“I hate my life!” is what my son said when he called us and asked if he could come home; he sounded empty. He had moved to Idaho a year and a half earlier, had lost his job and his unemployment had run out. We told him we would send him money for gas and a hotel room so he could take two days for the drive. Later we found out he had used some of the money to buy kratom and had stopped in a rest stop to sleep. We finally faced the truth. Alan was an addict.
The signs that Alan was abusing something had been there for years, but I did not want to believe it. He graduated from college but it took six years. During college he told us he believed he had ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). None of his teachers had ever suggested this during his school years, but he said he could focus better when he took Adderall. He found a psychiatrist to order it for him. Then he developed abdominal pain, which seemed legitimate as he had had abdominal surgery as a child. He found a physician to prescribe pain medications. I trusted the physicians.
He would join us at family events, but he would often just hang out in a room by himself, or he would leave for periods of time and give us stories about where he had been that just didn’t add up. If asked to join us for pictures he always tried to avoid it. If he was convinced to have his picture taken he always looked off into a different direction never at the camera directly. I chose to believe he didn’t like getting his picture taken.
He was able to find jobs but he could not keep them. I always felt that he was not being totally honest as to why he was no longer working. He would claim unemployment benefits and not look for another job until the benefits ran out. When his needs exceeded his means he would ask us for money and always make it sound legitimate, like I need new tires. As a parent I wanted to ensure his safety so would provide the money and the tires would not get bought, the money used on something else and an excuse given. I chose to believe what he told me.
When he came home he was thin, pale and unhealthy looking. He shared that he was taking kratom and tried to convince me that it was an herb bought over the counter and it kept him off stronger drugs. He wanted me to provide him some money to buy it so he would not go through withdrawals. I shared this with my husband and we both started seeking out treatment programs. It was time to face Alan had an addictive personality, and if it wasn’t one drug it was going to be another. We had friends who had been through something similar with their sons and we reached out to them. The New Life House program was the answer we had been looking for! We drove Alan up to LA the end of January 2017.
It was the best decision we ever made! Alan put in the work to become the young man he was meant to be and is once again happy with his life and looking forward to all the future has to hold. After his graduation this past March, Alan posted this on Instagram, “The best feeling in the whole world is watching things finally fall into place after watching them fall apart for so long.”
Thank you New Life House for giving us our son back again!