But your husband might run for office.

The key word in this sentence is “but.”

(Because my husband is not going to run for state office!)

These words were said by a well intentioned family member. It was a warning that having a known addict as a child would most certainly preclude any future political appointments.

So secrecy, or discretion, is key.

The problem with secrecy is that it doesn’t invite change.
Your “problem” remains hidden – swaddled in shame.
Addiction is one of the last frontiers to be openly, and honestly, discussed. It used to be common to deny a relative’s homosexuality. (To put them in the proverbial closet!) Thankfully those days are behind us. Many parents will proudly introduce you to their child and their child’s partner. But not many will freely admit that someone in their home struggles with the disease of addiction. However, numbers don’t lie. And the alarming number of young people overdosing across the nation is testament that the problem is right here…. and right there… and over there. It is no longer expedient to be discreet.

As for politicos with addicts in the family… I can think of quite a few. In the recent primary debates Carly Fiorina spoke of the loss of her step daughter to addiction. Ted Cruz’s sister overdosed. Jeb Bush’s daughter smuggled crack cocaine into her rehab facility. Donald Trump’s brother died of alcoholism. And how about those who suffered from the disease of addiction themselves? Our very own mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, is in recovery. Our nation’s Drug Czar, Michael Botticelli, is in recovery. Former President George Bush freely admits that he had to give up alcohol because he couldn’t control his use.

And what about the first lady Betty Ford? In the words of Barbara Bush, “Betty transformed her pain into something great for the common good. Because she suffered, there will be more healing. Because of her grief, there will be more joy.”

Now that’s worth talking about.

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