Just like the holidays themselves, treatment at this time of year brings mixed feelings. Midwestern Mama recalls the emotional energy that surrounded her son’s treatment program a few years back.
Many of you know the frustration and devastation that a kid’s addiction brings. There is concern, offers for help, arguments, lying and stealing, manipulation, sleepless nights, worry, and more.
If only our loved one would go to treatment. If only they would stay at treatment. If only they would engage with the treatment program. If only they would embrace recovery. If only.
We hope with all our might that they will choose treatment. I know I did. It’s what my family wanted most for our son’s Christmas in 2013 (and 2012, and 2011, and 2010 …).
In 2013, my son realized it was time to go back to treatment – note, “go back,” as he’d been to several before. He realized that he couldn’t continue living with addiction and the consequences it was creating in his life.
He went through the process to get funding and find a program that met his needs; for example, he was opposed to 12-step or faith-based programs, and these tend to be the most prevalent ones available. During the couple of weeks that he worked with the county, he sofa surfed and used; however, we told him if he was working toward treatment and giving it good effort that he could stay at our house and most nights he did.
Finally, the first week of December, a bed opened for him but the center could not reach my son. He had given them my name and number as back up and I engaged in an all-out search to find my son and get that bed, which they could only hold until the next morning – less than 24 hours.
Miracles of miracles, he was down the street at a buddy’s house and had been out cold sleeping off his high from the day before. He was surprised that a bed had opened so quickly and was acting hesitant about taking it. He did not want to go there that night or the next morning for that matter. He did not want to miss the holidays. He was stalling.
He did call them back. He did say he’d go in the morning. He did pack that night. He did ride there with me – in a Minnesota blizzard – the next morning. He did stay. He did not run away.
That night and for the next 30 nights, I slept well. The best I had slept in years. I experienced R&R, respite and relief. I knew he was safe, warm, cared for and was beginning, in greater earnest than ever before, his recovery.
Spoiler Alert, and I only share this because it’s true and part of the journey: He did complete the program and started after care, although, he relapsed. But it was a start. A real start. It was the foundation for what today is 16 months of sobriety and recovery with all the promise and potential of being long-term.
Yes, it was different to have my son at rehab over the holidays, but it was oh so wonderful in may ways. Rehab anytime of year is a gift, but for the holidays, it was far better than we ever hoped.
Here’s hoping your loved one finds the way to treatment and recovery this holiday season.
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