It’s been a year since we got the text. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I can’t stop using and I need to go to treatment.”
For 3 years we’d been struggling with the knowledge that J was using. We had seen the “evidence.” An empty bed in the middle of the night. Missing plastic bottles (where did our hair products go?). Broken pens. Knives. Bowls. Parts of sockets sets that smelled like weed. And finally the day before, missing jewelry set aside to sell. The elephant was in the middle of the room and it finally couldn’t be ignored. Should I be surprised? After all we had plenty of addiction in our family. But could this monster really be in my house? Surprised but not surprised.
And so we began…this cycle of hope and disappointment. More hope and more disappointment. And so it goes.
It’s been a year of judgement. Most harshly from ourselves. What did we do wrong? Maybe we should have disciplined more. Maybe we disciplined too much. Maybe we shouldn’t have homeschooled. Maybe we should have homeschooled longer. Maybe if we would have taken that trip together….Maybe we shouldn’t have let him playing video games so much when he was younger. Maybe we should have kept him on that ADHD medication. Maybe we should have tried more therapy sooner. Judgement from others (real or perceived). They didn’t teach him to say “no” to himself when he was young. They were too permissive. They weren’t consistent enough. They were too strict. They should have kept him from “those” friends. They should have insisted that he hang out more with the “good” kids. They should have never let him get those earrings. They should have let him express himself more. They should put him in this treatment, not that one. Oh, addiction is a sin matter and should be treated that way. He was genetically predestined from birth and he really didn’t have a prayer against the monster.
It’s been a year of waiting, wondering and praying. Waiting for help. Waiting for insurance. Waiting for a bed in rehab. Waiting for J to “decide” if he really wants to recover. Waiting for him to come home at night. Wondering if he is going to come home. Praying that we don’t get a call from the police yet in a weird way praying that we will. Praying that he’ll have some sort of wake up call. And mostly waiting on God. Waiting on him to pierce J’s heart. Waiting for Him to open doors. Waiting for Him to show us the next right decision. Waiting for change. In J’s life. In my life. Waiting.
It’s been a year of learning. Learning that “you didn’t cause it, you chan’t change it and you can’t control it.” Learning all the “treatment jargon.” Detachment with love. Letting go. Learning way to much about THC levels, benzo’s, mollies, tar, salts and all the names of the various drugs and pills, what the police can and can’t do, juvenile courts, drug courts, public defenders, county attorney’s and judges. Learning the in’s and out’s of insurance. Learning about recovery, enabling and co-dependance. Learning that there are still so many misconceptions about addiction and trying to figure out what is truth and what isn’t. Learning that’s it’s o.k. some days to sit on the couch and cry and not be able to get off of it. Learning how to hold my tongue. Learning that I don’t need to be right all the time. Learning that I am right sometimes. Learning how to set boundaries. Learning that I have my own “stuff” I have to deal with.
Mostly it’s been a year of healing and growing. Understanding that I can’t support anyone else unless I take care of myself. Believing that I need to “recover” and work my own “program.” Sitting at the Lords feet every day, crying out to Him, sometimes in joy, mostly in desperation. Listening as he whispers to me words of comfort and truth and power. Soaking in the presence of my savior and accepting, truly accepting for the first time how much HE loves me. Seeing others through the eyes of our Savior with love and compassion. Loving the unloveable. Forgiving the unforgivable. And hoping when there is not hope. Understanding that I am not God and completely and utterly giving up any notion of control to him. Surrender. Truly surrendering. Laying it all at the cross. My life. My son’s life. Because it is all I have to give and I have given it all.
We are here now. A year down the road. J is no more recovered then he was 365 days and 6 rehabs ago. But I have changed. Transformed really. Today I have love. Today I have joy. And today I have hope. Not in J’s recovery. That may or may not come. But I have hope in the great knowledge that we can grow and we can change and God’s not finished with me yet.
Pam wrote this blog 5 years ago. Just for today, gratefully, her son is sober and working a program.
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