I really needed to read this tonight. What a year this has been. From the deepest depths of despair a year ago, to taking some terrifying steps, setting boundaries I didn’t dream I could put in place… to eleven months of mostly progress, mostly sobriety, until today when I was shocked to see the demon staring me in the face again. Eyes are not right, words are slurred, and my son completely denying that he used anything. And my own anger as terrifying as the despair last year, as I faced him down. I reminded him that it is my perception, not his denial or even admission that will determine when the line has been crossed. And that today it has been crossed. I began to expect perfection. And for me, there isn’t much room for stretching the boundary. After seeing this post, I took a deep breath. I didn’t convey this message. I just asked him if he had any doubts that he would be out the door if I even suspect he is using again. ( That one impossibly painful, difficult night almost a year ago when I made my son leave and wouldn’t let him come home until he checked in to a rehab center and went through detox, convinced him that I was strong enough to do it.)
We have plans for the immediate future. He will start training to be an EMT and then Paramedic., in less than two weeks.
But he needs a year of sobriety and we are almost there. Is this one imperfect night, or the fall I have been so fearful would happen? Was it because we took Communion together on Christmas Eve, when he had a taste of wine? Was it the disappointment of his adult kids not seeing him at Christmas? Have I missed prior times that were warnings?
This is strike one, two and three all in one night. Because I told him if I suspected substance abuse again, the sanctuary of home is gone and he has to leave.
Progress, not perfection. So much progress has been made. But I allowed myself to enable years of abuse, and I know that the enabling stopped a year ago. I can’t let it begin again. Now I know what clear headed sobriety looks like. It has to be back tomorrow, or this “safe house” is closed. Please send me positive thoughts!