3. Do you feel as though there was anything you could have done to prevent his addiction?
With this question you really know how to make a parent feel bad.
Every parent of an addict struggles with this every day. What could I have done, what did I miss? Even today this is the question that haunts me. In Al-Anon they teach the 3 C’s. You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it. It’s easy to say, catchy and very hard to accept.
I’ve been asked this question many times in many forms. After a lot of reflection I have finally come to peace with my struggle in this manner, I wrote a blog post about it that might be appropriate. Here is a link. http://parentsofanaddict.blogspot.com/2013/04/what-do-i-wish-i-had-done.html
4. Did you seek therapy to cope with his addiction?
We sought many forms of therapy. We went to family counseling with psychologists. We attended Nar-Anon, NA, AA and Al-Anon meetings trying to learn from others. I actually went a drug rehab and was invited to take part in all activities with addicts and alcoholics for four days. The drug rehab was an enlightening experience but it still wasn’t what I needed.
What helped me most when I was at the end of my rope was in January 2009 I began writing my blog, “An Addict In Our Son’s Bedroom”. I am not a professional writer; I’m not even a good writer. I just began writing anonymously to chronicle my experiences. People began reading and commenting. I wrote more and more people commented. The blog and the commenters became my therapist, counselor and therapy. Sharing my experiences and reading other blogs about other parents experiences provided me the outlet and learning I needed.
5. How is your son able to stay clean now?
Truthfully my son does not like talking about his time of active addiction. I respect him, his recovery is his recovery, and my recovery is my recovery.
From observation I believe a key component in his recovery and staying clean is his son. He has a four-year-old son and from my perspective he lives for that boy. He is the center of his life.
6. How does it feel to help someone who is intentionally harming his body?
There is emptiness and frustration inside that is impossible to describe. I am a “fixer” but I couldn’t fix addiction.
I am a simple guy. Many times I speak in analogies and scenarios. This is a time for one. Imagine yourself as the father of a son. Your son is standing on the railroad tracks and a train is barreling down the tracks towards him. He hears nothing. You begin running towards the tracks as hard as you can and arrive in time to knock him from the tracks but the train hits you. That’s what fathers do. We give our life to save our child. With addiction it doesn’t matter. My son would be standing on another set of tracks the next day.
The frustration got so great one day I told my son to get his stuff and put that shit in my arm so I could enter his world and drag him out of it. His response was he would never do something that bad to anyone.