This is just too huge in my life not to share with you, my global pals.
Today my son texted me that a former friend (turned drug dealing partner turned enemy) died Wednesday of an overdose.
He said, "That would've and could've been me. I am grateful for where I am."
He is sober today and moving TOMORROW to Colorado.
The timing of this lesson is not lost on either of us.
I'm simply blown away.
Oh MM I am sorry to hear of another tragic death to those da$$ drugs, but am so HAPPY it was a wake-up call for your son.
Both my sons lost their best friends last year - one committed suicide (shot himself) and the other one died from choking after drinking too much.
Why oh why do some people have to learn in the hardest ways??
I am so glad your son "woke up". You must be so relieved, and hopeful.
Yes, I know you understand all too well the nature of the disease of addiction in your own circle.
Sorry to hear about these other deaths.
I am grateful beyond words that my son woke up and smelled the filtered water and organic foods
It is going to be tough not seeing him so much. But in Colorado he is actually much closer to me than he ever was just a few miles away doing drugs.
If that makes any sense.
So thank you for commenting.
Blessings to you, my friend.
Thanks goodness he realized how close he came to following in his friend's footsteps. Be a proud Momma! It sounds like you raised a good kid there.
Thanks tipoague. Proud, yes. But he's the one who did this, not me!
Relieved -- you bet, Habee! I want grandbabies like you !
There were many days I thought my son would not live to be 18.
That pain and fear is still vivid in my memory.
Now he is almost 20.
What a blessing to watch the light finally come on in his heart/head!!
That is wonderful! Sometimes it takes something drastic for them to learn reality. Sad for the parents who lost their son. Good for you that he is taking a new direction.
MM, its wonderful that your son has chosen a healthy life with the best chances for being both long and happy. It is sad that this other boy chose differently and now will never find the sort of happiness he may have found in time. Our choices are the only thing we really have any control over and directly create the lives we live.
What excellent news that he was able to make positive choices despite 'friends'. I know someone who struggles with addiction, and it is has been so hard to see her spiral downward. She has now gone to rehab and started attending various support groups, so the situation is much more hopeful now. I just need her to be OK, and for the first time, I think she really has a chance at it. Here's to better futures for everyone, and that your son flourishes in CO!
Thank you, Moon Willow Lake
(What a soothing hubber name).
These days it's rare to find anyone who doesn't know of someone -- adult or teen -- struggling with addiction. It seems like an epidemic.
I've lived through it and found recovery.
I realized on my 2 year AA birthday the reason God had brought me to sobriety was to help my son. His struggle has been briefer and more intense than mine.
But thank God something, somewhere along the line, stuck and started growing within him.
It's a baffling disease from the outside. We feel so helpless with our family members and friends. Wanting them to be ok and not having a clue how to help them.
I hope it sticks for your friend.
If she doesn't fully embrace sobriety this first time, don't despair. Many, many addicts ride the merry-go-round more than one still they figure out how to stay off permanently. That's the nature of the beast for MOST ADDICTS.
If you ever want to talk or have questions, there are many of us hubbers who are happy to share our experience, strength and hope.
Good luck to your friend.
Thanks for the well wishes for my son, too.
Thank-you for your very kind reply and for sharing your story. She is definitely still struggling, but I'm doing what I can to support what healing choices she's making and knows I will not support choices that jeopardize her healing. I also thank-you for the suggestion as I have been thinking about reaching out to groups to support me since I am supporting her; one thing I'm trying to do is get her to get an AA sponsor as that's something I cannot provide (I've never been through it since I don't abuse, and am too close, etc.) Though an NA sponsor would probably help her too, I think AA is best at the moment since that's what she is currently struggling with as she already stopped the other nasty junk. Here's to healing and thanks again!
Susan, what a profound experience. He will never forget this and the memory of it will always guide him. I am so happy he chose to stay on the right path and is now sober. I wish him all the best.
Hi Mighty Mom,
Thank you for sharing your story about your son. It is encouraging to see that he was able to change his life and I am sure he is reflecting on what his life could have held for him had he and the friend stayed close.
I have similar story where my niece got involved with a drug user and she starting using drugs also. Just last week her oldest child found the guy dead in the bed beside her, she was so out of it and had no clue.. How traumatic for her child.But she is now in rehab, and I pray she will get and stay clean, for her three children.
Thank you, hub friends.
I am feeling calmer and at peace, reconciling myself to having him within texting but not "let's have breakfast" distance. It's a process.
His miracle continues to unfold. I'm so grateful he made the choice while he still had that choice. At some point we cross the imaginary line and the choice becomes seemingly impossible. For too many, they lose it and never regain it (like the post above shows only too clearly).
GDibiase, I'm glad to hear your niece got into rehab. Is CPS taking her children away? That is usually what would happen in a child endangerment situation like this. I hope, as you say, she figures out she dodged a bullet this time.
Be gentle and patient with her. It often takes more than one try for sobriety to "stick."
GOOD LUCK to the whole family!
God bless them all.
I have known many, many young (and not so young) addicted mothers in recovery homes. Their #1 goal is always to get home to their kids or get their kids back from CPS. It's a strong urge to be a good mother!
Being addicted clouds everything and takes away our judgment. Our desire to be a good person and the mother our kids deserve is overshadowed by the need -- physical and mental -- to use.
To say "I hope it all works out" is really oversimplifying it.
