Hope Sign

How to move forward with the help of PAL

Previously I talked about PAL and how this program, along with Boundaries, helped me to pivot my life and become the person I am now. As good as life is, the challenges are far from over. Currently, Bryan is clean. But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that as good as rehab is, it’s only part of the solution. Relapse happens to too many addicts.

That’s why I am so grateful to be on this journey with PAL. Last week I ended with Bryan saying “Be a part of PAL before it’s too late.”  So, let me go back to how Bryan got started, and why I have hope, even though I know there’s a lot of work ahead.

At the early age of two, Bryan was diagnosed with ADHD. By first grade, his behavior issues created a need for James (his Dad) and me to have a conference with his counselor. First, she talked to Bryan. This lasted less than 15 minutes. Next, it was to meet with us. I’ll never forget the moment when she lobbed this bombshell at us:

“The reason why you have a screwed-up son is because he’s got two screwed-up parents. When are you going to stop using drugs?”

It was the wake-up call I needed! It’s taken years but I started to work with her and change my behavior. After all, I had lost one child to adoption and a second to abortion. I could not lose another child.

James couldn’t completely give it up but was functional and a good dad – which is why when we divorced, we maintained joint custody of Bryan.  For years we managed and thought we could keep Bryan from using. But it’s impossible to control everything and one of those areas was Bryan’s friends. Remember, Bryan was diagnosed with ADHD and shared by divorced parents. These circumstances make it hard to find a good support group. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that peer pressure won out.

Losing his Dad and dealing with the issues all kids face these days led to my calling the police to pick him up at our house almost three years ago. As bad as it was, it became a new beginning.

Remember, this is when I was invited to Boundaries by Linda, who almost a year later, recommended checking out PAL. As a result, I met Michelle who facilitates PAL and leads from experience. She is truly dedicated.  The trust we have since developed means I can call her anytime, even a Sunday evening if I need support…which I have done. Her son, now over four years clean, was helped by a friend, and together they both support Bryan.

I would love to say we have everything figured out and all is OK. There is more and that will take another blog. In the meantime, Boundaries and PAL continue to change our thinking and help us grow each and every day. 


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