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When presence is really the greatest present of all.

January 27, 2017 - - 0 Comments

Growing up, I’m sure many of us asked our parents or family members for presents we thought we couldn’t live without. It’s interesting to look back on these days and realize how we focused on what can be considered trivial nowadays. Growing up, it may have dawned on some earlier than others, we learned that the most important gift we can give anyone is our time. The older we get, we start seeing family members starting their own families and friends becoming close acquaintances. This isn’t a reflection of us as a person by any means but is simply a product of time. Knowing this, it’s important to be continually aware of the necessity to make the most of whatever opportunity we have with our family and friends.


While participating in treatment at any of the residential facilities such as Merito, Prado, or 9th Street, we are separated from those we hold near and dear while we attempt to put our lives together after addiction took its toll on it. We’re given the opportunity to reflect and realize how our actions while we were using deeply affected the people we care about. We lied to them, stole from them, and drifted away from the very relationships that made the essence of our characters. Even though not everyone takes the opportunity to reconnect with their loved ones while in treatment, some are able to re-establish their familial or friendly bonds.


Accompanied with guilt and shame because of the actions we participated in during our addiction, it’s a humbling when we realize that we are still worthy of the love and affection that our family and friends have to give us. We want to continue making amends to those we hurt in our addiction but the only real way to do so is by being active in their lives. Actions will always speak louder than words and while we can continue to stay that we are changing, the only way that we can really prove that is by being around for our family and friends. By being present with them once we have gone home, or when they come to visit for family day, showing them that we are there with them in that moment, sober and clear minded, speaks volumes without a single word being shared.


It’s easy to take our family and friends for granted even when we aren’t active in our addictions. We get so caught up in the many distractions that life has to offer than we fall prey to ignoring the present moment. We can be black mirrored by constantly living in and through our phones that we take those in our present environment for granted. We can get so caught up with the fear of missing out of what’s going on in the world that we don’t even know what’s happening with our own families. The solution to this is simple. Setting aside time for family and friends is the first step, but unplugging from the world and being present, aware, and most importantly clean and sober when we are with those we love is the highest compliment and best gift we can ever choose to give someone.


John Pascua MSW

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