Yesterday my husband, daughter and I went for our first visit with our son since we took him to rehab on 3/09. As you might recall, he wanted us to come last weekend, but we declined. He sounded so good on Thursday when he asked me/us to visit. We decided to go.
He was more physically affectionate (first thing I noticed - he opened HIS arms for a hug), more communicative and calmer than in a very long time. He was positive about the place, staff and most co-patients. He talked about how many of the older ones tell him how lucky he is to be there now, at 19 years old. They, as I said to him, have far fewer days ahead than behind. I liked the way he and they interacted. He referred to "the community," and it seemed he wasn't just mimicking the parlance of rehab, but they he had embraced and was a part of it. This sounds small, but it was clear to me, his mother, that he had selected his clothing with care such that it matched, like in the past, so he was investing in presenting himself well. We brought him the few things he'd requested, and also the new books I've been gathering for him, and he was appreciative - not just taking. He reminded me how damp his bedding was one morning in December, and now believes he was going through withdrawal, an indication that he's gaining insight. And he's looking forward to our family therapy session on Tuesday.
These are the highlights. It was a beautiful day, too, so we sat outside in the foothills of a large mountain range. I'm not a religious person, but as I climbed into the car I looked skyward and whispered, "Please, keep him strong."
I am cautiously optimistic. I know this is just the beginning. I can accept this better today than ever before. I am also very aware that we've been brutally disappointed numerous times in the past. Still, this is his first time in rehab. Maybe it's clicking.
Thank you for all your continued concern and support. I'm thinking about you this weekend, too.
Molly, I am so glad he is sticking out rehab and those are all positive steps. Nothing is ever certain, with addiction it seems, but I am sure that this foundation is something he will always have and the seed of tools for recovery will be planted. So proud of you too.
Molly, at the risk of being a pollyanna, I do want to share that some people do get it in a 28 day program. My son did. As I have said many times, I don't know what combination of events came together that he kept putting his sobriety first, even when it was not easy, but he did. April 16 will mark 3 years. CindyKay state so eloquently about her daughter that nothing she could do was the reason her daughter decided she wanted this. I feel precisely the same way. as a parent with a child in recovery at home - all I could do was state observations, not tell him what he should do ...then I had to let go. Anyone who claims that is easy needs their own head examined! LOL Optimism is scary, the fear of having ones world crash in yet again is frightening to say the least. But, it can happen. You are in my thoughts...Laura
Molly, I am so happy to hear of your recent visit. Sobriety comes in steps, little ones at a time. It is all a process. This is one of those steps for your son. It may be one of many, or it may be THE ONE. The future is uncertain for all of us. Optimism is all we have. I still remain optimistic for my daughter, but am fully aware it all may come crashing down again this minute. Be sure to acknowledge his growth and accomplishments. Let him know how proud of him you are. My daughter said the most difficult part of recovery was accepting the fact that she hurt so many. With a clean head it became such a reality for her. She had such a hard time forgiving herself for her actions and making amends to us for her past behaviors. Acceptance and forgiveness. Two big keys. My hopes are with you,your family and the future.
So glad to hear that you had a good visit. It is often the small things and attitudes (the hug he initiated, the appreciative for the books) that give us the most hope. We can once again see the person, the child we love so much. I pray that you can all stay strong, especially as his discharge date approaches.
Thank you, everyone! These posts have given me sound advice, strength and courage. We're going back up in the morning for family counseling, after which we can have lunch with our son. I'm looking forward to the whole agenda. A bit apprehensive about the session, though; so much depends on the therapist, and we haven't fared too well with others in the past. But I'll hope for the best. Yes, acceptance and forgiveness, my mantra.
We're now halfway through treatment. It's going fast.
Thoughts are with you, too. See you tomorrow. ~ Molly
It was, dare I say, fabulous. His counselor and the facility's family therapist facilitated our session. It's clear that they totally get all of his issues. GIven our history with professionals, this in itself is an enormous relief. They were direct, and at the same time, encouraging and sensitive. There was no blame cast in any direction. My son is doing beautifully. Our main concern now, as we cross into the second half of treatment, is what will follow. They're recommending what is basically a halfway house on their premises - or a program elsewhere for codependence (to focus on the girlfriend). He wants to come home, and while he presented a plan, it's probably insufficient. Yesterday wasn't the time to discuss this at length. We were simply looking at the options. I spoke with him tonight. He sounds even stronger than he did yesterday!
There's an all-day family workshop there this weekend on (1) disease of addiction and co-dependency (2) denial and enabling and (3) healthy boundaries and support for family members. I'm hoping to go.
Cindy, Dave and I have something very significant and beautiful in common. I will definitely call you. In the meantime, see p. 46 in "Under The Bar."