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Movement In the Right Direction: A Mother’s Letter to Allies

Photo credit: alleksana

On Christmas Day, 2023, Allies Member stinkyvan1 wrote a letter of thanks and appreciation to our CEO and founder, Dominique Simon-Levine, who shared it with others on our team. The letter truly speaks for itself, and it put a smile on all our faces. We hope it brings some good cheer and inspiration to you as well.

Happy Holidays,

You helped me find treatment for my son last year, and I was attending your support groups regularly. My son relapsed about two months after returning home last Christmas. I tried to follow CRAFT principles, but I am afraid I was inconsistent and not sticking to boundaries.

He was in pretty bad shape, using constantly, but managed to work consistently—mainly to pay for his habit. I finally asked him to leave. I should have done so long before, but I feared homelessness would compound matters. He found a place to live, and it was not long before things deteriorated. I always told him I would help him when he was ready. I would not give him any money but let him know I was there for him.

In October, he asked to go to treatment and also said that he needed to leave North Carolina and find a recovery living situation afterwards. He also wanted Vivitrol, as he was adamant about not wanting opiate replacement therapy. He is now living in Minneapolis in a recovery home, has a job, and is getting the Vivitrol injection.

As you often say, let consequences happen. I think that is what finally worked. My fear was really working against me. I was helping him maintain his lifestyle. It was really hard and frightening, but making him leave my home was what needed to occur.

I continue to listen to your podcast weekly and find it very helpful. I miss the groups and hope to join again soon. I really appreciate the way Allies in Recovery approaches SUD.

By being very open and talking about my son, I have also found many others at my job who have family members struggling with this issue. Getting out of the closet and being honest and open about my family’s issues has led me to find allies right under my nose. We can talk to each other with no shame and lead by example.

Thank you for all of your kindness and help. I really appreciate your organization. Special shout out to Laurie and Kaylah.


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In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)