I hear a lot of people say a lot of things about social media and not all of it is good. I completely understand when I see people post pictures of family members on their death beds or even laying in their caskets. I believe that those things are deeply personal and should not be posted on social media. But that’s my personal opinion and I have no right or reason to try to force my opinions on anyone. To each his own.
On the other hand I see a lot of people who post graduation pictures, wedding and anniversary pictures and pictures of newborns and baby pictures. Happy times from holiday celebrations and the like.
Social Media has become one of the fastest growing outlets for communications and is growing by leaps and bounds everyday. I for one never thought that it would be as wildly popular as it has become and definitely didn’t think that I would ever use it the way that I do now. I went from having a Facebook page that I barely used to now using it everyday all day. To also having Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Instagram, Instant messaging and of course WordPress for my blog From Struggle To Strength. I also have a online store. Amongst other things.
In all the years that I have been using social media I never once thought of it as a vehicle to find family members that I haven’t been in touch with. So let me tell you. It’s a small world. Through a friends happy birthday post to her Mother that I replied to, I got a notification that someone else made a comment on that post. Usually I ignore those notifications because I find them to be highly irritating. But as I looked at the name of the person who commented I saw that we had the same last name. Then I said wait a minute I have a cousin by that name. So out of curiosity I checked that person’s page. BAM. Just like that BAM it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was my cousin whom I haven’t spoken to in over 30 years. I was shocked, amazed and overwhelmed all at the same time.
I felt a little apprehensive at first. I mean it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen her. What if this and what if that ran through my mind. Then I realized that it was you know who trying to keep me isolated and I immediately shut those thoughts down. I sent her a message and a friend request. Shortly after she sent her phone number and said to call her. I called my long lost cousin and we spoke for the first time in over 30 years. She told me a lot of things that had happened over the years and I did the same. We made plans to meet up when I was coming to NY. I also got the chance to get phone numbers of her siblings and spoke to them as well.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with my cousins this past weekend. It was an amazing feeling seeing them again but to add some icing to this cake, I also got to meet the next 2 generations of cousins as well. My cousins children and some of their children. It was a little overwhelming and I was at a loss for words but at the same time it was a fantastic and awesome experience. One that I won’t soon forget. I still have quite a few other cousins that I have yet to see and meet but this opened the door and I look forward to it. I feel like the soldier who was lost at war and presumably dead only to be found alive and reunited with his family. In a sense that is exactly what happened. The only difference is the war that I fought was a battle within myself. But it was a war none the less. They both have casualties and cause enormous pain and suffering.
Needless to say I finally began to realize what had been missing since I’ve gotten clean. I am realizing now that there had been a void that was causing me to have some resentments. The void of missing my family and of feeling alone. A void that I created many years ago locked and loaded and caught up in the grips of my addiction. Suddenly I felt a weight being lifted of my shoulders. I suddenly realized that I need to get connected with my family. I need my blood family in my life just as much as I need my recovery family in my life.
This weekend we are meeting up again. I am sure the majority of the families will be there and I am looking forward to it. I am grateful that God placed me in a position to reunite with my loved ones. He knew exactly what I needed. This will be the jarring experience that will bring forth a more rigorous effort of me reaching out to my family members from both sides of my family that I have been MIA from for too long.
And to think that it all was made possible by a Facebook post.
Stay tuned because the journey continues.
RECOVERY in all areas of our life IS POSSIBLE.
Peace and blessings.