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  #1  
Old 07-26-2017, 04:42 PM
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Default Seeking advice from recovering addicts

My son has been in prison for 10 years with two more to go. He called this morning and said that he was going through old letters and some things from the past. He was overwhelmed with guilt and shame for whatís he put everyone through and had a major crying spell. Heís felt like this before, but never to this degree that I know of. Not being an addict myself, the best I could offer him was that it was good to get it all out but that he needed to let go and put the past in the past. Now I wonder if that was even helpful. I would appreciate any tips or ideas on how I can offer better advice or, better yet, what tips you might offer him on how to let go. Btw, heís involved in SAP and Iím sure theyíre addressing this problem, but I donít know to what degree. I really appreciate any feedback you can offer. Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:48 PM
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Sorry, I don't have an experience in this area. But, I think you handled it just fine. He maybe getting afraid to face family and friends he's disappointed. It's good that he feels remorse for is past. Tell him to ask others and God for forgiveness. Forgive himself and then move forward with a clean conscience. Continue to provide your loving support. He'll get through it.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:01 PM
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I don't know about his prison in particular, but most prisons also offer NA or AA meetings. Encourage his to get involved. He has to learn to feel his feelings and it sounds like he may be on that road. Which is a good thing. I have several years in recovery and it was a hard never ending battle. Definitely worth it though. Remind him it's just one day at a time. We can only manage this moment right now. I've never been in prison, but I have to imagine it makes recovery a little more difficult. I wish the best for you and your son!
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:07 PM
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Sorry, I don't have an experience in this area. But, I think you handled it just fine. He maybe getting afraid to face family and friends he's disappointed. It's good that he feels remorse for is past. Tell him to ask others and God for forgiveness. Forgive himself and then move forward with a clean conscience. Continue to provide your loving support. He'll get through it.
Thank you so much for responding. It's interesting that you bring up forgiveness because, after doing an internet search, I came up with a lot of info on forgiving oneself in order to move forward. Two articles in particular are perfect for him and they're already in the mail. For someone who doesn't have experience in this area, you must have good instincts! Thanks again.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:13 PM
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Part of the process is also to make amends with those he's wronged. My daughter is a recovering heroin addict. 10+ years an addict, 8 months clean. This is by far the longest she's maintained her sobriety without being in jail.

To make amends he has to confront the things he's done. You know, the stealing, the lies, manipulation and most likely things you don't even want to know he's done.

Sending you a big cyber hug
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:44 PM
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I don't know about his prison in particular, but most prisons also offer NA or AA meetings. Encourage his to get involved. He has to learn to feel his feelings and it sounds like he may be on that road. Which is a good thing. I have several years in recovery and it was a hard never ending battle. Definitely worth it though. Remind him it's just one day at a time. We can only manage this moment right now. I've never been in prison, but I have to imagine it makes recovery a little more difficult. I wish the best for you and your son!
Thank you, DanielsWyf. Yes, he has attended NA meetings at other prisons, but where he is now offers SAP (Substance Abuse Program) and I'm hopeful that this will be an area they cover. Just in case they don't, I will remind him that "it's just one day at a time and that we can manage this moment right now." I know that's very important for addicts to remember.

I agree that being in prison makes recovery more difficult. I do think that if you really want to be clean and sober, you can do it anywhere but not having access to daily/different meetings and a good sponsor can make it more challenging. Not to mention the fact that getting in touch with your real feelings and fears while in prison is something that is not encouraged. But, so far, he is doing well although I think getting in touch with his feelings to such a major degree has thrown him for a loop. From what you said, though, I think it may be a good thing and important for the recovery process to take place. I know that it will be well worth it and I hope he feels the same way.

Thanks again and a big congratulations on your recovery. That is truly wonderful!
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:55 PM
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Part of the process is also to make amends with those he's wronged. My daughter is a recovering heroin addict. 10+ years an addict, 8 months clean. This is by far the longest she's maintained her sobriety without being in jail.

To make amends he has to confront the things he's done. You know, the stealing, the lies, manipulation and most likely things you don't even want to know he's done.

Sending you a big cyber hug
So happy to hear that your daughter has 8 months clean. To some people that may not sound like much, but to those of us whose loved ones are addicts it's a very big deal. I hope she continues on her path of recovery.

