Finding a Home for Myself

I came to New Life for my son, but I stayed at New Life for myself.

As my son got deeper into his addiction, I was beginning to become someone I didn’t recognize. I had always considered myself a strong and fairly level headed person, but watching my son spiral out of control eventually brought me to my knees. It was not over night for either of us; instead, it was a gradual process that I couldn’t see happening. Better yet, I wouldn’t ever expect to see this happen. Either way, it got to a point to where I woke up one morning paralyzed with fear and anxiety. I was afraid of everything. I was afraid of answering the phone; I was afraid of not answering the phone; I was afraid of my son being out of the house; I was afraid of his friends. Worst of all, I began to be afraid of being left alone with him anymore. This is where my story of recovery begins.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my first step toward recovery started when I called my mom. It was then that I told her everything that had been going on. From there, I then told my sister, my family, and eventually my friends. The most relieving aspect of finally telling people was the fact that every time I told someone, I was met with kindness and understanding, never with anger and judgment. My next step came with learning acceptance. As I sought advice from family, friends and professionals, it was difficult for me to accept that my son needed professional help. I couldn’t get it out of my mind that if I just kept him away from the friends that were a bad influence, if I just rewarded him when he did something right, or that if I just kept him busy, we could dig out of this hole. This was of course a failure. As a result, I accepted that we needed help and with tear-stricken faces, we took our son to his first 30-day in patient program.

During the next several months and numerous rehabilitation programs, I took my next step towards recovery in my education of addiction and co-dependency. I began reading books, going to a therapist, and I even attended my first Al-Anon meeting. This is where I started to realize that a 30, 60 or 90-day program would not be enough to help my son get his life back. So on his therapist’s recommendation, we headed to New Life House.

I had no idea what to expect but I knew that this was my last opportunity to help my son. I went to the first family meeting that my son would be participating in. I was feeling nervous for him and for myself, but left feeling hopeful for the first time in a very long time. I found myself at the house almost every Saturday, going out with my son and his new family. I trusted the amazing staff in helping me navigate through my son’s recovery. I began making friends of my own who could understand the heartache of an addicted child and who could help me in this process, and hopefully I could reciprocate that help back to them. I was getting stronger.

My son’s time in the house was not a smooth one. He relapsed with over 9 months of sobriety. He did choose to come right back; however, after another 5 months he chose to leave again. During these very emotional and difficult times I never once felt alone thanks to New Life. The support from staff members, parents, and the other young men in the house never stopped. These people had become my family.

I was doing all of these things for my son, but it took me a while to realize that it was just as much for me as it was for him. So as he continues to find his way, I am the one who keeps coming to New Life House and can’t express the gratitude for the willingness of this home to continue to allow me to be a part of their family. I brought my son to New Life in an attempt to change his life, when in reality it has been my life that has changed for the better.

-Kendra B., New Life House mom

 

2 Comments
  • Debbie O-A (graduate mom)
    Posted at 16:18h, 22 October Reply

    What an awesome post Kendra! Thank you for your share. It is wonderful that although your journey was initiated by your son’s, it has taken a separate path and you have found your own serenity. It is joyous, isn’t it, to be a part of the NL family!

  • Carla
    Posted at 17:45h, 13 December Reply

    This is so beautiful Kendra. My son made it to New Life House because of Kendra’s insistence that I just come “check it out” which I did when I was finally “brought to my knees” and at the end of the line with keeping my son alive at home. He recently graduated and there isn’t a day I don’t fill immense gratitude to the folks at the New Life House, my new family of young men, staff, and parents–especially Kendra for bringing us here to to this place of recovery!

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