“Dad, Brandon’s in jail.”
Nothing had prepared me much for that little bombshell. In this story, Brandon is my youngest son and was 21 at the time I got the call. That phone call was a significant life-altering experience. It was one of those moments that instantly delivered a life-changing disruption to my sense of normal. It caught me by surprise, it instantly interrupted my routines, and it started me on the road to a new round of experiences that nearly destroyed and very clearly transformed my life.
I knew Brandon was going through an issue with heroin. I didn’t really know what that meant. I had no idea at the time how powerful the word “addiction” is. I was clueless as to the difficulty Brandon was in. This was the beginning of a very long and incredible journey.
This is not a new story for the parents of addicted children. The more I meet, connect, and share with parents, the more I discover that we all have incredibly similar, painful, heartbreaking stories. The only component that really changes are the names of those involved and how the stories are told.
Fortunately for us, Brandon is still alive, currently living at home, and in recovery. There are far too many other wonderful parents who are grieving the passing of their child to the disease; or have children who are lost, simply wandering about the streets in pursuit of their next fix.
There is nothing about addiction that can be explained, understood, or easily fixed. There are no easy answers. There are only stories of hope, love, celebration and loss for the parents. It is in the exchange of these stories where solace and strength reside.
Even in Brandon’s recovery I catch myself worrying about the day “when.” It is not fair to him; but, I have been scarred by my experiences. I pray for his ongoing and continued success. It is not in my hands – it is in Brandon’s and God’s hands.
There are over 23 million people suffering from addiction. That is 23 million families that are going through some version of an addiction related experience. We are not alone. No one is immune. And, every family is a risk.
The key to our success in working through this issue to share, communicate, understand, and learn.
100Pedals was founded of the experiences of a dad looking to help himself and his son. I am here to collaborate with others as they go through similar battles. Together we will find the strength and the insight and the peace to carry-on!
Parents, if you need a friend, please let me know how I can help!