Few things are more devastating than watching your child suffer, knowing that they could possibly die, and you are powerless to change it. It matters not what your child is suffering from or how old they are. When they hurt, you hurt. If they died, you would be forever changed.
When any of our loved ones are suffering from a serious and/or life-threatening condition, we often reach out to family and community for support. People are always willing to help out their neighbours in need. Benefits are held, food is brought to the home, phone calls are received, cards arrive in the mailbox and visitors are always willing to listen and help in any way that they can. It certainly makes the journey a little more bearable for the person trying to get well and his/her family.
Unfortunately, stigma and a lack of understanding around some illnesses prevent many people from reaching out to family and community for the support that they desperately need. One of these illnesses is addiction, which kills more people each year than car accidents. It is a disease that is as devastating and deadly as any other but those battling it and their family members often suffer in silence. Many family members develop health issues of their own as a result of the stress and pain that they keep bottled up inside. Addiction hurts.
My heart goes out to family members suffering in silence because I’ve been where they are. We hurt because we feel so alone, scared and powerless. We love our family members and want them to get well. We don’t want them to die.
I also know the healing power of telling your story in a supportive group. For this reason, I teamed up with another mother, Roni Power, to start the 3 C’s Family Support Group. The three C’s stand for: You didn’t cause it. You can’t control it. You can’t cure it. Understanding the 3 C’s is the first step to healing.
We provide a safe place for family members to share their stories with others who understand. Our meetings are anonymous. You don’t even have to give your real name if you don’t want to. The important thing is that you come to a meeting and begin the healing process for you and your family. While you do not have the power to make someone enter recovery (trust me, I’ve tried!), you can find peace and understanding for yourself while you wait.
The 3 C’s Family Support Group meets every Tuesday night at 7:00 at the Reach Centre at 223 Mason Road in Stratford.
Please click here for more information on 3 C's Family Support Group.