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November 20th of 2013, after driving through the night, we arrived at your Casa Grande facility at 4 am. We checked our 31 year old son into your facility. Our son, had been battling substance abuse problems since he was 15. However, we were only aware of it over the past 6 years. During that time he had tried two different outpatient treatment programs, but he never stuck with it once the programs finished. As hard as it was to accept, we knew the decision to completely commit himself to rehabilitation had to be his and his alone. We waited and prayed.

That time came on the evening of November 19th 2013. After being intoxicated for 4 days, he admitted that he didn’t want to die, but knew that he would if he didn’t get help. However, he had not as yet said the words “I want to check into rehab.” My daughter suggested that I call our oldest son, and ask him if he could go to his brother’s house and talk to him. They had always been very close, but that bond had been broken because of the substance abuse issues.

I had already done the research into rehab facilities and I knew if the day ever came when our son decided it was time that The River Source just seemed to be the kind of place that he would feel comfortable.

Our oldest son talked to my youngest son, who was in the midst of withdrawal. He told him he loved him and he didn’t want to lose him. He told him he had a choice to make. Either continue like this and die, or get himself into rehab, where he might have a chance. Both of them in tears, my youngest son finally said those words, “I need help, I don’t want to live like this anymore, I’m scared, I don’t want to die, I want to go to rehab.” Our oldest son called and said, “He want to go to rehab. I am packing a bag for him. Do you know where to take him? I will be there in 20 minutes.” So at 10 pm on the evening of November 19th, with our still inebriated son asleep in the back of our car, we left for our emotional journey to The River Source in casa Grande.

After checking him in at 4am we checked into a motel and to get some sleep. Later in the day of the 20th, we returned to The River Source to be given the tour of the facility and talked with a counselor.

The first week we were given very positive feedback regarding the fact that our son was embracing the program and seemed very committed. During his 30 day stay there were phone calls, and a visit during family day. We slowly started to OUR SON return. We had not seen for a very long time.

At the end of 30 days we returned for our son’s graduation day. His counselor had asked if we would write a testimonial about River Source. Well there were not enough good things I could say about the facility and the staff, however, I thought it was premature to write a testimonial regarding whether the River Source was really a new beginning for my son. I was shall we say, cautiously optimistic.

Well thanksgiving has just come and gone, and Christmas will be here all too soon. This year we had something to be truly thankful for. November 20th, 2014 my son stood proudly in front of his AA group and accepted his 1 year sobriety chip.

After rehab, he voluntarily enrolled in a health and well ness group, and signed up for random substance testing. He was not mandated to do this, he did it on his own. He said, “Dad, I have to be held accountable to someone, because we already know I don’t hold myself accountable very well.”

The fact that he learned that, was amazing. In fact, the River Source was more than some place for our son to get sober, it was a place for him to learn stress management and coping skills. River Source taught him how to live life sober. A place where he felt safe to examine his life and the circumstances that led to his addiction and talk openly. He learned how to cope with the stresses of life in a more constructive way than turning to substances. Now when he has a problem, he talks about it in group, or he even calls me to talk about it. He said he has learned that talking about things that are bothering him de fuses what would otherwise be a stress time bomb.

The River Source taught him how to have a life again. A happy life. I have no doubt in my mind, that my son would not be where he is today without River Source. In fact I shudder to think where he would be. He has, on several occasions, referred to his counselor, as an angel.

My son still keeps in touch with the other residents who attended River Source when he did, and he knows at least 2 of them who have also received their 1 year sobriety chip.

I think what my son posted on Facebook, puts his journey out there for the world to see. It is his admission that he is not perfect, but that is not going to stop him from trying.

During his graduation from River Source he was given a rock with the word “SURRENDER” etched on it. This Facebook post is the fulfillment of that. He has surrendered to living his life “one day at a time” with the tools he was given at River Source. He knows if he continues to use those tools he will have a happy fulfilled life.

Posted November 40th 2014 “People look at me and they hear how sarcastic I am about everything and think “that guy must have it good… and easy.” Well, I never lay my problems out for the world. That’s just not me. Believe it or not, in my personal life I am an authority figure. People expect me to know the answers… all day, every day. I’m not complaining. I chose this. I worked since the day I start pre-school to get here.

But I am not invincible. I DON’T have it easy. And for once I am going to break stride for a minute and be vulnerable to my wonderful Facebook friends who put up with my sarcastic attitude every day.

I am 1 year sober today. Since I was 15 I struggled with addiction and alcoholism. It began innocently enough with crippling chronic migraines that I fought through my days to stay alive with a childish hope that someday it would get better. In walks Fioricet….a powerful Barbituate that told me “I can fix you.” As a child, with an undeveloped brain, and undeveloped heart…who couldn’t understand how anyone can live this way…but believed something would come along…believed in this.

Fats forward 16 years to the professional, in his beautiful home, with everything he needs in life all around him, just waiting for him to say “ok I’m ready now”…with his wonderful family standing by at the distance I created, crying for their son and their brother.

Not because they think he will die soon. They already accepted that knowledge so many years ago when they tried to tell him he needed help. No they don’t think he will die soon. They know it. They’re just not ready yet.

But god knew better than all of us. He touched the right person at the right moment to say the exact right words that I needed to save my life.

And today I am alive. Not by my own will, but by his and the unconditional love he has for me as reflected in my family. That waited so long for God to either take me or give me back for a while.

And today I am still a year sober. And for anyone who hasn’t experienced it you may not understand the significance of that. You may think that should be easy. That’s ok, I get it. You’re wrong, but I would prefer if you never had to understand why.

So no, my life isn’t easy. But it IS good. Why? Because I don’t get everything I want. But I have everything I NEED.”

So from his family, God bless All of You at The River Source and thank you for helping our son.