One and done

One and done

When we drove onto the grounds of the treatment center, my first thought was, this is it.  This is where my son gets well.

The setting was picture-perfect.  Pastoral.   Any ache, mental or physical, would be healed here, swept away under ancient, leafy oaks, cleansed alongside a sweep of graceful weeping willows. Even the stream soothed, its soft patter across steppingstones tinkling in the background.

Driving home, after a final hug, I felt hope rise.  It was Jacob’s first inpatient stay. He would be cured here.

Ten days in, my fantasy slammed hard against addiction’s cold reality.

Jacob wasn’t ready.  Not yet.  When I looked into his eyes the first Sunday we visited, I saw that same sad, lost child.  Damn, I thought.  Even within this secure, idyllic setting the ugliness of opioids had seeped in.

It would take two more inpatient stays, and more than a year, before Jacob was ready.

How often do I hear the hope in a parent’s voice when a child enters that first inpatient stay?  How often do we learn later that it takes one, two, or many more “tries” before that child is ready and willing to accept recovery?

When Jacob was small, I had so many expectations.  Happy high school days would slide seamlessly into college.  He would fling his cap into the air and turn to his chosen career.  Live a rich, happy, fulfilled life.

Instead, addiction found him, and all expectations were shattered.

There was one hope I clung to:  will THIS rehab be the one?

And eventually, it was.

Rehab isn’t for everyone.  Jacob tells me many people get healthy in other ways – especially through AA –  and for others who find a treatment center it can be “one and done.”

But for our family, it took lots of support, patience, and hope for him to find recovery.

And for me, too.


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