I believe I need help with not blaming myself and being shameful

For the past 10 years I have tried v. hard to help my now 28 yr. old son. He has had/is having addiction issues. I blame myself as his mom. What could I have done differently? Where did I go wrong. My hubby and I have enrolled him into 2 addiction centres. Both times relapsed. He has been incarcerated 2x. Once for Robbery, the other for failing parole. This past time when we took him in, we warned him this was his third and final chance. I actually thought this was 'it'. He was doing great. For 8 months, Getting proper meds, counselling, we spent days together cooking in the kitchen, shopping, taking dog for walks. He got accepted into school which was to start 2 wks ago. I was getting to know my kid again. Last week he crashed the car (DUI) which had to be impounded. He was deceitful, as he was suppose to be in class. I told him unfortunately he can no longer stay with us. Time to go. I feel so bad as his mom, worry every night as to where he is, what he is doing. We also cut off his cell phone service. He only has a few clothes with him, no money. I cannot bear to tell my friends and family when they ask how is your son doing in school? Or my dad who is concerned with his grandson. I lie. I am so ashamed to admit the truth. Why? I feel like a failure. He was raised in a very good environment. I lead a very healthy lifestyle and always have. Exercise daily and follow a plant based diet. He had it all and thew it away. I tell myself, this is who he is - he resonates with others who are also addicts and seems to be drawn to those individuals and seems proud of it. So strange to me. How do I get over this?
Asked by struggling
Answered
11/29/2021

Hi, there. Thanks for reaching out to us at Better Help. My name is Stacey Shine and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. I read over your question and am hopeful I can help. I worked specifically with the addiction population for several years.

It sounds like you have given your son all the resources he needs to be successful in his recovery. I wish it was as easy as handing out the tools he will need. Unfortunately, addiction is very complicated. Many people view addiction as a disease and one that takes constant care to manage but there is no magic medication that can make it go away. Your son has to make that choice to become clean and live a sober lifestyle on his own. Recovery comes for people at all different times and it may be that he has not reached his "rock bottom" just yet. Addiction requites a lot of discipline and focus to manage. There are programs such as AA that work for a large number of people who are trying to manage addiction. Typically, these programs are successful due to how easily you can work the steps, it encourages a community environment. Your son may not be at that place where he is ready for all of those things. I think it is important for you to not beat yourself up as a parent for anything that you have done. He is making a choice to choose substances. Often times, those is recovery talk about their family members enabling them by making it easy to stay in that lifestyle even if hidden well. I think you making the choice to cut off finances and other things may be the step needed for him to realize the path he is on. It may not be tomorrow but eventually, that decision may be one that is life saving. 

I know that being a parent of someone struggling with addiction is something that can overrtake you. I would suggest surrounding yourself with a support system and be honest with them about your struggles. Model the thing that he needs most which is to accept help from others. I hope that this was helpful. Best of luck to you and your son.

(MS, LPC)