My first introduction to Las Vegas Recovery Center was in early 2005 when my son was admitted for a 5 week stay. While he was learning how to overcome his addiction, my time was spent learning that he had a disease and how that disease affected me and my family. The first thing I did was attend the LVRC Family Renewal program. This was four (4) full days of extremely valuable information that shattered the stigma that comes with addiction. I learned that what my son has is a disease and that as with most diseases it takes the love and support of a family to overcome it. I learned that I had taken a very unhealthy roll in dealing with it, not only for my son but for me and my family. That experience was life-altering and I will always be grateful for the team of doctors and staff who took the time to recognize that addiction is a family disease and to put together a program to educate us.
My son was clean for 9 months then went back into active addiction. I wish I can report that I applied the valuable tools I learned in the Family Renewal Program but I did not. Fast forward seven (7) years to April 2011. My son ends up in a year long Drug Court program that requires the parents to sign a contract that they will be involved in the program with him.
The first thing we are told to do is go to the LVRC Family Renewal Program. So again I find myself sitting in the room with the doctors and staff I admire. This time, however, I am reminded that I need to change the way I handle this disease, if I want to get off the roller-coaster ride called addiction. I realize that while I learned the same things the second time, I had only taken with me from the first time the fact that addiction is a disease which meant I could love my son again because it wasn't him doing all those awful things to the family, it was the disease.
So now I tell a different story. I currently attend the Family Alumni meetings each week and Nar-Anon meetings. I also have a Sponsor with whom I work the 12 Step Program because, I, like my son, need the help and support of these groups to keep me from jumping back on that roller coaster. I know that I will be okay even if my son doesn't stay clean. I know that I am in a healthier place and I feel wonderful knowing that I can have my own recovery.
We say this at the end of each Nar-Anon meeting: “Keep coming back because it works if you work it, so work it because you're worth it.” I have learned that I am worth it!