Sunday, August 26, 2012

Precious Moments

As parents we all have moments that we want to freeze in time.  Moments in which we wish we could make time stand still just so we can savor its beauty.  The first time it happened with my son was when I held him in my arms just after his birth.  That was the exact moment in which I learned the meaning of unconditional love.  I remember  staring at his face and wanting to remember every detail of that moment.
            We went to visit my son at rehab again on Saturday, and the only way I can describe it, is to say it was a holy experience.  He and another of the guys there have taken it upon themselves to lead a Bible study on Saturdays.  Since he knew I was coming to visit,  he waited until I got there for the study so I could witness it.  I am so glad that he did.  As I sat and watched my son read the Word, quote scripture and talk about how the Lord is working in his life, I was overcome with gratitude.  I felt gratitude for the work I see Christ doing in my son’s heart and mind.  I was grateful that my son is able to feel "normal" again without the use of drugs.  Four months ago he could barely function without being high.  I felt humbled as I watched my son share his story and try to help others from the lessons he is learning.  It was truly an answer to my prayers, even beyond my expectations.
            The Bible study group he led was small. There were only about 5 of them, all of them lost souls trying to find their way back to sanity.  As the guys who chose not to join in buzzed around about their own business, cracking jokes and being rowdy, my son sat there quietly oblivious to all the commotion, speaking God’s word. 
            Even if, at some point down the road, my son stumbles and relapses, I will treasure my visit to him on Saturday for the rest of my life.  For just that moment in time, I had my son back.  He was whole, and healthy, and wanting to help others and serve the Lord.  Priceless.  Thank you Lord, for helping my son to  remember what it is like to find peace without drugs, and to help others through his suffering.

Jas 1:12: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its strength.”   A.J.  Cronin
            One of the character defects that I’m working on is my tendency to worry.  Right now things are going well with my son’s rehab.  He is working hard on their program and learning a lot about himself and addiction.  He’s even taken it upon himself to lead a Bible study with one of the other guys there.  Better yet, his counselor approved him for the reintegration program, which would allow him to stay in rehab another 28 days while looking for a job.  I don’t think his counselor would have approved him for reintegration if he didn’t think my son is trying hard to learn how to stay clean.  We’ll have to talk to his attorney and make sure it’s ok for him to stay for reintegration, but if he approves it, he’ll be able to stay there right up until his court date.  The way I look at it, the longer he can stay there, the better.

            Here’s the deal though with me.  Everything is going well with his rehab, but still I catch myself feeling anxious and worrying about the future.  I worry about him finding a temporary job.  I worry about whether his car will hold up, as it’s not in very good shape.  I worry what will happen to all of the progress he has made if he is sentenced to prison.  I just can’t seem to completely stop these thoughts from entering my mind.  There is progress in that I am getting better at catching those negative thoughts sooner, and realizing how futile it is to worry.  Old habits die hard though. Even when I was a child I was a worrier.  I know this sounds neurotic, but I thought that somehow if I worried about something enough I could find a way to keep it from happening.  Or, if I couldn’t stop it from happening, I’d be more prepared to deal with it.  I know now that I have wasted countless, hours and even days, worrying about the future, and in doing so, I have forfeited any enjoyment I may have had in the present.  It’s crazy.

             God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and  wisdom to know the difference.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Relinquishing control.....or trying anyway

I was typing a response to a kind comment Erin had left on a previous post, and after I wrote it I started really thinking about what I had said.  In essence what I wrote was, that I have to trust God with my son’s recovery because He loves my son even more than I do.  When things have seemed crazy and out of control, I sometimes forget that God sees the big picture and I only see my very small corner.  He understands our pain. He weeps when we weep, and rejoices with us in even our smallest victories over the pain of this life.  We are not alone.
            One thing I really need to get into my head is that I am not in control of the universe.  I cannot control my son’s or anybody else’s choices.  I have a really hard time with that. The only real peace I have found in the past few months comes when I have been able to realize that my son’s recovery, or non-recovery,  is up to him and then just letting go.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My visit to rehab

I went to visit my son at rehab Sunday.  It was good to see him and he looked better than he has in a very long time.  He’s put on some weight and his skin isn’t that sickly gray color any more.  He told me he’s learning a lot about addiction and how insidious it is, so at least I know he’s listening to what they have to say.  His counselor feels like my son suffers from anxiety and depression (they both run in our family) so he started him on a couple prescriptions. 

             He’s starting to look and sound like my son again, instead of that person who was walking around in my son’s body but acting like somebody I didn’t know.  I know it’s too soon to expect that he’s been “cured,” but it’s so good just to have my son back.  I’ve missed him so much.  He’s starting to realize how he has hurt the people who love him and is trying to make amends and be accountable for his actions. That, in itself, is huge progress.  I’m glad he’s apologizing to us, because I think doing so will help free him from some of the guilt he lives with.  I know some people don’t think addicts are capable of feeling guilt, but I think they do, it’s just buried underneath the addiction.  I think often the guilt and shame they feel over their actions is part of the reason they use.  It’s a vicious cycle. They know they’re messing up and hurting people, so they use to numb the pain.  The more they use, the more that pain festers inside.
            His treatment will probably only last 28 days.  This place has a reintegration program where the guys can get a job while continuing to live in the facility for another 60 days.  Since my son has a court date in September though and will probably be sentenced to some prison time, I don’t think he’ll be eligible for the longer stay.  Twenty-eight days doesn’t seem like much when I think of the enormity of the addiction, but it is what it is.  I have to look at this as an opportunity for him to at least learn some tools to fight the temptations that he will inevitably face.  If there ever was a time for me to trust God, this would be it.  One day at a time.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding."
~ Proverbs 3:5