Day 2: Today, I am grateful my son is sober, in treatment and on the road to recovery. #Gratitude2017
There are two visiting opportunities each week at my son’s new treatment program – one is an afternoon on the weekend and the other is a weekday evening that includes an hour of group time focused on mental health.
Last night was our first visit. Within seconds of arriving, our son greeted us with a smile, a hug, and moreover, an overall healthy demeanor. Although it’s just been five days, he looked so much better than the days leading up to this.
His explanation was simple: “I’m not hungover.” Amen to that.
The group session started promptly at 6:30. There were about 30 men, all ages and all walks of life. My husband and I were the only family members present. We sat with our son at a table in the back. A gentleman, quite a bit older than our son, asked to join us and we welcomed him.
The mental health professional leading the group brought an inspirational reading about order and disorder. My impression is that its message was a bit deep for most of the participants. Nonetheless, a handful of people shared their takes on it.
The next reading was from Depak Chokra. It was a letter between the mother of an addict and Chokra’s encouragement to detach with love. From there, several more men joined the conversation.
My son isn’t comfortable participating in large groups, and he’d already been exposed to these readings earlier in the day during other group sessions, so he politely listened and let us take it in. Because the second reading was about mothers of people with addiction, I had a few things to say but recognized and respected my son’s preference that I not speak up.
Later, however, he asked what I wanted to say.
Mothers (parents) will always love their kids no matter what.
The session wrapped with some ideas for the participants to embrace. A few that stuck out to me and that I hope will stick for my son:
- Using drugs and alcohol solves nothing.
- You can have fun sober.
- You can, and should, design your own recovery.
Following the group session, the mental health professional stopped by our table and introduced herself. She hadn’t yet had a one-on-one session with our son but said it’s scheduled soon. My husband and I were glad to have a few minutes to chat with her and convey our support and express how important it is that mental health issues be addressed. Hopefully, this provided helpful context for the work they will do together.
Next there was an hour for visiting. By this time, two other families came – one to celebrate a birthday and another bringing a pizza dinner for their son.
We brought our son some things, too – his winter coat, hat and gloves, some prepackaged Rice Krispee and Peanut Butter Chocolate bars, and some Halloween candy.
It was a good evening and we are filled with encouragement. Because we’ve been through this before, we have greater perspective on the recovery process – we can be realistic and hopeful.
We’ll be back this weekend and will certainly attend future family nights.
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