Over the past couple of years, I have watched friends send their sons and daughters off to college with all the excitement and enthusiasm that comes with this special time. I’ve ‘liked’ Facebook posts of their happy, smiling children in their new dorm rooms and smiling, proud parents alike.
I was happy for these friends and their children. Truly. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say it hurt too because while they were sending their children off to college, I was placing my 18-year-old son on a plane to Montana for his second stint in rehab. And after two months, flew him directly to Los Angeles to enter long term sober living at New Life House for the hardest work he’ll ever do on himself. My sons experience at 18 did not mirror my Facebook friends. But I feel incredibly blessed by God that my son is at New Life House versus college. Why? Because 15 months later, I received the best call a mom could receive:
“Mom, I graduated!”
No, it wasn’t college, but as I told my son, he just graduated from the Harvard of rehab programs and is graduating as a man that no young man graduating from college after fours years will match. College is definitely a time of self reflection, personal growth, and intellectual development; but I know without hesitation that the personal development and growth my son experiences at New Life House far surpasses any college experience.
Why? Because New Life House has not only provided the most stable environment to process through the 12 Steps of AA, but grew my son into a truly self aware, kind human being with the tools, skills and hope for a successful future with God by his side.
New Life House not only saved my son from the tangled web of addiction, they worked on every important aspect that needed addressing from who he was, is and will be! It’s hard to explain the transformation that takes place at New Life House to an outsider. The New Life House staff has the gift of identifying deep seeded issues, uncover secrets that are damaging to self-worth and develop the inner person; while providing an environment that allows them to share and attach to others in a way that could not be achieved in any other setting on earth. Half way through the program my son told me that he has never had such true friends in his life and that he didn’t understand the meaning of a friend until going to New Life House.
My son has always been a loving, kind human being but in the clutches of addiction, he changed. Walking into New Life House must have been overwhelming on so many levels for him – the rules, the ‘programs’, the writing of words, the breaking down of self in order to rebuild, letting go of secrets, ego and moving through each AA step with true care, understanding and application. It’s a lot, which is the most heinous understatement to the lay person.
Our son is back. And back on High Definition.
I hear and see so many things in our son: joy, laughter, excitement for life and the possibilities of what his new sober life has in store for him. But most of all, confidence. Ah, the confidence I see in his once slow and broken gait and empty eyes is now someone that holds his head high and has a smile that lights up a room.
There is new life behind his beautiful, warm eyes like never before.
New Life House provided the environment and my son did the hard work. It’s the most symbiotic relationship! New Life House provided Zach the means to reach his true potential.
Happy Graduation Zach! We love you to the moon and back, especially considering it probably feels like you’ve been to the moon and back!
- Christy R.