Michael wrote to me from San Patrignano, a recovering community in Italy: My story is very similar to Jeff’s. My life was a mess: I was thrown out of rehabs and out of the Marine Corps; I dropped out of college on a baseball scholarship and walked out of countless treatment centers. I was convinced that I was the smart one doing heroin, ‘living the good life,’ while everyone else was living the ‘sucker’s life.’
My mother frantically searched for a cure to fix me. We tried 12-step, medication, therapy, in-patient, out-patient. I wasn’t having any of it.
Just when everyone was prepared to write me off as a lost cause, my mother found your book and was deeply moved by its reality and truth. Somehow she picks San Patrignano out of your book and has the courage and determination to “Stay Close” and never give up hope.
We traveled to Rimini and I entered San Patrignano, but with a different attitude. As they say in AA/NA, I was ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired.’
San Patrignano has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. The Marine Corp was a walk in the park compared to this place. Here I was literally taken by the hand and shown how to start living a different way.
I’ve been sober for 3 and ½ years. Thanks to you and your sons for reaching out and trying to comfort and help people who are struggling.
This past Saturday, I traveled to San Patrignano to visit Michael. My heart was filled with joy to see him healthy and strong. I admire both him and his mother for their courage, and their story inspires me. Thanks, Michael, for sharing your story. Jeff, Jeremy and I wish you only good things. We’re here, staying close.
Today’s Promise to consider: It takes courage to confront addiction, both by the addict and by those who love him or her. But where there is life, there is hope. Today, we’ll keep believing.