Hi! I hope this summertime finds you well and happy. I can only imagine how very busy you are–church, parenting, family, friends, Georgia bulldogs, baseball, and last, but by no means least, saving lives. Thank you for dedicating your own life to service; thank you for helping the many people whose lives are touched, in one way or another, by the tragedy of addiction.
I have been thinking about this road we have traveled. It is so important to me, to my present life, to my past, to my future, to my hopes and dreams. This journey will go with me throughout eternity. I am most certain that you will be there also. Something that has been such a large part of my life deserves attention in many ways. I took a class one time in journaling. I wasn’t particularly good at it, but guess what! I am going to write part of my story, and guess who gets to read it! YOU! I have given this job to myself. Why? Because of you, Herb. Because of my son. Because of my daughter and all family members of addicts, who have walked upon this terrifying path. I may look at this journey a little differently than most. Perhaps I have a moral and religious responsibility to share the story, You see, Herb, I am a Mother. I know your Mom is in heaven. Until you meet her again, face to face, clear-eyed and open-hearted, please hear my story. Please know how much your Mother’s love and pride transcend the distance between heaven and earth, between life and death. Please know she is with you.
My child is an addict. I love him. I was the earthly vessel through which God placed him on this earth. I remember the first moment my eyes gazed upon him. His eyes were beautiful. His little chubby face made him look like a little cherub who came straight from heaven. He landed in my arms. God placed him in my care. His breathing brought color to his face. His little hand grasped mine. The bond was for all time. I promised God that I would give my all to His creation and to try, with all my might, to bring glory to Him in how I raised this precious gift from heaven. And so it began.
Precious time, loving moments, memories created that will always touch my heart. Honors. Excellence. Participation. Pride. Hope. Scholarships. Mission fields. The honor of receiving an appointment to a military academy. Love beyond measure.
And then, in a heartbeat, life changed. An injury occurred. It was severe, requiring substantial medical care. And a physician who was close to me and close to him became the enabler and provider of all evil goods (bads!). It happened in less than three weeks. Life forever changed. Joy was over-taken by heartbreak. Fear pushed hope right out the window. Exhaustion and searching replaced all peace and happiness that once resided in my presence. Four letter words became commonplace in my vocabulary. Pain. Pill. Drug. Shot. Loss. Lost. Fear. Jail. Etc.
Those were all part of this Mother’s road. I failed with every attempt to save my son. The only success I had was in keeping him breathing, and that required almost all of my time and energy. I remembered that promise that I made to God. And I kept it.
My son, physically, survived. The eyes were not bright, the smile was no longer, and the little hand that held onto me was now pushing me away. The sweet giggles were overcome with lies, anger, attitude, etc. And the chubbiness–Well, in trying to withdraw, he lost approximately 120 pounds. You can not imagine the shell that remained. His father refused to accept the problem. He also refused to hold himself accountable for his part, medically, in the whole situation. My daughter, her brother’s precious little sister, was heartbroken. We, as a family, went through what so many families do–the loss, sadness, financial ruin, embarrassment, futility, violence, fear, loss of relationships, disappearance of trust, etc. But I could not and did not quit. “For I know the plans I have for you” kept resonating through my being. “Lo, I am with you always” kept coming to my mind.
Year after year, more injuries, more medical care, more poor choices–my son lost his life on a daily basis, and I, his Mother, could not stop the rampage. He wanted so much to quit, but contrary to what most people believe, it was not possible. At least it was not possible on my time schedule anyway. Losing one’s way incorporates the loss of most abilities and the loss of all possible opportunities to blend rational decisions into positive behavior outcomes. Addiction, in a Mother’s eyes, means death. I remember the day I resuscitated him. I will never be the same. I guess that now is a good time to point out that I have zero expertise in anything medical. I taught kindergarten and was excellent with bandaids for “boo boos”. I was a bit of a fainter, although I usually made it through the moments where I was very much needed. Later, it would “hit” me. Now, I am still a zero in relation to medicine, but I am a warrior, for I fought for my son’s life like you can not imagine. When he could not fight for himself, there I was, breathing. I might add that I was not always popular. I honored my Lord and Savior. I gave my all. So many mothers do this, yet no one can quite understand the tough journey that they take. I know. I understand the pain and the loneliness. Those mothers need hugs, comfort, understanding, rest, peace, etc. Many onlookers view the addict’s family as dysfunctional and failures of a sort. Our family was not at all that in the beginning. We certainly became the epitome of that, however, as the journey continued. My son’s addiction. My daughter’s broken heart. My failed marriage. My husband’s neglect of doing anything right for the family. I could not stop this rapidly moving train that was overtaking our lives.
