A parent calls our treatment program today to get help for her daughter. She's in a detox now withdrawing from a habit she's had over the past several months.
The mother wondered if we had bed space for her and also inquired about our treatment options.
"Why didn't your daughter call?" I asked the mother. "After all, she's the one who needs help."
She was quiet for a moment, then told me the story of how she's paid for her daughter's past three treatment programs. But within a few weeks after leaving a program she'd be using again as if she'd learned nothing.
While the mother was discouraged about the money she'd spent on her daughter's failure to recover, she said she was still going to help her.
And I think was kind of surprised when I replied that the daughter's problem was that she was giving her too much help.
After all, she described how she'd helped her get on her feet a few times. Doing things like renting her an apartment. Buy her food and clothes, helping her find a job. Only to find that she once again had relapsed and was on the streets.
I told her my own story of using heroin over a 38 year period. But I didn't quit until everyone gave up on me and quit helping me. At first I was angry and kept using until I ended living on the streets, sleeping in abandoned buildings or stolen cars. Life finally got do painful that I decided to change. I knew that if I didn't change I would end up back in prison, in a mental hospital - or dead.
So I went to a detox, got sober, and never looked back. I told the mother that once I had enough pain I decided to changes. People quit helping me and that's what made the difference.
This girl hasn't had enough pain yet. And she won't until her mother and others quit rescuing her,