I’m Celebrating my Nar-Anon 2nd birthday this week.  Last night, our meeting was full of celebrations.  30, 60 days, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 Years and last but not least 14 Years.  What keeps people coming back?

The same question asked after chips and hugs are distributed is this:    What have you learned in your time here?

The situation may be different for everyone, but the overall learning experience is the same. We’re all here for the same reason; we love someone who’s addicted to drugs and alcohol and it’s destroyed or affected our lives in one way or another.

Here’s some repeated answers to the question of “what have you learned in your time here”

  2. To Let Go  (easier said than done) 
  3. That you are not in control of your qualifier’s actions
  4. you can’t fix everything       
  5.  learning not to expect
  6. to love the addict not the addiction                                                                                                Here’s what I’ve learned in my 2 years.

I fail, I falter, yet I pick myself up and focus on 1 day at time to make myself a better listener instead of a fixer.  I’m still here for my son, yet I can’t fix everything that goes wrong in his life, because this is HIS life.  As a parent, it’s been hard for me to let go.  This is with all circumstances, I have to teach myself to not be the savior to everyone’s problems. I have my own struggles and need to take inventory of myself rather than trying to fix everyone else.  I can’t take on the worlds problems, but I can sure have control over my own.

I fail, I falter again.  I can easily slip back to my old ways when just ONE thing goes wrong. While I’m not an addict to drugs, I am addicted to my addicts life, his problems, his shortcomings, his struggle.  Part of this is being a mom, it’s hard to let go of that nurturing feeling that I have for all of my children.   I focus so much on their problems that I don’t have time to focus on fixing myself.

I will fail again, and falter again.  It’s a cycle.  Someone mentioned last night that relapse is part of recovery.  While my son works his program, I have to continue to work mine.   So while I’ll fail, it will be temporary and when I falter, I’ll pick up where I left off and start all over again. One day at at time.

“Life is a series of failures punctuated by brief success”  – James Altucher

So, over 2 years, I’ve learned that it’s not about my qualifier / my son.  It can’t always be.  My journey started before my children were born and since they’ve been in my life, they’ve given me such joy and love.  I’m thankful for every moment I’ve had with them and will continue to have with them in the future.   I’ve learned that focusing on myself is hard.  Sometimes if feels selfish.  I think this is ok.  It has to be.

I’ve learned over these 2 years that I have a group of wonderful people who understand ME, I’m not judged, I can go into this room and sit in my chair and say anything or nothing, and people aren’t going to offer advice, or say I’m sorry, they’ll just listen and nod their heads, mostly in agreement.

“Keep coming back, it works if you work it and it won’t if you don’t, so work it cause your worth it” At first, I thought this sounded cheesy and silly (I really did). – But when I’m holding the hand of the person next to me who knows EXACTLY how I feel and understands this because, they too are going through something as similar if not worse that what I’ve been through. These words now comfort me and they keep me coming back.


“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it’s best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”  – E.E. Cummings