There are many red flags as a parent of an addict, but I will focus on the lies. All addicts lie! My son at the height of his addiction lied to protect himself from the truth. His life had spiraled out of control. He lied to his boss, his family, friends, and to himself. During the last 6 months, prior to entering New Life House, my son was physically, emotionally and spiritually unwell. He had lost a great deal of weight, was not sleeping or eating well and had charged thousands of dollars on his credit card. And, with all this going on, he was trying to maintain a 50 hour work week.
My son has been using drugs and alcohol for close to 10 years. The lies started as a coping mechanism to avoid the stress in his life caused by school, drive to do well in sports and friend and family pressures. The lies were hard for him to tell at first and started as half truths but later became second nature. And then he realized that the drugs could relieve the stress he found in everyday life. He lied when he felt cornered and was trying to cover up his addiction.
Lying traps you in addiction. You have to lie about getting your drugs, using them and covering up the after effects. You get so good at lying that you can even lie to yourself and believe it! You completely lose your sense of self and cannot look at yourself in the mirror. The more you lie, the less you like yourself, and the more you isolate yourself from healthy relationships. Our son went thru many different friends and ruined many relationships.
Many parents lie to themselves and think they can fix or control the addiction. They will help the addict in any way they can out of love for their child. I was one of these parents and was allowing my son to continue using without consequences. He slowly was destroying his life and ours!
Somewhere amongst all the lies, we found our truth. My husband and I could no longer live our lives helping our son to slowly kill himself. We learned to “detach with love”. This is a principal concept in ALANON and this worked for us. We refused to allow our son’s addiction to control our lives. Our healing process had started as we made the choice to ask him to leave our home. And, this was his turning point. After a short phone call to New Life House, alumni contacted our son told him about his journey thru this program and how it has changed his life. And, our son made the choice to begin this program!
New Life House is a strong community of men and families that support each other fiercely in recovery and sobriety. They have given my son the skills to live a life with purpose and giving back. They have allowed him to speak his truth and become reacquainted with his real self. And our family bonds have become stronger.
My son has been clean and sober for 1 ½ years with the help of New Life House and a solid foundation in the AA community. He truly works this program every day, not with perfection but with intention to live a better life. We are so thankful and grateful to the New Life House Community because they have given us our son back!
Dennis, LeAnn and Bryan