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Getting educated

Getting educated

Recently my son and I were invited to help inaugurate a Family Weekend hosted by the Schnellenberger Foundation in Delray Beach, Florida.  Some might recognize this name.  In the 1970s Howard Schnellenberger was coach of the Baltimore Colts.  His son, Tim, leads the family’s effort to support recovery and to educate families afflicted by the disease of addiction.

The three-day gathering brought people together from several states for  intensive education about addiction and its impact on their emotional, spiritual and physical health.  It helped demystify the illness, reveal commonalities, and – most of all – give them hope.

Across the country there are many such programs.  Some are “required” for families as part of the addicted person’s recovery.  Costs vary.  Many are free.

The weekend concluded with an Al-Anon meeting.  For many, it was their first.  The goal was to introduce them to the program in hopes, as Tim told me, that “they will form a lifelong relationship.”

When Jacob was in active addiction, the only education available to me – or so I thought – was a Sunday afternoon, two-hour group session at our local treatment center with an experienced addictions counselor.  But even that helped.  I recall sitting silently, my lower lip quivering, terrified I might be called upon to speak. No doubt my face wore that same anguished look I saw on the faces of those at the workshop.

They say one comes to Al-Anon when one is “ready.”

For the sake of the suffering moms and dads Jacob and I met that weekend, I hope they are “ready” much sooner than I was.

Comfort and hope are available to those who seek it.

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