A Mother’s Story
“I am the mother of a recovering heroin addict. That is a sentence I never thought I would be saying, but I am grateful I am now able to add recovering to that sentence. My son had a long struggle with drugs. I believe he began in his senior year of high school with pot, then pills, and various other drugs that I had no idea about. He then began using heroin. Heroin addiction is so heartbreaking. My son became someone I didn’t even recognize. Money, jewelry, and other items started missing from my home and my parent’s home and I just couldn’t believe that was something my son would do.
Addiction does divide families. My husband knew right off, when my son would not go for treatment, that he would have to hit rock bottom before he would get help. My parents, like me, were having a harder time with it all. They told me they could not let him be without a home. Asking my son to leave our home was the hardest thing my husband and I have ever had to do, but it got to the point that no matter how hard it was it had to be done. I felt guilty that he stayed with my parents as I knew how draining it would be on them, but they got to see it first-hand how his addiction would wear you out day in and day out. It became a very lonely and sad time for me. People are more than willing to offer advice, but until someone has lived through what addict’s families live through, they have no idea what they would do. I was in a very dark place at this point just knowing that I would get a call that my son was dead. I did get the call that he overdosed but thanks to Naloxone he survived. This close call still did not deter him from using. That is the stronghold the drug has over you.
I came in contact with Jordan and The Extension thanks to the court system. My son did not initially go into The Extension but that is how I met Jordan. He was a Godsend and thanks to him I slowly began my recovery out of the dark space I was in. The day we first met I was with my son and Jordan told me that this was my son’s path to choose and that I had done the best I could as a parent and it was okay to love my son from afar. He also explained to me that my helping him was actually hurting him and keeping him in this horrible disease. I had heard this from other people before, but somehow hit home with me coming from Jordan.
My son continued down his destructive path for a while before he tried to get into The Extension. The first time he was there it did not go well and he did not make it through his first weekend. I was so heartbroken and was giving up hope that his recovery would ever happen. My parents were aging more and my mother developed dementia, which is another horrible disease. My sister and I realized that they needed additional help and were having to move them into an assisted living home. I believe this move made a big step towards my son getting help. He no longer had a place to stay and they could not afford to give him money any longer. Don’t get me wrong, I know my parents had the best intentions and did provide my son a home hoping to take some worry off me, but add long as they were providing my son with a home and money he was not getting better. As Jordan will tell you I enabled my son in other ways as well. We’re all had the best intentions, but it was not helping my son. He once told me that heroin was my son’s addiction and my son was my addiction. He was right. I thought I should be able to save him. I was his mother.
About two years after my son’s first day at The Extension my son called me one afternoon in late May of 2017. He asks if I could please help him get home from Atlanta and that he was done and just wanted me to get him somewhere for help. I wasn’t sure what to believe at this point as I heard this story before. I agreed to meet him after work that day. I waited and waited and thought here we go again, but he finally made it. A friend of mine came and sat with me once she found out what I was doing. She had known my son since he was in elementary school. When he got there she even said he looked so down and just wanted someone to help him. He was fortunate that Jordan and The Extension gave him another chance. Be went back to The Extension the first week of June and this time he transitioned from the program. I am so proud of my son.
My mother sadly passed away in August of 2017. I remember getting that heartbreaking call from the assisted living home late the evening that she had passed. My son was home at the time and rode back down with me to their home. I told him on the way there I was proud of him and he had given his Nana the best gift he could have ever given her by getting into recovery prior to her passing away. My mom was a wonderful person who loved her family more than life itself.
I am happy to say that today my son is doing very well. He has an apartment with his wonderful girlfriend, has been at his job for over a year now, and is smiling and enjoying life again. He had a wonderful new family from The Extension and I say a prayer for him every day that he will stay strong in his recovery. I am so thankful for Jordan not giving up on my son and for helping me obey the years. I don’t know what I would have done without him putting up with me and I will always consider him a friend. He and the other counselors should be so proud of themselves for the help they offer addicts and their families every day. I don’t know where my son would be today without them all, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.” – Anonymous