I was angry.

My once vibrant, sunny, beautiful boy, full of promise and life had stopped taking my calls. He stopped coming home to visit. He had dropped out of college, lost his job and from what I could tell on social media, he had gotten in with a bad crowd and descended into the underworld of drugs. I would call leaving voicemails full of my anger, telling him how he was ruining his life and destroying everything good around him.

I got nowhere.

After reflection, I changed my tactics and made the decision to only have safe communication with him. I started leaving loving voicemails asking how he was doing and if there was anything I could do to help. At night, wondering if this would be the night I got the call that he had overdosed, I would send text messages telling him there was always a way out, and I would pick him up wherever he was, no questions asked.

Gradually, he deemed me as a safe space and started reaching out. We talked about everything but the drugs; what he would like to do with his life; who he wanted to be.

He finally told me he was also selling drugs and had been in some very dangerous situations. I took a breath and reiterated to him that there was always a way to come back home.

Mother and son at NarcononHis dad drove into the city to give him a heartfelt letter which told him about all the rights taken away from convicted felons. He wanted him to be aware of the chances he was taking with his freedom. He was supposed to be moving out of his apartment and had made plans to move in with a drug dealer within 2 weeks time. We had reached a critical point; I feared if that move ever took place we would lose him forever.

I offered to my malnourished strung-out son the opportunity to move to California and start fresh as a personal trainer. At the time he didn’t see the absurdity of this, but his reach for help was real. I went down to his apartment and gave away all his possessions to a homeless shelter, telling my son we could always get more things if he decided to come back. The first cutting of his ties to Chicago.

I sent him to see my brother in California. I called his friends in California and begged them not to answer any calls from my son as we were trying to get the help he so desperately needed. There they fed him, made sure he got sleep and surrounded him with love and light After a week my brother took him for a drive in the mountains. By the time he asked the question “What’s happening in your life?”, my son was able to reach for help. My brother took him to Narconon.

I am so proud and happy to report that since Narconon, my son has never looked back on the life he left behind. We recently celebrated his 5 years of sobriety, and I am thankful each day for the help he received, the willingness of my son to confront and the support of all those who helped him.

Mary Giles