How I Found Hope in PAL
by Mindy S.
My son was attending college in southern Indiana and working as a roofer on residential homes. It was a nice fall day when his journey began. He slipped and injured his back on the job. And, the pain medication began. He told me what he was taking and I did a little research. Naturally, I was concerned and I expressed to him these pills were addictive and he should stop taking them. He of course said, he was doing just fine.
Time went on and things seemed to be normal. A few years after the roofing accident, I received a phone call from my son. "Mom, I'm in big trouble and going to jail for a very long time." My head was spinning, "What?!? What's going on?" Apparently my son had borrowed a car, he overdosed while at a gas station in the borrowed car. He was treated and they had to administer Narcan, an antidote for a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. To make matters worse, I was on vacation and I realized there was nothing I could do to change his circumstances. When I returned home, I needed to find out the truth, I talked to the gas station owner to know what happened that night. Ultimately, I discovered my wonderful and amazing son was addicted to heroin, which was kick started from the pain medicine years earlier. And, my addiction was to my son.
I did everything I could do to protect him, from not only himself, but the law, from jail, from prison and his addiction. I could do this, I was his Mom. I would search to the ends of the earth for the perfect recovery program. It was after years of doing everything and anything to save him that I hit my own rock bottom.
I realized I couldn't save his life but I could save mine. I was blessed with a wonderful mentor and friend, Sarah. She had been helping women just out of prison to start a new guided life through Jesus. I was blessed by all of her guidance and support and her patience. But another year went by…if only I had listened to her sooner, maybe this ugly journey wouldn't have taken this long.
During that year, I decided to move away, about 25 miles from everything that was familiar. I was sure by doing this no one would drive that far to bring drugs to him. I was wrong. Day one, his drug friend was in my driveway. My son said, “He’s here to help me unload.” I thought, Oh, my gosh - NO! I told my son that changes had to be made in order for him to stay with me. I had found a mentor who would take him to meetings and guide him. He agreed. I knew we were on the right track now. After his first meeting, I was feeling some relief. But, it didn't last long. That would be the first and last meeting he would attend. His mentor, Michael, called me and said, he was more worried about me than my son. “Mindy, here is a phone number of a mom going through the same struggles you are experiencing. I think she can help you.” I put the number in my phone and labeled her contact as: HELP MICHELLE!!
It wasn't long before I made the call. That call changed my life!
Not only did that call change my life but the lives of many to come. It was then that the PAL group Indiana started and touched the lives of many. I became a facilitator with Rachel and Michelle, and every Thursday night we have been blessed to help the hopeless find Hope. I call it a miracle each week.
Through the education, compassion and understanding of PAL, I am no longer addicted to my addict. I am a Mom helping other parents find Hope. I am so thankful for Mike Speakman, founder of PAL. This man is so amazing, loving and is defined by the word HOPE. His efforts to help change and save the lives of many is a gift from God. We at PAL in Avon, Indiana give God all the glory, and through prayer we find peace in our lives no matter what our loved ones choose.
As we all know, the journey is never over. At this time in my life, my son is in a work release program and doing very well. I am blessed that today is a good day.
I thank God for that. The journey isn't easy, but it sure gave me a passion to share PAL with anyone and everyone, and that was the gift and blessing I received from our awesome God. Prayers for all of us and our loved ones.