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Secrets for Surviving Thanksgiving with an Addicted Son
by Ron Grover, Parent & Advocate
What’s Thanksgiving to the parent of an addict? What a question! What does the parent of an addict have to be thankful about?
I remember the horrors of holidays. It seems no matter the occasion — Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays or anything that was special to our family — our son, while he was using drugs, found a way to bring heartache and sorrow to the occasion.
Why couldn’t he just be okay for one day? Why must we have every holiday and special occasion ruined? These were constants in our life.
Looking back, it is easy to remember these drama-filled events. Our son showing up on Christmas Eve while we were walking out the door. Drug dealers bringing heroin to our home on Christmas Eve as casual as a pizza delivery. Thanksgiving Day, not being able to rouse him awake to join us for lunch. Going to a prison 125 miles away on Thanksgiving eve to pick him up when he was being released. Seems like every holiday there was an event that spoiled our joy.
The perspective of time and distance allows me to understand that most all of our anguish and hurt was self-imposed. We expected what was impossible to be delivered. My son was an addict. My son was addicted to drugs and I didn’t understand addiction and what it meant for him or for us.