Many people may not know this about me, but I have been fighting the day-to-day family battle of addiction and alcoholism with my sister. As of right now, she is 16 months clean off heroin and a little over 10 months sober. This is a huge feat - it is a point all of us were coming to terms with never seeing.
Anyone who thinks that the pain and struggle of addiction is limited to the addict, nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone in my family has felt the gut-wrenching pain of watching her slowly kill herself, wanting a better life for her. We have screamed, cried, prayed, and hoped our hearts out. We are still dealing with trusting her, and trusting our hearts to trust her and her recovery again. Its been a very, very long, hard, painful road.
My mom suggested once that I write a memoir-style book about addiction through the eyes of a sibling, because nothing like that (as far as we have been able to find) exists. My thoughts on my sister's addiction come in waves, and everyday a new "theme" emerges, so there is going to be no rhyme or reason to the order of my entires. But I thought just writing my thoughts about it when I can and in whatever jumbled order I can in a blog may be a good jumping-off point.
Since dealing with this and coming to a point of personal strength and triumph over the pain of all of it, I have decided it is part of my God-given purpose to offer our family's story to educate, minister to, heal, comfort, and offer hope and understanding to others, and to break down the stereotypes and shame that is often tied in with those living day-to-day with an addict. So I think in sharing my story, hopefully I can, in some small way, start the ball rolling on what I believe I was supposed to share with others. Life is about taking a bad situation and turning it into something good, and I am hoping through blogging about this, perhaps I can do just that. I know its heavy material and many people aren't really comfortable with it, but part of my goal, hopefully, is to make people rethink things about addiction and the family - all the ups and the downs, the whole process, with complete truth, honesty, and openness. I feel its my duty, and with that, I begin.