Update and Letter from Son

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Albatross, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    My son is more than halfway through his year-long residential sober living program.

    His goal is to learn to live more honestly. He feels he wasn't doing so, which led to shutting down his emotions with substances.

    Each day brings new challenges, some advances, some setbacks. But through it all he has made the choice each day to live honestly. That means no substances on board (obviously) but also speaking his truth, even if it hurts sometimes. If he's happy, he shows it. If he's wrong, he admits it. If he's hurt, he talks it out. It has made a tremendous difference.

    As part of his recovery, he was asked to write an amends letter to the person who was hurt the most by his drug use. He wrote my husband and me.

    I wish I could post the letter in full to share with the group. Even though we are strangers in person, we have been through such struggles together.

    Without going into specifics, he apologized for so much -- the stealing and lying, the worry he caused us, the times he was cruel with his words or his actions, the broken promises and the shortcuts.

    He thanked us too -- for always wanting the best for him, for never giving up on him, for supporting his good choices, for learning early on not to "cosign" his addiction.

    The letter means so much to us -- especially that last part.

    All the times we did "cosign" in ways we thought were helping him -- then watched his substance use and its fallout escalate. All the ugly words and phone calls when we finally had enough. All the nights I lay awake, doubting my choices and wondering what kind of mother would allow her own child to (insert horrible scenario here), wondering if he would ever rejoin the family, wondering if he was even alive.

    It means so much to have him say, on the other side, that he appreciates us letting him figure it out.

    It means so much to see what happens when we *do* let him figure it out.

    My son has been through his share of rehab/sober living programs. In prior programs Hubs and I were "puppetmasters" in some small (or not so small) way, trying to direct his recovery in the direction we *KNEW* he needed to go. This time we just stepped back and let him decide, and he's flourishing as a result.

    Even though I love my adult children with all my heart, it is my ego, not my heart, that assumes I know best.

    Everything turns on a dime with our difficult children, especially those who have addiction issues. But for today son has made great progress, and no matter what the future brings he will have this to hold onto. Today is a very good day, and I wanted to share it with everyone.
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Albatross, what a wonderful, positive, honest post, thank you so much for sharing the latest development with your son. What a journey you all have been on. It must have been heartwarming and emotional to read his letter to you, what a gift.

    Beautiful. Thank you.

    "Today is a very good day"......celebrate, enjoy the moment, bask in the glow.......I'm basking right along with you today.....sending along a big hug for you Albatross.....
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  3. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    Wow! Congratulations to him and to you and your husband, it took your strength to help him get there. I live what you said about your ego that assumes you know best. I’m just figuring out that my ego has been directing me in more ways than I care to admit. Enjoy this day and treasure that letter forever.
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  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh Albie, such good news. I am so glad for you and your husband and your son. Prayers going up that he keeps progressing forward and shines the light through the dark tunnel of addiction. Thank you for sharing. What a blessing.
    Ps I hope you keep posting and let us know how he is doing.
  5. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    This is so positive and thank you for sharing.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    What a wonderful post! I could have written the post myself as you know.

    I know what it means to get THAT letter. We have gotten two from our son now who is in his fifth month of his 13 month program. One was to both of us and one was just to his dad. They mean the world to us and I almost want to frame them! It's like words that we've always wanted to hear but never did in seven years. He dug deep.

    I still am trying to get past the anger and bitterness for all the bad things that have happened to all of us as a result of this addiction. It is so very hard but I'm learning here from those of you that are in the same rest stop along this journey or those that are ahead of us.

    Like your signature says, we too are cautiously optimistic because we've been down the sober road before but never like this. It's all different this time. Not sure if it's maturity or the religious aspect of it or a little bit of both.

    I wish you all good things that your son stays the course and it sticks when he reenters the real world.
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  7. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Albatross, thanks for sharing this good news! I got a small apology text from my son when he first entered rehab, but don't hear from him regularly. He has been able to visit a couple of times, though. At first I was upset that he had called his siblings to chat but didn't call me, but now I'm trying to let him have his space.

    I think my son struggles with this, as he's famous for coming up with some believable and not-so-believable stories, as well as rationalizations, excuses, etc. I'm hoping he can have the kind of breakthrough that your son has had.
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  8. mumfromdownunder

    mumfromdownunder New Member

    Albatross, such great news. Thank you or sharing, it gives me hope that positives things can still happen on this journey :)
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  9. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    such wonderful bitter sweet news. and it is bitter sweet. All of the things that happened and no one wished had happened and all of the coping, grieving, anxiety and finally healing. Its the most precious letter you will ever get because it comes from a place of honesty, and the heart, not the manipulative addiction. It sounds like he is finally back! I pray for you all that he stays on this road and that his thank you will help with your healing! Hugs!
  10. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    That news is so heartwarming. Thank you for sharing it. You've been a tremendous source of support to me and others here for far longer than your son has been in this program — so obviously its from your generous spirit, and was given without the benefit of hindsight about how things can turn around.

    Im so happy that your son is seeing health and living honestly and sharing that with you.
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  11. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    Wow, what a great post! Gives a ray of hope that things could change. Thanks for sharing!
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  12. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Oh Albie;
    Live in and savour the joy of this moment. It brought tears to my eyes and made my heart so happy for you.
    This is a good thing. Nothing more needs to be said. It is just good.
  13. Onebreathatatime

    Onebreathatatime New Member

    What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm hoping that some day, my son will be able to be in the same place as your son. You give me hope! Thank you!!!!
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  14. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    What a lovely post! So happy for you and your son. A terribly painful journey for you but equally for your son. Prays that he continues! Xx
  15. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    Thank you for giving us hope.
  16. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    It makes such a huge impact when they acknowledge the pain they caused and apologize.

    There were times when his sincere words of regret and shame at what he had done that were the only hope I held onto that my son would recover and come back to us. Our son did not do a rehab and I’ve always worried about that but I think with the key being their own admission and want to change it is possible for an addict to find their way to recovery any number of ways.

    I am so happy for you and your husband. The stress of worrying 24/7 is unreal and takes such a toll on our health, our marriages, our careers.... it is exhausting.

    I hope you have some peace going forward.
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  17. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update, Alba. This is so good to hear!

    I have also stepped back from being the "puppetmaster". You are so right. They have to want it. We can't want it for them.