My mom is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I used to live in New York City, and I became addicted to cocaine. When my mom found out, she decided to pull an intervention! She nabbed me up and took me to a spiritual healing retreat in Hawaii that is owned and operated by gay men. It was called Kalani (kalani.com ), and it promotes diversity and love through the spirit of aloha. For two months, my mother and I spent our days in the sun, learning yoga, taking art and aromatherapy classes and bonding at night, listening to the roar of the ocean. My mother is an avid PFLAG supporter and has been the one person who has always believed in me. Thanks to her, I am now clean and sober. First she gave me life, then she saved it.
Los Angeles, CA
How did Evan’s mom find the strength to swoop in and save her son?
“First of all, you get really scared and confused. Then you get angry. The adrenaline kicks in and you say, ‘Damn it, this is my son!’” Arleen says. “I knew the core of Evan was his intelligence, his creativity and his humanity. I believed in him and knew all he needed was other options.”
“Had I not come to her, I would still be living the same lifestyle,” Evan says. “I’m not proud of my mistakes, but I have learned a lot about life because of them. I still struggle with temptation, but my life is back on track and I can finally say I like the person I am becoming.”
We wanted to give Arleen a chance to address any parents out there with children struggling with addictions.
“Every family faces a crisis—or two or three—in a lifetime,” she says. “First, understand the concept of addictions and understand that we all have them. Don’t lose sight of yourself or your child and don’t stand in judgment. Stand in belief that we are spiritual beings having a human experience: Some of it hurts, some of it is really scary, but somewhere there lies a gift.”
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Today Evan is working to stay healthy and happy and volunteers for Project Angel Food, GLAAD and the Trevor Project and is working to start a record label.
“You can be as successful as you believe you will be. I overcame a weight problem. I overcame a drinking and drug problem. Life sometimes doesn’t turn out like you expect,” he says, grateful for the help of a very special person. “At the end of the day, she will always be my mom, and I know she is the one person—until I find a husband—who will love me unconditionally.”
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