While preparing to speak at a Nar-Anon convention, I was asked, when I introduced myself, to also mention who was my “qualifier.” The word “qualifier” reminded me of how often I hear that word used by Nar-Anon members. The dictionary defines qualifier as “somebody who meets the requirements of or has the qualifications for something.” To qualify for the Nar-Anon program, I only need a family member, friend or loved one who has a problem with addiction. Simply put, Nar-Anon is for those who love an addict.

When I share at meetings, I say my son is the addict in my family and the reason I came to the program. Someone often would share after me and comment on my preference for using the word “qualifier,” also not liking to use the word “addict.” I remembered feeling that way, too, until I realized admitting that my son is an addict, and always will be, whether he is a recovering one or not, is part of my acceptance. When I accept him and his disease, then I can let go, turn my attention onto my own recovery, and go on with my life. I am not sure I can do these things if I cannot say the word, “addict,” admit that my son is one and, more importantly, admit that I am the parent of an addict for the rest of my natural life.

Thought for Today: My loved one will always be an addict, a member of my family and a part of my life. Acceptance does not mean submission to a sad situation beyond my control. It means having the wisdom to accept the facts, become aware of my options, and then decide what I will or will not do. I will keep coming back!

“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” ~ Carl G. Jung