My son is 31 and a recovering addict. He has been an addict since the age of 15. My jaw still drops some when I realize more than half his life WE have battled addiction. I am a cancer survivor, and in my opinion, I almost prefer it. Perhaps, because it is me, and not watching on the sidelines as your child self-destructs. Perhaps….
But, because he has a dual diagnosis, and because his history presents opportunities of watching him doing well, great, being homeless, almost dead, and pulling himself up from the “dark hole” once again, my heart aches. Mainly because I know how hard it is to START over yet AGAIN. I think he hit bottom this time. It was almost a full year in 2014 of not hearing from him, only knowing on occasion how bad it was or how many times he over-dosed. As a parent, not swooping in to rescue or to try to save comes with the experience of parenting an addict. It is harder when mental issues are involved. And, there are plenty of opportunities to second guess self. On Christmas night he called. First time in 4 months I heard his voice. And, it wasn’t to ask for anything. It was to tell me he missed us, that he was sober, and trying to rebuild and to live the life he knew GOD wanted him to live. I refrained from peppering him with questions. This was hard. But, I wanted to LISTEN to him. I had one question-what created this epiphany of wanting to live. Because honestly, I can see the WHY behind IT being too hard to want to start over. The obstacles now are taller, the consequences of his choices and actions are bigger and harder to climb over or even walk around them. Jail time is now on his record.
When they are adolescents, we can keep them sober easier. When they are adults, we have learned along this journey just how powerless we truly are over their actions. Our hearts ache, we learn to detach with love, live without knowing. But, all the experience, all the detachment, all the meetings in the world- they are always our “kid”. Whilst I may not “worry” on a daily basis, I certainly keep him in my prayers. Especially now. When the being sober part is confronting the “FML” part of sobriety. Their reality is seeking in, and it’s not pretty. Putting my faith and my prayers that Just For Today something favorable happens. Something “good” occurs. Maybe today application #10 for being approved for an apartment will happen.