February 21st, 2010 at 4:41 am
Here’s a true story for insight on the truth about “hitting bottom.”
In my second year of answering our local parent hot line a lady called and asked me if I was the same person who was answering this phone line last year. I said I was and she informed that I had spoken to her last year about her son; she then asked me if I would meet her in person, as she wanted to discuss her situation in person.
I have spoken to over two hundred parents and not one had ever asked me to meet with them so I hesitated to say yes. I thought to myself, was she angry about what I had told her? Was she holding me responsible for her “situation?” I attempted to get more information but she said she had to explain in person. I said yes and we greed to meet in the morning at a local restaurant. My curiosity was running wild and I didn’t sleep that night.
I arrived early and waited nervously. Shortly before
10:00 am she arrived. She sat down and thanked me for taking my time to meet with her. She began by telling me that I was one of the must understanding and helpful persons she has ever talked to regarding her son.
When we last spoke I knew everything you told me was what I needed to be doing but my husband and I decided we would wait as we wanted our son to graduate high school. He had a scholarship to a college in Texas. We didn’t want his use of drugs to be on his record and if the college found out he might lose his scholarship.
In March my son attended a fraternity party and they rented the third floor in a hotel. My son was high on LSD and I was told his last words were, “I can fly, I can fly” as he dove throw a third floor window to his death.
I wanted to meet with you in person and ask that you never stop taking parents calls. Please tell my story. Tell the parents not to wait. At this point she quit talking, she lowered her head. Her hair covered her face but I saw her tears fall on the table. Tears began to roll down my cheeks and I felt a sense of sadness I had never experienced before. Her head raised and she stared out the window. I waited; she turned and looked at me. I promised her I would never stop taking calls and her story will help many parents find the strength to take the necessary action to intervene on their child.
This experience made me focus on the fact that we, as parents, need to “raise” our children’s “bottom” by intervening early and often. No one knows what the bottom is or when it will occur. It is different with every child.
What does this say to me? As parents we try over and over to fix, intervene and sometimes do the wrong things, but the idea of giving up because it seems anything and everything we try to do is wrong, so I should just give up and completely detach. Some may want to employ this strategy but that strategy has consequences too. My advice, there is enabling and there is harm we as parents can do but I also believe in never letting our addict forget that they are loved. Tell your addict you love them and believe in them, those positive words may not mean anything today but you can never know the future.