Sometimes family comes first. Actually, family always comes first.
The last few weeks I have been focused on family. There is one member of our family, with significant health issues, and we have all been mobilized to help. This particular family member, who I will leave unnamed, has an addiction that is severe and life threatening.
When something threatens the stability of your family, you do everything you can to protect the people you love. Other things get dropped. Appointments are cancelled, lunch with a friend is forgotten, writing waits.
Is this what my grandparents and great grandparents felt like in 1941? Family must survive! Did they ask themselves daily if they were doing all that they could? Did they talk to one another as often as possible, strengthening their bonds, reminding each other that they were there for one another?
Addiction creates chaos. The world is turned upside down as priorities are challenged, values are questioned, and vows are broken. If the addict is unwilling (or is it unable?) to change their ways, a family can pull together and fight the addiction. The addict feels attacked. He feels that others are ambushing him. He assumes others have turned their backs on him as a person. But the family isn’t attacking the addict. The family has set its sights on the ADDICTION. The addiction is the enemy, and it happens to be inside one person. How do you fight a thing that is inside someone you love?
In 1941 the Nazis needed to be stopped. They were in Poland and France and the Netherlands. One soldier can’t stand up to an invading army. Sometimes whole armies aren’t enough to stop the invading and occupying force. During WWII it took all the Allied Forces working together. They had to fight on the eastern front and on the western front. They had to get inside the Third Reich and attack from within. They needed to understand that they were fighting something that was bigger than all of them and pull together.
The addict will feel as if the family is attacking him on all fronts. The attack is real. The goal is the occupying army, the illness, the addiction. The goal is saving the life of the addict and bringing him back from the brink of extermination.