My husband and I just celebrated 42 years of marriage.  We have one child together – a son – and I have a bonus daughter who was 4 years old when we got married.

My son was always spontaneous and loved going fast on go karts and quads. He loved his dog who always followed him when he went riding.

My son started smoking marijuana at a young age. When he was 14 years old, the police caught him smoking marijuana and he used the stereotypical excuse: “I’m holding it for a friend.” He eventually went on to do opioids and other substances.

He has been in and out of jail since he was 16 years old with the longest stay being two years (this has happened several times).  He has been to treatment six times – five times through the court system and one time on his own.

I was always enabling him by giving him money, believing his lies (because that was the less painful route), hiring lawyers and doing anything that I thought might save his life.

I found PAL on a local news channel who was interviewing a PAL facilitator. I had never heard of PAL and have been long-time member of Al-Anon, but I knew I needed more. I called a friend of mine who was going through a similar situation, and we started going to PAL meetings.

PAL has helped me so much and I’m most appreciative of the Gems and Nuggets. My favorite principle being: “No unsolicited help!”

My loved one was most recently released from jail in May of last year. I did things differently this time and loved him where he was. I told him I knew he had everything he needed to figure this thing out and mentioned nothing to him about recovery (he said in the past that I forced it on him). I also set the boundary, as I have done these past years, that my house was not an option as a place for him to live. He’s 6 months sober – his longest sobriety stint.

Today, I take good care of myself by going to meetings, working my programs and helping others.  I try not giving unsolicited help, letting him work his program and being his biggest cheerleader.

PAL helped me so much that I decided to facilitate a PAL group in my local area where there was none. And my friend facilitates alongside me.

– A PAL Mom