A Mother’s Story of her Son’s Recovery
Ten years ago, a friend of my son came to me and told me that my son had
a problem with drugs. I was shocked. He was 21 years old, working on his
Bachelor’s Degree in Kineseotherapy, had a lovely girlfriend, a
steady job, and had his own apartment. We had a family meeting and my
son agreed to move home and get help. Well now what? I didn’t know
how to get him the help I promised. I knew nothing about addiction. I
had never known any addicts or alcoholics. I didn’t have a clue
where to start. Not to mention I was heartbroken and scared. I kept asking
myself where I went wrong. I just knew it was my fault.
I turned to the internet, and found Thelma McMillen. My son was able to
have a free consult the very next day, and started treatment immediately.
I started attending family groups. When I learned the extent of his addiction,
my life became a constant state of fear and worry. I became obsessed with
where he was, who he was talking to and what he was doing. My prayers
for my son changed from “Please let him have a wonderful career,
family home, etc.” to “Please let him live another day.”
I wrestled with the guilt of how I had failed as a parent and became determined
to make it up to him. I attended the family groups for the sole purpose
of helping my son, but what I found was help for myself. I couldn’t
believe that other family members were feeling the same things that I
was feeling. It was such a relief to not feel alone in my pain. I learned
that everything I thought I was doing to help him was in fact aiding and
abetting his addiction. I learned that this is a family disease and we
all needed to get healthy.
It took many years for my son to get sober. I attended Al-anon and worked
my own recovery. I thank God every day that he has made it through this
journey. Flash forward to today: I have been working here at Thelma for
over eight years as the Intake Specialist, and am very proud to say that
my son now works along with me here as a counselor. Every day I look at
him and think miracles do happen.
Intake Specialist, Thelma McMillen Center
A Son's Journey
I began doing drugs and drinking, casually, in high school. Whether natured
or nurtured, I fast acquired a taste for opioids. The summer before college,
I broke my back in three places and collapsed one of lungs dirt biking
and was diagnosed with OCD (primarily) and ADD. This chain of events would
set in motion a rollercoaster of prescription (and, in turn, nonprescription)
opioid and amphetamine abuse.
If I remember correctly, I was 21 years old when two of my best friends
took it upon themselves to let my mom know I was having a hard time with
drugs. At the time, I hated them for ratting me out but, little did I
know, they paid a high price, my friendship, to save my life. An intervention
followed suit. To say I was in denial is an understatement but, I was
well aware I couldn’t/wouldn’t knock it off left to my own
devices. I was a functioning addict but, an addict nonetheless. I was
going to school to be a Physical Therapist, working in the field and living
in a studio apartment and my high school sweetheart and I were going strong.
Be that as it may, I swallowed my pride, moved in with my mom and went to rehab.
Enter the Thelma McMillen Center. By the time the fog lifted, I was off
and running on the road to recovery. My road, however, was a far cry from
straight forward. My road was littered with twists and turns and high
peaks and low valleys. At the bottom of my lowest valley, my rock-bottom,
I lost my grad school, my job and, worst of all, my high school sweetheart.
No matter how far my fall from grace, Thelma was there, not to kick me
when I was down but, rather, to pick me up and help get me back on my
feet. Both a stepping stone up to a higher level of care and, later, down
to the real world, Thelma never wavered.
By no means have I arrived. I will, hopefully, be a work in progress ‘til
the day I die as a recovering addict, a counselor and, most importantly,
a human being. Working at Thelma for the last year or two with the people
I leaned (and lean, for that matter,) so heavily on, my mom specifically,
is humbling to say the least.