Today is my difficult child's 3rd Year Sobriety Anniversary!

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Ephchap, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    My son received his 3 year coin this morning, presented to him by his sponsor, at an AA meeting this morning.

    I know what it's like to be living in the chaos of substance abuse, and remember hoping to hear success stories along the way. My difficult child has come so far from where we were. I never want to jinx anything by saying he's a success story, as he has a way to go, but he is definitely on the right path and is a work in progress.

    My difficult child battled drug addiction (first pot and then to crack) and has a felony and several misdemeanors on his record as a just-turned 17 year old - an adult in Michigan, so it is on his permanent record. He spent 10 months in a dual-diagnostic secure inpatient facility, until his 18th birthday.

    He beat the drug addiction, but as time went on, was drinking more and more alcohol. He "thought" he could handle the alcohol. Two DUI's later (one at 20 years old - under the legal limit, but zero tolerance for being underage and one at 22 for being just over the legal limit), and he lost his license.

    He became a father to my precious grandson, but when he and the mother of his child split up, he fell deeper and harder with alcohol. Three years ago today, he called me while I was at work and said he needed help, and asked if I would take him to the hospital. He admitted himself into the substance abuse unit for one week, and was then transferred to the psychiatric unit for one week.

    He joined a nearby Alano Club (an AA social type club where meetings and social activities are) and met his sponsor there. He's been active in the club for three years. He plays on their softball team, golfs in their outings and is even the Chair of the Saturday evening meetings. It's ironic that he is now the one signing the slips verifying people were at a meeting. He's come a long ways.

    In the next month, he will be reapplying for his license and will have to go before the license appeal board. They turned him down 18 months ago, saying he was in a more intensive program before (when it was for drugs) and relapsed. The judge asked how this time he thought he'd stay sober. What that judge doesn't seem to realize, is that he truly is drug and alcohol free and is working the AA program, going to meetings throughout the week. He's a different person than he was. The judge also asked about his psychiatric evaluation and the medications he is on, and said that people who are bipolar are more likely to succumb to drugs or alcohol.

    I cannot believe that statement is not illegal. I told him to ask his new attorney if they can even take that into acount. I know he has to let them know about the diagnosis because they give him a drug test, and his medications will show up on it, so his psychiatrist has to fill out a lengthy questionnaire. I can't believe they can hold that (his psychiatric diagnosis and medications) against him, when he has been seeing his psychiatrist regularly, and has been stable and substance abuse free for 3 years.

    I'm hopeful that now that his psychiatrist can state he's stable and his AA group can state that he's been sober for 3 years, that they will give him a second chance. He's been without a license for 6 years, and has been working steady at the same company for over 5 years. Hopefully they will take all that into account.

    Anyway, I apologize for the long post. Just wanted to let those that didn't know my son's story know that there can be light at the end of the tunnel. He's a wonderful dad to his son and has been dating someone for the last two years who is supportive in his recovery.

    Happy 3 years, difficult child!

  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Deb! Congratulations to your son and to you also. It is good to hear a sucess story. I am sure yours will give others here more hope. Thank you for the update. -RM
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thanks Deb for sharing.... I like hearing those success stories. They give me hope!!
  4. compassion

    compassion Member

    Fanastic!!! Thanks for sharing this! Congrats to all !
  5. You must be so proud!!! I know I sure would be! Way to go difficult child! Guess he could almost be a easy child now? :)

    Thank you for posting this story - it's good to see that they can come through the chaos and be ok when they reach the other side.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Happy 3 years indeed!!!!! You know my feelings on second chances for those who have proven that they have cahnged and your son has done that. I hope with his honest testimony and that of his sponsor, the review board will give him the chance that he so deserves.

    Congratulations to your difficult child and continued success in his journey of sobriety.

  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    :bravo: Way To Go! I'm so happy for your whole family. DDD
  8. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    Wow that is wonderful!!!
  9. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    So nice to read a success story :) Thank you!! And best wishes to him for many more!! :)
  10. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    That is wonderful - thank you for sharing. It sounds like even with the obstacle of not having a car, he has been steadily working at the same job for 5 yrs. That is huge, and I commend him on that.
    It just goes to show that with great support (p-doctor, you, AA, etc.) as well as a very strong desire to remain sober, a person CAN get back on track with their thinking and their actions. So very happy for you both. May he continue clean and sober forever!
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Congrats to him!
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Wow! Congratulations ....thats lovely news.
  13. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    What a great milestone. Congratulations to difficult child - my best wishes for continued success.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a wonderful success story it is Deb, thank you for sharing it. It will give so much hope to those still struggling along this path. Your son is doing a terrific job in all areas, and absolutely deserves to get his license reinstated, I will say a prayer for that, hopefully, he will get a more compassionate judge. Many congratulations to you and to your son, I am so very happy for you. (((HUGS)))
  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

  16. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Thank you for sharing and congratulations to your son! Such a great accomplishment!
  17. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Oh Deb, How wonderful for your son!!!

    I am so excited for him and his life. Truly a success story around here!!!

    I can't believe "they" can hold having Bipolar Disorder against your son either...Geez louise, that is not fair!!! Talk about anticipating the worst! Hopefully with a psychiatric doctor participating maybe through a letter to judge they will see that having Bipolar disorder "Managed" actually REDUCES the possiblity of relapse!

    Thank you so much for the positive update.
    Congrats to your whole family...your son is living proof that sobriety "One day at a time" is possible and leads to a happy/fullfilled life.

    You are such a good mom too.
    hugs and congrats,
  18. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    Thanks, everyone! Yes, I'm very proud of him. It's been a looooong road, trust me. There is no bus system or any way for difficult child to get to and from work. husband and I have been driving him for far too long. We agreed to help so long as he's doing the right thing, and he has been.

    Hopefully this time, the judge will realize he's doing everything they've asked and more. He probably won't get a court date for a month or so. Meanwhile, he's meeting with a new attorney and having his psychiatrist fill out the paperwork.

    One day at a time.

    Hugs to all on this forum that are on this substance abuse journey.
  19. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thank you so much for sharing. I needed to read this today. Because it is so hard to have hope and
    so many of us have years of grief.
    After over 2 years of rtcs and 4 years of therapy of all kinds, my daughter is still a difficult child. Her mental health issues
    are serious and she is not getting help at present....wants a break, which I think is dangerous, but then it doesnt matter
    what I think.
    Congrats to you and difficult child. You are an inspiration.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful story!!!!!! Kudos to your son for his hard is not easy to quit drugs. Bet it will make him even stronger. Here's hoping for bigger and better things for his future :)