a cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture
We don’t want to be in the club, yet here we are. It wasn’t planned. We fight it kicking & screaming and it takes up most of our time and emotional – sometimes physical -energy. If it were a “hobby” we would have spent thousands of dollars on it with almost zero return of pleasure- like most hobbies.
We can’t really get out of this group unless we are taken against our will into the bereaved Mom’s groups.
Mom’s of addicts.
Who knew there would be so many different subcultures of a group that NO – ONE wants to be in?
Two years ago, I didn’t have any idea of their existence. One day, while in my lone state of scrolling Facebook for addiction help; I found my first “support” group. What in the world? People who freely talked about what they were going through? No pretending that they didn’t cry every night or wonder what they did wrong? No embarrassment that their friends and family might find out? This was wonderful!
I joined a few different groups not knowing how different they were. I soon discovered that each one had their own culture or vibe making a distinct subculture within this GroupThatNooneWantsToBeIn..There was quite the variety of different groups:
- Current and Recovering addicts Support group – straight & raw addiction talk.
- CLEAN and SOBER support- don’t try to mention MAT- I actually like this one, despite who runs it. ( an alleged body broker)
- One local PUBLIC non-profit with a ‘seemingly” proud to be addicted name- but full of resources.
- Mom’s thriving together- post upon post of complaining about how rotten their addict is- but lots of ‘support’ that way.
- Al-anon, Nar-anon- surprisingly the same as above – which is NOT how the virtual meetings are.
- Prayer group- can’t say damn in your heartfelt rants or you get a nice message from admin.
- Non- prayer group- can’t use 🙏 these or you get a ‘nice’- (not) message from admin.
- Hardcore matt advocates and legislation information group. Don’t say “exchanging one drug for another” or you will be quickly put in your place! Lol, luckily I never did.
- Craft / thrive support with zero tolerance for shaming or dishonoring addicts.
- Fukkk fentanyl and other bereaved Mom’s groups.
I have moved in and out of different groups over this last 2 years, due to what I needed at the time. Also being unaware of the “vibe”, I didn’t receive a lot of response to a post I might have made, so I retreated. Even now, when I clearly know what’s expected, and post accordingly, I still may not get what I need.
See, it’s like a twilight zone of sorts. When you’re not used to this world of -all-things-addiction and the pain and suffering it causes; and you scroll your news feed of addiction groups; there are unbelievable wtf moments. Post after post of pain, drama, tears, kids with dfs, kids with grandparents fighting for them. Kicking spouses out, pictures of paraphernalia that a spouse or mom found. A bystander with no ties to “loving an addict” MIGHT think, ” What in the world is going on?”
That’s what going on.
And be glad you don’t know. As I stated yesterday in this post on overdose awareness day, be very glad you don’t understand.
But for us left in the club, what do we do? I’ll go back to an AA/NA expression:
“Take what you need and leave the rest.”
Which I have finally figured out how to do. Most days I don’t have the emotional energy to argue about what’s clean, who’s clean & who’s business it is. Since I have written over 200 articles about all things addiction, it’s hard to not want to throw out one of my posts from my site to ‘educate’ that person of the day. Since most sites don’t allow links, I was quickly reprimanded, in most cases not nicely. So as my fragile emotions moved onward, some groups were better left unattended.
Even now, as I post a few times a month, I feel like one or paragraphs in a single post, must not tell the whole situation because I get advice that I feel isn’t even applicable. And once again, the emotional energy required to explain just isn’t there, when the story keeps playing out in the background as I navigate my emotions through It.
People in these groups are in such different places that it’s sometimes wise to pause and inquire what it is they need most.
Like the video below, as in any relationship; I think it’s important in social media, to know if someone is just venting and needing emotional support or actually Asking for advice.
It’s like a husband and wife dynamic:
But even if there’s not an obvious solution (in all-things- addiction, there NEVER is); what advice/ response is truely helpful?
In just the last month, out of 3 posts NOT asking for advice, just venting at how I can’t (or- more like- how hard it is to not have sadness) feel joy for my other kids and their accomplishments when my son is facing prison and is still unhoused, no car- yadayadyada and other deep emotional pain I’m feeling, I still got these responses:
- Don’t resent your other kids for being happy! – (ummm I don’t- I didn’t say that at all- in fact I said I was happy for them- in the. second sentence)
- Give it to God, pray for him, live your life- (ok, never thought of that, I do…….doesn’t mean I can’t be sad).
- Don’t be willing to be an audience to your kids addiction- once I stopped being involved in my sons addiction- he magically got better- ( like really??? You think my 35 year old son gave up a million dollar business, a new house, his family, go to jail 5 times FOR THE ATTENTION???) I can’t even…..
- You just need gratitude in your life, stop “stinkin thinkin” which ironically is a post I made months ago.
- Let the natural consequences happen- you didn’t cause it..yadayada…(ok, I’ll jump for joy that my son is punished to 10+ years in prison for POSSESSION of the drug of a disease he can’t manage.
It’s not a crime to be sad. I’m MAD & SAD at the system & the irony of the criminalization of this certain disease. I’m mad that I’m powerless, yes. I’m scared of losing my son and the hope that goes along with having him alive, yes. I guess I just want permission to be sad sometimes…….
Yesterday I finally- actually asked- for advice regarding my sons dire situation and I immediately got a CODA meeting group answer saying,
“Live your life – you’re not ok.”
I give up…..
If caring about your sons future and his kids not having a dad, is co-dependent, then so be it. I will not stop caring.