My name is Laureen and my son, Max, is an addict. When I think back to the beginning of our recovery journey, the feelings and emotions around that time were very challenging. What I’ve learned is that sharing is healing. There’s nothing unique about our story and I have learned so much through listening to other family’s stories (in rehab and at Family Weekends at Alpha). I ‘ve heard and felt despair, fear, trauma, shame, guilt, anger, sadness & pain. What I’m here to share is there’s also hope, joy, peace, healing, and LOVE.
When Max was nearing the end of a 3-month stay in residential treatment, I was educated on the importance of aftercare in recovery. When Alpha 180 was recommended, I was met with some resistance (in Max, myself, and other family members wanting him to come home). We were all so fragile. However, I listened, I trusted, I let go. I’m so grateful for the guidance I had during this difficult process.
Max’s journey at Alpha began in the summer of 2019. Upon arrival, he was greeted by complete strangers with open hearts, clear communication, love, and unwavering support (something none of us could have given him due to our own trauma from addiction). Max had new freedoms. Freedom to learn how to live sober, freedom to heal from his own trauma, freedom to deepen his spiritual connection & freedom to find his purpose. All with the support of his new family in Austin. This comforted my mama heart. With the support of the team, he began trusting, creating connections and, best of all, learning to love himself. This was/is a process that takes time, patience, and trust…IMMENSE trust.
The time Max was in rehab, I had the space (for the first time in a while) to begin to breathe. When his journey started at Alpha 180, things shifted into a deeper level of healing for us all. It was the time to look within. To heal my own trauma/wounds. The time to reach out and utilize the resources available to me to heal myself. This looked like lots of therapy, movement of my body (yoga, lots of walking, meditating), sharing & listening, releasing shame/guilt, softening, unraveling, surrendering! If you seek the healing- it presents itself to you.
I like to use the analogy of a garden.
Life is like a garden – there will always be weeds (‘weeds’ being the trauma and old emotional wounds that will inevitably “pop up”). If I tend to them only on the surface (or ignore them), they’ll keep resurfacing and eventually take over completely. I must dig deep to find the roots to truly heal and permanently remove them from the beautiful garden of life. It’s not easy. It takes work. It brings up a lot of patterns I had learned from my own childhood. However, the biggest gift I can give myself and my children is my own healing.
I trusted the process and Max has grown beyond what I ever envisioned. He continues on his path of recovery (as do I). May you know you are not alone.
“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought it would look like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.” – Rachel Marie Martin