Image for post
Image for post

An important moment happened the other night.

It was just a brief moment, so brief that many people may not have even noticed it.

It was a moment that was so easily eclipsed by the other moments around it that I almost didn’t even write about it.

But just today alone two people have brought the moment up in session. Yes, we need to shine some light on the moment. We need to amplify the moment.

It was a moment when a father from a generation not known for understanding mental health talked openly, candidly, emotionally, with rawness, and with true humanity about addiction.

Yes, I am going to talk about a moment in THE debate. You know, the debate that has been talked about and fought about and debated about incessantly over the past few days.

But, I don’t want to talk about the content of the debate or what led to the moment or what people think about the candidates and moderator.

I just want to focus on the moment. We all, collectively, NEED to focus on the moment.

It is a moment that so many people who have struggled with addiction yearn for — the moment when their loved one stands up and literally says to the world:

My son/daughter/wife/husband/sister/brother/mother/father/friend had a drug problem. They’ve worked on it. And I’m proud of them.

As I watched that moment in real time, I saw all those subtle changes in facial expressions, skin color, speech rhythm, breathing rate, and intonation that I’m trained as a therapist to pick up on.

In that moment, the Earth stopped spinning for just a beat for me. My own breath caught in my throat as I realized just how powerful that moment could be for anyone who has faced addiction and how powerful that moment could be for the topic of addiction itself.

How powerful are those two words for people on both sides of the addiction struggle?

“I’m proud.”

It was an important moment for there still is so much shame and judgment around the topic of addiction, even after recovery.

That moment reminded us that not only is it ok to stand up, even when the whole world is watching, and be proud of your loved one for battling addiction, it’s crucial. It’s powerful. It can be life altering.

Perhaps even more importantly, imagine the power of being able to say “I’m proud of myself.”

To those of you who have been touched by addiction, I see you. I hear you. I’m proud of how fiercely you fight that battle.

Change is coming. The tides are turning. The shame is lifting. More moments are coming.

Share your pride for your loved ones. Share your pride for yourself.

I’m proud of all of you walking through the battlefield of addiction.

Keep fighting.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store