A New Life House Mother Shares Her Story | Let Go and Let God
After Christmas, my New Life House graduate came home for his first trip home since entering treatment. Three years had elapsed between our last empty holiday, with addiction showing itself in full force, and this sober visit. While we’ve all been sharply focused on the changes taking place in our graduate, I took the opportunity to reflect on what was changing within me.
The old me would have begun scheduling all of our time, assembling large family dinners, buying tickets to shows, organizing “ski dates.” That old mania of controlling everything so that it appeared perfect, nobody bored or acting out. Keeping all balls in the air. In my mind, meeting everybody else’s expectations, ignoring my own wishes.
The new me has a newfound peace about family situations and obligations. Through my time with Al-Anon, working my own steps, I am learning to let go of the constant pleasing. For my son’s visit, I resisted making plans. I entered this new reality with a clean schedule, letting the days arrive without panic. We allowed ourselves to simply be present with each other. This wasn’t easy. Loved ones were eager to see our son, wish him well. But I acknowledged that this visit was part of his journey and he needed to set up his days. Everything else could either wait or not happen at all.
The old me would have worried when my son met with old friends. It was an important step. He needed to share his story and move through that chapter of his life. I would have watched the clock, checked in, picked a fight, or lost sleep. Nothing productive to diffuse my anxiety about my own lack of control.
Instead, the new me let my graduate determine his own priorities, assess situations with old friends on his own terms and without my interference. By stepping aside emotionally, I got to witness the incredible character my son developed at New Life House. He soared through his time at home. He was honorable, reflective, helpful and respectful to everyone.
I was also keenly aware of the ties that bind the brothers of New Life House. Our son was in contact with his sponsee and his friends throughout his vacation. I could tell he missed them and his “new life” in Los Angeles. For me, that was the greatest gift of the holiday. My son feels connected, valued, supported and purposeful. He’s in charge of his life. He values his sobriety. I’m thrilled to be a witness to his progress, turning over the reins to him and his higher power. When I let go, he gets to fly.