Wishing All My Friends And Visitors A *Merry Christmas*~A Recovery Christmas Share

Wanted to come and WISH each and everyone a very *Merry Christmas Eve* and wanted to share a “Beautiful Recovery Message” from my *Special Friend ~ Aaron Emerson* and his New Blog: http://www.newliferecoveryoutreach.org and actually was written by his “FATHER”…….God Bless Everyone, and Thank You for being a part of my Recovery Journey” this year!
Hugs, Love, and many Blessings,

Home For Christmas
By: Wes Emerson

As the family writer for New Life Recovery Outreach, it is my plan to share the Emerson’s story of the agony of addiction from the family perspective.  Looking back, it is hard to believe what Aaron, and his family, went through over a seven year span.  Though some of it is now a blur, I want to openly share our experience to encourage other families who are currently engaged in this heart-breaking battle.

Today my thoughts turn to Christmas and the holiday season, which is supposed to be a joyous time for families.  However, drug addiction is the scrooge who steals Christmas from thousands, even millions of families.  When your child or sibling is bound to hardcore drugs, or is incarcerated for drug offenses, it dampens your spirits and steals your joy.  Christmas is not the same because a beloved family member is missing, and you mourn for that person.

Over the course of the past seven years, there were times when Aaron was physically home for the holidays, but he was not truly with us.  He was not the same person he once was.  Marijuana use quickly led to stronger, more powerful drugs which totally wreaked havoc on his life, and ours, as well.  I believe, based on our experience that for many people marijuana leads to other drugs.  For Aaron, this meant moving on to cocaine, crack, oxycontin….and eventually-heroin.

As Christmas came around, we as a family were grieved to see Aaron in his addicted state.  He was not at home much of the time.  He spent the bulk of his time with his using friends, in quest of the drug, returning home at late hours, high.  The “high” Aaron was not the real Aaron we knew, and it hurt.  While he was out, we constantly worried that something bad or tragic would occur.  When he was among us, we were sickened.  He looked horrible.  Drugs drastically changed his countenance- he was thin, depressed, sullen, sickly looking.  We looked helplessly many times as he nodded off in the living room.  We panicked when he would vomit repeatedly in his bedroom and bathroom.  We were horrified on those occasions when we couldn’t wake him up, fearing he would die.  When family Christmas gatherings were held, there were times he would refuse to accompany us.  When he did go, it was apparent to extended family that something was terribly wrong.  Aaron was with us, but in reality, he wasn’t-not the real Aaron we knew and loved.

And then there were those holiday seasons when Aaron was in jail, separated from his loved ones in the Ingham County Jail.  Because he was sober due to his incarceration, Aaron longed to be with us for Christmas.  He could recall past memories of holiday traditions and family gatherings, and it grieved him.  His phone calls from jail on Christmas day were difficult, to say the least.  He was not, and could not, be with us for Christmas, and it was killing him, and us, as well.  Those phone calls from jail were so painful, especially on Christmas day.  I wanted to talk to my young son, and to hear his voice, but it hurt so badly.  How do you encourage him at a time like that?  What could I say to make him feel better?…

Though I am a professional, a minister with 30 plus years under my belt in pastoral ministry, I must admit that I struggled with the challenge of being positive, infusing hope in my child, and simply making him feel better.  I so desperately wanted to encourage him, but the words of comfort were hard to find.  I would tell him how much we loved him, missed him, and wished he could be with us.  I would tell him to keep focused on the future, that he would always have a family and a home to return to, and that God loved him and was with him…but I never felt like my words, on Christmas day, made him feel any better.

Aaron knew what was going on in his home on Christmas while he was behind bars.  His family got up, opened presents, and then enjoyed a Christmas breakfast, followed by a homemade Christmas birthday cake for Jesus.  He knew that we would later gather with extended family on this special day.  And here he was, in jail, with lifetime criminals, and some deputies who treated him inhumanely.  Christmas in the Ingham County Jail is just another day.  There is no compassion there, even for young addicts who have lost their way.  In retrospect, I guess this is just another cruel consequence of drug addiction.  Drugs destroy lives.

Thank God, this year, Christmas in 2013 is different.  Far different!  My son, Aaron, is home this year.  He is over seven months clean in his recovery.  The real Aaron we know and love will be with us as we celebrate the birth of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  He is not incarcerated, separated from loved ones.  He is not in bondage to drugs.  This is a miracle.  He is truly home for Christmas, and it can happen for you, too.  Don’t lose hope.  Merry Christmas to all of you!

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4 thoughts on “Wishing All My Friends And Visitors A *Merry Christmas*~A Recovery Christmas Share

    • Back to you “Meowy Sis”!! Hope you all enjoy Christmas Day “together”! Did Santa bring Weezer & Sylvester some CAT TOYS? OH….by the way, OUR NEW YEAR should include me to come for a Visit sometime so we can “CHAT” in person!? Hugs & Blessings! Cat & Tom XoXo


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