So far 2018 has been a good year..... one month in and it’s promising. Son is still in school. Going everyday and no signs of drug or alcohol abuse. None. It’s a new reality for us. We have spent so many years in a state of high alert we find ourselves still doing so..... we have to remember to treat him in a way that promotes independence and not coddle or enable helplessness. Honestly he wants to stand on his own, and we are trying to let him. It’s a new dance after years of picking up the pieces when he messed up or fell apart, we are learning to back off and let go. We can’t change what happened or pretend it couldn’t happen again..... but we are learning to live OUR lives and not focus on him. He seems happier too. He joined the gym and has been going daily. He was an athletic teen so it’s nice to see him active again. He looks better. People have commented on this too. I know he wants a new life and it was his desire not ours that made the difference. He finally decided he had enough of the life he was living. Nothing we did or said made him change. I do however believe him knowing he had us in his corner helped him when he finally decided to get his life back on track. Over the Christmas break my husband read some of his school emails, when Son left it open on computer. He saw corespondence between Son and professors about a failed course, and emails to his school counsellor. Son was on probation with the federal student loan program due to his failing out last year at university and if he failed to keep a passing GPA he would lose his funding. It looks like his professor let him make up an assignment he missed during one of his binges in October before he got sober, and he was able to get a passing grade. He never told us about this and I told husband that is ok. He handled it himself and fixed it without us! That to me is a sign he is learning to stand on his own. I told husband we need to step back and he can do things foe himself .... he did! He did the project and got his funding for second term. He also applied to the next two year diploma program and was accepted. This is huge. He is on track to graduate from the one year foundations program and move into the two year diploma. He has never been on track for anything. He usually drops out by term 1. I am hopeful. He seems happy at the craft college and it seems like an amazing program and a good fit for my son. He says many of the students are “different” and he feels almost “normal” there. This is a person who looked like a typical university student, smart and athletic but feels more authentic at the craft college. He told me he was trying to please his father and I .... he didn’t say it in a way that was accusatory but I do think I have some fault. As university graduates with all our friends kids in university I am sure we projected that life on our kids.... without giving their wants or passions any thought beyond our own vision of what they should be or do. Both of our boys are in diploma programs at college as opposed to university and they are both much happier. Younger Son is in a Forestry College and so happy! He is on the directors list and did an outdoor camp last week in a snow and ice storm! No thanks! This is Canada and I like the snow as long as it’s outside and I’m not! He has found his way and is doing so well too. What a difference from last year this time and both boys had dropped out of university. I was so low and felt like a failure as a parent. I am learning to let my kids be who they are in a way I don’t always understand but can love and support. They have what they need to succeed and I need to trust that.