Our family is, as many of you know, going through a rough time right now because of another member's problems with anger and addiction. The stench of this problem is stinking up everyone's life. Alcoholism and Drug Addiction is a family disease, however, and unless the person is an orphan and an only child, being an alcoholic and a drug addict means being a tornado tearing through people's lives.
As a Catholic, I see myself as a member of the Body of Christ. St Paul wrote about us in that way - Christ as the Head and the rest of us as members of the Body. If one part of the Body is sick or injured, the entire Body feels the sickness or injury. For this reason, my sin affects all the members of the Body of Christ. I am that important to Christ, that important to His Church.
The same analogy can be used for family life. When I was living a pagan life, drinking and drugging and full of sexual promiscuity and sinful living, my actions caused my mother and brother pain. The pain I caused them was separate from the pain I was causing myself; however, my horrible choices and my disease affected them. One of the greatest gifts I have given my mother is 19 years of continuous sobriety. Not only have I benefited from these 19 years, my mother and the rest of my extended family has benefited from my 19 years of sobriety.
Again, Catholics believe in moderation - it is not the use of alcohol that is evil. And if someone is deliberately getting drunk over and over again that is a sin. But Alcoholism is a disease. The sin is not having the disease. The sin is knowing you have it and refusing to do whatever it takes to stay sober, one day at a time.
So as we enter into the new situation, I find myself on my knees in front of the Crucifix. Jesus knows what it is like to be hated, to be rejected, to be lied to and about by His very own Creatures. He knows how we feel, us shipwreck survivors, watching this person we all love float away from us on a sea of anger and booze. We are saddened and we are frustrated by their behavior. I probably understand it better than anyone, and I am frustrated that with their lack of insight and inability to self-reflect.
Anyway, I am hanging in there. Please pray for all of us. We are in pain and we need your prayers.