When I was first approached about writing a piece on Experience, Strength and Hope, I have to admit I was surprised at myself; I had writers block. I think I really never sat quietly and reflected on just what my “experience” has actually been. This has forced me to look back on some painful but important memories, so here it goes…
My experience with my son living as an active addict was short lived. Our family was in utter shock when we first became aware of his problem, and yes we were probably in denial and definitely ignorant on the subject of addiction. It just seemed to hit us so quick and with blunt force trauma! Grant went to an out of state college and came back for a summer break, out of sorts. Although I knew something was not right, I was not prepared to walk into his room and find him drugged out in his bed. I’m skipping all the details that lead up to this event because I have written about it before in relations to drugs and college. I want to focus on the experience after the fact.
My real experience came from learning what to do for our son and finding him the best help available. Grant initially went to a local 30 day program with most of his time spent in an outpatient. When he graduated that program, we were very confused at the fact that he was just expected to come home and resume life as usual, with the exception of this 19 year old driving himself around town hitting up AA meetings.
We received no council or recommendations on what would ideally be the best next step.
I knew, my family knew and thank goodness Grant knew, that he could not in reality come home, resume life and stay clean and sober. Same old friends, same old routine – good luck with that!
This found us again scrambling to find the best option, and fast. Eventually the entire family was in agreement that Grant would go to an out of state 90 day in-house program. This was far far away in Hattiesburg, Mississippi! A dear friend of mine has a nephew that participated in the Pine Grove program with great success.
Grant certainly benefited from this program and made some wonderful friends, but once again we were plagued with that same question, what now? How does he come home and start over?
Grant was losing steam now and really getting sick and tired of going from one place to another and having to start over making friends while his old friends were still in college and loving life. What an empty feeling this must have been.
Grant did however rally, and found himself at New Life House, although this is yet another story for another time, on how we got there.
My hope came from meeting so many people throughout this process that were willing to help and listen, including friends and professionals. My hope came from Grant wanting to be clean and sober and believing in him. My hope came from meeting other young men that have had the same struggles but are now successful in their lives. For me personally, it’s the hope that gives me strength. Hope and strength go hand in hand.
I also believe I didn’t have a choice other than to stay strong for my son, and to stay focused for the sake of him and the rest of my family. I could not fall apart. Love really is a powerful thing.
Today we are a stronger, happier family as we have learned so many invaluable lessons. This journey has caused all of us, not just Grant, to look in the mirror and work on ourselves.
Today Grant is a little over 2 ½ years clean and sober. He is a productive and respected member of society who has a great work ethic and amazing friends.
Thank you to New Life House for allowing our son to join your brotherhood.