I’ve never written a blog post before. Not long ago, I’d have told you that I never would. There’s that word….”never”…the word people say not to use. “Never say never!” Right? Well add writing a blog post to that list--the list of things I’ve said would never happen that have subsequently happened. Is this some sort of supernatural challenge?
Regan is in Arizona—she flies home tonight—visiting her friends and counselors at The Pathway Program where she attended rehab from March, 2018 to January of this year. Rehab…there’s another one of those “nevers”. Pathway will always be her home away from home. At 19, she’s as comfortable there as she is at home in Texas. She has so many friends there and has ties to their families who treat her like she is one of their own. When she visits Arizona, I sleep amazingly well. Somehow, my soul knows she is well taken care of in that place and everything in me settles down. She gets to see her friends she misses so deeply, while I get a respite from all of the feelings that go along with walking this road.
If it sounds like I’m complaining in any way—I’m not. Please hear that. My life—our lives—are better for having experienced what we’ve been through. I can’t say I’d have chosen this path if I’d been given the choice, but I think that’s the whole point. 😊
My life is just so different from what it was. I find myself reading social media posts and both missing the things we had to give up (like sports and dances and proms and graduations) and then remembering that those things are so unimportant in the grand scheme of life. It’s just that a part of me misses at times feeling and being like everyone else. Instead, I attend parent support group meetings two nights a week. On Saturdays, Regan and I attend a support group meeting together. On the outside, my life looks similar to what it was. But on the inside, everything has changed.
My closest friends have remained the same. Thankfully, I am blessed with people who loved us before drug addiction affected our family, and they love us just as much today. But my circle has grown significantly to include many other parents like me. Some mentor me and help me work things through when I’m not sure what to do or say next. And sometimes I get the opportunity to help other parents in the same way. These meetings and these new friends are a big part of my life. Being in a room where everyone understands because they too have been there is so healing and so peaceful. I wonder if there will come a time when I feel like I don’t need these meetings anymore? Maybe. But probably not. I feel like it might be why addicts continue to attend AA meetings regularly for years. Life in recovery is all-encompassing and forever a part of who we are. It changes everything if you let it.
The things that used to be important to me are much less so now. Regan’s sobriety is at the top of that list and everything else falls under that. I still celebrate your kids’ sports accomplishments and love seeing the prom dresses and their A-Honor Roll awards, but my mind always remembers something much bigger. There are kids like yours and like mine dying every day from the disease of drug addiction. Regan is alive today because she got help. No pretty dress or sports championship or school award could have saved her. Pathway did. When I say my view of the world is forever changed….I mean it from the bottom of my soul. I think the things you think could “never” happen are the things that change you the most. And that’s perfectly ok.