18 Aug What Went Wrong? A Mother’s Story
As my son, Nick, approaches two years of sobriety, I can’t help but think about my own journey in recovery. I started to write Nick a letter a little over two years ago – almost exactly a month before he entered New Life House. With this letter I detailed out my memories of Nick and his life growing up – with so many happy family memories. I told him how it was my job as a parent to show my child how much they are loved and to teach them how to be self sufficient. To be caring, loving and empathetic people, to take care of themselves, their family and their friends. To show them it is better to serve than be served. To teach them we live in this world with others – not by ourselves. Therefore, what you do and how you live reflects who you are as a person. I wrote this letter to Nick because I was so confused. I was filled with such a deep dark sadness. I had such feelings of guilt. How did this happen? Where did I go so horribly wrong?
I never gave that letter I started to Nick. At this point he was couch surfing and not really talking to us. I felt like Nick was someone I didn’t recognize. I was living in a state of constant fear and worry. So a month later when he entered New Life House, I was finally able to find some peace – and so I slept! I was so relieved that he was in a place where I knew he was safe. At New Life House Nick was able to learn how to live with the disease of alcoholism and addiction and how to live a life of integrity and enjoy the freedoms that come with it. One of the most difficult struggles as a parent of an alcoholic is trying to understand the disease and all the symptoms of the disease – which wreak havoc on all relationships. It tries to destroy relationships – with God, with oneself, with family and with friends.
I found compassion and understanding at New Life House. After our first Saturday group many of the parents recommended Al-Anon. One family mentioned an Al-Anon family meeting in San Diego that we should try. I have been going to that meeting for over two years now. In that meeting room I found the most wonderful group of people where I could share without fear or worry, most importantly these people understood what I was going through. I continue to learn and grow in my recovery. I am also hopeful that if I can share my journey with others in Al-Anon that maybe I can help others too. By no means do I have the answers to this disease, but I do believe my higher power has allowed me to be a good listener to help those families who are going through what we have gone through.
In closing, I am especially grateful to New Life House for helping Nick (and our family) and my Al-Anon group for helping me. I continue to learn about the disease of alcoholism and I have compassion and understanding and so much love for my son, Nick. I am very proud of the man he is today.