The Journey Continues
Even though our son has remained clean for more than three years, he would as with most recovered addicts, tell you the choice to relapse is always present. The struggle eases in time but there remains the constant reminder that circumstances are always present that may trigger a behavioral change that may include relapse or even death. Drug addiction is a stain that cannot be removed but may less apparent with love and support. The addict must continue working the steps and reach out when they face obstacles. The triggers or bumps in the road are ever present to all of us. Learning to manage them is a constant challenge. The obsession to rejoin those addicted lessens each day but it is there.
I feel right now he is in a good place as we are. We still are regenerating or recharging our batteries from time to time as incidents such as the one mentioned with Complacency suddenly appears. We are no different than the addicts themselves. We need to continue meetings and seek understanding. The blog has now become my journal. It helps me to keep myself in check. It’s only a suggestion, as they continually remind us in meetings, that one might find a journal helpful to record your own journey. I frequently go back and can see where I’ve learned so many of the tools our son has used to work his way through issues and in turn how I applied to my own behavior.
I have no idea if ever I’ll stop attending meetings or seeking understanding addiction. When we get involved with families and addicts themselves it brings out the good in people. Even if you have no understanding of what addiction is, you can feel the pain or see the sorrow in their lives. Many including myself looked at addiction as one’s own fault and weakness. You choose the mistakes you make in life. We all make them. Why not try to help? Certainly, we wanted help. Pulling yourself up and starting over again becomes easier with help. For the addict the major hurdle is to reach out. The major help will not come from the family as they have been hurt and have no answers. The people the addict must reach to are in rehab facilities, sober living, meetings and sponsors. These are the tools to start the road to sobriety. Our son will continue his own challenges which are far more arduous. He knows and understands firsthand what addiction is and what it does to the body and spirit. He knows it will be a struggle for the rest of his life and accepts that but feels strongly that he has the tools to remain clean and sober and enjoy life once more.
He knows the family’s love and support is present and gives additional strength to his incentive to the journey. Our son frequently will mention one of his favorite sayings from the meetings “Keep your heads up, you’ve had them down long enough.” Love and miss you.