A Son’s Addiction; a Mother’s Guilt

Family Weekend Teaser

We at the Schnellenberger Family Foundation are all super-excited about our upcoming Family Weekend. To mark the inaugural we’d like to share this tale from the mother of a fully recovered son.

The mother, Katherine Ketcham, is The New York Times bestselling author and co-author of numerous books on addiction, including Broken (with William Cope Moyers) and Under the Influence (with James, R. Milam). Yet even a decade of professionally applying herself to the subject couldn’t stop her son, Ben, from becoming an addict.

“All the knowledge in the world cannot prevent this disease from walking into your front door and taking hold of someone you love” writes Ketcham. “And no amount of knowledge can change the pain it causes.”

The quote comes from a column Ketcham wrote coincident with The Only Life I Could Save: A Memoir. The book tells the tale of a family’s battle against addiction. The trials and tribulations; the successes and setbacks. It’s all there. And so is a very happy ending.

Here she revisits a treatment center Family Week and comes to a remarkable conclusion.

“The families tell their stories, and as the days go by, we become a community, bound together by our grief and our guilt, our shame and our soul-sickness, our fear and our pain.”

“In the mirror of each other’s stories, we discover that we’re not alone. And that makes all the difference.”

Ketcham’s closing serves as an inspiring springboard for the Recovery Boot Camp Family Weekend. It also hallmarks a deeply personal account from a mother whose own son is now ten years sober.

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