Celebrating 90 Days Strong Amid Trials & Tribulation

athlete 450px-JacobyhaieMy son celebrated ninety days clean this week.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of him, especially when the past several weeks have been so rough. Not only had he been picked up on an old warrant, survived ten days in jail, and suffered through methadone withdrawals, but when he was released, he found out he’d lost his housing, his job, and the friendship and trust of his sponsor.

He couldn’t understand it. He hadn’t relapsed. He hadn’t done anything wrong. But here he was jobless and homeless again, and without the support of the sponsor he’d so depended upon. Why was this happening?

The housing problem was especially difficult. The shelter where he’d been staying had promised to help him financially secure permanent housing, but now that was gone. His sponsor was angry that he had returned to the methadone clinic, instead of using his time in jail to get off it completely. And without a job, he didn’t have the means to live at all.

The one bright spot in all this was that a woman who had befriended him before going into jail was still there when he got out, still believing in him, and wanting to help. And during those first few difficult weeks they became closer, became a couple.

I was wary of this at first. Everything I had read and come to believe said that recovering addicts should not become involved in relationships until they had a year or more of sobriety behind them. I could not see this ending well, for her, or for him.

But I seriously wonder now if he would be celebrating 90 days clean if she hadn’t been there to help him through those last few difficult weeks. While it seemed that everyone else had given up on him and pulled the rug out from beneath his feet, she stayed and gave him steady encouragement.

More than that, she helped him through what has been a huge relapse trigger—the kind of devouring  loneliness that eats you alive. Over and over again, he has told me, the loneliness is the worst thing. The thing that gets him every time. That is so unbearable only a needle in his arm gives him release.

So, as unwise as a new relationship may be this early in his recovery, I am grateful to her, and happy for him.

His housing situation is still marginal. He sleeps in cars, or motel rooms when he has money, or at campsites. But his sponsor has returned, and he’s working again. He’s going to meetings, and he’s testing clean. And he and his new friend are looking for a place together.

I still don’t know if this is a good idea. I don’t know if their relationship will last. I don’t know what it might do to him if it doesn’t.

But this is the way it is. This is what he has to work with on his road to recovery. We never know what challenges or gifts life will drop at our feet. We just have to make the most of what we are given.

So I’m hopeful. And so is my son. We’re both extremely grateful, and reassured, that after being severely tested, he’s still 90 days strong.

29 thoughts on “Celebrating 90 Days Strong Amid Trials & Tribulation

  1. I think there is no general rule when it comes to addiction. We all react differently…I am trying to wrap my head around it myself. First of all, I am very happy for you and your Son. 90 days is a big accomplishment. I am glad you gave us an update!


  2. I am so happy for your son (and you!) for his 90 days clean! That is a huge accomplishment in and of itself, and even more so considering the challenges he faced in the midst of it all. I have a very long and very sad experience I could share about a relationship I myself had early in recovery with another recovering addict. But not now, not here. Everyone’s experiences are different, and it truly is one day at a time. And if today your son is clean, sober, and happy, then all is well 🙂


      • Oh, she’s not in recovery herself? Well, that changes the danger level then immensely! Usually when they say you shouldn’t get in a relationship in early recovery, they are referring to one in which both people are in recovery. Either way, what a blessing this girl has been in your son’s life! Her presence, warmth, and support can only be a positive thing! Wishing them the best 🙂


  3. Congratulations. He is on is way. The tough stuff is a sign he really is going forward. Holding to the one day at a time is so essential. Or even one moment at a time. I learned to be very very wary of sponsors. I had more emotional abuse from so called sponsors than anyone in my recovery. It makes my blood boil. A sponsor is there to support a person in their choices even if they dont agree with them. In taking onboard their advice my recovery was blocked. It wasnt a good idea to go to adult children meetings. Why did I want to do that? So I stopped. One of the reasons I went more to Al Anon was that it was there I found more acceptance, softness and love.

    You and your beautiful son are in my prayers and in my heart. ❤


    • Thank you! I appreciate what you say about sponsors too. This one, at the beginning had been so good for him, and when he seemed to turn against him, it was a real low blow. Fortunately, he backed away from his “prejudice” against the use of methadone in recovery, and they are working together again. But I can really see how a sponsor could abuse his power, and I am so sorry that happened to you, or to anyone in the vulnerable position of trying to overcome a serious addiction. I’m glad that that did not keep you from having your recovery. Your prayers are much welcomed..


      • Yes, I do understand. I had a very anti drug/anti-depressant stance myself but I have seen my closest sister helped by anti-depressants as a temporary measure. It was very hard to see my older sister damaged by long term lithium use, thus my fear around drugs. But I learned in Al Anon I have no right to impose that opinion on anyone. And to keep an open mind. I find some recovering alcoholics can take a very hard line approach at times about these things and it can cause damage and not allow others their humanity.


  4. Also one of the reasons I found the courage to choose sobriety was due to the love and support of my ex husband, so I dont think there are any rules as to what does and does not work. Sometimes we have been so alone, it is only through relationship that find the courage to heal. And if two people are working a good recovery program they can come through.


    • I’m hoping this will be the case for my son as well. So far his new friend has been a blessing in his life. She’s not in recovery herself–she’s never had an addiction problem. But she’s been in abusive relationships, and my son may be helping her in that regard, to heal some old wounds.


      • I feel in my heart, she is all part of his healing. Everyone in our lives in recovery is. Whether it is to get us to face our wounds or/and help to heal them. Some people, like my ex husband, only travel with us for part of the journey. I am so glad you son is not alone. I feel confident he is going to heal, one day at a time.


  5. 90 days is awesome! Life is full of trials and tribulations. Our loved ones who are addicted know this more than any of us. My child will be 10 months clean on Tuesday. He is going through some struggles right now and I worry but he has family and friends for support. I wish your son the best. We need to be strong and stay in a positive place for them. Looking forward to your post that says he has gone 90 more days!


  6. That is wonderful! And I celebrate with you as his Mom and with him too. You know I have been where you are. My son has been clean now for 3 months shy of 2 years. Mostly due to that program he has been in since April of ’13- and 6 months in jail prior to that. The new relationship may or may not be the best thing for your son – who knows? What matters is he is clean & alive and has hope. That’s HUGE! Who can say 100% for sure what is best for us? We are all individuals and we all operate differently. Some things cannot be generalized when it comes to the human spirit. Praying for you & for him that this good path continues –


  7. This is amazing! I’m so glad your son is weathering all the challenges in a sober way. The part about loneliness seems so true. When using, my son was lonely even with the other users, and he felt lonely with us I think.


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