Finding Peace

Old 08-01-2012, 10:39 PM
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Location: MI
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Finding Peace

Hi, everyone. Reading Ilovemysonjj's post on kickboxing convinced me to share my feelings about the volunteer work I've been doing at a local rehab facility. As I mentioned in another post, I have recently started volunteering a couple days a week at the same rehab facility where my son was treated in late February. I meet with patients and families as they go through the admissions process, sharing my ES&H with them as they hang out in the waiting room during what often takes three hours of processing. And I listen to them share their experiences, fears, etc.

Like many on this board, I loved my AS fiercely and I did everything I could to help him get onto a healthy path and find happiness. I tried everything, in typical codependent fashion, but no matter what I did, things not only didn't get better, they got WORSE. And then, in the midst of my drawing my boundaries and taking a tough stance, at the lowest point, he was murdered. And my opportunity to help him turn things around was gone forever.

I know in my head that it wasn't my fault. I am fully aware of the codependent mantra -- didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it. But in my heart, I feel like I failed him. My goal was to help make things better for him, and I did not achieve that goal. Actually, that is an understatement - I failed spectacularly, as things got steadily worse and ended in his death.

Therapy has provided little comfort to me in dealing with this loss. But this volunteer work that I have been doing is the one thing that has given me a sense of peace. I walk into that waiting room and find counterparts to me and my son all over the place. He and I were sitting in those very chairs less than six months ago. I sit and talk with these people, and I can see that I am really helping them. They are so grateful for my compassion, empathy, and ES&H. I give to them what I tried to give to my AS, and it rolled off him as though he were made of Teflon. But THESE people sitting in the waiting room of this facility - it is so clear that I am helping them through this difficult time.

I know that I won't make the difference in whether these addicts are able to stay clean or not. I know that the family and friends have a long way to go and will need lots of support going forward. But for those few hours, during this highly stressful time, I know that I am actually able to help these people ... in a way that I was obviously never able to help my son. And that helps me a lot.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:19 AM
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Please never feel you failed you son I am sorry for your loss I have kept up with your post
your a kind and loving person. I am glad that sharing your ESH is helping you get though this difficult time. Your son is looking down and proud of you I do believe that.

Be easier on yourself...
Big gentle hugs,
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:31 AM
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You didn't fail your son, I haven't failed my son...we loved them and as mothers felt that it was our job to protect them. Our sons both knew how much we loved them. But the sad truth is that addiction is stronger than a mother's love. If it wasn't, not one mama would be here posting our stories.

Before we moved a few years back, I worked for 2 years at a rehab, and like you, it was so very rewarding to be able to give something back to a place that gave so much to my son. I too knew that not all the residents would get clean and stay clean, and my heart broke every time one of them went out and died. But I knew I was doing "something", something to help maybe one boy, maybe one mama who talked to me, and maybe the world was just a teeny bit better because I was there.

No dear SG, you didn't fail, I didn't fail, even our sons didn't fail. We just each lost a hard fought battle with addiction. We tried, they tried, and we all fought hard. But sometimes the good guys don't win the battle...but that never ever makes them losers...because they fought as hard as they could.

Hugs from this mama's heart to yours.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:03 AM
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Losing a kid to death is our loss but God's gain. I wish young people weren't needed in Heaven but I think there's a special place for them there- a place without the turmoil they faced here.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:07 AM
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How wonderful that you can give something back, SeekingGrowth. We cannot get through to our own children, but they often listen to compassionate strangers. Thank you for doing this.
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