A gift of peace
We decorated, we baked, we shopped, we wrapped, we sung carols, we hosted our family parties, and we may have attended church services. We celebrated this wonderful season, both spiritually and secularly. But, sometimes everything was not quite as sparkly, festive or serene as it appeared. Why? Because someone we love is not healthy because of drug, alcohol and/or behavioral problems.
As we are all well aware, the problems do not magically disappear because it is holiday time. Many times, in fact, usage is intensified at this time of year. Often, a hole in our hearts is created because of our loved ones absence or perhaps from our worry of how they will act if and when we did spend time with them.
The gift of peace that is offered at Christmas can become a wonderful resolution for us in the New Year. A free 12-step program called Families Anonymous strengthens us so that we can attain that peace. FA is a wonderful support group that encourages and sustains those who have family members who suffer from drug, alcohol and/or behavioral problems. This incredible program teaches us that we are powerless over anyone else’s life except for our own.
We learn to change our negatives to positives, act not react, realize that it is ok to say no and set limitations of what we will and will not accept. Being on guard, obsessing about other’s choices or being broken-hearted and losing sleep because of the emptiness and heartache we feel inside does nothing to make us feel better. Realizing that each of us is responsible for our own happiness is a wide-eyed discovery.
We encourage you to attend a few meetings of Families Anonymous so that you can really understand and accept that peace can actually be attained on a daily basis, no matter how difficult the situation with your loved one may be. We can live, we can love, and we can have freedom from continuous, unproductive fear and worry in spite of unresolved problems. We learn that we didn’t cause someone else’s destructive behavior, we sure can’t control another’s actions, nor can we cure their abuse, addiction or behavior. However, we can learn to cope. With coping comes peace. Peace is a gift we can give to ourselves everyday if we choose & not just at holiday time!
Families Anonymous meets Sundays at 5:30 p.m. at CrossPointe Community Church, 1800 Columbia Road in Westlake.
Our website is familiesanonymous.org. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call our Cleveland Helpline at 440-779-HELP (4357).