By Dr. LaTesha W. Thomas

As a child, I had “secrets” with friends and siblings. Sneaking off to the store, hanging out, and sharing stories of first loves and first kisses. Those were the secrets that made friendships and relationships fun; however, some secrets are not good to keep. Instead of smiles, they bring destruction into the lives of those who keep them.

Growing up, I witnessed how addiction ravaged through our family, burned through relationships, and degraded the wholesome Southern family values we were taught. I’ve also witnessed how a family can press through the issues of addiction with resiliency and walk into recovery. Resiliency is not easy to attain, but it can be done just as recovery can. Resiliency isn’t something bestowed upon you once. It is a muscle that can be strengthened by the forces that break down the family fabric, i.e., lies, stealing, mental health issues, homelessness, domestic violence, and a whole plethora of social ills.  

Addiction is not solely an individual or family issue; it is also a societal issue that requires a holistic approach that involves more than one system to be a solid foundation for recovery. Once an individual is ready to confront addiction, families can learn how to process their feelings and establish real boundaries that support the individual rather than enabling the addictive behaviors — in essence, families can rebuild, reestablish and restore familial bonds.

I can testify that individuals and families are resilient and can recover from addiction. I witnessed many of my family members disintegrate from fun-loving individuals into a shell of themselves, creating a sense of anxiety around us. I also witnessed the power of God to restore them to wholeness and sobriety. With that, God restored our relationships with one another and our faith in Him. So if you happen to be reading this article today, I would like to think that it’s not by chance and that God is in the midst and wants you to know that as far as possibilities go, everything is possible to the person who BELIEVES (Mark 9:23).  

Dr. LaTesha W. Thomas is owner and operator of PACE Synervations LLC, which is a private counseling, Christian life coaching and consulting practice; and she works as a full-time social worker with the Mississippi State Department of Health. LaTesha can be found at; on her business Facebook page, PACE Synervations Counseling, Coaching & Consulting; and on YouTube and Instagram as LaTesha W. Thomas. You may also email her at