Wednesday, January 31, 2018

You Can't Do This Alone

A part of my recovery process as a parent of an addict is speaking to young people about addiction and what happens to a family.

Last night I spoke again to young people for the Johnson County Department of Corrections. It energizes this old man to do these talks.

After I finished a young man hung around until everyone left. He said to me he used needles. He told me he had never heard what he was doing put in a way I spoke. No one said it in a way that made him think until today. He said he had a lot to think about, a lot to think about what he was doing. Then he kept thanking me over and over.

So many amazing things done and said by these young people I can't detail on here because of confidentiality.

I am not naive enough to believe one talk will change a young persons life but I do believe bricks build strong foundations and I am happy to be a brick.

When my son was actively using I struggled with the concept of why I seemed to have no impact on him no matter what I said or did. Nobody loved him like his mother and I but we seemed to have no impact on his using. It took me a long time to realize that sometimes others can have a bigger impact on my son than either of us.

Sometimes counselors, therapists, other addicts in recovery, police officers, judges and strangers can have a bigger impact than Mom and Dad.

Don't fool yourself into believing that they do things or enter recovery because of Mom and Dad. They do it for themselves. Be patient, allow and encourage others to enter your child's life. Your loved one that is addicted to drugs must discover for them self there is a different reality possible being clear and sober.

Mom and Dad, I learned one of the best things I could do for my son was to provide opportunities for discovery.


KB said...

Wise words indeed!

Anonymous said...

We were told in our sons first round of treatment to put his care "into the hands of professionals." It was very difficult to do because of his young age but looking back it was some of the best advice we were given.

Barbara Hess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara Hess said...

As a mom of a addict:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.
My son is a addict. I have been lost as a mother for about 7 years but what is worse is that he has been lost and missed out on life. He has been in his own prison which has been a trailer that his father and myself have continued to put him in because we can’t deal with him.
His only hope now is going to jail.

Dad and Mom said...

Barbara, I can feel your exasperation in your comment. Hate to say it this way, been there done that. I can fell it from you because I have felt it.

There is hope but do not misplace your hope. After so many years with our son I began asking a question which I felt there was no good answer. That simple question, "What if it doesn't get better, what if this is all I get?"

It was hard but then I realized I had to refocus my life. That was when I finally understood that I couldn't fix him. The trouble was I am a fixer. After understanding I could not fix him I understood. My logic then realized that across the world thousands of people each day stop using drugs and alcohol and enter recovery. My role then was to do what I could to keep him alive until his day arrived. All the while understanding what I am dealing with I could fail too. Luckily he made it to his day.

In that journey I realized that to accomplish my mission I had to be healthy too. That allowed me to work on myself to be healthy so that when his day came I was there to help.

Taylor Graham said...

As the daughter of a addict, I have had to learn very similar truths. I wanted so badly for my dad to realize the life he was missing out on with all his daughters, and now grandchildren. It broke my heart to think that he was choosing alcohol over me. After years of prayer, my dad is finally 3 months sober!! Thank you for sharing your family's story! Sometimes just hearing other people's stories, and realizing you aren't alone, is the only thing that gets you through the day.