It’s agonizing for parents to accept the fact they have a son that has become a drug addict. Some of us have found ourselves dealing with two sons who suffer from the disease of addiction.
My husband and I have a large family and our sons are over 8 years apart in age. Our older son didn’t start to use drugs until after high school and leaving home. It took about 7 years of failed attempts at getting sober before he realized he needed help.
Meanwhile, our younger son started smoking pot as a freshman in high school. Because of our experience with his brother, we felt we were much more aware and proactive about dealing with his drug use. We were determined to fix things before he was out of control. This kid was determined to use and experiment with drugs and it didn’t seem to matter what we did or what consequences we enforced.
To make a very long story (with a lot of painful details) short, we found an excellent drug counselor who showed us the way to New Life House. At this time our younger son was 17 and our older son 26. Our older son went while we pursued counseling for our younger son. We were and have been so impressed with New Life House. The program, house members, house managers and parents have changed our lives. We learned so much about addiction, what we were doing wrong and what we could change.
The reality of the long road of recovery was hard to swallow but at the same time we found hope for the future. Unfortunately, our older son left after 10 months. He was making good progress for a while, yet had some things he was holding on to. He wasn’t fully giving in to the program. The good news is after about a year and a half of taking the path of destruction and fearing for his life, he called and begged us to take him back to New Life. Thankfully, he really got it this time around! Our son is a recent graduate and will soon be moving out. What a blessing it has been for him to have a second chance at this and experience this miracle in his life.
Meanwhile, after a year of counseling for our younger son we, along with two sheriff deputies threatening arrest packed him up and put him in the car and headed up to New Life House. He stayed for 9 months with occasional phone calls to say he wanted to leave. Each time we and the house manager talked him off the ledge and convinced him to stay. Finally there was no more talking him down so he left and went straight into another sober living.
So here we are, after nearly two years of trying several outpatient and inpatient rehabs, transitional programs and now homelessness. We have had the painful experience of watching our 21-year-old son spiral out of control. He is completely miserable but still not willing to commit to a long term program, which is the only type that will work for him.
We would not be able to endure this if not for the help, support, and guidance of those we have met that are associated with New Life House. We have the confidence that we are doing the best thing we can to help him by letting him make his own choice and living with the consequences of that choice. He knows we all love him, we tell him when we get a chance. We hope he will be ready to make a change soon. It’s very heartbreaking to think about him living like this but we can’t help him if he isn’t willing. Rehab is not for those who need it, but for those who want it.
Today we are experiencing the joy of one son in recovery who is moving forward with his life and planning his future. At the same time we agonize over our other son turning away from the lifeline of recovery to exist in the misery of this disease. We long for the day when our family can be whole and all of us can enjoy being together building trust that has been missing for too long. In the meantime, we are thankful for the blessings we have and continue to hope and pray for our sons.