What Addicts Taught Me

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Part of my Group Counseling assignments is to attend to group counseling meetings. My second group to attend was Narcotics Anonymous yesterday evening.

It was encouraging! Even though I’m not an addict I for 1) have seen what drugs and alcohol can do and have secondhand experience, and 2) I felt at home with the group.

The vulnerability, the bravery, the embracing of the dark to find the light, the wrestling with life and what it means to be alive and human, and the love all are things I daily struggle with. To see people embrace such darkness and find their way through it, through their hurt, pain, addiction, and failure gave me hope. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

It takes embracing our darkness to find who we really are, to find our way to the light. These folks pour their hearts out to one another with a level of humility and vulnerability I’ve never seen. And it was in a circle of no judgment and support.

It was within the context of their group that I realized these are the types of relationships and interactions we all desire. To be seen for who we are and be accepted for that. These are the types of relationships I seek to form.

I also began to see why Jesus sought out such people: the addicts, the broken, the lost, the hurting, the shamed, the bruised, the bleeding, the ones who know the depths of their own brokenness, and the ones who have not feared to venture into their darkness. Perhaps, that is why I felt at home? These are people seeking to take back life that addiction stole. They are seeking to live with joy and meaning in the here and now. They wrestle with what it means to be human. And I can certainly attest that those are things we all do. It is part of our shared humanity.

We should embrace one another no matter our struggles because we are all the same.

Broken.
Marred.
Hurting.
Lost.

It was overwhelming being part of people that were so in tune with themselves! I feel Jesus wants us to be with people such as these, to help them, be with them in our shared humanity, learn from them, listen to them, comfort them, and vice versa. It is with one another that we overcome such things. In knowing one another, we come to know Christ and ourselves better.

We are connected by our weaknesses, our shared humanity, our desire to live authentically, our darkness, and ultimately our pursuit of the light. Being in the NA meeting last night taught me these things.

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