"As you know, I almost did not attend Purple Family Weekend. My son seemed to be progressing well in his transition from Purple, so I didn’t “need” to go to any kind of family rehab workshop. But you called me to follow up and just your personal invitation made me change my mind and I decided Wednesday night before the weekend to attend.
Then the following day, I was told that my son had relapsed and that things were not good. So I attended the Family Workshop and it was a great day. I learned more that day of how to work on ME, and reminders that I need to do all I can do to help me so that I can better help my son in his addiction. The support of everyone there understanding what I was dealing with in his relapse was comforting, supportive, and helpful. I heard parents talking about how they literally acted out lifting their child to God during the middle of the night, how they repeated the Serenity Prayer over-and-over in the middle of the night in order to deal with the worry of not knowing if your loved one was going to live thru this addiction. One of the leaders made a point about going to meetings to “add to the bank” so when times do get tough you have that to pull from.
Little did I know that I would need ALL of this and more in a few short hours. I headed to see my son after the meeting hoping to get him to agree to go to Detox as I heard he was doing heroin. When I got to his house, he would not come out and see me because he was so messed up and said he would go to detox on Sunday. I chose to wait in a nearby hotel and that night was filled with chaos and phone calls as I received hourly updates to all the crazy crap they were doing at the house. They were getting high, fighting, just all kinds of stuff I was hearing that was intensifying the anxiety and worry. I wasn’t asking for the updates, I was just getting pulled into the chaos. Upon hearing that they were leaving to acquire more drugs, I called the police and gave a description of his car hoping to have them arrested so they can’t hurt someone else or themselves. After the call to the police, you sit and wait. That is when your brain goes crazy and sure all the parents know this feeling.
SO I thought about our family workshop meeting and I used some of the things I had heard that day. I literally acted out on holding him up to God and giving him to God, I said the Serenity prayer over and over and these things did help me calm down. I couldn’t go to sleep, but I wasn’t going crazy. At about 3 AM, I get a call from my son had overdosed on heroin and he was in an ambulance- not breathing. I asked his roommate if I came to the house, would he please drive me to the hospital because I couldn’t go down there by myself if he was dead? On the way, I got a call from a girl that said he was breathing and was alive. My son had received 3 units of Narcan from the paramedics to save his life. He had stopped breathing and they did CPR on him until the ambulance arrived. After being released from the hospital, he entered a detox facility and eventually entered a 30 -day program before returning to Purple.
I just wanted to share how much the Family Weekend helped me, how much the Purple staff, clients, parents and alumni helped me during all this. One of the clients who has only been at Purple for a month helped me drive my son’s car back from downtown Atlanta and was so helpful and supportive. Thank you for all that you do and I know we don’t understand all the work that goes on to host a Family Workshop. I can only tell you that it made a huge difference in my life to help me cope with something that I hope no one ever has to go through.
And for parents like me that not sure if you should attend or if you “need” to attend, you make a huge difference as well. You may say something like you did on that day that can really help someone in need. SO I encourage all parents to continue taking time to attend these workshops because you not only bank health for yourself, but you help others at the same time! We continue to need your prayers and thoughts and support and I am here for anyone that I might can help in any way!!”