It was 3 years ago, at a course I was taking at an Addiction Services Center for Parents. My son's Addiction had reached a major crisis point, I had reached a point that I, was also in crisis. I couldn't eat or sleep..I am an emotional eater, so the fact that I couldn't eat really scared me!! I was in trouble..I reached for help..It was hard..I was always the strong one..I was the caregiver..at home..at work..That was my Job ! I made the call..I needed help in dealing with addiction..I needed to understand it better..I needed to know why my love and nurturing..Threats & ultimatums weren't working!
I met with the counsellor the first time, It happened to be a man I knew, A man I had worked with for many years in my work in the Health Care System. Immediately I was at ease,I was in Good hands ! He listened..He understood..The same story..Just a different Storyteller. He thought I would benefit greatly from the course for parents given at the Center. Sign me up!!
I was soo scared that first night, like a child going to school for the first time. It was a small class, Limited to about 20 people. I live in a small city, so I immediately recognized a few faces,who quickly turned their faces away when they realized they also knew me..Yikes the dirty little secret was out..We had children with addiction Issues.
I was relieved I knew somebody..we could reach out to each other..as we took this course..share our stories..help each other..Did not happen..They weren't there to make friends..Where I was of the belief that no one could understand what we go thro like another parent going the same thing...Obviously we were not on the same line of thinking or at the same stage in our journey's. But I kept going back..listening..learning..asking questions. ( The only crazy parent that did)
I did learn that addiction was a disease. I knew this ,however actually seeing the scientific proof just hammered this home, even more. Genetics also played a role..I knew that also...Both my parents had addiction issues..One to alcohol..One to prescription drugs. I made the conscience decision not to put my children thro what I had endured growing up. Therefore, my children would have a good role model..I also educated them about the dangers..the genetic factor... etc. Well One son got it..One did not..No one can predict who will be affected by this disease, but the numbers do not lie and predisposition to addiction certainly raises the bar. Was it my decision not to become what I lived with growing up...Or...Was I just darn lucky!!
When we got to the"Letting go" night, I was stumped..Brain dead..Did not buy into this at all!! I just could not get how putting my son out on the street..could ever help him heal... Help me. How could a mother do that !! How could I live with myself..How could I sleep..Function !! No, this was not going to happen.
Well it happened. It was a process..A steep learning Curve...And Is.. the hardest thing I ever did in my Life!!! I finally got it..But it took a few years to embrace this decision. It is still a daily struggle..But Letting go does not mean I love my son any less..That I can't still be his Mamma...It Just means I got desperate when everything else I did wasn't working..It was time to let go and give him back the responsibilty of his actions. Start to help him reach his rock bottom rather than being his safety net!!! Reading the book " Don't let your Kids Kill you " By Charles Rubin