To the Family That Still Suffers..

“If I’m helpless tell me now
Tell me now
And I’ll stop trying to figure it out”

~John Mayer~

Have you ever had a week that just ate you alive and spit you out? If you didn’t have to raise your hand, Congrats-its 2021-you have officially lived in a bubble. Life is filled with its ups and downs. We have to feel the glory to know the defeat and all that jazz.

My sleep tank is pretty empty, my journal has been furiously written into, footsteps beaten into, more serenity prayers to count and so much more. While I was stress cleaning the house today (that IS an entirely different topic for another rainy day!) I had so many thoughts cross my mind that I knew the universe was telling me to get it out there. You see at the end of my stressful week placated with a large drinking festival and overtime at work; I stand with my battle wounds at the end of the finish line still sober.

GRATEFUL to still be sober.

I had a serious overlap of recovery and relapse and the “addict that still suffers” happen before my very eyes. I also had a new sub sphere of recovery I hadn’t thought about before occur to me. The families that still suffer.

I came into a situation where in my line of work an individual had need due to a water damaged cell phone and more in the early am hours. As well as needing replenishing of gin and tonics prior to 8 am. He was asking staff to help him locate his brother (who is locally known in the area.) At first the length I went to was to tell others to “not judge” out of nothing but fierce loyalty to those I see still struggling. Then I mulled it over, this individual asked me for help, the internet is accessible, I know who he is asking for, I just had a nagging gut feeling I owed the brother a phone call.

So I trusted my gut. I called the brother and as politely as I could reintroduced myself and only revealed that his brother was here and his cell phone was damaged so was looking to try to connect with him. What I got on the other end of the phone was a grateful sigh followed by polite feedback on how to move forward. I was told the family was looking for this person and had combed the town hospitals and jails in desperation.

The empathy in my heart exploded and my mind swirled back to a different time. A time when I was sitting in the Bear River Health Treatment Center, and after a really intense group session I was overcome with remorse and called my Mom. I couldn’t believe that I had been so selfish when I chose alcohal over family and literally had my poor parents, Aunt Susie, and so many others worried sick for days that turned into weeks on what the ill fated outcome could be. As soon as she picked up the phone, I started to cry and told her how sorry I was for everything I had put her through and after what we had just been working on I had to call and tell her that.

I still rememeber her response.

“Its in the past, all I want is for you to move forward and be healthy and happy.”

I had forgotten until this past week the intense hell the addict that still uses or the alcoholic who still hasn’t surrendered yet put their family through. We call recovery and the recovery community a WE community. You have others to help you get through it for a reason. Its like having the largest, international extended family ever. The same is for addiction. Its not just a solo person it can take down. The entire family suffers.

So for me, from here on out, whenever I silently pray for the addict that still suffers, I will add on the family that still suffers. Weeks good and bad come and go. I’m forever grateful that my family can now sleep well knowing I am okay.

I hope and pray you can all do the same for yourself. As for me, I am going to work on better sleep habits, longer runs, and as always I am here if you need me.

Author: toughasteal

Kate Weber is a woman who dreamed up the concept "tough as teal" while recovering from her own sexual assault in Fall 2015. Teal is the color of Sexual Assault Awareness and Ovarian Cancer (both have effected her in her personal life.)Tough as Teal is a mindset of being strong and a streak she proudly wears in her hair. Her goal is to use her voice, blog, and personal teal streak to broaden awareness of sexual violence. She believes, "you have to make people comfortable with the uncomfortable." Kate is a graduate of Michigan State University and has spent the majority of her career working within Higher Education. These areas included the following: off campus and on campus housing, overseeing academic dishonestly, coordinating academic integrity grievances, hearing, and appeals for all colleges at Michigan State University, working with STAR scholarship students, mass training for University employees, managing her own staff of 50-100 students within the Residence Halls, administrative work with the Vice President and Provost's office, devising training curriculum, serving on the Brody Neighborhood Core Team (Engagement Center liason), retention planning, safety and security work and more. Kate's first hand work with student employees, coupled with her own experience as a traditional and non-traditional student put her primary passion to be involved with college students. Statistics show alarming rates of sexual violence on college campuses and Kate passionately continues to advocate to end this statistic. Besides building her own personal toughasteal brand, Kate enjoys public speaking. She has received a national award from Toastmasters International and is putting her talent to work with the Mid-Michigan Survivor's Speaker's Bureau. She has affiliations in Pennsylvania with "Voices of Hope", national organization "Still Standing", and is a guest blogger/podcast participant for Open Thought Vortex (committed to giving a voice to victims.) Kate is also in recovery for alcoholism. She believes being honest about her own struggles and healing can help other women come forward with their own stories. Healing is not linear and there is power in speaking with one another. Recovery is a daily process to take one day at a time! Kate is looking forward to expanding her philanthropic passions to her educational pursuits in the upcoming years. She is available for speaking engagements or you are welcome to connect with her on Twitter @katers513 or toughasteal@yahoo.com Her personal interests are running, enjoying the Great Lakes of Michigan, reading, learning, a few Netflix shows, watching her beloved Spartans in all sports, and newfound motorcycle adventures with her boyfriend!

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