Last August I found myself walking into a room at a local church for a Parent Recovery support group to Network with other parents. These parents are co workers, friends and neighbors from an upscale suburban community. You see isolation is common until you realize many other people are dealing with similar struggles. As I entered the room, I didn't know how much I needed the support but I was about to find out.
Just 24 hours earlier I woke my son in the early morning and "goon'd" him up for a surprise flight to a small Montana city about 75 miles from Canadian border. You see, after a recent event and almost two years of dealing with the symptoms of a growing addiction, I checked my 16-year-old son into a 60-day inpatient treatment center.
I walked into the room at the neighborhood church thinking that I had "solved" or "fixed" the problem. I now can laugh at how clueless I was. The seats were aligned in a large circle and I took one with my back to the door.
As we began, one by one saying your name and why you were here my eyes grew wide. Many had sons and daughters that have been at war with addiction for more than ten years. Some of the happiest mom's I recall were the ones that their children were incarcerated. They no longer had to worry about receiving "that phone call" of horror in the middle of the night.
Fast forward 8 months I have become a regular at the Thursday night meetings and cannot begin to say how much it has helped me. I have peers (now friends) I can call when the fears and frustrations hit a peak and meet them for coffee. They listen and talk me off the cliff saying, "I know know how you feel or I have been there" and it is ok to feel that way. I too have been called and asked advice and seek opportunities to give back.
My son is still working on his recovery and trying to string sober days together. Part of his recovery is trying to visualize what his life will be like without using drugs and alcohol as a coping medicine while establishing new friendships with others having the same goal. Today my focus is on my recovery and getting my life back together and to not be dominated by my child's addiction. I am at the stage of working my steps and allowing my son to work his. This way I can step out of the way of his recovery and place the power and responsibility of his recovery in him and his higher power...while I do the same.
Dealing with addiction, whether personal or in the family, throws everything you thought you knew about life out the window.
Pray for strength and guidance as you put the seat belt and oxygen mask on yourself first and your loved ones second. In the end, the battle of sobriety is the responsibility of individual and realizing you cannot control addiction but you can contribute to the recovery process in a positive or negative way.
These are my words of recovery and why family members of those struggling with addiction need support and help.
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