Well, he got 30 days yesterday. He actually made it 30 days without using. That is a miracle. He requested to have a conversation with me and it felt right to honor it. It was weird talking to him after not speaking to him since June 14th.
He filled me in on his life, his sober living apartment, his new job at Starbucks. He told me he was happy. And did more than just complain about his life or all the perceived things others were doing wrong. It was a start. A good start so it seems.
I remember being where he is. Getting 30 days and feeling full of promise. Like I kind of had this whole sobriety thing. I quickly realized that there was much heaving lifting ahead...and so will he. He has a sponsor and is attending meetings regularly. It sounds like he has a solid start on living a sober life. I pray that he continue.
At 28 years, 30 days is monumental and it is also barely a start. But it is 30 consecutive days in a row that he was not burning his life to the ground and ruining all of his relationships.
It was a bit of a hard conversation for me. I felt guarded and defensive. I was waiting for that old dynamic to kick in and flip me out, the one where he blames me for all his problems and credits himself and his dad with all his success. There was none of that - any of it - during the conversation.
It wasn’t a long call. When he started to get into what he was going to buy, the mother in me began to have opinions and the urge to say something became overpowering. I just had to stop myself and then make the decision to get off the call. It is his life. It is his recovery. It is his money. He will have to figure it out. And my help has not ever really helped, except to make the present moment and our relationship worse.
He asked if we could start talking again and I said I didn’t think so. I am proud of him. I am happy for him and it was a good call but I am not ready to jump back into his daily life. Not enough time has passed for either of us to change. And so we are going to just fall back into old patterns and behaviors that I cannot live with anymore.
I told him as much. He understood and said that he would like to talk to me again when I was ready. I told him that I would reach out when I was.
He told me, “I love you Mom.” And I said, “I love you too and I am very proud of your 30 days.” I hung up.
I thought that I might cry or break down but I was oddly happy with the call. Happy he is sober for the moment and doing productive things in his life. He seems to like Austin. He asked if I would come see him take his one year coin. I said, “of course,” and then didn’t say what I thought which was “if you ever make it there...”
Progress all around I guess...
I went to bed last night being happy he is safe and sober for now. I am grateful for a good call and conversation. I am immensely grateful to know that I cannot re-engage with him on a more regular basis - one phone call and 30 days does not heal the lifetime of trouble and heart break...but it is a beginning so I am grateful for that. His beginning. My beginning. A path forward that feels healthier.
As I lay in bed thinking about the call, I was reminded of how much can change in the span of a day, and just how powerful change can be when those days are linked together with sobriety as a foundation.
Keep up the good work, son! And so shall I.