One of the three destructive forces that can destroy the group is gossip. When I first came to Nar-Anon, I was in fear of being judged. I had isolated myself from my family and friends, and I was ashamed to admit that there was a problem in my family. I did not want to be the center of discussion, and I certainly did not want my family to think of me as the black sheep with the loser relationship.

To this day, I believe that fear was justified because my family and friends are not in recovery. They do not understand that addiction is a disease. They believe that addiction is a moral issue, which in turn causes them to react in a negative manner. Their answer to the problem is simple – get rid of the addict, and all will be well. However, the truth is I also suffer from the effects of addiction, because I am replaying sick co-dependent behaviors that I learned from my family. I was trying to correct my sick dysfunctional relationships from my past while in my current relationships.

If it was not for the comfort level I found in Nar-Anon, that feeling of safety and non-judgment, I would not have continued to go to meetings, and I would not have gotten better. When I indulge in gossip, I remember that gossip is the by-product of low self-esteem. It is something I do to make myself feel better than others. I stop focusing on my own recovery and begin to judge others.

Thought for Today: I cannot recover from the disease of addiction when I am focusing on and judging others. I will not gossip and judge but keep the focus on me so I can experience the gifts of recovery.

”Abandoning gossip, he abstains from gossip; he speaks at the right time, speaks what is fact, speaks on what is good, speaks on the Dhamma and the Discipline; at the right time he speaks such words as are worth recording, reasonable, moderate, and beneficial.” ~ Majjhima-Nikaya