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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Road To Recovery


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Ultimately my husband did go to rehab, but left after staying for ten days. Naturally, he fell right back into his struggles with the drugs and our family nightmare continued. The next five years were filled with ups and downs. He went in and out of rehab. I had joined Nar-anon and attended meetings, however, life had become increasingly difficult for our children and me.

After much consideration, therapy, and discussions with rabbonim and professionals, I finally decided to give him an ultimatum – either he checks himself into rehab and stays there until they discharge him or he gives me a get. Sadly, he chose drugs over his family, a decision I am sure he deeply regretted until the day he died.

Addiction kills if left untreated. Its important to know that even in the “frummest” of communities closet addicts exists. People who are struggling with alcohol, drugs, gambling and many other addictions. Many families are struggling with experiences similar to my own. This series of articles will be dedicated to addressing both the addicts and their loved ones. It will be an advice column, a place where people can voice their questions and concerns and receive experience, strength and hope. It is our hope that this will help to remove the stigma in our community and empower those in need to hold strong while battling this treacherous disease. It works if you work it, so work it – you are worth the time and the effort.

Brocha Silverstein
roadtorecover@yahoo.com

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More Articles from Brocha Silverstein
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I feel so much shame about my disease and the pain I have caused my family and friends. I am trying to make things better now, and hopefully I will be able to beat this disease for good. As they say in the meetings: “One day at a time!”

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Dear Brocha,

Hello! My name is Dovid* and I am a Gambling Addict. I am 37 years old, with bli ayin hara, three wonderful children, and a special wife who is the source of my strength and recovery.

Dear Brocha,

Thank you so much for your column and for shining light on this matter.

Addiction has been gnawing at the souls of our community for a long time. Yet, it still remains a disease that is swept under the table.

Dear Brocha,

As I write this letter I am overcome with emotions. Relief, fear, trepidation, elation…the feelings are all jumbled up inside of me.

Please allow me to back track.

My daughter, who recently turned 20, just left to rehab. After four years of denial, lies, manipulation, anger and chaos she finally admitted she has a problem with alcohol.

Dear Brocha,…

Today, I am a father of six bochurim b”ah. While I love and appreciate all of my children, unfortunately the Yomim Tovim aren’t filled with the good memories as in the days of yore. You see, one of my sons got involved with the wrong crowd, and at 16 he looks forward to Shabbos and Yom Tov as simply another opportunity to drink. Now that Sukkos is almost upon us, instead of joyfully anticipating, I am cautiously fearful about what Simchas Torah will bring.

Dear Brocha,

I am married for 5 years and am unsure how to proceed with my husband and his behavior. Our religion incorporates alcohol throughout the year and during life cycle events. Purim, Pesach, bar mitzvahs, weddings and every Shabbos kiddush (not to mention the kiddush club) all seemingly require alcohol as an integral and necessary ingredient. For my husband, it seems like there is always a “good reason” to make a l’chayim.

Dear Brocha,

Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story. I am getting chizuk just from reading about your journey. I know my husband and I need to go to a meeting, and we will. Let me tell you my story:

After listening with an empathetic ear for about an hour, he asked me if I went to Nar-Anon meetings. “Me?!” I responded. “Maybe the Rabbi didn’t understand me. I’m not the one who needs help! I’m here seeking how to fix my addict!” “Well,” he replied softly, “You need to go to the meetings. It […]

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