My son took oxycontin at a party in 2002 and immediately became addicted. Our nightmare began. The Oxycontin soon became heroin and my son was off and running. After many (and I mean many) detoxes, halfway houses and sober houses, while in a psych unit visiting my son, I met a woman who told me about a new group, Learn to Cope, and suggested I go. I did, and 11 1/2 years later I still go to my Monday night meeting in Brockton. In fact, I have become a facilitator. My son ended up committing a robbery to support his heroin addiction and my friends from LTC went to Court with me and held my hands as he was sentenced to 5-7 years in State Prison. They have always come when times were tough, talked me “off the ledge” several times, taught me how to “cope” with this horrible nightmare and supported me every step of the way. If it were not for LTC, I do not believe I would be able to enjoy my son’s 6 1/2 year sobriety and, after he is released in 2 weeks, able to sit and listen to him speak at my Monday night meeting. Joanne Peterson even visited him in prison, which meant so much. Learn to Cope has been my rock, my savior, my hope. To spend time with others in your same situation and to receive such support from them means more than words can say.
My Journey began 6 years ago when I found out my son was snorting pills… alone, ashamed and terrified were the feelings that made up my days. My son progressed quickly to shooting Heroin and my husband was in denial. I hid behind the grocery stores shelves from people I knew in my town for fear that they would know what was going on, or that they would ask me how my son was doing. I really thought if I was a better mother this wouldn’t have happened. Six years ago there wasn’t as much education or information about this disease so I didn’t know where to turn or what to do.
Thankfully I was in Alanon and help came when one of my Alanon friends told me about Learn2cope. I learned there was a meeting in Brockton and that the room was full of other parents dealing with the same issue. I was terrified to go to that first meeting but relieved to see I wasn’t the only one who had a child addicted to Heroin. I couldn’t say the words but I found resources, hope and love in the Learn2Cope meetings. I learned I couldn’t love my son well and that there was no cure for this hideous problem that my family faced. I learned this was a process, that others had been successful in getting their child into treatment. I met people from treatment facilities and was educated on the disease. Learn2Cope helped me find a bed for my son more than once when there weren’t any beds available.
My recovery came when I had the opportunity to help other parents. Learn2Cope gave me that opportunity by allowing me to be a Narcan trainer and Learn2Cope Facilitator. I went to Washington DC and actively participated in speaking out and helping to end the stigma. I will be forever grateful for Learn2Cope and actively spread the word to other parents that are hiding behind the grocery store shelves.
My son is still struggling, my marriage has been threatened but I’m grateful that Learn2Cope helped me find a way to live my life and love my family where they are. I no longer hide from people in my town. Today I am part of a local drug coalition and wear my Learn2Cope t-shirt proudly. Today I like being alive and don’t worry about the future (I take life one day at a time) which is nothing short of a miracle.
A few years ago my husband I started to come to Learn to Cope in Worcester. We walked into our first meeting exhausted, overwhelmed and filled with fear. As we sat there listening to others we realized we were not alone and most importantly there was hope for our loved one. Through L2C we have gained such incredible support, guidance, and knowledge. It is a place where we can share without ever being judged, and get suggestions on what might help to move our daughter forward. This group of beautiful friends has become our family, we are blessed to have them in our lives. One of the greatest things we have learned is how to walk beside our daughter on this journey, not enabling her, but loving her every step of the way. We have learned to say “we will walk recovery, but cannot walk addiction”. We have always felt that we will never be sorry as long as we act out of love. Our beautiful daughter has a disease, she is one of the strongest people we know, and we will always walk beside her loving her every step of the way.
I have been a part of Learn To Cope for 3 years. My family was directly affected by the disease of addiction and within a couple months I found the closest meeting in Worcester. We attended the weekly meetings in Worcester for over 9 months, without missing one week. The 1.5 hour drive each way was nothing compared to what we were being educated on each week. The people made us feel comfortable, cared for and gave us strength to make an educated and informed plan for how our lives would change forever. We acted fast as a family, became strong again learning how to take care of ourselves along the way, and built new beginnings living in a world of recovery. Learn To Cope is one of the major reasons for us having our family back together enjoying life and each other one day at a time. Said quite simply, Learn To Cope saved my family and continues to save many others.
I immediately needed to give back to Learn To Cope through helping others the way they helped me, so I became a facilitator. I have new amazing relationships with people who understand the disease of addiction. Through Learn To Cope education and training for facilitation I became a facilitator at the Worcester, Holyoke and currently at the Pittsfield meetings. Learn To Cope provided me the education, information and self-care I needed when in crisis. Today Learn To Cope provides me continuing education, information, self-care and the ability to hopefully make a difference in helping others.
Parent from Pittsfield Learn To Cope
I am the parent of a opiate addict who is in long term recovery. The road has been long and devastating. Learn to Cope saved my life, and quite probably my son’s. Before I found Learn to Cope, I had no idea what to do, where to go, how to process my emotions and most important, how to help my son.
A friend told me about Learn to Cope; she had attended the meeting in Brockton. I looked online and found the closest meeting and went – somewhat terrified and not expecting much. When I walked into a room absolutely full of people, I realized that I wasn’t alone. I saw immediately that there were caring people around me, all of whom were going through the same hardships as I was. Through the education that I received through Learn to Cope, and most of all, the support and understanding that was so freely given to me, I was able to face my son’s addiction head on and help him. He did not find recovery right away, but there was always a shoulder for me to cry on in my Learn to Cope family. Also significant was that I learned to stop enabling, and to find some peace in my own life, despite the difficulties. My son’s recovery has been sweet, but those of us in this world all know that this can turn on a dime; yet I know that I will always have a place to turn for support. Learn to Cope has given me some very close friends and a network of support and serenity.