Freedom, One Day At A Time

Just over 2 months ago, I declared my son healed. He wasn’t physically….yet, but I spoke healing over him. I had to. I was tired of spinning in circles of everything that was wrong with him. I was done making deals and pleas with God.

He was in jail for the second time this year and the sixth overall from the last few years. I realized I was begging for the wrong things. As stated in my previous whining posts, it’s been a roller coaster ride. And not the new flashy, sexy roller coaster, but the old wooden, creaky, break-down-at-any moment roller coaster (where they would casually say: “You knew the risk” if something were to go wrong.

I was finished making deals and decided to get off the roller coaster, so I sent my first born incarcerated son this message of not only HOPE but of FAITH.

"Your potential is not measured by your surroundings at the moment, but by the quiet moments of your heart. Where you ache deeply for your family and kids. Where your shame has pushed you into places and spaces that smothered you into numbness.

Whatever it is that pushed you into those conditions you're in; whether it was a society who said you weren’t worthy of getting well; or your own spiral into self-defeat; you can come back.

Anytime, come back.

You’re needed. You’re wanted.

It might not seem like it.
We might be scared and worried at first, but it’s only because we care. We have been conditioned to fear the worst. So have you. That’s why it horrifies you to think of being that person you were before. After all – those were the days you needed to escape from. The stress and pressure of expectations and disappointment were off the charts some days.

What if you fail again?
Oh but my son, what if you don’t?
What if the last half or more of your life is filled with unbelievable joy? What if your kids and grandkids are gathered around you to hear your war stories? Not real war, but your days of the drug war. You won’t glamorize it like alcohol is. You will tell the cold hard truth. You will tell those precious souls that evil starts small. With a thought. A nudge. A risk. A desire for something more. You will tell them not to be afraid or embarrassed to admit their concerns. If they are in over their head, it’s the right thing to do to seek help, but mostly that ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD.

Come back.
So much love awaits you.

I knew the law had him by the nuggets, but I wanted HIM to WANT to come back to life. I wanted Him to make the decisions to recover, not just going through the motions. I wanted him to lead his own recovery so the success rate would be greater.

During his court hearing, his lawyer presented the name of the rehab he had been accepted to. The Judge started to approve his release from jail to the rehab when he slowly looked down at his notes. What followed was at least a 2 minute dead- silence tense moment in the courtroom, with all eyes on the judge as he looked from his notes to the computer. I knew my son was squirming inside but as usual, on the outside, he was cool as a cucumber. I was holding my breath wondering what the problem was.

Just 3 days before, my son almost got written up in jail for a problem with a jail razor not being turned in correctly. My son told me that it wasn’t him but he’s not a snitch so unless the other guy confesses, my son would probably be going to the hole for 24 hrs. I was thinking the judge was reviewing that and would punish him. At last, he spoke. It was a discrepancy in the number of cases. There was one missing. It was soon cleared up by the prosecution and the judge cleared my son’s release at 5 am the next morning.

My husband and I picked him up from that jail in the dark of the night, for the second time in 2 years. This time it was with hope, with the promise that this nightmare might be over. My son came out of the triple-locked electric doors with an old white shirt on and a garbage bag full of moldy clothes.

He was free. Would he run? My husband was prepared for that.

He didn’t. We proceeded on the 4-hour drive to rehab. The judge said we could only stop for an hour for a meal. Although I was concerned the judge would “find out”; we laughed about it as we stopped in to see his sister, went shopping for pants for rehab, and made the 9 am appointment for his CDL that was expiring quickly. We kept getting lost finding the rehab but finally made it by the 1 pm deadline. My son took his things, hugged me, and said. Thank you, Mom.

My husband and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Almost as big as we did 2 years ago at the Las Vegas airport when we sent him off with a total stranger.

He was free, in a way. But we were too. Free from worrying about the stark realities of jail. A place where they are just babysitting them through their time there. Addiction might as well be a wart on their toe as far as getting “treated”. Although they did take me seriously when I called medical and said he was going to hang himself. They listened to the tapes and put him in solitary.

He recovered from that mindset, Thank God.

So here we are 5 weeks into rehab. There still are no promises. I’m trying to give my son space to heal. I’m letting him learn to take care of himself. When he figures out he needs something and asks me, I make sure I get it to him, no matter what the barriers. I want him to feel how it feels to have food, a nice bed, and take vitamins again. I do this because I know that to take care of others (his kids, a job, responsibilities); he has to relearn how to take care of himself.

It takes so much patience. From the addicted one AND from all involved. I feel a bit sorry for those who aren’t involved. Oh, I know it’s easier to wash your hands of something. It’s easier to push all the work onto someone else to fix what actually takes both parties to fix. It’s so much easier to say, “call me when you’re sober”. Or even disown someone. If there’s a threat of violence or abuse, I can totally understand. But to fellow humans, family, even; it still saddens my heart that they miss out on the process of change:

  • #1 The service given to a struggling human.
  • #2 The joy of watching them change day by day, week by week.
  • #3 To hear their thoughts and dreams of better days ahead.

It’s disheartening to hear:

“He’s still the same, and until he’s back to the person I want him to be, then he’s not deserving of my time.”

Maybe not in those words but it’s implied. As for me, I choose to take the good with the bad. I choose to aid in any way recovery-minded. Yup, I choose to bring him a basketball at night, when he wants to play basketball.

Because recovery is an entire mind-body and soul transformation. It's using muscles they haven't used in a while. It's feeling feelings they haven't felt. It's them leaving behind all the coping skills that they've honed in on for months and years (however illegal they were), and convincing them there's a better way- But mostly giving them the space to find it.  

He went into rehab with a bullet hole in his leg, I’m hoping he will come out with lead-strong strength and conviction in his healing. And I’m forever grateful that I get to witness it.

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