When I think of this month’s spiritual word, “Integrity,” I think of what it means – a personal choice to hold oneself to consistency, being honest and having strong moral principles. These virtues bring to mind the true essence of what my fellow Family Support sisters represent to me. Words like truth, honesty, and morality capture the spirit of the path they are on and what we follow because of the 12-step program. I made a conscious decision to turn my chaotic and insane life over to God. I believe in a power greater than myself, that I call, God, and I have the choice to follow a path that he has provided for me if I choose to stay close to him for support, love and guidance.

Whenever I go to speak at the VA or facilitate a Family Support meeting at The Magdalen House, I remain grounded in the belief that this journey is not about me or my son’s recovery path, but in a faith that I must carry the message of hope, joy, laughter and peacefulness to others just like me who suffer from the disease of addiction and alcoholism. Integrity is about truthfulness, responsibility, accountability and moral uprightness. Staying the course and taking ownership regardless of the consequences defines who I am now.

-Deborah Tomlinson