My son has made some amends to us although probably not fully and, you're right, I really didn't want to know and I really don't want to know it all, but I know it's a necessary part of recovery. I know that a 12-step program covers this, but I'm not sure about the program he's involved in now. I'll ask him when he calls next.

Thanks for the hug!
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:04 PM
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My son has been in prison for 10 years with two more to go. He called this morning and said that he was going through old letters and some things from the past. He was overwhelmed with guilt and shame for whatís he put everyone through and had a major crying spell. Heís felt like this before, but never to this degree that I know of. Not being an addict myself, the best I could offer him was that it was good to get it all out but that he needed to let go and put the past in the past. Now I wonder if that was even helpful. I would appreciate any tips or ideas on how I can offer better advice or, better yet, what tips you might offer him on how to let go. Btw, heís involved in SAP and Iím sure theyíre addressing this problem, but I donít know to what degree. I really appreciate any feedback you can offer. Thanks.


This is just my Alright I have been down the road of addiction I burned a lot of people in my 20+ years of smoking crack. It is good that he is trying to amend is wrong doings. The real test comes when he get out. No matter how long you have been clean you still Jones every now and then ( I still do been sober a good 13 years) He is the one that decides if he keeps clean and sober. I had no problem getting clean and sober inside, but when I got out I would do alright for a few weeks then I would start beating the streets looking for the places to score. The person has to break this cycle.
I didn't do any treatment or 12 step program or any thing else ( these programs work but not for me) I got clean my way . It was either get clean or go back to prison and never get out. Drugs were not my committing offense
Violent crimes were. ( armed robbery). While I was doing my last term. I got sick and tired of being told what to do, when to do it how I could do it. At that point I still had over 5 years to do still.
When I got out things went well I went to work everything was going great. Until I decide I just wanted a "taste" Well that "taste started me back on my old ways. Luckily it didn't last long just one minor run in with the law and I got my crap back on track. Was easy for me ? No. Do I still fight that urge to use . Yes. I have made my amends with my family, they have been very supportive of me and for me. One thing is for sure my mother got to see me clean and sober the last 13 years of her life, something she hadn't seen for a long time.
Take your son at his word until he proves himself else ways. He has a hard time ahead of him. He can do it if he wants to do it. No one can make you stay clean and sober. It is up to the individual to do this. The hardest step to make is that first one. You must admit to yourself. I have a problem. I need help. Once you make up your mind you want change . Then change can slowly come to you. I can tell you from experniced he will stumble and fall but that is part of the fight with addiction. There are times I still want to run away from my life as it is now but, I know should I run back to the lifestyle I am thinking about sooner then later I will be locked up the rest of my life. I wish your son the best in his future. It will be a hard battle but wars are won at one battle at a time
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  #9  
Old 08-02-2017, 10:57 AM
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I'm a sober person

