A couple of times a year, my business takes me to New York City – a complete departure from my Midwestern roots or my vacation travels with family to the mountains or beach.
It’s exciting in the city. Sometimes it’s a new deal, a new connection, a new idea. I always return home and to work with a fresh perspective and commitment. This kind of excitement is energizing.
However, sometimes the city stirs up drama-filled excitement. Let me revise that, sometimes when I’ve been in the city, drama ensues on the home front. That, I can do without. That kind of excitement is exasperating.
This trip to New York City, my husband and youngest son are accompanying me just as they did five years ago. They have plans to attend a sporting championship while I have business commitments. It works out nicely because it’s our youngest son’s spring break this week, so he gets a little vacation and I get to have loved ones with me in the hotel each evening.
When we took this trip five years ago in January, we had no idea the turn of events that was about to take place. Sober Son had just started college the week before. We hadn’t heard from him and he wasn’t responding to calls or texts. My mom radar was pinging. Loudly. Frequently. Something was up.
This was the weekend that he passed out from partying, mind you his very first weekend at college. He didn’t just pass out, he passed out in the snow in subzero temperatures and ended up in the ER and detox.From there everything unraveled, and it was hardly held together as it was.
Deep in our hearts we knew his drug use was a problem, but this was one of the most telling incidents and the one that truly changed to an addiction trajectory we never imagined.
This was scary for each and every one of us: Dad, mom, big sister, little brother. And for Sober Son who could never have predicted what would happen next. I won’t rehash what led up to this or the unfolding story that became our lives for the next few years, but I will say that I will always, always, always remember this turn of events and the state of mind that accompanied the addiction days.
Before the drama revealed itself, we had enjoyed a weekend of shows, meals, shopping and sightseeing. It made a big impression on our youngest, who has always wanted to return to New York City for another go of it. I’m so glad he’s getting that opportunity.
Gratefully, life has changed a great deal for our family since that trip to New York City five years ago. Sober Son completed a treatment program (not his first, second or third – it does take time and readiness). He is back in college, working part time and living at home. He’s nearly two-years sober and is successfully embracing recovery. The two of us just enjoyed a wonderful trip to Las Vegas over his spring break last week.
Who would have thought that we’d have so much confidence again in his future and so much trust in him? The addiction days were horrific. The trust was nonexistent. The outlook was grim.
My prediction for this trip is nothing short of exciting, and by that I mean fun for all. I’m excited to share the New York experience once again with my husband and youngest son, and I’m worry free when it comes to Sober Son who will enjoy the independence and responsibility of taking care of the house and dog while going on about his class and work schedule.
My hope for readers of this blog post is that it keeps alive a belief:
- That sobriety and recovery are possible even when it seems improbable;
- That sobriety and recovery can find their way to your family even when it has proven elusive to date; and,
- That sobriety and recovery will re-establish a foundation for the future when the foundation at present may have crumbled beyond recognition.
Admittedly, it’s so hard when you’re stuck in the muck of addiction to realize that better times may well be ahead. Just like the Big Apple itself, it takes a (New York) state of mind to know that anything is possible.
Wishing you the best for a wonderful spring break,
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