As a child, I was given everything I needed, along with most of the things I wanted. I grew up in a household full of love, encouragement, and fun. I was afforded every opportunity to succeed. My parents were, and still are, my biggest fans and supporters. My father was always the coach of my little league baseball or basketball team, and my mother would shuttle me around to all the places I needed to be as a kid. They supported the goals that I strived for throughout my childhood. Their love and sacrifice for me was unconditional.
Looking back, I never saw this unconditional love. I would always complain and belittle the lengths they went to in order to try to make me happy. I was the son that always wanted more. I took them for granted, plain and simple. The older I got, the more I complained.
This behavior carried with me throughout my entire life, especially in active addiction; from calling only when I “needed” something like money, or to suffering some sort of consequence and needing to be bailed out. My parents were always there though, no matter how far I pushed the boundaries. Then one day, after another round of consequences, my parents stopped answering the calls for bailouts. They had finally had enough and they sure let me know it. Being the stubborn person I am, I struck out on my own, only to fail miserably.
I finally had enough one day about 18 months ago, and I called my father in the hopes of getting some sort of help finding a way out of the misery and depression. Once again, he answers the phone, in hopes that his child is alright; and once again, he agrees to help me in any way he can.
This one phone call started a process that got me to Austin, Texas all the way from Atlanta, Georgia; and as always, my parents were super supportive throughout my stay at BRC Recovery. I had finally surrendered to sobriety and became willing to come at life differently, although the family relationship was still severely strained since I had broken all forms of trust with them.
Rebuilding this relationship with my parents is still in the process; but today, the fact that I can call my family just to talk, instead of needing something – that is God working in our lives. Today my parents play a vital role in my life. I am able to call them for advice and listen to their experience and guidance. They have welcomed me back into their lives, and their homes if I am ever in Georgia.
None of these things would have been possible for me to accomplish or even recognize without the program of recovery and my connection with a Power greater than myself. I still thank God, every day, for this miracle He has worked in my life. I would be lost today without my family. This simple fact shows me, on a daily basis, the power of this program and putting action behind your words.
Michael Elliott, Lead RCA