I was once right where you are now

Dear Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins and friends:

I was once right where you are now. Wondering if my son was going to live to see another day�wondering if I was going to make it through another day. I felt like I was watching my son die in slow motion. It was like watching a semi truck barreling down the road and your child is running out in front of it. You know what's coming, you almost kill yourself to save your child, but the truck keeps on coming. You see the three year old, five year old, eight years old you've watched grow, flash before your eyes. You don't see the emaciated gaunt person your child has become. That's what it felt like. I didn't know this Michael; the one who stole money, stole my camera, television, tools, and my friend's laptop computer and the Michael who lied more often than he told the truth. My Michael has a soft heart, loved children, was artistic, and had a great sense of humor. He was my GQ young man. He is the oldest of my five children and has always held a place of honor in my heart for this very reason. I loved him first and the longest.

Last year, I was at a point where I couldn't sleep, I was going to counseling, and taking medication to help me get through the day. I was an emotional wreck because I was watching my son destroy his life and the lives of all those around him. My youngest just left to serve a tour of duty in Iraq in April 2007. By the end of May and my work year, I work in the school system, I thought somebody was going to lose their life and I wasn't sure who would go first. I kicked Michael out of my home then my mother took him in (his grandma). He lied and used at her house. She ended up kicking Michael out after she became a physical and emotional wreck. Then, his other grandparents took him in. He did the same thing there and he kept getting worse and worse. We ended up calling the police one time because he threatened me and his grandparents. The last straw was when Michael stole my friend's laptop. It was his livelihood and it had sensitive work information that compromised his entire career. Michael ended up selling it for a bag of crack. I ended up going and withdrawing $150 from my bank account to retrieve the laptop. We made the police report and I was done.

I had been on the internet looking for programs that dealt with addictions, but never called. Michael had already been through rehab, but that was a 28 day program. He did well and stayed sober and clean for a period of time. Then, the events of the previous year started all over again, progressing to the point where the last straw event prompted me to call several places, narrowing choices to two. I spent hours on the telephone with different people. All of whom gave me so much hope.

I decided on Narconon California because of their holistic approach in dealing with addiction. It was physical, mental, and emotional healing. There was no set number of days, weeks or months in which the person had to achieve sobriety and wellness. Michael talked with an intake counselor and agreed to fly to California. Little did he know that I made the plane reservation for the next week! He arrived in California drunk, but I received the call that he was there and his arriving drunk was not that atypical. It was the first real peace I felt in a long time. We were able to visit with Michael after the initial period of time in sauna. He looked better and better every visit. I had hoped he would consider doing an internship upon graduation from the program, but Michael informed me he would be more than ready to come home (Did I say I moved from IL to AZ to provide a safer haven for him?).

A couple of weeks before he was to graduate, we learned my youngest would be returning from Iraq to attend Michael's graduation from the program. On October 19th, I received several blessings. I saw my youngest for the first time in seven months and I watched my oldest get up in front of a group of people to accept his graduation certificate from the Narconon program. Two sets of grandparents, his dad, his siblings, his niece, and I were present for that moment. Michael also decided to stay and complete a six month internship. He signed a one-year contract to stay and work for Narconon California. I have never seen Michael as healthy and full of hope and peace. He is proud of what he is doing at Narconon California and is making plans for his future. I can't believe he is the same person. He is an adult taking care of his own needs and taking responsibility for his life. He is so healthy and is definitely GQ material! (He is so handsome!) I thank God every day for the programs like Narconon California. Some of Michael's siblings, me, and his niece (who he is very close to) traveled again to Narconon California in May of this year to watch Michael receive his six month certificate. It was Mother's day weekend. It was the best Mother's day present I've ever been given. I didn't think I'd see another mother's day with Michael.

For those of you considering this program, I highly recommend and encourage you to have faith in Narconon California. It has been a miracle for our family. The program works!

God bless you all! � Debbie

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