Wednesday, May 30, 2007

You Can’t Hide Behind Closed Doors

We are so grateful that Pat was willing to share her story at our NEP celebration. She is someone who has struggled with addiction in her life and in her family. Listening to Pat, you can hear that her pain is very much still fresh, and yet, she has turned it into great strength and passion. With 34 years clean and 13 years sober, she feels an obligation to speak out in the community so she can help others.

“I believe that anybody that’s been through difficulty has got to get out there and give a hand up. My philosophy is, if you’re on that ladder in life, if you’re on the ninth rung of that ladder, you should be extending hands two ways: one for up to ten, and one down to eight to pull that person up to your position.

“You have to get out and say to people, ‘Do you understand what this legislation is that we’re trying to bring about?’ [You] try to get people to turn around and understand what an impact it makes when they call or write to the legislators and say, ‘Listen, we support this [needle exchange]. Our neighborhood supports this. We have people in our families who need this service.”

Pat speaks from experience. She watched as her daughter went through addiction and eventually recovery. Now she is watching her grandson go through criminal justice problems. Despite her own experience with recovery, and having worked as a drug and alcohol counselor, Pat was unable to keep her loved ones from making the same mistakes. It’s for this reason that treatment programs are so necessary – because even our best intentions are not enough.

“The only thing you can do for someone who’s an active addict is to love that person. Hold your pocketbook and your wallet, but love ‘em… You can still stop the car and put your arms around them when you see them on the street and let them know that you love ‘em, ‘cause they’re still people.

“First step in recovery is to recognize the powerlessness, that you can only control one person, and that’s you.”

Click above to listen to Pat’s full testimonial. Her words are truly important for Delaware to hear.

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