I say just tell him you love him, that the past is an important thing that teaches and gives us insight, but there's always a future. You don't have to feel to run or represent his program or whatever he's doing to stay sober. Just be there for him and tell him that you love him I think that should suffice. Give him space to figure out his sobriety and what works for him. Not all things in 12-step programs are healthy for the person or work for them. So listen to him as he navigates and just tell him you will be there for him
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:42 PM
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This is just my Alright I have been down the road of addiction I burned a lot of people in my 20+ years of smoking crack. It is good that he is trying to amend is wrong doings. The real test comes when he get out. No matter how long you have been clean you still Jones every now and then ( I still do been sober a good 13 years) He is the one that decides if he keeps clean and sober. I had no problem getting clean and sober inside, but when I got out I would do alright for a few weeks then I would start beating the streets looking for the places to score. The person has to break this cycle.
I didn't do any treatment or 12 step program or any thing else ( these programs work but not for me) I got clean my way . It was either get clean or go back to prison and never get out. Drugs were not my committing offense
Violent crimes were. ( armed robbery). While I was doing my last term. I got sick and tired of being told what to do, when to do it how I could do it. At that point I still had over 5 years to do still.
When I got out things went well I went to work everything was going great. Until I decide I just wanted a "taste" Well that "taste started me back on my old ways. Luckily it didn't last long just one minor run in with the law and I got my crap back on track. Was easy for me ? No. Do I still fight that urge to use . Yes. I have made my amends with my family, they have been very supportive of me and for me. One thing is for sure my mother got to see me clean and sober the last 13 years of her life, something she hadn't seen for a long time.
Take your son at his word until he proves himself else ways. He has a hard time ahead of him. He can do it if he wants to do it. No one can make you stay clean and sober. It is up to the individual to do this. The hardest step to make is that first one. You must admit to yourself. I have a problem. I need help. Once you make up your mind you want change . Then change can slowly come to you. I can tell you from experniced he will stumble and fall but that is part of the fight with addiction. There are times I still want to run away from my life as it is now but, I know should I run back to the lifestyle I am thinking about sooner then later I will be locked up the rest of my life. I wish your son the best in his future. It will be a hard battle but wars are won at one battle at a time
Thank you so much for this. It really helps to hear about your experience and what you have done to stay out of prison. My son, too, says that he never wants to go back and I can only hope that it will be enough to get him through all the obstacles heíll no doubt face. Iím sending him your post to reinforce that it can be done and, above all, it has to be because HE wants it. For my part, Iíll continue to love and support him and, like your mother, hope for a lot more years to see him clean and sober. Thatís something I hope and pray for every day. Thanks again for your 2 cents (but worth much more than that!). I really appreciate it.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:26 PM
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Thank you so much for this. It really helps to hear about your experience and what you have done to stay out of prison. My son, too, says that he never wants to go back and I can only hope that it will be enough to get him through all the obstacles heíll no doubt face. Iím sending him your post to reinforce that it can be done and, above all, it has to be because HE wants it. For my part, Iíll continue to love and support him and, like your mother, hope for a lot more years to see him clean and sober. Thatís something I hope and pray for every day. Thanks again for your 2 cents (but worth much more than that!). I really appreciate it.
Your son is reaching the age also that prison isn't cool anymore. Not saying prison is cool When you go in when you are in your late 20s do your first term, get out . You think prison wasn't all that bad. You catch another beef when your out about 4 years they slap you on the wrist with another term(speaking about myself)You do that hating every day of it but it wasn't all that bad. You get out stay out 14 months . Catch a 13 years sentence, then you realize I am here for a damn long time and already tired of the COs up in my face about stupid crap, that if we were on the street we would fight but because you wear that badge I'll just let you run your mouth , for my own good. Even when you try to stay under the radar there is always that one or a few COs that just will not leave you alone.
Plus I had associates from the streets and on the insides that here hooked up with the Brothers(not the brotherhood)
I spent a lot of time on my last term in the hole and in the SHU Rode the merry go around ( This is when you are transferred around from institution to institution every few months)because of who I knew and associated with. I am no hard ass OK . It's just prison politics
If your son is tired of doing time that is a good start with his fight. I don't have answers to all questions I know what worked for me. Your son will find something that will work for him, if he wants to really get clean and sober. Every person is different . Just don't let him fall for some of the false hopes that some AAA and NA groups try to beat in your head. The person must decide what works for them , what support they want and need. Some recovering addicts try to manipulate you also Because that is what addicts are good at manipulation
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:57 AM
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Default God willing i will have 5 yrs clean &sober AGAIN on 11-15-17

