Experience repeatedly shows us that those who live through a crisis without losing faith are often the best able to bear hope to those who are suffering. This is true whether the suffering one endures is of body or of spirit. Perhaps we all know someone who has survived cancer and becomes an extraordinary advocate and helper for those who receive that frightening diagnosis. The cancer survivor is deeply attuned to the emotions that come with that diagnosis, to the difficult path of surgery and chemotherapy, and to the immense joy that comes if at last remission is declared. All of the Twelve Step programs, a time-proven gift for those who struggle with addictions, are rooted in the compassionate understanding of those who have faced the same challenges. The one who has fought the constant battle to overcome addiction to alcohol, drugs, or other means of seeking to cope with painful realities can be a life-changing support to another who wakes up to the devastating effects of addiction.
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