Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Goodbye, Atlanta

As I type this, my son is on his way to the airport in Atlanta. He's flying back to Michigan this morning. The arrangement with his roommate didn't work out, and he's decided--after a little more than a month--that he needs to come back to Michigan and return to a sober living house.

There are lots of feelings running through me right now: Pride. Fear. Disappointment. Gratitude. Love. Hope. Confusion. Happiness. Sadness. Etc. It's like I'm in a thunderstorm of mixed emotions without an umbrella. I'm just trying to sort them all out and avoid drowning in them.

I've been dealing with so much lately, including major health issues with my father (another thunderstorm of mixed emotions). I'm just not sure I can write an intelligent blog post at this time. I may post more details about my son's return later. Or not.

One question I do have: When is this incredibly long test God is giving me going to end? And, when it's done, will I pass or fail?

Regardless of the circumstances of his return, I love my son more than life itself. I will be very happy to see him and hug him. As will his mom, his brother, his grandma, his aunts...and, of course, his cats. 

The journey continues...


  1. For me the test ended when I stopped trying to save the addict's in my life from facing the consequences of their own choices.

    But that didn't happen until I became too ill to function normally. Now I have dedicated my time to becoming healthier

    1. I am not trying to save my son from facing the consequences of his choices. I am supporting him in his recovery. He knows he can no longer live at home. (He hasn't lived at home in almost a year.) He was in a bad situation in Atlanta and felt unsafe because of his *roommate's* actions. He asked if he could come home, and we held our ground and told him no.

      He then made arrangements--on his own--to return to sober living in Detroit. I commend him for that. Really, all I'm doing is picking him up from the airport and taking him to the sober living house after he has a brief visit with his family today.

      I am healthier--both physically and mentally--today than I've been in years. And my wife and I are now focusing on *our* lives, and the life of our younger son.

      Lastly, when I said, "When will this incredibly long test God is giving me going to end?" I was speaking not only about my son's addiction, but also about multiple family crises that have come up in the last several weeks. I feel like God is piling on me.

      Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comment.

  2. My son has just returned home last Friday from 77 days in rehab. I know all too well about that thunderstorm of mixed emotions combined with other thunderstorms at the same time ( my husband's plant filed chapter 11 at the end of May and he is laid off and in limbo ). I love my son so very much and I too, was so very happy to see him again. Peace to you....

  3. Glad too hear a Dads perspective and openly sharing!!I PRAY for all of us and our children!!GOD BLESS Karen(mom of an addict)

  4. If pain builds endurance, we'd all be ready to try out for the Olympics right? Sometimes I just want to scream "enough already!"
    I'll be praying for you and your son. Your love for him is so painfully evident. He is blessed to have that.

  5. I so feel your pain. My daughter spend 9 months in rehab then went right back out. She's not using the hard drugs any more, but is still smoking weed and drinking to the point of ER visits for alcohol poisoning. I've let go. Now I'm trying to figure out how to have some sort of relationship with her, in which I can maintain my boundaries and don't feel like my buttons are constantly pushed.... In any event, I wanted to make a suggestion about your comment about "God's incredibly long test/" Don't let your mind go there. I don't believe mine are God's tests -- the God I've come to know in Al-anon is not that cruel! The misery I suffer is a result of the choices my addict makes and the way I allow myself to look at them. Also, try to take each individual incident as it occurs, fight looking at them as one huge blob of disasters. You can tackle them one at a time; one day at a time. ,,, We're all in this together. God Bless!

  6. I am so sorry about everything life is throwing at you, Dean, it is way overwhelming. Good on Sam for getting out of a not healthy living arrangement and returning to a safe home. I hope he is able to get up on time mornings this go round. I wish him wellness & positivity like his inspiring friend James in Texas. XO

  7. Sounds like your son is making a good choice and you are holding your boundaries. Yay for that. (putting on pastor hat) I believe it's not that God piles on or tests us; life does that fine on its own. God is supporting us through the trials. Perhaps it sounds like semantics, but I find it helpful to look for the ways God is guiding or helping in the midst of the storm. This may be the right song coming on the radio or shuffle mix; the unexpected phone call from someone you haven't heard from in a while; noticing the lightning bugs (this happened to me last night as I was driving home from seeing my dad in the hospital). And remember that you have lots of people praying for you & your family. When I was in chemo that prayer was palpable to me; now that my life isn't as dramatic, I have to seek it out more, but that feeling of being surrounded and upheld is still there. Much love to you.

  8. I am sorry as I did not mean for my post to insinuate that you were enabling your son.

    Only expressed what ended my trial for me. I use to cry and worry about my family members....never realizing that I was destroying my own health and mental well being.

  9. "When will this test from god be over?" I have asked that question, from the addicts perspective a million times.it has taken me ten years to get a year of sobriety. That was with suboxone. My parents cut me loose very early in the process.keep supporting your son. The alternative is death or prison.

  10. I support what you are doing 100%. I have always said I'd move a mountain to help my son in his recovery but you MUST maintain your boundaries. To some that may sound odd but when you begin to understand and live with your values and boundaries life does indeed get easier and peace arrives regardless of the conditions.

  11. Wow,
    On one hand I can see that this hopefully is a wise and mature decision and great that he made all the arrangements himself. On the other hand, my son has been living about 300 miles away from us for over 2 years now. The distance certainly has helped with detaching with love. I must admit that I would love to see my son more than once every few months. It is good that we are not available for rides, court dates, etc.
    I pray that your visit was pleasant and without stress.
    I heard a good message on the radio a few days ago. This quote spoke to me:
    "God will not test us to see what we will do.
    He tests us so that we will see what He can do."
    So we wait sometimes patiently, sometimes crying out to turn our prodigal around and bring him "home."
    Looking up, Lulu

  12. God gave us life - don't choose to look at life as a "test" - we have choices - not tests - and there isn't a pass or fail - we received the gift of life and choices - we might not make good choices and then there are consequences - and I choose not to look at them as consequences - I choose to look at them as learning - a learning quest...if you make the bad choice again knowing the outcome then there will be consequences that you already knew what the outcome would be...life is a learning gift...filled with choices from the minute we wake up in the morning...only look at God with awe and thankfulness that he gives us new days to be joyous in - that's His promise to us...all else He directs us to give to Him...so stop beating yourself up - greet each new day with joy and thankfulness and and make that your choice...no more - no less...you can't control what Sam does - you can only be there for him and pray that God will lead him in a good direction...you've done all you can and that's a pass in my book!!!!!!