THE LITT COMMUNITY
We are here to share our stories without shame, and support one another in making healthy choices as we walk this walk.
The feelings of isolation and helplessness were overwhelming to me when my first son went into treatment. As a mother, I was completely unprepared to handle this challenge. I was scared, feared the future, and felt as if l could not share with my friends and family. Through a support group of wonderful parents, I learned that I was not alone in my thoughts and fears. Learning through others is powerful. I gained more strength than I thought possible. I was much more prepared when faced with my second son’s addiction. Just getting into treatment isn’t enough to heal from the damage addiction does to a family and ongoing support has been invaluable.
I will never forget the day I learned that my dear friend lost her son to the disease of addiction. As we sat weeping in her living room, the thought kept crossing my mind “I don’t want to be a member of this club. Lord, please protect my son”. My child has struggled for years with substance dependency in various forms. As a mother I have felt the clutches of fear at the thought of losing him, the judgmental innuendos in conversations with people, and the sleepless nights, tossing and turning, praying through tears that he is okay. As mothers that’s what we do. We love them as furiously as we worry about them. I can’t begin to say how thankful I am to have found people who have walked this gut-wrenching journey before, who know the roller coaster ride that it is, and who are there for you when you need them, day or night. Like it is said, it takes a village to raise our children. It has been helpful to know I am not alone in this.
My son is addicted to opiates. When this disease first affected my family a few years ago, I had no idea the toll it would take on me and everyone I loved. Sure, we have friends that have kids struggling with drug addiction. And one of my son's closest childhood friends lost his life due to an overdose. So it's not like we weren't aware of the opioid epidemic. But you really can't understand the gravity of the disease and the shame that comes with it until you live it yourself.
It seems ridiculous now, but for the first two years I didn’t want anyone to know about my son's addiction. I was too embarrassed to tell our family and friends. I was struggling in silence and it was actually making me sick. I was depressed and falling apart on the inside. I didn't have the energy to take care of myself. All I could think about was that I had to be strong so I could fix my son. I kept going over his life trying to figure out where I went wrong and why I didn't catch this and stop it. I was hanging on by a thread. Then I met with Shawn and she became my lifeline. I finally had someone who understood how I was feeling. So much so that I thought she was reading my mind. I had no idea back then how important her support would be for my well-being. For me, the advice from a mom of an addict is invaluable. And some things were tough to hear, but I followed Shawn’s advice so I wouldn’t enable my son's destructive behavior. I learned to love my son and hate the addict. I also learned this is not my fault. Shawn has been there for me on the darkest days of my life, when my son overdosed and was on life support, and her continued support is critical to my healing. I truly feel blessed to have such a kind, caring and compassionate friend.