@Rhianon;7650906 I am an addict...have been for 35+ yrs and I wish I had a mother who cared like u do...I spent a total of 8+ yrs in custody (state and county) and no matter what I do or how long I stay clean, I can't get one of those days back. This creates a whole lot of regret and guilt...kids grew up while I was gone and my peers went on with "normal" lives. I got old and have had to reestablish all of my personal relationships (those that were repairable anyway...I am 52 yrs old and I have almost 5 yrs clean again...I am alone in the world while the man I love is in prison for the next 14 yrs...I have no 401 k and my people hardly speak to me anymore. So yes, there is a lifetime of things I wish I had done differently. It is actually a step of the 12 step programs to list those mistakes and bad choices and to own your part in it all. It is absolutely essential for your son to take an honest look at all the wreckage he has created, feel it, own it, make amends where he can, and then release it...otherwise he is doomed to repeat those things that broke his heart. This process is not for you or those he has wronged...it's for him. He's gotta walk thru the shit in order to let go of it. Let him cry. Let him vent. Let him say how sorry he is...then let him know that u still love him and are in his corner. I never got this from my folks, and I believe it has made my journey longer & harder. I send u prayers for peace for your son AMD your family...hang in there and u may someday meet the son you always knew he could be.
Kelley aka Ricky's chick805 QUOTE=tglsmom;7650906]My son has been in prison for 10 years with two more to go. He called this morning and said that he was going through old letters and some things from the past. He was overwhelmed with guilt and shame for whatís he put everyone through and had a major crying spell. Heís felt like this before, but never to this degree that I know of. Not being an addict myself, the best I could offer him was that it was good to get it all out but that he needed to let go and put the past in the past. Now I wonder if that was even helpful. I would appreciate any tips or ideas on how I can offer better advice or, better yet, what tips you might offer him on how to let go. Btw, heís involved in SAP and Iím sure theyíre addressing this problem, but I donít know to what degree. I really appreciate any feedback you can offer. Thanks.[/quote]
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:01 AM
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Well shit. That didn't work out the way I wanted...lol. I'm a little techno retarded... my auto-correct even changed the name of the lady that was directed at...o well.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:23 AM
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Put it this way...you don't have to be an addict to recognize regret and pain you caused others from a mistake you made. Think back to a point in your life when you made a choice that ended up causing you or other's pain. How was it overcoming that? How did you overcome it? Acceptance is key, and after that gaining the coping skills necessary to deal with the guilt and shame associated with the decisions one makes whether they are using or not. I work in this field and often share that there is not a human being on this planet that is void of making a mistake. Our mistakes are where we can learn and one thing we can learn is every single person on this earth has made mistakes. Coming to terms with those mistakes and life lessons can be difficult but when you have radical acceptance (meaning seeing it for exactly what it is), being human and being flawed meaning we learn through mistakes (not excusing behavior only understanding this for overcoming guilt and shame) it creates learning lessons vs. making a larger wound that someone uses to cover up their pain again. If I were you I would validate the fact that he is recognizing that those were painful things he did and that he's sharing that with you. Which is great! Now where do you go from here? How about learning the tools necessary to deal with those things. Ask him what kinds of classes there are where he can do this, na and aa can help, but that's more of a group setting. What about self help books? If you are ok with it, maybe asking if you sent him a work book if he would utilize it.

Something like this maybe?

https://play.google.com/store/books/...FVWvTwodMUIGtg

https://play.google.com/store/books/...FUu-TwodF7UP9g


I know education helped me a lot. It helped give me the tools necessary to deal with the things I had never been taught to look at or deal with in the past. Goodluck!
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:08 PM
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Well shit. That didn't work out the way I wanted...lol. I'm a little techno retarded... my auto-correct even changed the name of the lady that was directed at...o well.
Thatís okay Ė it gave me a good laugh once I realized you were actually responding to me. Iím also tech challenged so youíre not the only one!

I do appreciate your first post. Iím really happy to hear that youíre almost 5 years clean. Thatís quite an accomplishment considering that youíve had no family support. I canít imagine how hard itís been for you, but you must be especially strong and committed to have achieved what you have. You have a lot to be proud of. Iím proud of you and I donít even know you!

I guess every situation and every relationship is different, but Iíve always tried to be supportive of him. I havenít always liked his behavior or his actions and I've let him know what I think, but the thought of not being there for him is hard to imagine. I try to offer what I can, but Iíve learned enough about addiction to know that he will get clean and sober and stay that way if he wants it bad enough. Working through the process is painful and difficult to watch, but I know it means progress and for that I am grateful.

Thanks again for your thoughts and keep up the good work. I think youíre doing great! And stay with PTO while your man is gone. It's been a lifesaver for me and it will give you lots of info and support!
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:35 PM
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Put it this way...you don't have to be an addict to recognize regret and pain you caused others from a mistake you made. Think back to a point in your life when you made a choice that ended up causing you or other's pain. How was it overcoming that? How did you overcome it? Acceptance is key, and after that gaining the coping skills necessary to deal with the guilt and shame associated with the decisions one makes whether they are using or not. I work in this field and often share that there is not a human being on this planet that is void of making a mistake. Our mistakes are where we can learn and one thing we can learn is every single person on this earth has made mistakes. Coming to terms with those mistakes and life lessons can be difficult but when you have radical acceptance (meaning seeing it for exactly what it is), being human and being flawed meaning we learn through mistakes (not excusing behavior only understanding this for overcoming guilt and shame) it creates learning lessons vs. making a larger wound that someone uses to cover up their pain again. If I were you I would validate the fact that he is recognizing that those were painful things he did and that he's sharing that with you. Which is great! Now where do you go from here? How about learning the tools necessary to deal with those things. Ask him what kinds of classes there are where he can do this, na and aa can help, but that's more of a group setting. What about self help books? If you are ok with it, maybe asking if you sent him a work book if he would utilize it.

