A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction

Pride Aside is one Father’s attempt to be vocal about his
son’s addiction, and how their family has navigated this
perilous journey together.

“Raw, brutally transparent, real, heart-wrenching,
inspiring, relatable, frustrating, unsettling,

“A gift of unsettled but secure
promise to those who are struggling
along the broken road called life.”

Dr. Rob Futral, Senior Pastor
Broadmoor Baptist Church, Madison MS

Karen from Alabama’s Story

On our website, we have a tab titled Your Story. Karen from Alabama shared her story below. Please join us in praying for Karen and her family.

This year we begin year 7 of my son’s addiction/s. We often look after his sweet, two year old daughter. She adds sunshine to a void and we feel great about making a difference in her little life. After Nick went off to college on a football scholarship he was redshirted, began a downward spiral and came home after that year confused and addicted. I suspected that drugs were the problem while Nick’s dad was certain that he would not do drugs. We hired a well known psychiatrist who specializes in youth difficulties to help us come to terms with this after I suspected an overdose. My husband was then certain that drugs were the problem and we followed through with his valuable advice: get the car and insurance out of our name, call the law if necessary to get him into rehab, do not let him move back in after rehab. We were successful with the first two steps but could not leave him on the streets after rehab. We’ve been through 4 totalled cars in two years, two accidents that most would not survive (on one of them the EMTs were certain that he was dead). He’s been to rehab several times and jail very many times. Other crimes are involved, I strongly suspect but seem to have gone unnoticed. He’s a champion in running and starting over and “I’ll never do that again” and “why does the family not want me there on holidays”. During this time I fought cancer (still cancer free), my husband is retired and a back patient. I’m so glad that I work for the public schools so that my insurance can be a big part of my income.

Steve, after wondering what we did wrong for several years, and trying to figure out why he would work so hard to get straight then dive back in, we agreed to ‘give him to God’ and with that we slowed dramatically down on the enabling. Enabling was killing all of us. This year he spent 8 months in jail and is now out of town in a Christian halfway house. He’s working and the only help that we give him is to transport him up to visit his daughter. He LOVES that sweet little girl.

We’ve actively volunteered in our community for over 25 years. It was very difficult to experience the press splashing his name across the TV news several times and facing our coworkers and friends as they judged the situation. It became clear to me that we must put our “pride aside” remember to leave it to God and to be honest and open to conversation about our experiences with addiction and enabling. People around us were watching closely as they were very aware of how involved we had always been in our boys’ athletics and academics. It was amazing how many people came out of the woodwork with similar issues within their families. We also experienced kids of our son’s age who were dying from drugs. We had friends who’s children were very young and they feared for their futures.

Because I do not understand the science behind addictions, I feel that my best place is with staying on my platform regarding enabling. If enabling was diminished doesn’t it seem like addiction would be minimized?

I loved your book, Steve, and look forward to staying in touch via your site and FB. Unfortunately, we are not alone. This is a distructive disease in America and a national problem. There has to be an answer.

3 thoughts on “Karen from Alabama’s Story”

  1. Sandra Phelps says:

    Karen is my sister and the pain of addiction of her love one reaches through many states and so many people. Our prayers continue to be with her and family. It took a lot of courage, I’m sure, for her to write.

  2. Joanne H says:

    Dear Karen,
    Looks like Nick is on the right track now!
    Please let go of guilt that by enabling you
    prevented Nick from staying sober/straight.
    I have 28 years of continuos sobriety in AA.
    I started using at age 14!
    I have worked with countless people to help them stay sober, enabling does prevent one from feeling the consequences but it doesn’t cause addiction nor prevent recovery. It’s Nick choice to change!
    I hope if you ever visit Broadmoore Church you let me know. Tell Nick lifetime recovery is possible. Much love, JoAnne

  3. Cindy says:

    The feelings of guilt of what I should have done better haunt me everyday. Hindsight is always 20/20. My son just came home after 15 months in prison. Right now he seems like he will get his act together but it is definitely one day at a time. Praying for your son and your entire family.

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