It finally happened. I’m having a cup of coffee with my son and we are “both” present. It has taken so long to get to get to this place. He’s been sober for almost 2 years at this point and we are talking about the future. His future, my future, our future as a family again. He knows it is one day at a time but he has dreams about how great life can be again.
I started this journey with him through his addiction completely unprepared for what would happen. The pain, heartbreak, and every other emotion that comes with dealing with addiction, so devastating when it’s your own child. I was destroyed and had no idea how damaged I was till that first parent/Al-Anon meeting. I had finally found my new “family” that would help me understand and heal myself. Every parent reading this knows exactly what I am saying. I was so afraid of the future, so scared of what was lying ahead for all of us. Then it all started to move forward.
My son’s eyes were shining bright and clear. I saw his beautiful smile again, heard him laughing, really laughing again. He was coming back to us slowly and I couldn’t wait to see him every weekend. Life was back in our world again and it felt so good. I finally understood the old saying about how there was nothing “normal” in life. It can and does change in the blink of an eye. The life I had was gone, many of my friends couldn’t relate to what we were going through.
Others felt it was important to give me advice on how they would “handle” this situation. They were completely ignorant of the causes of addiction, but so was I. I bet most of you reading this experienced the same thing. It took a long time to for myself to surrender my ego, educate myself, and finally let go of the perceived ideas I had about how my son’s life would go. Also, I learned how to forgive those who were just trying to help with their ridiculous comments.
Moving forward to present day, my son is now 6 years sober. He has become a better man than I could have ever expected. Focused, ambitious, intelligent, but more important are his other characteristics. He is extremely kind and generous in helping others in his world, especially those who are also battling addiction. He doesn’t quit, as he knows what is needed to help another person get to the next stage. He never gets arrogant and forgets about how he started this journey as a scared, very sick kid.
The most important feeling that he carries with him is the same one that I as his father carry. “GREATFULL.” I have been so truly blessed to have my son back and now he is the one who teaches me about humility. My point to this whole story is that there can and will be a happy ending. Never give up hope; it just sometimes happens slower than we wish for. But it happens!