And then, guess what! Herb came into our lives. How? That is a question that if I answered, you would not believe me. Let me just say that I have been so blessed, in many ways, one of which is that I witnessed a real, honest to goodness, unexplainable, unexpected miracle. It came from God Himself, straight from heaven. What did you do, Herb? Well, to begin with, you helped me speak. You gave this Mother the opportunity to open her exhausted mouth and ask for help. You picked me up and dusted me off so to speak. You gave me a purpose rather than the flatline of defeat. You listened, you directed, you offered your help, in a loving and nonjudgmental way. You pointed me forward and kept me from my continual backward fall. You helped me in ways that you will never know. You answered your phone. You returned calls. You checked in on me, just to see if I was okay. You helped me feel not so alone. You passed out encouragement and hope. You overtook the blame and abuse that had been laid upon my lap. You helped me understand that this was not my fault. You helped me accept what had happened. In doing that, I quit wasting my energy on what was. I could now focus on possibilities ahead. You facilitated our tomorrows, replacing darkness with light. With your help, my son became clean. March 6, 2017. His smile returned, and his beautiful blue eyes are clear now. His words of gratitude touch my heart. His ability to see beauty in the world and to express his appreciation for what he has been given means so much. To see him try so hard, and to succeed, in turning this tragedy into a blessing means more than words can say. To hear him pray and to know that he walks with God directing his steps once again……Oh my goodness, I feel so blessed. Thank you.
You, God, and my Son. The three of you were a trinity of hope, of survival of overcoming tremendous loss. You taught me to breathe, to rest, to begin to heal. Herb, you began the recovery process for not only my son , but for me, for my daughter, and for all others whose lives touched ours. Recovery is a process that includes not just the addict, but each and every person who loves him/her.
Where am I today? Well, Herb, I am right here, pouring my gratitude out to you and to God. And to my son. And to my daughter for getting through this. And to each precious friend and family member who has prayed, smiled, hugged, or thought of being a blessing to an addict or to his or her family. ~A Loving Mother in Oklahoma
“If we had not found Herb Stepherson and followed through with the most powerful intervention, I believe my son would be dead today. I had completely lost hope until speaking with Herb. Of course God was in it too… and the BEST news is my son is now clean 17 months later!
Michele N., Rock Hill, SC”
I wanted to take this time to thank Herb Stepherson for his for his help with getting my daughter into rehab for her alcohol addiction .
About a week ago in the middle of the night while I was at work my daughter had consumed so much alcohol she tried hurting herself physically. Frantically my family tried calling 24hr hotlines and medical groups throughout the night and received no assistance in helping her.
That morning I was given Herbs’ number from a friend of our family who’s son had an addiction problem and received the help he needed from him. At first I thought to myself there was no hope! if the places that advertise 24 hour help couldn’t answer there phones or provide us with any assistance why would I call this number. But being frustrated and running out of options and wondering if the next time my daughter drank would be her last I called Herbs’ number.
On the second ring Herb answered I briefly explained to him what had happed over the course of the night with my daughter and her alcoholism addiction. What happed next still has me in shock… I provided Herb with my health insurance and daughters information , within an hour Herb had set my daughter up in a rehab facility as well as the transportation to get her there .
Herb had the comforting words that a father needed to hear that there was hope for my daughter , that she had her whole life ahead of her and with the right rehab she could beat this demon and live a healthy life. Herb even took the time to speak with my daughter who was scared and crying at the time ensured her that she would be in good hands , that she was a beautiful kid who had already taken the first step by admitting she needed help. By the end of their phone conversation she was laughing a little and ready to go and get the help in rehab that she needed .
Again I want to thank Herb Stepherson for the help he provide to my family and my daughter . I would highly recommend anyone that is fighting an addiction problem or has a loved one that’s is fighting an addiction problem to give him a call he might just be the answer to your prayers too.
Thank you Herb!!
Herb Stepherson and #AddictionTreatmentGroup has always been here for our family as we tried very hard to help our granddaughter!
Herb is our coordinator and main contact. When we started working with him he gave us his personal cell
number as well as the main number, and has always gotten back to us quickly, consistently and with
expert professional advice. The actual intervention professionals have all been extremely talented, well
prepared, experienced and truly caring.
Herb helped coordinate excellent plans for us with his vast reaching knowledge of highly rated and expert
rehabilitation centers. He was able to find appropriate centers for our granddaughter’s needs and helped
make all the transitions easy and without extra angst for our family.
One of the most appreciated things for us has been the constant support and follow-up by Herb. He is
always there for us and just a text or phone call away!
Interventions have to be one of life’s more difficult decisions. We felt well prepared and supported each
and every step of the way. Putting our trust in Herb and #AddictionTreatmentGroup, had been a wonderful
decision for our family!!
Helene H – Hobe Sound Florida
I recently contacted Herb asking for assistance in getting someone into rehab. It was after 9pm the evening I messaged him. He worked as much as he could that evening, stopping just before 11pm, saying he was at a stand still but would contact the insurance company first thing the next morning when they opened. He worked feverishly and overcame many roadblocks to make sure this willing heart was able to get the help she needed. He even continued to message me after he had left for the weekend to serve at the great banquet in his area to make sure all signs were go. He went above and beyond to serve this one of many. There are not enough words to express my gratitude for his assistance and his passion that drove him until the task was complete. Thankful that I was able to hear his story just 6 months before and was instantly crazy about his truth, his journey to recovery, his transparency and his passion to help others. There was a reason our paths crossed 🙂 No doubt he is walking in his purpose!! ~Marla G. Kokomo, Indiana