Christmas time two years ago my son Garrett and I were struggling through our first holiday without my husband/Garrett’s father who had passed away from cancer a few months earlier. Garrett had completed rehab 6 months earlier. He came home with a plan for staying on track with his recovery and a belief he could do it on his own, but it was only a matter of a few months before the old patterns emerged. He wasn’t working, seeing his sponsor or attending meetings. None of the people from rehab remained in his life, and it wasn’t long before the old friends and destructive habits began to show up in his life again. I had lost my husband just months before and knew it was possible, even probable I would lose my son to drugs if something didn’t change.
I knew Garrett needed life skills, peer support, access to counseling, and a structured environment with clear expectations and someone living on site to coach and mentor. “Does a place like that even exist?” I thought as I started my Google search. New Life House was the answer to my prayers. They helped me understand I had done all I could as a parent. Garrett needed someone else to give him a map for living his life drug-free.
Getting Garrett to agree to go was a challenge, but walking into the New Life House I felt we had found the right place. Young men came forward and welcomed him with compassion and understanding as he stood in the doorway unsure and scared. I regularly attended the family barbecues and watched the transformation as Garrett began to take responsibility for his life and sobriety. The artistic, funny, kind qualities that had been buried by the drugs were reemerging – my son was finding his way back.
Garrett will celebrate two years of sobriety this month, January 13th. He has a job and is living on his own with roommates from New Life House. New Life continues to be a source of support and help when Garrett needs it. He has many friends from the house and has been a sponsor himself. Our relationship is much closer now that Garrett handles his own problems and I am out of the business of “saving” him. I am filled with gratitude that Garrett has been given a map for navigating life, a support system to help him when he stumbles and his commitment to integrity and truth in his recovery. I am proud of Garrett and I know his father would be too.
- April F.