I would like to share my story with you, one that is hard to write, but necessary to tell. I am the mother of a son who has been fighting alcohol and drug addiction for 10 years. As I am writing this, he is once again in a treatment center after surviving a drug overdose. I don’t know if this time will finally be the one that helps him to stay alive and live a life clean and sober. I can only pray that it is.
My son was born into an upper middle class family. He never had to fight life on the street, but as we all know, addiction has no social or economic boundaries. Although he is an intelligent, handsome and charismatic man, he suffers from lack of self-esteem and it is only getting worse as he fails over and over in his efforts to be drug free. As a child, he struggled in school and was diagnosed with learning problems at a young age. I believe this was the beginning of his feelings of “not being good enough.” As are most children who are diagnosed ADHD and dyslexic, a doctor put him on medications in an effort to alleviate some of his problems. He attended schools that specialize in “at risk” students. Every effort was made to give him the support needed to help him succeed in his life. But it wasn’t enough.
He used alcohol is his teen years to mask depression and anxiety. From there, he began using prescription medications, finally descending into the world of heroin. When I first heard of his heroin use from a friend of his, I was stunned. I went into denial. My life and the life of his father spiraled down with his. We began to live in a dark abyss of fear and guilt. Our main mission became keeping him alive.
The longest 15 minutes of my life came when I found him on the floor of our house, grey faced and not breathing. Giving him CPR until the Emergency Medical Technicians arrived. Knowing that if he died at that moment, at least I was holding him. He was not alone.
With the help of some of the most caring and knowledgeable people in the field of addiction, I began to heal myself. I became a volunteer at The Extension, giving back to an organization that gives addicts a second chance at life. Through my work with The Extension, I see miracles happen. Men and woman addicted to drugs and alcohol can recover and lead productive lives. Families thrive through the recovery of a loved one. That is why your support of The Extension is of the upmost importance. You are saving the children, wives, husbands and loved ones of the addict – not just the addict.
Please pray for me and for my son. Pray that he can find a way to want life as badly as I want it for him. And for me, pray that I can live by the words of the prayer that says it all: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
-Volunteer of The Extension