Thursday, May 22, 2014

Just How Much Do you Say?

My cousin and I took a knitting class.  In three short classes we were supposed to knit a hat.  We did not accomplish our goal.  But, we are both okay with our lack of drive to be at the head of our class.  We had great fun.  And, we will keep trying. 

On the day of the last class, we both dreaded going because we had neither one progressed very far.  "I thought about skipping today."  She whispered.

"Me too....let's skip."  I said, relieved.  Ever the dutiful one, she said  "No, we need to finish." 

So, we went.  With great trepidation, I pulled my sad little piece out of my bag.  Eyes rising from the ground carefully surveying the little group to see who was looking.  Cousin, my noble defender, said "She's writing a book and she doesn't have time to practice.  She's only here for me."

I know what is coming next.  She hasn't thought that far ahead.  She is proud of me and it really is a gift when you have someone in your corner. 

All eyes, in unison, focus on me.  How much to say? I've been with them for a few weeks now.  They all seem very nice.  I'll probably never see them again.  It doesn't bother me.  But, my goal has always been to do no harm.  "My son's drinking and drug use are a problem for me and I write about what I've learned while living in the midst of it."  I blurt out in one breath as if the faster I say it, the less it will hurt.

The older lady at the end of the table says, "My husband has thirty-two years sobriety.  He volunteers at the Rehab center in our area helping young men with fifth step work.  Do you go to Al Anon?"

"Yes ma'am."  I say, grateful.

The instructor says, "I don't have anyone in my family, but a good friend does.  I understand."

The quiet little lady next to me says, "I have three brothers who are alcoholics.  Two are living sober and the other one is living with a dual diagnosis.  I know what you are going through."

Oh my goodness.  I was so surprised. 
Something changed.  We shared something.  We now understood one another.  The class changed.

I don't ever know how much to say.  One lady in my Al Anon group says that anonymity doesn't mean secret.  It was also pointed out that "we" as used in the steps means that it doesn't mean for us to remain alone.  But, I do respect the stories of others as their private stories. 

In writing my book, I have prayed for the wisdom to know if I am doing this because I feel called or if I am doing it for me and my pride.  I have walked away many times.  But, I really want to share as a mother so that other mothers might not feel alone. 

I watched the documentary "The Anonymous People" on Netflix.  It was very interesting.  If you haven't seen it, I encourage you to do so.  Now, I'd like to know your experience, strength and hope with regards to anonymity.  There is always more to be considered and learned.

Praying for you and your loved ones.



Anonymous said...

My 31 year old son is a drug addict. It is like watching a slow death and I die a little each day with him. I have been reading your blog for a little over a year now. I know your sorrow. Thank you for having the courage to share your story.

Hattie Heaton said...

Anonymous, thank you for your comment. I hope that you have support and are taking care of yourself. As long as they have breath, we have hope. Don't ever forget that.