WHEN DOES RECOVERY HAPPEN?

A woman wrote to me: My younger sister is a recovering heroin addict. She is 25 years old and has been to 17 rehab centers, and never finished one program. Last year, she completed her time in jail (since she did not fulfill the requirements of rehab) and that seems to have made a difference for her.  She is recently married, pregnant and, as far as we can tell, sober.

My reflection: When my son was in active addiction, he bounced among rehabs, jails, hospitals, and detox centers. I never knew what to do – should I pay for another rehab that I knew he would walk out of as soon as he cleaned up, should I be grateful he was arrested and detained, should I do something – or nothing?

Today’s Promise to consider: There is not one definitive answer as to what makes a suffering person choose to change her life and stay sober. Did she hit her point of desperation? Is it time in jail, rehab programs, treatment centers, AA, professional help? Is it all of these things? The answer must be found in the addict herself. She must choose a different life, and we pray that she chooses before it is too late. We are powerless, but today we can and will stay close.

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libbycataldiMerlene SibleyMindy BartholomaeMaureenPat Nichols Recent comment authors
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B Y
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B Y

Thank you for your writing Libby. I look forward to Thursdays bc of your email.
I relate to your writing bc we don’t know what to do with our child now facing prison at 19 years old! She had a presidential college scholarship and an athletic scholarship offered to her in 2018! Now facing 10 years in prison! My mind can not rest. Sorrow swallows me and God alone knows the depth of my grief.

Pat Nichols
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B Y

I understand! My son was arrested numerous times for minor felony drug charges. Eventually he faced a ten year prison sentence. They offered him drug court as an alternative which he choose. He completed the program and after twenty-one years of addiction he has been clean for six years. Miracles do happen and your daughter may find long term recovery due to her prison sentence. It sounds odd but prison might be just what she needs. This may be what wears her addiction out! Our prayers for you and your daughter.

Jan
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Jan

Hi , I always feel like my daughter is the worst. She is 49 and never got recovery, but did say to me that I was right all these years. She is homeless and has had a horrific life that I have witnessed. My story is 40 yrs clean and sober. Luv u all jan

Pat Nichols
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My counselor once told me he had a client that had spent one million dollars on treatment programs for his addicted child. The lesson I learned was to provide one formal treatment program only. My son would go to numerous other programs such as the Salvation Army ARC. I also learned this was my son’s journey, not mine. My role was to “Stay Close” but stay our of his way! Libby’s book “Stay Close” was a big help in supporting my recovery from codependency. This is what I know, the sooner I got out of my son’s way the sooner… Read more »

Maureen
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Maureen

So true Libby. I went to the ends of the earth to help my son through countless relapses and rehabs and jail sentences over a 12 year period. . I did what I felt called to do but in the end, only he could make the turn and sadly it took incarceration to break the destructive grip it had over our son. Let’s be clear; addiction is a powerful, overwhelming force and our loved ones are often powerless once addiction has taken over. We as a nation need to meet this epidemic head on with all the resources we can… Read more »

Mindy Bartholomae
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Mindy Bartholomae

This is SUCH an important post as there is no one size fits all for treatment. No road map either, unfortunately. I heard a radio piece recently that talked about “evidence based treatment” which is clearly important and has become a buzz word of sorts, but the reality is the our addicted loved ones will only choose to face their disease head on when they are ready. We went through painful years of trying to “help” our son, pleading for him to get the care he needed, forcing his hand on getting into treatment, all the while learning the hard… Read more »

Merlene Sibley
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Merlene Sibley

My son has left his 10th treatment center in 10 years. He was there for four months and once again, I had such hope. Then he walked out one day earlier this week. I go to Alanon, and went to my first Naranon meeting yesterday. I feel like I “should” be able to “handle” this better after all these years of what I think is working my own recovery. I am heartbroken and in full fear today.