Inner Circles

In our parent support group, we were taught about the concentric circles of the people in our lives who asked questions and expressed interest in what was going on with our kids. We were given permission to give brief, vague answers to the “outer circle people” who were just nosy. We were encouraged to give brief but kind and more helpful information to those in the “middle circle” who we knew genuinely care, such as our own parents. And we were strongly encouraged to grow a strong “inner circle” of people we could be completely honest with about how our kids were doing, how we were doing and with whom we could ask to support us. Specifically, we were encouraged to make sure that our inner circle included more than just ourselves and our co-parent.

When I started on this journey and found my way to my first parent support group, I remember being really angry for the first several weeks because of the laughter I heard.  I couldn’t believe people were laughing and smiling when nothing about my situation was funny or laughable. I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I did not see or feel any hope. And my husband and I were the only ones in my inner circle.

There is something to be said about ” keep coming back,” a common AA phrase. Over time, I realized a shift in myself, and I began to absorb the hope of others from their experiences and stories. Then, those meetings became my salvation. If I could just hold on until the next week’s meeting…..I will be OK once I am with my people. And, the first time I laughed….it surprised and shocked me.  What was this? Can it be that I feel joy and hope again?

It was through the parents who shared their experiences, fears, victories…. their journey through addiction, that I found the encouragement and the support I needed. It was with the group that I started reaching out to others and asking for what I needed. It was from this group that I established my first inner circle after the bottom fell out of my life.

We are a tribe. We stick together and hold each other up.  Use us as your inner circle until others are identified as worthy.  For me, it was because of this first group that I allowed others later, to be a part of my support and inner circle.

Today’s Reminder:  I will “keep coming back” to parent meetings where I found my inner circle, my support. I will remain open to the shared experiences, hope, and even laughter. And as I “keep coming back,” I can then share my experiences, hope, and support to others on the journey and perhaps become a part of their inner circle too.

You can listen to an audio of this devotional at our podcast A Dose of Hope.


You do not have to walk this path alone. Parenting Through Addiction offers courses to teach you about what YOU can do to help your child as they begin their own path to recovery. We also offer various membership options so you can connect with other parents who are on their own journey to find serenity in the face of their child’s addiction. To learn more click here!