This story is inspired by true events, but the people and events in the story are purely fictional.
About a year ago I was standing line at the Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company. It was a cold and damp morning and I was feeling tired. A Breve Cappuccino was just what I needed. The coffee shop was crowded and I had the feeling that I was always waiting in line for something, rushing from one place to another so I could get there and wait in line again. Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait.
While these thoughts were running through my mind, I overheard a woman in line behind me speaking to her friend. Her words cut through my morning daydreams like a knife. She was talking about here son’s addiction, his struggles, and the heartache she was experiencing. She had tried to take here son to AA meetings, church and even conducted here own intervention, but none of those things worked. I could feel the sadness and despair in here voice.
As I was listening to her story my heart reached out. I introduced myself and told here about my business: Coach for Recovery. I felt a little conflicted reaching out like that at a coffee shop, but I felt I could help her and her son. I had heard similar stories many times before and I knew that I could make a difference.
The woman introduced herself as Janet and began telling me the story of how here son, Christopher, became an addict, a heartbreaking story that I had heard all too often. What had started as an innocent experimentation had quickly turned into a full-blow addition with all the horrifying consequences. Just when Christopher should have been living full life of opportunity and adventure, he was looking at a future with homelessness, addiction and a long list of shattered dreams.
Our conversation went through the entirety of our ‘quick cup’ and I believe it was life changing for both of us. As she spoke it was obvious she understood her son was caught in the grips of the insanity, not just a good boy turned bad, and that his dreams of going back to college, his ability to play sports, and even go to the beach with their dog were fading fast. Her son had relapsed over and over again. None of the programs they tried worked. She knew in her heart of hearts (parental instinct) that he needed more, but time was running out.
I explained to this lovely woman, as I apologized again for interrupting, that Coach For Recovery is a full service navigation tool; Counseling, Life Coaching, Recovery and Family Support, and this was what her son needed. I left Janet with my card and the hope that she would call. I knew that I could make a difference. If only she would take the next step… I knew it would be difficult. Asking for help is sometimes the most difficult part, especially when so many other attempts at recovery had failed.
Three months went by and there was no call from Janet. I didn’t see her again at the coffee shop and it seemed that our brief meeting at the Roasting Company would end where it started. And then I got a call.
Janet filled me in on the events that unfolded after our meeting. Christopher’s addiction had gotten worse. His periods of sobriety were few and far between. He want to get clean, but the addiction was too strong. What finally had convinced her to call was an overdose. Christopher had overdosed and ended up in the emergency ward at Dominican Hospital. Janet, terrified that his life was soon coming to an end, called me and asked for help.
When I first met Christopher I could see that he was not a bad kid. Like many others in his situation, he was ashamed of his addiction and wanted to get better. I knew that the task at hand was not just freeing him from the influence of the drugs but helping him discover his own value and courage. That would take time.
For the next six months, I worked closely with Christopher. I helped him see that he was worthy and capable. I helped him build a network, find the right sponsor, apply for jobs, and integrated these activities with a new understanding of himself that he could own. My collaboration with Christopher was just what he needed. He turned the corner and to this day has never looked back. He is working, drug free, and active. He gives back by helping others struggling with addiction and is the kind of young man you would be happy to call your friend. Christopher is not just healing, but mending his relationships with his family and the friends he chooses to keep.
By sharing with you Janet and Christopher’s story, I want you to understand that there is always a possibility for recovery and renewal. Sometimes traditional approaches do not work and more is needed. That is why I started Coach for Recovery. It is that extra something that helps people like Christopher live fulfilling lives free form addiction.
Addict + Family Support + Coach For Recovery = Endless Possibilities