Mike is 36, an Army veteran and has been abusing alcohol and stimulants since before he became part of our family when he was 15. Crying is not a stranger to me.
The weeks and months before he took this step towards recovery were horrific for all of us- his wife, his biological mom, his foster family- all the people that collectively love him. After suffering a stroke that was directly related to his substance abuse, he came home unstable- angry, violent, disengaged. He continued drinking and using stimulants. He was arrested for domestic violence.
The sad thing is, his story is not unique. His story is common to so many people affected by this horrible disease.
I begged him to enter rehab and each conversation ended with "but..." and I cried convinced he was doomed to early death unless he took this step towards recovery. Oddly, his war time service in Iraq and Afghanistan seemed safe compared to what he faced with his substance abuse. Alcohol was worse than any IED as its insidious nature taunts, punishes and destroys slowly and thoroughly.
My husband and I decided to remove all his voiced obstacles.
"But my wife and her kids will not be able to pay rent if I am in rehab."
We will pay your rent while you are in therapy.
"But how will they eat?"
We will pay for their food while you are in therapy.
"But I don't have the money to pay for in-patient therapy."
We have already called and paid the complete invoice.
That is all we can do. We can remove obstacles, but ultimately, we understand, the hardest step is up to him. He must walk through those doors.
Mike has been in rehab for five days as I write this. His future is still unknown, but the collective "we" are so proud of him for taking that huge single step through that door. Amazingly, that one step has already changed his life as he is sober for the first time since 2006 and when he talks, he has hope in his voice.