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Two Angies

Memoir Excerpt: “It’s been very difficult for me to separate Angie, the daughter I raised, from the addict she has become. But this is work that many of us must do in order to gain some objectivity when dealing with our loved ones. A parent writes in Sharing Experience, Strength and Hope: ‘I could not bear to look at pictures of him, as they were only a sad reminder of what he had been and what was taken from him. I missed his sweetness, his innocence, his loving nature, and his honesty. That was my son, not the shadow of the person he was now. I was losing him and myself while my family was being torn apart. The only thing I was sure of was the fact that I was powerless.’” For the longest time I was unable to participate in this surreal exercise: look at my child in front of me, the same body, height, facial expressions, hand gestures, and remember that this person was capable of hurting me multiples times. At first, I didn’t; I only saw the daughter I had raised because I so wanted it to still be her. But in doing so, I was laying myself bare and vulnerable to the manipulations of an addict. And so, multiple times, I did allow myself to be hurt. But then I learned in my recovery program how to detach emotionally, not out of anger but with love. I learned to recognize the truth of what was right in front of me but take intelligent steps to protect myself. And most of all I learned, though...

“If Onlys Are Lonely”

From Each Day A New Beginning, November 24: ‘If onlys are lonely.’ Morgan Jennings “The circumstances of our lives seldom live up to our expectations or desires. However, in each circumstance we are offered an opportunity for growth or change, a chance for greater understanding of life’s heights and pitfalls. Each time we choose to lament what isn’t, we close the door on the invitation to a better existence… The experiences we are offered will fail to satisfy our expectations because we expect so much less than God has planned for us in the days ahead… I will breathe deeply and relax. At this moment my every need is being attended to. My life is unfolding exactly as it should.” I’ve wrestled with my faith most of my life, always too self-reliant for my own good. But as I’ve watched my daughter succumb to heroin addiction, it has been a great comfort to me to learn how to harness a newfound belief in the power of something outside of myself, something I can turn to in my despair and know that something beautiful will come out of it. And it has: my whole life, and how I choose to live it now, is a...