I was finally able to convince my son to get the help he needed from a luxury drug and alcohol treatment facility. After years of dealing with the ramifications of his addiction – excuse me, cleaning up the ramifications of his addiction – I am finding that I am able to breathe again. It is an immense emotional sigh of relief to go to sleep at night and know that he has a roof over his head, not to mention in the hands of some of the most gifted professionals in the field of recovery. It is just a shame that so many years spent cleaning up after his tornado-like wrecks of addiction consequences went by before he was finally admitted to a luxury drug and alcohol treatment facility. I keep telling myself to let go of the past and be grateful that Ryan has a future now but some days it is hard to avoid looking back and seeing all the glaring mistakes I made as a mother.
Some days it is even difficult to believe that he is actually in a luxury drug and alcohol treatment center! Many professional interventions, as well as independently run family and friends’ interventions, later, he has agreed to try to fight against his disease.
I really tried to raise him right, give him everything he needed. But it was too late into the development of his addictions before I realized that I gave him a little too much. I gave him too much freedom. I gave him too much money. For many of his adolescent years, I was enabling his addiction(s). Sure, I had heard rumors of him experimenting with drugs but I thought to myself, “don’t all kids smoke a little bit of pot when they’re teenagers? No real harm in that.” He came home every night. He never went missing on a bender like those real addicts, I would rationalize to myself. But just because my son was a functioning addict did not mean his addiction was not as serious as other cases: it just meant that he was more subtle, more clever about it. I would have never been able to label him as “manipulative” before his luxury drug and alcohol treatment. But since he has been admitted, and we have worked together to heal our family, my eyes have been opened.
His facility had a family program that was recommended to me. It had not occurred to me that I would stand to gain some of my own knowledge about MY role in HIS addiction. But after a close friend of mine, who finds herself in an all-too-similar-situation these days, gave her candid explanation on the dynamics of our family, I figured, “why not?”
It turns out that the family program was very worthwhile. I am learning how to deal with all of the after-traumas of his addictions and sorting through the emotional rubble, day by day. I plan to attend 12-step meetings regularly with my son once he completes his program. I plan to tell our story to other mothers. I plan to tell our story to other addicts. I plan to stand at that podium, proudly, alongside my son and say, “Hi, my name is Susie. I am the mother of an addict treating at a luxury drug and alcohol treatment facility…” if that will help him accept his sobriety.
I would encourage any mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers of addicts to research family program opportunities if/when their loved one is treating at a luxury drug and alcohol treatment center. Their expert insight and professional advice, not to mention guidance, will make you appreciate that old adage: “good things come to those who wait.”