Our family is celebrating as my son takes his first cake at the New Life House sober living. When we arrived at New Life House a year ago we were bleary eyed and just plain exhausted from the chaos that addiction creates. I could not even imagine celebrating my son’s first cake for a year of sobriety. I could not remember the last time my son was sober.
While I believed that the structure of the New Life House sober living program was the answer for my son and our family, I didn’t know what to expect or how my son would respond. I was on edge that he would walk out the door. It was an emotionally overwhelming experience for me to drop off my son with strangers and trust that my son was going to be safe. Although when I think about this now, I realize how ridiculous this sounds since there was nothing safe about my son’s behavior before he went to New Life. We were extremely fortunate that he did not overdose given the cocktail of drugs and alcohol he was mixing.
A year later and I am no longer trusting my son to a group of strangers, but trusting him to a group that is family now. We have spent time together in family meetings, time celebrating holidays and time just hanging out at the house and around town. Most importantly, we have spent time supporting each other.
My son is thriving in New Life because he is committed to making a change. From watching my son, I know it has not always been an easy journey to change, but working the AA program and the accountability that New Life House requires has brought the caring person my son was before the grip of addiction back to me. The strained bond of our relationship is mending. Trust is being rebuilt through my son’s living amends.
During this year, I have been on my own journey to change. I have learned to let go and let my son step up. This has not been an easy journey for me either, as I like to control everything. My family has come so far with the help of New Life House, but I know the journey is not over. The cake celebration is just a milestone along the way. Embracing sobriety is a life long commitment and there will be challenges ahead. New Life House has given our family the foundation for this commitment.
Spring brings a new beginning for our family- a beginning that did not seem possible a year ago. My son has earned his first cake and I believe there will be many more.