One Mother’s Story: An Angel in the Making
A treasured friend once said, “Addicts are angels in the making.” Six years ago I never would have believed that. Today I am watching a miracle unfold.
When my son was a senior in high school, I shrugged off his failing interest in class to senioritis. After all, he had been accepted into a major university honors program for that fall. So why worry?
Then one evening his favorite teacher phoned. My son’s friends were worried he was in the wrong crowd and smoking marijuana.
And so, the spiral began. An “innocent” experiment with marijuana erupted into a full blown addiction to prescription painkillers, heroin and other drugs. Freshman year he failed college and moved home. Working part-time and attending our local community college barely masked his growing sickness. Finally, faced with the choice of inpatient rehab or our turning him out on the streets, (where we got the courage to take that stand I’ll never know) he agreed to inpatient rehab.
Thirteen days into the program he was kicked out for using. Clearly, he wasn’t ready to stop. He agreed to another facility where he learned some coping skills. Next stop: a halfway house in Florida. It took another full year and a fresh, 105-day program before sobriety and recovery took hold.
As we know, addiction is a family disease. Once our son entered his first rehab program, a family therapist asked me, “Your son is getting treatment. What are you going to do for yourselves?” Al-Anon became our answer. I soon found a group with parents suffering the same anguish. My husband attended with me and we quickly became regulars.
Al Anon saved our lives – just as the 12-step program and his own spiritual awakening saved our son. Today, he’s been clean 21 months – a miracle considering where he was. Each day is cause for celebration. There are mornings I ooze gratitude. Our son is not just “clean.” He’s rebuilding his life. Active in his own home group, attending meetings regularly, he also sponsors others. He works two jobs and this semester is trying school again at a local community college.
But what’s best is having him back in our lives. We talk about addiction. We swap stories about our groups and our shared progress. He offers encouragement – to us!! And he offers to talk with anyone who is suffering.
Today, I am so grateful. And today is all we have.
Sometimes, when my son works the morning shift at his hotel, he texts me a picture of the sunrise over the ocean. I cry for the beauty he sees and for the man he is becoming. An angel in the making.
Today’s Promise to Consider: This is one mother’s story. We join together to share our experience, strength and hope. We bring addiction out of the darkness and share our truths.