My minor son, who is the addict in my life, has been in recovery for several months now. As his father, I am legally responsible for him. For the first months of his recovery, I watched (with some amount of wonder) the positive changes, a transformation really, in a boy who had been everything that an addict can be. I remember where we were. I see where we are and I again look with anticipation at where we might be going.

However, always lurking under the surface is the thought that the possibility of relapse is real. I sometimes live in fear of the addict’s relapse. He is still subject to mood swings, self-centered demands, and irrational thoughts. I still become resentful of what he has put my wife and me through – the money we have spent, the visits to juvenile hall and juvenile court, therapy and, of course, all the time at Nar-Anon meetings and activities.

The addict has disrupted our lives and I have moments when these angry resentments and fears boil over into words and actions. My resentment turns to gratitude when I remember that recovery does not return one to the time before addiction. Recovery does not automatically bring an end to the pain of the past or to the fear of the future. Recovery is a new opportunity at a new peaceful way to live.

Thought for Today: Nar-Anon gives me the opportunity to safely share my feelings, both of gratitude and resentment. My Nar-Anon friends help me through the angry moments. They help me to look for the good, help me to deal with the pain, and help me to focus on gratitude. I can view my life and the life of my addicted son, as I choose. I choose to be grateful.

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” ~ Rabbi Harold Kushner