Your niece has a LOT of hard work ahead of her. She has to learn to defy gravity and actively work to defy it every day.
But the payoff is worth it.
I do wish her, and her kids, and your entire family, the blessings of sobriety.
I am so happy for your family and so sad for the other family. Having a drug addict in the family is such a difficult experience for everyone. My brother in law was addicted to heroine for many years. It created a lot of conflict within the family, especially in regards with how to handle his addiction. It made for a rough few years of being a newlywed.
It took several times of rehab before he was finally able to stay clean long term. He has now been sober for about six years and is married with a baby due at the end of February. There were a lot of moments that we weren't sure we would see that happen.
We are very grateful for his continued sobriety. Best wishes to you and your son.
You are so right about it causing family conflict. My niece just tried to stay from her family, especially her Mom and Dad because she knew they were against the guy as well as the drugs, add to that 3 children and it is heartbreaking. I am praying for her to realize her value, and be able to get sober.
Thank you all for your good wishes.
Probably time to hub about the experience while it's still fresh!
Cardelean -- I know exactly what you mean about the conflict surrounding how to handle his addiction. Which, when you think about it, is insane in and of itself. It's HIS addiction and no one else can "handle" it.
The thing is, information and help are both out there for families. We just don't intuitively know where to go. And different family members take on different roles, from the hard-liner who gets irate to the emotionally intertwined enabler who thinks if they love the addict enough the problem will magically disappear.
So glad your brother-in-law got clean.
Always love to hear that news!
"from the hard-liner who gets irate to the emotionally intertwined enabler who thinks if they love the addict"
Wow that one struck home.
Dorsi: No doubt. I know you've lived the nightmare, too.
There is no right way to deal with an addict/alcoholic that doesn't involve not cosigning their BS.
I can say this because I've been on both sides of the situation.
Ultimatims, trying to control their source (pouring out their bottles), threatening, cajoling, pampering while pretending it's not really happening -- all 100% ineffective against this DISEASE.
Would you think of treating your loved one with cancer in any of these ways?
Of course not.
PS AWESOME avatar photo!
Ripplemaker: Thank you for your kind words. You bring serenity to my day!
Moon Willow Lake: You can find critical information by going to open AA meetings yourself. Listen and learn what she is dealing with. It's important that you have a handle on the enemy you BOTH are facing.
YOU cannot get her a sponsor. That won't work. She has to get that herself.
It is absolutely essential that she want sobriety herself. You cannot want it for her and you can't do the necessary work for her. I know you want to help, but please understand that you cannot manage her sobriety.
You can take her to a meeting and insist she identify herself as new in sobriety. Let the "experts" (WOMEN -- NOT MEN!) take it from there. They are better equipped to guide her into recovery so she won't be struggling.
It is a struggle at first but when you accept the help and do the step work, it gets easier.
Finally, for the record, NA/AA -- either is fine. There is really no difference between drug addiction and alcoholism. It's simply a matter of what form you prefer your drug in. The disease is the same. Many addicts who come to their knees off meth swear up and down they are not alcoholic (the "ism" is the "ism"). I am personally partial to AA over NA because it's the granddaddy of 12 Step programs. Since 99% of us grew up in the 60s or more recently, drugs are a part of everyone's story. It doesn't matter which substance gets you here. We say: Just get here. And work it cuz you're worth it!!
(Thanks MM. I just had some business cards made with the avatar too but too much yellow on this batch. I need to tweak the colors for the next ones I make.)
I am taking an interesting class right now through NAMI - a 12 week class. It is for families with mentally ill family members. Most addictions go hand in hand with mental illness too. I'm learning alot. I'll keep you updated on classes and more info. It might be helpful for those of us that are dealing with mental illness in the family and addiction at the same time.
You just said the magic words to me.
You are absolutely right. Mental illness and addiction are highly correlated.
Jury is out on which causes which. I think they simply co-occur.
I was JUST thinking of this very thing. We have just been through hell with my sister-in-law. I've known she is a drunk (takes one to know one although anyone can spot her -- no hiding it). But I've recently had that "a ha" moment of realizing she also suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
No mental illness is good or easy, but this is a particularly nasty one as sufferers do not seek treatment and if they do they simply don't comply.
I would LOVE to take that course. I will have to see if it is offered up here.
I have been thinking of starting a support group for family members who have been betrayed by sick family members. This sounds right up my alley.
Please do share what you learn. I am most, most interested.
And more important, I want to support YOU in any way I can.
We are not far -- we could actually meet up in person for coffee and commiseration:-).
Hang in there, friend.
"Some must die, so that others may live". I lost my brother in November to alcoholism and related mental illness. Drugs were a part of his past history.
My sister celebrated 3 years sober this week and I put the plug in the jug a dozen years ago. I visited the grave of my best friend Frank this week on his second anniversary. He was only fifty when he died but died in the grips of his addiction. Some must die so that others may live. I am delighted that your son has joined the ranks of the living after having been enrolled in the ranks of the "living dead".
Your stories are very powerful, sligobay.
I'm very sorry for ALL your losses, but heartened by the hopeful recovery in your world. Congrats to your sister. Three years is quite a milestone!
It truly is a family disease and just because one family members "gets it" is no guarantee whatsoever that others will.
I know some incredible sober families (siblings + some multi-generational). But like you, I know many, many more sober people whose family members are still out there.
God bless them all and hope they find their way.
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