From Enablers to Saviors:
How Two Parents Saved Their Son from Addiction
Ten years ago my son was helpless and hopeless. He was in his late 20’s with only one goal in mind—to score his next fix. While his friends were already set in their careers, he lived in the microcosm of addiction. He was a college graduate yet his daily focus was on what he could steal, who he could manipulate or con for the sole purpose of buying drugs. He was on a path to self-destruction and it wouldn’t be long before he killed himself. I wanted to dream about his future, his wedding, and possibly children but instead, his father and I were planning his funeral. We were at a complete loss not knowing where to turn or who else to ask for help. By this time our son had been in seven long-term rehabs, always graduated, yet within a month or two always relapsed. We were told by counselors not to get our hopes up because he would never fully recover.
But as a mother who loves her son tremendously and unconditionally, I couldn’t allow that to be my truth. No matter what, I was going to fight for my son and I was not going to let the addiction win! Most people said I needed to turn my back on him and get on with my own life but I couldn’t give up. All I wanted to do was love him into recovery but instead, my love became enabling. All I wanted was to clean up his messes. I kept thinking that if he had a clean slate he could move on, he could focus on recovery. So I paid off the drug dealers, I turned my head when I knew full well that he was stealing money from my wallet or selling my possessions. I felt that I had his back; with my help, he would be successful. I was on a mission to show the world that he would be a success story.
I WAS WRONG!!!!!
The more I enabled, the more heavily my son traveled down the rabbit hole of addiction, unraveling all the way. I finally had an epiphany when he was living in Miami in a “crack” hotel with a dealer’s gun to his head. I could not help him, I could not change him. My love for him was killing him. It was time that I finally told him “NO!” No more bailouts, no more money! It was totally empowering for me! I realized that this decision was truly love! Yes, I was scared, I was horrified, I prayed he would make it.
My son was surprised, he was shocked and he was not happy! He was completely blindsided. He was on the verge of losing his mother, the one person who always believed in him, who had never given up hope. The rest of the family had already washed their hands of him. He was now alone and very lonely.
I still believed in him. I loved him so much. But I knew in order for him to help himself that I had to step aside.
“We are the lucky ones. We have our beautiful boy back
and he has his family back!”
My husband and I decided to give him one more chance—his very last chance. We signed him up for a treatment program that was different from the seven programs he had failed. He believed in the philosophy, it resonated with him. It changed his life and our lives too. He is now paying it forward by helping other addicts, by consulting with and consoling parents. He helps them to help their kids and also heal themselves. He has become the voice of recovery by hosting a weekly podcast on addiction. He has become well-known in his field.
We are the lucky ones. We have our beautiful boy back and he has his family back!
I’ll leave you with one message. Please never give up, never lose hope! Do not enable, but guide your addict into treatment and then step aside. Your child can recover, your child can be successful. ALWAYS BELIEVE! ALWAYS LOVE!
Pamela G.—Mother of Jason G., Narconon Graduate