seemingly on the outside to have it together. We go to jobs, shop, attend needs of children and others. We don't show the world how torn up we are inside. We are strong.

Some of us attend meetings, Alanon and others. For some it works, for some it doesn't. Moving on isn't as easy as it can be made to appear.

Some wounds don't heal. They may scab over and there is an appearance of healing but underneath the tenderness remains. Some people have find they have more and more need of others facing daily the same type of trials, others find that they must retreat, because their own pain is magnified by the pain of others.

Openness and honest communication is the key. Not only with others, but within ourselves.

To post here most of us have reached into our own pain over and over, stirring up that which is never still of it's own. Some of us have strong empathy for others, adding their pain to that which is already there. Some of us can step back and with compassion share with others without a deepening of that which afflicts them.

Some are posters, making statements, some are responders, all are needed, none are essential to the whole. We each deal with our own pain, issues and responsibilities in our own ways. Even the addicted, because after all, their latest and most important responsibility is to themselves, either in active addiction or in recovery.

Some of us need to be around others, online, in person, in groups, others need to isolate, like a wild animal, denned up and licking their wounds. Most will find they need to do both at different times.

We can all understand a bit of what another is experiencing. None of us can understand it all. We don't understand our own pain, how can we hope to understand that of another?

Some of us have to retreat to preserve what is left of the us that was, and to build something that will fill in that part which was destroyed.
Re: Who among us is truly strong?
That was a beautiful post Ma. Thank you. Sometimes I believe we can isolate ourselves to the point of no return. Even though we may not be able to change our own situation, we can reach out to others, as you have just proven. I want to see more of you here, ok?
Re: Who among us is truly strong?
Thank you Ma. You have such an understanding of the people you serve here and yourself and a wonderful way of putting it into words.
lax2 Re: Who among us is truly strong?
dear Ma--- It's great to see you. I have missed you. Been wondering where you are. I certainly hope to see you name and wisdom around here more in the future. I'm sure many of us have missed you dearly.
Re: Who among us is truly strong?

Thank you for saying all that. I got into a discussion about "being strong" on an online gaming site I like to play on the other day. People kept insisting I was "strong", and I kept trying to tell them about the real stuff behind what "looks like strength". I don't think I'm clean because I'm strong.

Anyway, your post was very moving, and much appreciated.

Peace and Love,
Re: Who among us is truly strong?
*hugs ma*
........nice to read you.
I'm stronger than I was, .....but not as strong as I'd like to be.
Who among us is truly strong?
Some of us go through our day, seemingly on the outside to have it together. We go to jobs, shop, attend needs of children and others. We don't show the world how torn up we are inside. We are strong

That is so true! I only cry in secret.
Ol Ma
Re: Who among us is truly strong?
It isn't wisdom...it's something I never really thought about myself having. It took someone else pointing it out to me and a long time to not only accept, but to understand what it is...it's empathy. Absorbing others emotions, I absorb them and then feed what I feel coming off you back in my own words.

A thing to keep in mind...no matter how much you believe you understand another, remember you are each unique, we may come close but we will never be able to understand fully. That is where compassion comes in.
Re: Who among us is truly strong?
Gosh Ma, reading your last post is like remembering my thoughts. Then I think, "yes, I must accept that I don't know what my addict is thinking or was thinking when he hung up on me last night and wouldn't answer again...and have compassion. If I can stop the first impulse to be fearful and angry with the fact that I don't understand his thinking, and replace it with compassion, then I am so much more at peace. Empathy in action is compassion, huh? It is very hard to do the first few times....but it is getting easier and the growing peace is worth the effort.

The fact that I want to throw a fit and be furious, is my own deal, isn't it? And, it's not having empathy and compassion for my self either, is it?

I think you have evoked a "love epiphany" in me today.

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