I am home from a successful conference in Orlando. Although I didn't get to see any of the local attractions, I did enjoy seeing a group of small children excitedly sporting their Mickey Mouse ears in the hotel lobby. I met some interesting people, spent time with work friends and reveled in adult conversation for three days.
Although I was only a few hundred miles from home, Friday night I felt as if I was a world away. Blindsided by an unforeseen family crisis, I suddenly went from feeling excited and empowered to hopeless and lost. I needed to be home, yet I was only able to offer advice over the phone.
Because of lousy cellular reception, I was forced to sit in the hotel lobby for most of the evening. Scared and anxious, I was unable to shield my emotions from the patrons walking by. I was surprised how many strangers paused their activities to offer a warm word of encouragement or a hug. With everything feeling as if it was spiraling out of control, the kindness of these strangers was heartwarming.
I was able to rest easier when I was able to get in touch with my cousin Dan. He lives locally and I knew he would be able to help. Thankfully he didn't ask any questions when I told him that he was needed. He simply put on his shoes and headed out the door. I found out later that he was home because he had the flu. Dan is my hero.
We are out of crisis mode and moving towards recovery. Addiction is a horrible disease which cannot be "cured" easily. I repeatedly hear that the addict has to "hit bottom" before recovery can truly begin. I am hoping that my loved one "hit bottom" on Friday night so that our family can begin to heal together.
So many of my Facebook friends responded when I wrote that I was scared and alone. I had friends whom I have only met through this blog and Facebook offer to drive hours to sit with me while I waited. I have learned that I am never really alone. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me. Your words of love and encouragement meant more to me than I can put into words.