What follows are notes from previous gatherings of The Daybreak Project. Hopefully these will support your journey, especially when you are unable to gather with us on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Click here for full meeting schedule.
Last evening we were able to hear the story of a person who lost her fiancé to a drug overdose a little over a year ago. Ashley K. graciously agreed to share with our Daybreak group the roller coaster ride of in and out of recovery/sobriety that is all too familiar to our families. In spite of all Ashley’s efforts at helping her fiancé get to treatment and then continuing to be supportive of his recovery, in the end, the disease of addiction was more powerful and sadly, the drugs took over one final time resulting in his death. As Ashley put it: “If loving someone was all it took to help someone stave off active addiction, then for sure we would have had our beautiful life together and forever.”
Another key takeaway was Ashley’s acknowledging that she kept most of their experience to herself. That was extremely difficult for her. She felt she had no place to go, no resources, and no support. As she put it, “I lost myself in my efforts to help him.” So, in terms of a “learning,” Ashley encouraged everyone to take advantage of the opportunity that Daybreak provides for people to share their experiences with others who have similar lived experience. There is safety in numbers.
We were grateful and honored that Ashley shared her story with us. It was terrifically brave and courageous. While Ashley’s story had a sad ending, it was an insight-filled evening. Thank you Ashley!
A Father and Son’s Journey
Last night we were fortunate to have a father and son share with us their journey, with all its ups and downs, as the son found his way into treatment and recovery from alcoholism. It was a powerful night loaded with takeaways that resonated with all our families present.
Chief among them were:
- Setting clear boundaries and expectations, especially in regards to whether an actively using loved one could continue to live in the home. A difficult decision for any parent to make, but often times the proven leverage point needed to interrupt the status quo.
- Even when the son was not living at home, the value of staying connected, as best as possible, was key to the son reaching out to ask for help when he was ready.
- The importance of continued support when the son entered into treatment and the healing and forgiveness that was allowed to happen over time.
Stories continue to have a way of connecting us to each other and make room for support and compassion. It was a night of honest, vulnerable sharing and the group was deeply moved. The display of hope, generated by the balanced acts of boundaries and continued connection, helped pave the way for recovery. We are grateful!