My son’s couragous fight - 8 months of sobriety and counting
I hope mine can be a story of hope and provide inspiration to someone who is feeling despair. I remember those days only too well and truly hope that I never have to go back there again. I have a wonderful 20 year old son. To those looking at him from outside, he looked like he had it all...football player, class president, beautiful girls around him, smart and charismatic. Just a great kid. But I knew from about 7th grade on that something was not right. I think he started drinking around the end of 8th grade. Over his high school years, things just slowly progressed and by his junior year he was probably smoking pot pretty regularly. We knew there was a problem but did not know what (or did not want to know...not sure which). Even if we did know, what would we do? Pull him out of school? He was class president, football captain...what would people think??? We assumed it was just a phase and he was just being rebellious. We sent him off to college with high hopes that he would find a new group and be intellectually challenged and put this part of his life behind him. That was not the case. On a cold day in March of this year, he called home to tell us he was in trouble. He told us about his drug use (at this point it was oxycontin and roxies but it was alot of other things getting to that point). He told us about selling drugs to pay for his habit and told us he was tired and did not want to live this way. Within 48 hours we had him in a treatment facility where he stayed for 8 weeks. He has now been living in a sober living facility for young adult men about 4 hours from our home. He has 8 1/2 months of sobriety and we pray daily that he continues on the path he is on. He seems totally committed to his new way of life but it has been a long road to get there. I have left out of this story all of the ugliness that got us to the point of him calling and asking for help as all of our stories are the same. The lies, stealing, manipulating...everyone can relate to that. The behavior during his years of using was horrible and it will take a long time to fully get over that. However, he asked us when he went into treatment to not listen to his words anymore, but to just watch his feet. We have been doing that and are so excited to see where that is taking him (and us). He is back in school (online university) and wants to pursue a PhD in psychology to work in the field of addiction. People ask me if it is like I have my old son back and I have to answer no. I really did not like my old son. What I have now is a humble, gracious, wonderful version of the man he was supposed to be. He got lost on the way but we feel so hopeful now that this will be what his life is. We are proud of him (and believe me, that is not something we have been able to say for years!). I hope his story gives hope to someone else out there who is experiencing something like this. It is a life changing event to have a child who is an addict but there is hope and there are good stories. I realize 8 1/2 months is not a long time in the world of addiction, but it is a start and a good one at that and I am so thankful for the many people who have been in his life who have invested in helping him become the man he is supposed to be...they are truly angels in my eyes. I only hope my son and I can give back to others as so many have given to us.