Chasing treatment

Chasing treatment

At a recent book talk a mother asked me, “How involved did you get in researching places for your son?”

Her anxious face catapulted me back into the crazed, frenetic days of Jacob’s disease, when he was at his worst, and so was I.   The memory brought back all the feelings of feeling out of control, jumpy, panicked and frantic to find the best possible treatment for my son.

First, there was the psychologist.  Then there was the counselor at the treatment center where Jacob was plodding through outpatient care.  And finally came the counselor who bolstered our resolve to give Jacob the ultimatum that eventually led to his recovery.

But towards the end of what would be Jacob’s final, inpatient treatment, there came an evening when I nearly relapsed into the chaos of the early days.  Jacob was in a Florida 100-day inpatient program.  After his first three weeks, I visited him.  He seemed to be doing well.  The staff said he was.  But how could I be sure?

What worried me most was the place itself.  A coat of paint wouldn’t have hurt. Hallways, floors, bathrooms, even the front steps needed a good scrubbing.  And so did – it appeared to my too-critical eye – the clients.

For one more panicky moment I wondered, should I transfer him to the shiny recovery campus in the more upscale neighborhood nearby?  Wouldn’t that better fit his need, and who he was? In other words, how could I still control where he was and with whom and what he was doing?

But Jacob WAS doing well.  He was learning, he was clean, and he seemed just…better.  Besides, he didn’t want to leave.  And wasn’t that the whole point?  Whose recovery was this?

As I told the mother, it’s your son’s recovery – not yours.  First, focus on you.  Research places that can help you.  Get help for yourself.

Chasing treatment may not help your son, but it may help you.





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