Sharing The Burden (STB) will bring the 12 steps to the prison system starting this month.
We will take the approach that we all hurt whether we can label our pain or not and we invite you to come share your efforts of overcoming or simply listen yo ours. We use this proven formula that has already saved millions of lives and it matters not what your major setback, problem, illness or addiction happens to be; this sharing we do today here and now, is the first and major step toward recovery from the pain. Our family members can practise the same program and recover from the effects of sickness in the family, regardless who shows the symptoms of the illness. As we meet today behind bars we will start the ball rolling for entire families who have slipped through the cracks of society and have little hope of something called RECOVERY.
We will stress in every meeting, how important the program of 12 steps has been to me, who lost a family member to drug addiction. We learned to love and respect each other and we learned the true meaning of disease (particularly the disease of addiction), how no one asked to have it nor did he/she want it. We learned a common language in the steps and in all the moments that Sean desired to turn away from his addictions, we could share at spiritual and emotional levels that most fathers and sons never experience.
The 20 years of effort that went into recovering from the illness were the years that would dictate the importance of CO or FAMILY RECOVERY. They were the hardest yet by far the most meaningful years of my life. Sean’s life started STB and his death demonstrated the power and the gift of this form of recovery, shared and followed by as many family members who will take part.
His shortened life caused me to raise the bar and share the power of this intimate sharing (12 step-style) ASAP as the urgency screams out. I can tell the young inmates today, face to face what works and I can share the tears of a dad whose son paid the ultimate price for his addiction. More importantly, I can demonstrate the love and relationship that he can have with his family, regardless the state of things at this moment. WE CAN BRING FAMILY HOPE TO THE INCARCERATED! Family care-givers need the hope every bit as much as the inmate and no better person to take that message home than the inmate himself.