Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tough love

Most of you guys know about my son Ryan's problems. He recently had to leave the Lifeline Ministries program because he drank while out taking others to and from their jobs. He stayed with his dad for a while until Joe talked to one of our neighbors who needed someone to help him remove all of the debris from his 2 farms. Ryan was just the one for the job. He was staying at our house rent free while he worked and saved his money. We were more than happy to help him since it seemed that he was really trying to better himself and to stay sober.

Things were working out fine until Monday night. It seems that Ryan was watching the NCAA final game and also listening to his sister's IPod. He doesn't know what happened or why he did what he did next. He went into the kitchen and found a bottle of liquor in the cabinet and started drinking.

I noticed the next morning his truck wasn't in the driveway and I couldn't imagine what in the world could have happened. He told me that he parked it right next to our white truck. Later on that morning Joe and Stephanie were leaving to come into town and they saw the truck. It was just down the road on a gravel road in the ditch stuck. They drove down to our neighbor's house where Ryan was working to make sure he was there. Joe attempted to ask him about it and he said they would talk about it later. He didn't want Stephanie to hear what had happened.

Apparently well into his drinking binge, he decided he wanted to go outside and listen to music. Then he decided to listen to music in his truck. Then he decided to start the truck. And for some stupid reason he made the decision to drive. He drove around the neighborhood and down Kansas Rd (the gravel road) and ran into the ditch. He said that he doesn't even really remember it. I can't imagine would could have happened if he had not gotten stuck.

We sat him down last night to find out what exactly happened. Of course he couldn't tell us why he did what he did because he is an untreated addict/alcoholic. It was more than his actions that night though. I had not seen the drive in him to make himself better. I have preached AA to him for years but he keeps avoiding it. I do realize that it is incredibly hard to walk through those doors for the first time. I really do. But I also know that he does not have to do this alone and that is what he is trying to do. Guess's not working. He was quick to tell me that he doesn't need a 12 step program. I said "I think it would have been a good thing to have a sponsor to call before you took that first drink." I told him that he didn't have to go through this alone. But he didn't hear me. He only heard his stepfather tell him to get his stuff and leave. It hurt so much to hear those words but I knew it was all that we could do. We can't help him. Only he can help himself.

Joe didn't think that he showed any remorse for what he did. I didn't really see what I wanted to see but he did apologize to us. He gathered his stuff and gave me and his sister a hug, told me and Joe that he loved us and walked out of the door. He said he was going to his dad's house. I assume that is what he did. When he walked out of that door a piece of my heart went with him. My heart has hurt so much over the years it is getting tired. I yearn for it to be filled with joy again. To see Ryan doing well and living life not just existing in it.

I pray every night for everyone I love but especially for Ryan. I am thankful that God has watched over him over the years. He has a long way to go and a lot to learn. One day at a time.


MichelleSG said...

Oh that is heartbreaking. He's not going to be able to do it by himself and you just never know if he'll survive that long. Or even worse, if he'll hurt someone in the process. He was fortunate enough to stick his truck in a ditch before causing any mayhem but what about next time? Because you know there will be a next time. I'm so sorry to hear it's not working out so well. We'll pray for him out here, he does need help but only he can get it. By himself.

Dusty Devoe said...

Oh TB, I am so sorry to hear about Ryan's setback. I am glad he's okay. I will continue to pray for him and your family.

Alex said...

you need hugs for sure! Im so sorry this lesson is so difficult for him. hopefully all the good days- the moments where he can think clearly- will start to add up to something... and he can begin to see his way out of the fog... until then, know you have people out here who are pulling for your family!

Syd said...

I hope that he gets into AA. But he has to want to be there. I think that you and Joe did what you needed to do. I'm sorry that this happened and I know that your heart hurts. There are just some things that we have to let go of and trust to God.

Amy said...

So very sorry that you are struggling so much with this... at this point you have done all that you can and all that is expected! You just have to turn it over to God, as I'm sure you have!

Lou said...

You are in my heart. Ryan will be in prayers tonight.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

It's got to be so hard. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.

I have a friend who went through something similar with one of her sons, and it was the hardest thing she's ever done, she's said.

Take care.

Pam said...

oh darlin' it just seems like it never ends I know.
I'm so sorry you're going thru this.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

That's hard, but you did the right thing. He has to own his decisions, including finding his 'bottom.'

You're doing the best (and only) thing by praying.



Scott W said...

You know it's only one day at a time for you, too.

hulagirlatheart said...

One day at a time, indeed. Don't forget to take care of yourself, too in the midst of all of this. I will continue to pray for you and your family, including Ryan.

Bill said...

Honey, I have been swamped & not checking blogs like I should. I just read this today - Friday. Ryan needs help, clearly, but you do as well.

You know that Ryan cannot recover by himself. You do not need to go through this alone, either. Please, please, contact Al-Anon. Lois, Bill Wilson's wife (co-founder of AA) helped start Al-Anon, and you will find tremendous support there. I will help you locate a group near you if you like. Ryan's situation will cause you pain until he decides to accept help. Everyone in Al-Anon understands that, and will help you through it.

It may also prompt Ryan to seek help if he sees that you are taking care of your own well-being. No guarantees on that, but it couldn't hurt. A local interventionist told me that many addicts get help when they see their families moving forward in recovery, because they don't like to feel left out. The main thing is to do it for yourself.