I’m part of a community of moms who support one another. Maybe you are too. There are so many different kinds of support groups for moms. We have play groups for our toddlers, girl’s night out, cooking groups, hiking and book clubs, gym buddies, diet clubs and Bible studies. Over the years I’ve been in many of these groups, including several support groups for the mothers of drug addicts. Unfortunately waaayyyy too many moms are a part of that club… approximately 25 million Americans meet the definition of addiction and each of the lives represented by that number has a mother.
The Addict’s Mom (TAM) is a national organization that provides a safe place for moms to openly share their pain without judgment. We are also a community of women working to advocate for the needs of addicts, and to reduce the shame and stigma of addiction. Mom’s trade Facebook posts and emails, sharing fears, hope, recovery successes, and heartbreaking relapses. Some of us are doing better than others… all of us struggle.
TAM has an event scheduled in September to coincide with National Recovery Month. The event is to light candles, either publicly, or in the privacy of our own homes. We will honor the lives of our loved ones who do, or who have suffered from the disease of addiction. We will pray for a cure.
A red candle is for all who are in active addiction. It reminds me of the candle I lit for Annie at the Bassilica de Sacre Coeur in Paris so many years ago. At the time, my daughter sat in a jail cell on the other side of the world. Our local newspaper had just dubbed her a “transient” after a very public arrest.
Years later, Annie, also in Paris, lit a candle for “all of those who still suffer.”
A white candle is for the sustained recovery of those who have found their way out. I am profoundly grateful I get to light a white candle, not just for Annie, but for the many people in recovery who have become such an important part of my life.
Black, or silver, is the candle we light to remember those who have lost the battle with addiction. I will be lighting one of these too, for the addicts I have known, loved, and lost to this hellish, unforgiving disease.
I wonder if there should also be another candle? A fourth candle for we moms? A candle for every mother who has loved an addict, chased after an addict, advocated for an addict, hoped for an addict, prayed for an addict, grieved for an addict.
I think I will choose the color green. Not only is green my favorite color, but it also represents life and rebirth. While I’m powerless over the lives represented by the red, white, and black candles, I do have some power over my own life and that is also worth honoring. I can choose life and recovery for myself.
If you wish to join us, either publicly or privately, The Addict’s Mom will be lighting candles on September 1 at 9:00 p.m. EDT. You can learn more by visiting www.theaddictsmom.com
There is hope.