- Mental Health»
Addiction: The Road to Recovery
What is the first step to recovery?
The first step has to be taken by the addict. Those of us who have never had an addiction do not have the answer for them. We may think we know. But, how can we truly know how they feel, and what they are going through. I've asked so many questions. I've surfed the net looking for answers. I've used my instinct as a parent. I've tried to use basic psychology, to form an answer. I truly discovered, I have to put my faith in God. The first step for an addict is ADMITTING they have a problem.
Everyone Else Seems to Know Best?
Once people know you have an addict in your family, they try to tell you how to handle the situation. They feel they have all the answers. It's not that I don't want people's advice. I just feel each addiction, each individual involved, every one's emotions, and coping skills are exclusive to the individual. Studies show people with the same addiction respond differently based on the fact each individual is different. Those abusing the same drug has their own drug related problem. Every addict has to find the root cause. "Why did I become an addict?" Even though most may have several stressors in common, this doesn't make them all alike. You have to take into consideration, every person is unique in their own way. Therefore, textbook answers are not always right. You hear them say, "I could right a book on this, because you're going through what I did". The common denominator is you know someone who is an addict. The next words out of their mouth is, "This is what you have to do". Free will, I don't have to do anything, I have a brain, I have logic, and I have a voice of reason. Those people can give advice, but I have to handle the addiction of my son in my own way. I have to follow my mother's intuition. I want the best success rate for him. My son is an adult, I can't force him to do anything. I can only support him, and let him know my love for him is unconditional.
Our Beginning Plan
On the road to recovery, one has to disassociate themselves from the people in the other world.....the drug world. If not, they are going to fail. Next he has to develop will power. He is the only one who can do this. If not, he will fail. I've talked to him and tried to keep him occupied in order to keep him from failing. ULTIMATELY, he controls his own destiny. I can't make him do anything, he's an adult. He has to fight these demons on his own. I would love for him to seek private counseling. However, he is firmly against it for now. I hope someday he will seek this additional resource on his own.
Since he decided to kick this addiction on his own, I've given him my support, love, and suggestions. I try not to force my opinions on him. I want him to succeed. He was living at my house, however, he was going a little stir crazy. We had an outlet for him; he decided to go to our cabin. A choice, he made on his own. It's only thirty minutes away from my house, but it's back in the woods. He has no access to a vehicle, only the 4-wheeler and a tractor. He loved to go there as a kid with my husband, and he loved to hunt. Since my husband has been sick, he's not been able to maintain the upkeep, and my son decided this would be his way of working out his addiction.
Twenty-four days ago he came to my house. During this time, he had one day in which he relapsed. I didn't lecture, but I let him know how disappointed I was, and how much he had hurt me. Once again my heart was broken. He has been seventeen days clean from his prescription drug addiction. He once told me, he knows he's kicked it when he doesn't remember how many days it has been................when he's no longer counting. He started exercising; he's gained weight, and he no longer has dark circles under his eyes. I'm seeing my true son come out in him again. Before his addiction became uncontrollable, we would talk for long periods of time on the phone or in person. Once again, we have come back full circle. Just the other night on the phone, he had laughed and said 'some of the things I talk about with my mother maybe I really shouldn't'. I told him I've always encouraged him to talk about what he feels and how he feels. I enjoy the fact we are close enough he trusts me in this way. I know he doesn't tell me everything, but it's a start. He laughs, he smiles, and gets upset if he is unable to talk to his son daily. These are all signs of the progress he has made in a short while.
Over the course of the last seventeen days, he has started to come out of his shell. His isolation of his family and previous friends before the addiction, has changed. He has started to reconnect. He is becoming functional in society again. He has helped his step-brother with a remodeling project. He's mowed with the tractor at the cabin, he's cleared brush, and completed numerous repairs on the cabin itself. He's started getting his energy and will back to do more than give into his addiction. He's fighting the battle daily. I continue to tell him how proud I am of him for his accomplishments up to this point. I have to thank my husband and his son for being a continuing srong force in my son's life for his recovery. I encourage him to continue to be vigilant in his stance.
I have no way of knowing what the future holds. I can only pray, he stays true to his path. He seems to have a strong determination to win this battle. He talks of the mistakes he has made. He talks of the things he wants to do. Right now, he's looking forward to spending the next few months hunting. This was a true passion of his, when he was growing up. When he talks about the upcoming hunting seasons, he has an excitement in his voice. He talks about all the things he has lost, and giving up all of his passions. He's regained his passion for so many of the things he used to do and love. Hopefully through faith, prayers and time, we will see what his true future holds. We can only pray for the best. Only time will tell.
Update: Feb. 2022
I've been waiting for years. Finally, I have hope. Hope for a future for my son. He has been In rehab since September 2021. He has been going through a program which has helped him deal with all the emotions in his life he chose not to deal with. Never give up hope. Recovery is a work in progress for him. Praying he will continue on this road.
- Dr. Phil.com - Advice - Overcoming Addiction
- Overcoming Addiction | Psychology Today
A daring approach to therapy puts substance abusers where they belong—among family and friends. Knowing the effect they have on their loved ones motivates many addicts to live a substance-free life. By Marc Galanter | Psychology Today
© 2010 Cindi