A Parent’s Journey in Recovery
Hope. Hope is defined as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”.
Four months ago our family had no hope. After several years of being in and out of therapy, outpatient and intensive outpatient programs, juvenile hall, and eventually county jail, my 18 year old son was released directly to New Life House after a four month sentence. My husband and I didn’t want to pick him up from jail ourselves because we didn’t trust him in the car with us – we didn’t want to be subjected to his attempts at manipulation.
By this point we knew his problem with addiction was bigger than we were. We had no point of reference and didn’t know where to turn. We had been floundering for years. We knew that what we had been doing wasn’t working and that we needed expert help so, after much research, we settled on New Life House. We liked what we heard from our first contact, James, and from a friend who had a son there: the program was a structured sober living home, it was for young men around our son’s age, it was based on the Twelve Step Program, they could help our son finish his education, they could help him get a driver’s license, they could help him get a job, there was a sense of family with other parents, and a sense of brotherhood among the young men.
So we arranged for New Life House to pick our son up from jail. We took a leap of faith and met him in Torrance with his belongings, never having visited the house ourselves.
We knew that if we just got him to New Life House and put him in the capable hands of the staff there, he would have a chance at a new beginning. We wanted to be supportive and encouraging to our son but we knew we had to let go. This was a journey he had to make by himself – we couldn’t do it for him – but he would be surrounded by other young men who were struggling like he was and supported by the wonderful staff of New Life House. There was a glimmer of hope.
Our son is just beginning his journey but we are amazed at how far he has come in four months and how hard he has worked. Defiance has been replaced with respect, he has thrown off his thug personality, he is becoming responsible and accountable and he is starting school. We love being around him again and he’s re-building the broken relationships with his siblings.
We have our own parent’s journey in recovery. With the love and support of our New Life House family and the support of our own Al Anon group we are learning that we are not alone – that we have others we can lean on when we need to and understand what we are going through.
We know our son has a long way to go in recovery and that he will have good days and bad days but with the support of his New Life House brothers and staff and his sponsor, he has the tools he needs to fight his addiction. All we had to do was get him to New Life House and let go. Slowly but surely, we are getting our wonderful son back. Hope is returning.