Dear Toni, the Impact Family and Agnico Eagle,
We wanted to send you all a note to express our gratitude and heartfelt thanks, and also in hope that if our story can help one family it would be worth sharing.
To say the last 4 years of our lives has been a whirl wind is an understatement, there were plenty of days we honestly thought we had lost our boy forever and we weren’t sure how to get through ourselves let alone save him from himself, we also had a grandchild to care for, love and guide through their own trauma. Our love and belief in our son gave us the strength to continue helping him fight to once again find himself and realise he was WORTH it.
Before Impact came to life, we honestly thought we had lost him to the darkness forever. We had done everything we could, there were numerous false starts to recovery with detox and many other resources. We know first-hand detox in short opens the wounds that have been buried by the drugs, but you need long term help to truly heal & repair.
3 years into our nightmare our family was at breaking point, it was the final straw we needed our son to understand that we could take no more and unless he wanted to start helping himself, he would lose his family. People on drugs are so self-centred, only thinking about where their next hit is coming from, although they know deep down, they are hurting everyone they love, the need for the drugs overpowers anything else.
My heart still breaks today thinking about when our whole family had no choice but to block him out of our lives in hopes he would understand only HE could turn his life around by choosing to accept the help he desperately needed. Knowing your child is living on the streets in the freezing cold, not knowing if they have food and dry clothes, thinking of the graves dangers he was in, always fearing a knock on the door to be possibly told your son had been found dead somewhere, these were just some of the fears we dealt with. We had no choice but to ignore pleading messages, phone constantly ringing and ignoring it because you knew if you gave in one more time the vicious cycle would never end. It was by far the hardest and most heart wrenching thing we had to do.
We had all but given up, then our son got the call we had all been waiting for, there was a spot available at Impact Recovery, he messaged to tell us, this one we answered. The tough love had paid off he had finally accepted help on his own, so we knew he was ready. To be very clear, help will not work if they are not ready and choose to admit they need help and accept it on their own terms. We rallied as a family and said together we’ve got this. Little did we know just exactly how drastically it was going to change all our lives in the best possible way, especially our sons and his child’s.
Many factors lead him to the doors of Impact to seek help in escaping the darkness that had become his reality. One thing I’d like others to know that not many understand (we didn’t for a very long time), is that drug addiction like many other addictions generally stems from mental health issues. These can come about from varying things that have happened in their life, silently building up over time like a ticking time bomb. Becoming an addict doesn’t just happen to a certain stereotype, it has no boundaries.
Our son could not have been brought up in a more loving home, with an extremely close-knit fun-loving family, we always encouraged our children talked about everything with no fear of judgement and no topics were taboo. Sadly, our son was in such a bad place he still felt he couldn’t talk to us about how he was feeling and that he had turned to drugs to mask his pain.
Hindsight – we know now it was because he was ashamed of himself, felt weak, felt worthless, thought we were ashamed of him, knew the hurt he was causing everyone he loved, but just didn’t know how to get out of the vortex that had become his life.
The day we dropped our son at Impact for the start of his 12-month journey was a day of mixed emotions, fear, anxiety, hope & exhaustion, certainly one we will never forget for many reasons. Finally, he was somewhere away from all the poison, temptations and negativity in his life and ready to rebuild a fresh start.
Without dealing with the mental health side, you will not change anything, so rather than focus on the fact your loved one is an addict, seek help to work through the trauma that caused them to feel they had no choice but to turn to life destroying means. We were blessed to have an amazing AOD worker helping our family get through all the tough times, guiding us on how to handle the multiple situations that arose throughout this journey. Practice what you are preaching to your child, get support for you and your family as you progress throughout the stages of rehabilitation, I can tell you without it we would not have had the right knowledge and courage that was bestowed on us to be able to help our son in the right way. The saying “it takes a small village to raise a family” rings true for this also. It takes family, love, support, belief, strength and hope to get through.
There are no words to thank Impact enough for believing in our son and for having such a great understanding that not all people choose drugs and do want to be in the real world, they just need love, support, guidance and the right tools to help them fight their way back.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for guiding our son and providing him not only with the right tools, but your community spirit, belief, love and in essence teaching him life again. He was a scared lost soul when we he walked in your door, today he once again believes in himself, his own self-worth, he has a purpose in life and is forever grateful for everyone in it. He is definitely climbing his way back to being the strong, independent caring and fun-loving boy we raised. To see him and his child re-united last week was beyond words, the only tears shed were happy & super proud ones!
We are extremely proud of our son and all that he has achieved. He is well on his way to re-building his life, we have no doubts, he has the tools, strength and now, the appropriate supports to achieve all his goals and also, any challenges that may present along the way.
I truly believe along with the continued love and support of his family, his AOD worker, YOUR program quite literally saved his life!
For any parents out there in a similar situation, my heart goes out to you but please NEVER give up on them. The road is long and hard for all involved, but where there is love and strong will, there is always HOPE!
Love, the Family.
NEVER GIVE UP