Something like this maybe?

https://play.google.com/store/books/...FVWvTwodMUIGtg

https://play.google.com/store/books/...FUu-TwodF7UP9g


I know education helped me a lot. It helped give me the tools necessary to deal with the things I had never been taught to look at or deal with in the past. Goodluck!
Thank you for all the thoughts and ideas! I've actually sent him books and things from the internet re: addiction, but never anything like a workbook. I'm not sure how or if he would make use of something like that (since it might remind him of school work which he hated!), but I did check out the books you recommended. They sound good and helpful and I may order one of them after he's finished with the substance abuse program he's in now. I'm waiting to see how that goes. Thanks again!
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:58 PM
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I was an addict for over 13 years before i got locked up and it litterally saved my life. It doesnt do that for everybody but for me it worked. I had tried rehab and AA/NA and methadone clinics. I had tried it all. I even used the whole first year i was locked up. It took me 11 months in the hole to finally feel normal without drugs. I had been using since i was 13 years old. He just need to know that you love him no matter what and that you are going to be there no matter what happens. That atleast for me was the best feeling that my Mom gave me. I also know how deeply disappointed she would be if I was to replapse. While it is true that the cravings never really go away you do learn how to deal with them and that they go away fairly quickly if u get ur mind distracted. And the time in between them becomes further apart. My Pre trial probation officer said i was the worst addict he had ever seen. I did my sentence and 1 year 5 months out of 3 years supervised release and was released early just yesterday. I have worked the same job since i got out, i have bought a home, and a car since i got out. I have never been in a better place in my life. Without the support of my family I do not think I could have done it. My family (mom and Step dad) have stuck by me thru everything even when I didnt love my self they still loved me. That is what we need that and time to feel normal without using.

Not all stories turn out like that I did a drug program while locked up also and some of the friends i made in there that i though had better chances than me have gotten in trouble for using again. But for the most part he needs goals to work towards things to achieve and to know that his family loves and supports him and would still love him no matter what but would be disappointed if he relapses.

Hope all goes well for him, We can get better.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:36 PM
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Doinaight View Post
I was an addict for over 13 years before i got locked up and it litterally saved my life. It doesnt do that for everybody but for me it worked. I had tried rehab and AA/NA and methadone clinics. I had tried it all. I even used the whole first year i was locked up. It took me 11 months in the hole to finally feel normal without drugs. I had been using since i was 13 years old. He just need to know that you love him no matter what and that you are going to be there no matter what happens. That atleast for me was the best feeling that my Mom gave me. I also know how deeply disappointed she would be if I was to replapse. While it is true that the cravings never really go away you do learn how to deal with them and that they go away fairly quickly if u get ur mind distracted. And the time in between them becomes further apart. My Pre trial probation officer said i was the worst addict he had ever seen. I did my sentence and 1 year 5 months out of 3 years supervised release and was released early just yesterday. I have worked the same job since i got out, i have bought a home, and a car since i got out. I have never been in a better place in my life. Without the support of my family I do not think I could have done it. My family (mom and Step dad) have stuck by me thru everything even when I didnt love my self they still loved me. That is what we need that and time to feel normal without using.

Not all stories turn out like that I did a drug program while locked up also and some of the friends i made in there that i though had better chances than me have gotten in trouble for using again. But for the most part he needs goals to work towards things to achieve and to know that his family loves and supports him and would still love him no matter what but would be disappointed if he relapses.

Hope all goes well for him, We can get better.


Iím so glad I logged on today and saw your post. Iím sorry I didnít see it sooner, but I do want to thank you profusely. It came at the most appropriate time and, without going into detail, things have become complicated with my son and my husband and I have reassured him that we will continue loving and supporting him. You helped me realize that weíre doing the right thing although, as your mom and stepdad have probably felt, it isnít always easy. As a parent, you want to fix things for your kids, but when theyíre no longer kids you have to step back and let them find their own way. Sometimes that can be so painful!

I also want to commend you on being successful after your release. Considering that the odds are probably against you, that is something to be very proud of. I hope and pray every day that my son will find his way and succeed just like you.

I have already sent this to my son. Iím hoping that it will touch him in a place that I canít seem to reach. Thank you so very much!
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