This week, Swenny made real progress toward sobriety by interviewing two local addiction treatment centers. All that stands between him and therapy is an intake appointment with a doctor. If all goes smoothly, he should begin intensive outpatient treatment next week.
The program he selected asked him what he hopes to accomplish in treatment. His answer? To find sobriety, to understand why he started drinking and to understand why he can’t stop. These are difficult questions…difficult questions that take courage to ask and armor to answer.
Tonight, we walked along a nature preserve in the city where we live. A two-mile path surrounds a meadow of tall grass, ponds and wild flowers. Deer run about, coyotes lurk and toads converse.
I trailed behind Swenny and our son and thought about his struggle with alcoholism and the metaphor presented by the beauty surrounding our walk. Today, his struggle is shared by everyone who loves him. When he enters therapy, he will be alone to answer the questions he has posed. Like a summer storm, it threatens to remove the foliage that provides cover and leave him exposed in understanding how to begin anew.
As a family, we move from being beside him to being behind him. The path is his to forge.