As a mother of someone in recovery my heart broke today. Not for my son, not for my family, not even for myself but for every other son and mother out there who continue to fight the beast of addiction. My son was (is – if I’m willing to accept that) addicted to prescription meds and alcohol. Even after 5 years of recovery under his belt, I still have a hard time using addict or alcoholic to describe him.
My baby is so much more than an addict, in fact if you met him (even at his “bottom”) you probably wouldn’t have suspected the demons he battled. Which is why today my heart was shattered when I happened upon a young man who had not been allowed to board his flight because he was too drunk. Sadly, he had relapsed.
What made it particularly hard was that he wasn’t a belligerent obnoxious drunk. In fact he was kind and understanding of the airport personnel. He was respectful, well-mannered and he was completely broken. He just sat there – head in hand with a look of bewilderment in his eyes. He had no idea how he had let it happen.
To top it off, his biggest concern wasn’t about himself, it was about how he would call his parents and say he missed his flight home. My tears flow freely as I write this waiting to board my next flight.
I hate addiction. I hate the pain it causes the addict most of all. And before you dismiss his pain and judge him or say he brought it upon himself like so many others are murmuring around me, you only need to look at the broken spirit that was once this young man. Because trust me he never wanted to bring this kind of pain into his life.
So I sit here and do the only thing I can. I close my eyes and I pray hard for him. I look to my higher power and give some other mom’s baby to God’s care. It takes everything in me to resist my urge to sweep him up in my arms and say it will all be ok. But my Ala-non step work has taught me that this is his battle and I can help him most by staying out of business that isn’t my own.
The truth of whether it will be ok is up to him. But this reality doesn’t change this fact – I hate that the upcoming holiday will be clouded by this moment. I hate he is in pain and I hate that I will have to let go and let God.
This young man was approximately the same age as my son, and while I understand that recovery is a process, the mom in me is angry at the disease and sad for this young man.
But most of all I hate that it could have been him. I hate that it could have been my son.
That’s the shitty part of this journey. There are no guarantees, there are no perfect answers or words to the wise. It’s a battle that’s won one day at a time.
And today that battle being fought wasn’t my sons and for that I am grateful.