It is hard to believe that my son, Sean, has finally found recovery and has been sober for 3-1/2 years. I never thought that I would be able to say those words, as I honestly believed that he was going to end up overdosing in his disease, the very same way his father ended his life when Sean was only 4 years old.
Sean was in and out of detox, rehab facilities and sober living houses numerous times, never willing to surrender to his disease. He always seemed to revert back to what was comfortable for him. I played an enormous role in that process, as I was very easily manipulated by him, and always wanted to believe that he was telling the truth.
It was not until I found Al-Anon for myself that I was able to understand not only the disease of addiction, but that I, too, was unhealthy and needed to be restored to sanity through working my own 12 steps. By immediately learning how to detach with love (one of the Al-Anon slogans) and setting solid boundaries, it dramatically changed the dynamic between Sean and me, which made him realize that he unable to manipulate me any longer and that I was no longer willing to financially support his addiction. I also learned that I had absolutely no control over him or his disease and it was up to him to find his own way.
My acquiescence to the idea of allowing Sean to go to Miracle House [New Life House] came with great reluctance. It was a complete “God shot” how I got introduced to New Life House at the most critical point for him. A friend of Sean’s (whom he used to get high with) had gone through the program and called me up late one evening to share with me how he found recovery through New Life House and wanted me to allow Sean to try the program. He had been speaking to Sean about it, but Sean was convinced that I was not going to let him try it.
What a journey it has been for both of us. He ended up going through the program, graduating, and moving out to his own apartment with a couple of the guys from the house.
The program at New Life House was very different from any of the other houses or programs Sean was involved in. New Life House is a program of accountability. Every guy in the house not only looks out for one another, but also will call each other out on any kind of inconsistent behavior. With the help of the amazing staff, Sean was able to get down to the core issues buried deep inside, as well as do the necessary work to be able to walk through his uncomfortable feelings.
I am so blessed that our relationship has evolved into an unconditionally honest relationship and that he is an independent adult with an amazing support group.
Although I lost the years while Sean was using, I look forward to many happy sober years with my new son!