I have two children, one with my first husband and one with my current husband.

My son from my first marriage has never recovered from his father leaving us.  He has always been exceptionally bright, and he was a joy growing up. When he was 11 years-old, issues with his biological father became evident and a downhill slide began at that point.

I don’t know how my son got started drinking alcohol, but when he was 14 years old, I got a call from the local hospital that they had him and he had alcohol poisoning. He had been at a concert with friends and was stumbling up the steps before the concert even started, so he was taken to the hospital. That was the first we knew of the drinking.

Since that day, things have been hard with my son. His high school years were hell for us. We had to call the police twice during those years – one of those times he was taken to a psychiatric hospital for a week (for which he has never forgiven us). However, that proved to be a boundary that slowed down his bad behavior. His senior year in high school was more peaceful because of that and, amazingly enough, he graduated. In the intervening years, he drank and used every drug that one could ingest. He lost his house and his marriage. Finally at 45 years old, he went into a 4-week rehab program.

When he was growing up, nothing we tried worked – we begged multiple times for him to go into recovery and said we would pay…I talked and talked and talked to no avail…in high school he was in therapy.

A year and a half ago my therapist suggested PAL. I jumped right on it and have been a constant attendee. HOPE. PAL has given me hope. PAL has also helped me realize that I do not need to feel guilty for my son’s addiction or for how I raised him. Enabling is not love and I no longer need to enable him. PAL has helped me to see that I am also in recovery for my co-dependency.

I do not know where my son is right now as we live in different states. I do know that when he first got out of rehab, he was working very hard to stay off drugs and alcohol. Now, I have no idea. But PAL has taught me to stay back and not try to control – it is in God’s hands.

PAL has made a big difference in my life. Being with other parents who understand is huge. They understand; they care. It is a safe place to share as I work on my recovery. We help each other, and it’s such a blessing.

-A PAL Mom