Sunday, September 30, 2012

He moved

The treatment center was not able to extend my son's stay another 28 days.  That was disappointing, but there is good news too.  Part of the reason they couldn't extend his stay is that they feel he is doing so well! Also, the same day that he found out he couldn’t stay in treatment another 28 days, a halfway house located in the same town visited the treatment center and he found out they had an opening.  He talked to them about moving in, and they approved it.  So, a member of the staff helped him move into the halfway house Friday night.  He says it’s a nice place, and that so far the men he has met there seem like good guys.  Also, his counselor at the treatment center got him approved for outpatient counseling, so he will be able to continue to see a counselor. 

         Now he will be able to continue working which is such a blessing. If he hadn’t been accepted into the halfway house he would have had to quit his job and come home.  For the first time in a long time he wants to work and be productive, and I’m go glad that things worked out the way they did.

         Of course I still have to fight off worrisome thoughts about his roomies at the halfway house, but when I catch them entering my head, I try to replace them with a positive thought and a quick “I trust you Jesus.” My oldest daughter plans to come and visit us in 2 weeks, so we’ll go visit him then.  I’ll feel better after I see the house and meet some of the other guys.  It’s a long drive each way, but I’m so happy to be able to seen him sober and content that’s it’s worth every minute.  I am humbled and amazed at the work I see the good Lord doing in my son’s life.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

No guarantees

I have come to realize that one of the obstacles between myself and serenity is the fact that I tend to want guarantees.  I don’t like uncertainty.  I want to KNOW that things are going to work out ok, and the way I think they should.  I am learning though, that I just don’t always know what is best.  I don’t see the big picture, but God does.  When I see the miracles that He is working in my son’s life, I am humbled beyond measure.  Four months ago, my son had accepted that he was either going to wind up dead or in jail.  Either way didn’t matter to him.  He was so completely under the control of his addiction.  Today my son knows what it’s like to feel normal again without drugs, and he doesn’t want to lose that.  No matter what happens, I will forever be grateful for that.
         Things are still going well for my son in treatment.  He found a job, which is a miracle in itself.  He has been unemployed for over a year, and has a pending court case; yet he found a job!  If that isn’t a miracle I don’t know what is.   He continues to work at his recovery program so hard.  I am so proud and impressed with his determination.  He found a church nearby the treatment facility and rides his bike there on Sundays for the service.
         He had a Status Hearing scheduled for this coming Monday, but the courts granted a continuance until November.  I am so thankful.  I feel that the longer he can stay in the recovery community that he is in, the better.  His 60 days at the treatment center will be up on Wednesday.  He has put in a request for an extended stay, but is waiting to hear an answer.  I’m hoping, of course, that they let him stay another 28 days.  I am just praying for God’s will though, and the serenity and courage to accept it if an extended stay is not granted.
         I have not done a good job of keeping up with my blog, and I apologize for that.  I still keep up with the blogs I follow and keep all of you in my prayers. 


Monday, September 3, 2012

My own recovery

I recently learned from a fellow blogger that September is National Recovery Month.  You can read about it in detail at this website:

         I think it’s important to raise public awareness of the enormity of the addiction epidemic in our society. I also think it’s good to celebrate recovery and give hope to the hopeless.  We all know that the stigma that society associates with addiction is very real, and is hindering the process of raising public awareness.  I am coming to realize though, that I am part of the problem.  Speaking strictly for myself, as I’ve tried to work through my own issues as a POA, I’ve come to realize that I also carry around a self-imposed stigma.  I have let my fear of what others might think of me and my son keep me silent about his addiction to anyone outside of my blog and my Alanon group. I am coming to realize that I need to start working on that within myself.

         When I first learned my son was an addict I was overcome with so many emotions.  I was knocked to my knees with the feeling that I had failed him, and somehow caused his addiction.  As I processed those feelings over the next few months, and have met other POAs, I’m starting to realize that there is no stereotypical profile for addicts. I’m learning that I can’t fully help my son recover until I work through my own emotional baggage and stop blaming myself. In other words, I have my own type of “recovery” to work on.  I find that when I’m drowning in my own guilt, I tend to want to enable.  If I’m honest with myself, the enabling is more to soothe my own guilt than to help him. As I struggle with  on my own issues, it helps me understand a little more how hard it must be for my son to change his habits. Our lifelong thought patterns are deeply ingrained and not easy to change.  I have a long way to go, and I still catch myself having “what if” moments, but through the sharing of fellow POAs, and with God’s help, I’m making progress. 

     I’m trying to come to the point when I can “come out” of the POA closet I have placed myself in, and start sharing my story with people outside of my Alanon group and my blog. My dad was an alcoholic, and I grew up under a shroud of secrecy and shame, not really understanding why, just knowing that somehow our family was different, and we shouldn’t talk about it.  It’s hard to break through that barrier of shame, but I’m coming to realize that in order to help other POAs, and addicts I need to share my story.   I know there will be people who judge us, but until people realize that addiction can affect anyone, nothing will change.  So, when I say the line from the Serenity Prayer, “God grant me courage to change the things I can,” I am realizing that although I can't control what other people think, one of the things I can change is my own attitude about sharing our story.

         As I have read blogs of fellow POAs, addicts, and recovering addicts, I feel a special connection with so many of you.  Even though we have never met face to face I rejoice in your victories, and grieve over your setbacks.  The enormity of the problem, and the pain caused by addiction is almost overwhelming at times.  I am just beginning to learn how many people are affected by it, and why it is being called an epidemic.  But in the midst of the pain, there is hope.  We must cling to the hope that lasting recovery does happen, even against seemingly impossible odds.  My son is going on 90 days clean, and 4 months ago I wasn’t even certain if he was dead or alive.  Yes, it took an arrest to get him into treatment and help him get clean, but the Lord has a way of taking what is meant to work against us, and turning it into something good.  I know he will have to fight this addiction the rest of his life, but for just this day, he is safe, he is clean, and he remembers what it is like to feel normal without being high.  Where there is life, there is hope.

         The POAs I have come to know are some of the strongest and most compassionate people I know. I have learned so much from each of you, and I will be forever grateful that you have shared your journeys.  While it’s true there are some who will judge us and point fingers, I look at all of you with the utmost respect and admiration.