My son is more than halfway through his year-long residential sober living program. His goal is to learn to live more honestly. He feels he wasn't doing so, which led to shutting down his emotions with substances. Each day brings new challenges, some advances, some setbacks. But through it all he has made the choice each day to live honestly. That means no substances on board (obviously) but also speaking his truth, even if it hurts sometimes. If he's happy, he shows it. If he's wrong, he admits it. If he's hurt, he talks it out. It has made a tremendous difference. As part of his recovery, he was asked to write an amends letter to the person who was hurt the most by his drug use. He wrote my husband and me. I wish I could post the letter in full to share with the group. Even though we are strangers in person, we have been through such struggles together. Without going into specifics, he apologized for so much -- the stealing and lying, the worry he caused us, the times he was cruel with his words or his actions, the broken promises and the shortcuts. He thanked us too -- for always wanting the best for him, for never giving up on him, for supporting his good choices, for learning early on not to "cosign" his addiction. The letter means so much to us -- especially that last part. All the times we did "cosign" in ways we thought were helping him -- then watched his substance use and its fallout escalate. All the ugly words and phone calls when we finally had enough. All the nights I lay awake, doubting my choices and wondering what kind of mother would allow her own child to (insert horrible scenario here), wondering if he would ever rejoin the family, wondering if he was even alive. It means so much to have him say, on the other side, that he appreciates us letting him figure it out. It means so much to see what happens when we *do* let him figure it out. My son has been through his share of rehab/sober living programs. In prior programs Hubs and I were "puppetmasters" in some small (or not so small) way, trying to direct his recovery in the direction we *KNEW* he needed to go. This time we just stepped back and let him decide, and he's flourishing as a result. Even though I love my adult children with all my heart, it is my ego, not my heart, that assumes I know best. Everything turns on a dime with our difficult children, especially those who have addiction issues. But for today son has made great progress, and no matter what the future brings he will have this to hold onto. Today is a very good day, and I wanted to share it with everyone.