I recently received this message from a woman in recovery that I have known many years. 

With her permission, I want to share it with you in hopes it will give you an understanding of the anguish suffered by a mother of an addict as well as an addict herself.
“I just read your piece in this week’s column (March 18, 2018) in The Clarion.  I was moved to tears and it rally hit close to home for me.  I have been in recovery for almost five years now from drugs and also my son is currently in Jackson County Jail for drug-related charges.  He had been in recovery and completed Drug Court and was doing so well until he relapsed and everything fell apart.  He is doing well and has a strong faith in God that will carry him through and my heart breaks knowing he will soon go to prison only for a few months but to me it sees like an eternity.
I believe there is a reason for all of this and God is using him for His good while he is incarcerated.  I just received a message from a lady that is over the kitchen at the jail where he works and she said he was a wonderful young man and he prays with her daily there.  I already knew how wonderful  he was but it made my heart smile knowing that others see that too.  He reminds me a lot of your son, John, in that people are drawn to him.  He has a sweet spirit in him like John always had.  Please add him to your prayer list and pray for a hedge of protection around him and that God would continue to use him during this time.  I believe with all my heart that God has great plans for (her son) and that his testimony will lead others to Christ!
I just want to thank you for your encouraging columns and all the work you do to help addicts like me.  I love you Ms. Christine.  You have been such a blessing to a lot of us that have been in addiction and hose of us in recovery.
I knew John since we moved here when I was six years old.  He was a year ahead of me in school. We ran around together as teenagers back when he dated _______. He was a friend to everyone who met him.  Such a sweet soul.  My son is like that.  I know as the mother of an addict the pain that comes with it.  I know so many people you have helped.  I am only one of them.  I will pray for all the mothers and that God would help us reach them somehow.
The guilt I feel because of my own past addiction is at times overwhelming.  (I want recovery) to be a way of life from now on.  I want the same peace for (my son). I want him to believe in himself and know that he has no guilt in what happened to us when he was a child.  He is so precious, Ms. Christine, if you ever met him you would see that, too.  We suffered a huge traumatic event in our lives when (my son) was 14 years old. My next oldest was 13 and (my other two were younger).  This led to my addiction and eventually let to (her sons) as well.
In your column you spoke about this and about the guilt that comes with trauma. (My son) has taken on so much guilt for something that he had no part in whatsoever.  He felt he should have protected me and he was only a child at the time.  We never sought professional help, couldn’t afford therapy.  It was too painful to talk about so we just didn’t discuss it.  I eventually turned to alcohol then drugs and when he was older so did he.  It took being arrested twice in a month for me to accept help for my addiction.  Looking back, being arrested was the best thing that could have happened at the time.
I lost my RN license and things were tough.  Through it all I accepted God back into my life and found peace once again.  July 26 will be five years since I have touched drugs or alcohol and with God’s help that will be my way of life from now on.  I want the same peace for (my son).  I want him to believe in himself and know that he has no guilt in what happened to us when he was a child.  He is so precious, Mrs. Christine.  If you ever met him you would see that, too.
“I can’t begin to feel the pain (of losing a son), Ms. Christine, the ultimate loss.  There aren’t words I know to lessen the pain but I know without a doubt you will meet him in heaven.  Blessings to you.”
(We invite you to tell us your story.  It will be kept strictly confidential.  Perhaps you want to direct the letter to your addict in hopes he or another addict will read it.  If you are an addict or an addict in recovery we would like to hear your story and the tools you used to reach sobriety. They had rather hear your story than mine.  We are available to speak to groups at any time, especially school children).

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