Survivor guilt

Old 07-22-2009, 08:32 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Living in a Pinkful Place
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Louisiana
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Survivor guilt

A very good friend of my posted this on Facebook and I thought maybe someone here might benefit from it as much as I did.

I pray that it brings each of you comfort as it did me.
Love & HUGS (hope, unity, gratitude and serenity)


We begin recovering. We begin taking care of ourselves. Our recovery program starts to work in our life and we begin to feel good about ourselves.

Then it hits. Guilt. Whenever we begin to experience the fullness and joy of life, we may feel guilty about those we have left behind - those not recovering, those still in pain. This survivor guilt is a symptom of codependency.

We may think about the husband we've divorced who is still drinking. We may dwell on a child, grown or adult, still in pain. We may get a phone call from a nonrecovering parent who relates his or her misery to us. And we feel pulled into their pain.

How can we feel so happy, so good, when those we love are still in misery? Can we really break away and lead satisfying lives, despite their circumstances? Yes we can.

And yes, it hurts to leave behind those we love. But keep moving forward anyway. Be patient. Other people's recovery is not our job. We cannot make them recover. We cannot make them happy.

We may ask why we were chosen for a fuller life? We may never know the answer. Some may catch up in their own time, but their recovery is not our business. The only recovery we can truly claim is our own.

We can let go of others with love, and love ourselves without guilt.

Today, I am willing to work through my sadness and guilt. I will let myself be healthy and happy, even though someone I love has not chosen the same path.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:05 AM
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Today, I am willing to work through my sadness and guilt. I will let myself be healthy and happy, even though someone I love has not chosen the same path.
Amen, sister. Those who don't know me wonder how I can be happy and live my life well, when my son is lost somewhere unknown in his addiction. People in recovery understand, but the earthlings who have never been touched by this disease have no clue, and I pray they never find our first hand.

The alternative, for me, to living well is living my life in misery, fear, sadness, and depression. None of that would change the outcome, my son will find recovery in his own time and not a moment before. So I choose to be healthy and happy and embrace each day as a gift from God to be lived to the fullest and appreciated for any gifts or lessons it brings.

I missed this yesterday, but maybe that was no is the day I needed to read it.

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