Megans (Not her real name) Story

“The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a Single Step”

I’m not sure when it all started… my Son was in and out of psychologists from the age of 6. Eventually a neurologist diagnosed ADHD and prescribed Ritalin from this early age. That may have been the initial trigger…

When he was 14, he started cutting. I was shocked when I saw his arms and then took him to another psychologist who admitted him into the psychiatric ward at a local hospital where he was under the care of a psychiatrist who told me very bluntly that my Son would amount to nothing, that he was manipulative and would probably end up in jail! When I told my Son the report back I had received, he said he would like to change psychiatrists as he believed that specific one didn’t like him. We then changed psychiatrists – that’s when the “enabling” began.

From then on it all spiralled downhill but I was blind to what was actually happening in my own home. I found a small straw with white powder in one of his pockets. I had it tested at my doctor who confirmed it was crystal meth. When I approached my son about this, he said it was his friend’s.  I then banned that friend from the house, believing my son once again. I had my son tested and he showed positive for Marijuana and Methamphetamines. I then insisted taking him for weekly tests at “Reach” and after 4 months everything seemed to go back to normal.

He then mixed with the wrong crowd. He failed Grade 11 and had to re-do the year. I must say, this brought him down from hero to zero. He matriculated at the same school and got a Diploma pass. He then started studying a 3 year course in Hospitality Management. He was always late for class, never completed his work and made our lives a living hell. He lied to us about everything. He seldom went to work for his in-house training and got into a confrontation with the Head Chef and was told to leave. He was always rude, never greeted, never took care of himself and always looked untidy. He was stealing from my husband, his father, his brother and pawning anything he could get a few rand for. He didn’t think once about the consequences of his actions. He had become a monster. He stole alcohol out of our bar at home, he would take money out of my purse and take food from my pantry to feed the rest of the scum he was associating with. We would argue on a daily basis, he had no respect for me, my husband, his father, let alone his peers and lecturers. He had no relationship with any of his family. His younger brother wanted nothing to do with him. He had destroyed any chance of a relationship with anyone but he didn’t care.

Last year, I received a message a few days after my husband and I had arrived in Brazil to say that my Son had been involved in a serious car accident in my car, which was a possible write off. When he was breathalysed, he was over the limit. He was then taken to an overnight cell. Being miles away, and a 5 hour time difference, I was totally distraught at the fact that he was in jail. I had visions of him being raped and I cried enough tears to fill an ocean. The legal system then lost him due to a lack of paper work and he was traced to a cell in Ivory Park 2 days later. He was frightened and very emotional about what lay ahead of him … he had now reached rock bottom.

My doctor suggested admitting him to ARC. I was hesitant at first to admit him into a Recovery Centre that was “so local”, but it was the best decision I have ever made. Brad and Cheryl made us feel welcome immediately and assisted us every step of the way during his recovery. He completed 3 months as an in-patient, 2 months at the ARC Halfway House and then completed his outpatient programme.

He attends between 3 and 7 meetings a week, does service and has also chaired meetings. He has a good job in sales, is always well groomed and well spoken. He has a purpose in life. My son was given a second chance in life and with dedication and the 12 step programme he is succeeding.

Each one of us has our own story to tell, we’d love you to share your experience, strength and hope with our readers.

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