A mom sent me a letter from her son: Dear Mom, As I look at the past, I can only imagine the pain I’ve caused you. I’m sorry for every hurt. Today, I’m 23 days sober and there is so much I wish I could change, but I can’t do anything about it. All I can do is to try my hardest to accept where I am now, to do my best to succeed from here on out, and to be a son again to you and Dad. I’m treating this as if I am being reborn and need to learn how to live. Thank you for still believing in me and keeping faith. I choose life!
My reflection: What made this young man choose life? His mom wrote that he had been in, “10 rehabs, 12 years of addiction, PCP, heroin, opiates, Hepatitis C, STD’s, you name it, flat lined several times.” I’ve heard many recovering addicts tell me that the most dire consequences of their addiction brought them to sobriety.
Today’s Promise to consider: This young man wrote, “I’m 23 days sober and there is so much I wish I could change. Today, I choose life.” As parents, watching our child suffer is counterintuitive to everything we believe is our role. But with addiction, we need to get out of the way and allow him to feel the consequences of his addiction. For me, I will love my son, stay close and pray he chooses life.2975
I once intervened on my son in the hopes of getting him off the streets and in jail where I felt he would be much safer and perhaps have time for his mind to heal and accept recovery. My plan did work but while in jail several other inmates believed he was an informant and they beat him half to death. It’s a long detailed story on how this all evolved so I won’t go into the details. However, what this taught me was NOT to get involved either directly or indirectly. If he had been killed I would have had to live with the fact that it was because of MY actions. The very best I can do is educate myself fully on the disease of addiction, work with a professional alcohol/drug counselor and work a 12 step program with a sponsor, praying for God’s strength and mercy.
Wow Pat thanks for sharing that sad but powerful story. I can relate. When my husband and I tried to force my son to go to rehab in Florida and get off of suboxene after 5 years, he ended up in jail. For the past two years since, I have been struggling with what my role in his life is. A supportive letter, a care package, an occasional trip 8 hours north to a state prison? But I slipped back into sending him everything he asked for, including money to other inmates that were beating him up and threatening to cut him. I felt as if I were in jail with him. Recently he plead guilty to a dirty urine ticket and was isolated for 6 months for the third time since being locked up. How would it have been different if I refused from day one to send anything?, I ask myself. If I had stayed out of the way?
I feel like I have a chance to change my actions today, now that he is out of immediate danger, and cannot call home to ask for anything. I have set new boundaries in a letter, and am working my program so that I do not slip back again. I am hoping that my son will also use this opportunity to change his actions and to “choose life”.