ONE PARENT: ONE STORY, PART 4

photo

Her son sent this photo during his morning shift at work

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.

 

 

 

2056
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Linda Labbe
Linda Labbe
8 years ago

Lovely post for me to be reading this morning. I really needed this. Love your blog, one of my favorites. The first rehab my son was in the counselor asked how we were doing and I remember telling him when he gets better, I’ll get better. Little did I know I would be on this addiction roller coaster for 3 years now. Takes a while to get it but you realize we are all victims of this disease and we have to work on ourselves too. Trying to do that this morning. So glad for you that your son is doing well. Really helps hearing good stories. Hoping my son gets on the right path again. Thank you.

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

I love reading stories of addiction recovery and rebuilding lives. Hearing these stories of success help me cope with losing my son and grandson to this horrible disease. I also love reading how parents get into al anon (which I’m so sorry I never did) and share each others stories. It HAS to help the families caught up in the chaos of addiction and their loved one’s recovery. Recovery is difficult for the addict. I learned the hard way and also through one-on-one psychiatric therapy. But, I also found out that the doctors didn’t know enough about the disease to really help the parents. That is why support groups are crucial for success.

Our friend Pat, who has been very active on this blog, has been involved in a support group that he has shared with us. I admire his persistence with working on his own recovery. Thank you Pat, for sharing your difficult journey with your own recovery. It’s hard work. And, because of it, you will experience the peace of mind you and your wife deserve.

Thank you Libby for yet another story of recovery. My son and grandson are looking down from the heavens and teaching other angels. After all, they were angels in the making.

Pat Nichols
Pat Nichols
8 years ago

Wonderful insight Barbara and Linda.

What is such a blessing is that recovery is possible regardless of how deep the disease takes our children. They can recover and live productive lives.

Each day my son is clean I rejoice, each and every second is a gift to his family and give thanks to God.

I have learned not to allow fear, worry etc. to interfere with the joy I feel and the blessings of each and every minute of him being clean and in recovery.

In prayer for all the addicted children and their families.

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

This is my Thursday night meeting. Thank you all for sharing. It’s always good to hear a story of recovery. It is uplifting, and filled with hope for everyone who is still praying for that kind of recovery for their family member. I too used to think I’ll feel better when my son is better. Ten years of waiting would have been too long. Thank God I somehow found Alanon which taught me I needed recovery. I needed to find a way to go on with life whether my son chose to get sober or not. Sometimes this disease wins and they don’t have the recovery we want for them. The hope is for us too. The hope is that it does not claim whole families as well. Of course the hope is that everyone can recover. The reality is sometimes that we need to chose to move forward without our addict or alcoholic. We may be powerless over the addict, but we can learn to live and let live, one day at a time.
Have a good week everyone

sarah
sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  libbycataldi

^^^ he’s mine! God is so so good Libby!!!! I spoke to him tonight and he told me about sending you the email… he told me how happy he is. God is the driver and we are just the passengers… thank you for being such a great passenger Libby!! There were days that ending it seemed like a better option than going forward… days that I really felt like I wanted to be on the other end ready and waiting for when he arrived… thats the truth. But oddly, the book came to me through my boy and I was given something that was real… some kind of (real life) “guide” and then life changed. Keep the faith and the hope.
PS- Absolutely nothing changed for me until I got on my knees everyday thanking God that my boy was still alive and if I didn’t know if he was, I just thanked Him for whatever I could for that day… you are so right about gratitude. What miracles it brings. <3

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

How sweet it was for the young boy who wrote to you. I’m sure it made you feel so very good. God has blessed you Libby, with a wonderful gift. He is so right. Don’t ever stop what you’re doing!

Jane
Jane
8 years ago

How beautiful it is when they realize that life can be so much better without the drug. Thanks for sharing Libby

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Jane,

You are SO right!! How beautiful it is!

Love,
Barbara

Libby
Libby
8 years ago

Sharing our stories of hope and strength makes such a difference. I am reminded of Dr. MacAfee’s words, “We need to take addiction out of the shadows, where it does its best work, and into the light.” So true…and that’s what we are doing here. Joining together and fight addiction. Love you all!!!!!

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Thank you all for helping me. I appreciate all of you. I treasure your friendships. It means so much to me.

Thank you for bringing addiction into the light, here. We help each other, here. And, it’s here that we learn from one another.

“celebrate recovery” is at a church right around my corner. I will go this week. To share my story. To hopefully make a difference in someone’s life.

Libby
Libby
8 years ago

Dearest Barbara,

WONDERFUL that you will share your story at ‘Celebrate Recovery.’ You WILL make a difference! Love to you!!!!!

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

Dear Libby,

Please tell this mother (in this story) that her son took a beautiful picture! Thank him for sharing it with us!

Much love,
Barbara

Libby
Libby
8 years ago

Barbara, You are the BEST!! I’ll tell the mom. Love you!

Libby
Libby
8 years ago

Dear Sarah,

Yes, it was your son who wrote to me a letter of gratitude. What a great kid!!! He gave me his permission to send it to you and my heart is filled with joy for you both! He came home to himself and you. He is good today!! What a celebration!!!

Your son said that your hope in him kept him strong. God bless you both.

Love you! We’ll keep praying and believing in miracles.

L