A Story from Julie:

My name is Julie, I am a mom to an individual recovering from addiction, and this is my story.

Addiction has been a thief to my family.  It has stolen relationships, it has stolen precious time, it has stolen expectations of what we all thought our future might look like.  It has stolen peace and trust. But this battle is not over. One thing it cannot steal is the love I have for my amazingly strong and courageous son. He is fighting a mighty battle right now against this thief (addiction), and I am fighting and will continue to fight alongside him by being there for him, praying for him, and encouraging him.  I want him to know he is not alone and does not need to be ashamed. I am here to tell you this thief will go after anyone he chooses so do not think it can’t happen to you.  

Throughout this battle, as our family wages war against this thief, I have found immense peace by putting my complete trust in Jesus.  He has been my refuge and has truly given me a peace that surpasses all understanding. I have become more educated about the thief by attending PRN support group meetings (they meet Thursdays 7:00-9:00 pm at The Connection).  The amazing people that attend those meetings have given me support and love in a beautiful nonjudgmental way and I am so grateful for them.  

I do believe that God wants those going through difficult times to reach out and help others going through the same battles.  He put something on my heart to help other parents waging war against this thief that is attempting to steal their child. This November we will have a weekend parent retreat specifically for parents of children battling substance abuse issues to give them rest, allow them to refocus and refuel for the battle.  If you are going through this right now, I encourage you to reach out for support.   Do not be ashamed, many more people than you realize have been affected by this thief.  

“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10).  

A Story from Malayne:

My name is Malayne, I am a younger sister to an individual recovering from addiction, and this is my story.

 My brother is only eighteen months older than I am, so watching such an incredible guy turn to such an overpowering substance was really hard. He began to hang out with friends that weren’t the best influencers, and became more distant from me. It was hard to watch one of my best friends be caught up in such a horrible mess. Even though my brother has made mistakes in the past, he’s working tirelessly to bond our relationship, and bring peace to the family. 

He is currently in a rehabilitation center, and enjoys showing us all the hard work he’s put into his program. I have full confidence that he will overcome his addiction. I’m proud of my brother for putting in so much effort to heal, and I’m amazed at what God has done for me in the process. Looking back at this year, I can see all of the things God has put in my life to help me continue on this journey. It’s not easy to be away from your best friend, but God is doing amazing things in his life, and I can tell that the wisdom and courage he will gain from this hardship will be great beyond measure. 

A Story from Julia:

My name is Julia, I am close family friend of an individual recovering from addiction, and this is my story.

I have been a best friend of the individual’s sister since 2006 and have watched first hand the impact that addiction has had on their family. From the beginning, it was difficult to watch the struggles that my best friend had to walk through as this individual continued down a path of addiction. With every setback came another difficult time period for their entire family. This caused a significant amount of stress and anxiety while still trying to balance the responsibilities of every day life.

While this individual’s addiction has been an uphill battle, it has shown me the value of having a strong support system. Through everything, the individual’s family and friends within the community have remained dedicated to helping the individual reach recovery and get their life back on track. It was inspiring to watch the perseverance of my best friend and her family during this difficult time and see the immense loyalty and lovingness shown toward their loved one struggling with addiction. My best friend and I grew closer through this experience, and I am proud to know such a strong and enduring family.

A Story from Jen:

My name is Jen, and I am the aunt to an individual recovering from addiction. This is my story. 

I remember the first time I realized my nephew was addicted to drugs. It was so shocking to me because he was high at a family function. He was withdrawn, and I couldnt have a sensible conversation with him.

He was always such a smart, witty guy. It was always so fun to be around him. We could discuss all kinds of things, from football to movies and music, even current events. 

The culmination of him getting the help he needed occurred at my house, and there is a certain degree of guilt that comes with this. I dont blame him, he was deep in the disease state that is addiction.

My sister and I have grown closer because of this. I try to be there for whatever she needs, without judgement.

He is in treatment right now. I have only seen him once. I dont feel the connection we once had, but hopefully it will come in time. I see glimpses of the man he was, he is trying really hard. I believe his future is bright!

A Story from Papa:

My name is Papa, I am a grandfather to an individual recovering from addiction, and this is my Story.

This is one of those things that you never think will happen to you or your family.  It was tough to hear this news.  I felt some guilt and I was concerned that I had missed some of the signs that I should have noticed.  I was depressed and wondered how this would affect us and how things will play out.   

I have been able to visit my grandkid, while in the program.  I have witnessed a lot of change.  The grand child is now back to the strong person she used to be.

My challenge is what to discuss, do we acknowledge what is and did happen or do we just ignore the white elephant… So far, we are just communicating about common issues and not discussing the issue/problems.  I realize that the real challenge will be when the grandchild has finished the program and is out on her own.  

To ensure that she could come out to my house when herprogram is over, I got a special door lock to put all my temptations behind.  So I have done what I could to minimize her opportunities where she could stray.

There are so many challenges ahead and I play a small part of her recovery, I just want to make sure that I am available to support her and be there for anything that she could need.  So far, I do not think that our relationship has been affected and I know that she will have a lot of opportunites ahead.

The real challenges are in her family, there must be a lot of forgiveness, by all members.  This road is a rough and one that will be tough for all those on this journey.  I hope and pray that all goes well and that all can get to the end of the journey with a smile on their face and say that they are now better off.