Monday, June 2, 2008

A reply to Suboxone Mom who left a comment to me

I am an opiate addict who began my recovery with Suboxone.Your words have
especially touched me because when in our addiction "mode", an addict doesn't
think they are hurting anyone except themselves.........To know that we have
broken hearts when we broke our promises to those who stood by us allows me to
realize that I hurt far more people than just myself.And don't be too hard on
Dad. Yes, he does enable. I am assuming he doesn't go with you for support.

(snipped... the rest of this comment is on my May 30th posting)

Dear Suboxone Mom--

Thank YOU for taking the time to leave a thought-provoking comment on my blog. I had hoped that my blog would reach people I don't know (though I'm happy that friends and family are keeping up with this, too).

Yes, addiction hurts the loved ones who are not using drugs, themselves. Beyond the financial burden it has placed on both is father and me (and my new husband-- B's stepdad), the great damage that addiction does is to break the "trust bank" to a zero balance, or below.

I haven't posted in three days, once again. I hope that doesn't mean I'm becoming complacent in B's sobriety. Yesterday was his 60 day anniversay, and so far I do not think he is using. I am guardedly optimistic that B is doing well. I also know that the odds are not FOR him that he will not relapse.

Suboxone Mom, I read your comment and I have to say that I am not 100% convinced that providing an addict, who is using, with any kind of help-- money, food, shelter, clothes or paying traffic fines is the right thing to do. My son's father and I have been divorced for 11 years. His father does NOT attend meetings, and I doubt he has read any of the material I have given him.
DENIAL is a part of both co-dependency and addiction.

B's father continues to pay the expenses that my son cannot afford. I do not support his reasons for paying my son's debts. I truly believe, with all of my heart, that an addict will not begin to seek professional help until they have run out of options. Addicts will say and do anything to not only get the money they need to buy their fix, but they are so used to being takers-- free rent, food and anything else you are willing to pay for.

I ask anyone this? Why should I-- a hard-working woman who works full-time have to provide for all of my son's needs? He is perfectly capable of getting a job. His father and I paid THREE TIMES for him to enroll in our local college and for books. And all THREE times, he dropped out.
I won't do that anymore.

I will split the $375.00 cost of his medical insurance with is father-- only because our son is a Type I diabetic, and he would die without his insulin. He is on COBRA rates, because he dropped out of school.

His father paid a LOT of money to repair our son's car. His father has paid his car insurance for 3 years, now. I won't participate. Why? I believe that our son should learn to use public transportation until he realizes he has to work full-time to pay for maintenance and car insurance. But, his father doesn't see it. His view is that B needs a way to get to his part-time job and he needs insurance.

I call this "enabling". I know I sound harsh, and that's because I've done my own share of enabling my son. I have lost count of how many times my son would bat his long lashes at me, and give me that sweet smile of his... and my heart would melt...and my wallet would open. I can't tell you how many times I gave my son $20.00 here and there... for a bucket of golf balls at the driving range... to buy some lunch, knowing I'd never see the change... to help him buy a prescription pill from the "street" because B ran out of them. Not till later, did I learn my son was buying drugs and selling his suboxone.

B has gotten six parking tickets at $48.00 each, since he moved to the Oakland area. His father decided to pay them so that "he wouldn't get arrested". First, I know he won't get arrested! He just won't be able to register his car if he has outstanding tickets. Again, his father paid the money-- and I wonder if our son really used that money to pay the tickets.

I have decided that I need to step back, and let those two continue their untreated codependent behavior on each other.

Do you see why my trust in him is shattered? He's an addict, and he's too new into his recovery process. It's not hopeless, though. I just wish my son would find a full-time job--ideally working at a golf course. Should he decide to really go back to college-- 21 units-- and stick to it, then I would be more apt to help him with his expenses.

With all due respect, someone who is a meth user needs professional help for their addiction. My son was on the same drug to help with his addiction to opiates. He failed, because he felt he could do this on "will power". He said he did not need to go to meetings and he didn't need the 12-steps. He was clean for 8 months, and then he started using again and upped his addiction to include smoking heroin.

The only reason my son is clean, is that he hit rock bottom. His father and I did an intervention, and told him he could no longer live with us. We offered him a treatment program...and I absolutely believe that God set everything up to where my son agreed to go into treatment. He said he'd only for for 2-3 days-- it was awful, the withdrawal. For a while, I didn't think B would make it, but he did...for 30 full days.

I wish I could write more, but my lunch break is finished and I must return to my desk.

Thank you for triggering my need to share more about addiction. Though B is living in a new home, and I feel less worried-- I must not forget that 60 days is not a long time to be clean.

I pray, every single day and multiple times for my son and for people I personally know, who are going through this.

I will try to blog everyday. I hope that you, and other people, will share your stories.

Thank you for your candor. I do not pass judgment on anyone. But, I try to encourage people with my story that is still in progress.



SuboxoneMom said...

Personally, I would not give the addict anything. Including money for rent, traffic violations, doctors, or a bag of french fries. Why? Because I have lived on the "using" addicts side of munipulation. I was fortunate enough to seek help before my bottom included those rocks you speak of. I always tell an addict who seeks out my help that the elevator stops at every floor.

Every addict has a bottom. Some are higher than others. I don't know if it is because it depends on the person, the drug, or just the personality of the addict.

However, not every addict/alcoholic has to lose everything. The only thing they need to do is to realize that they have lost themselves.

It isn't until much later I began to realize all that I really did lose in my addiction.

My point was not meant for you really. I was just saying that Tim is such deep denial regarding his brother that our arguments have been numerous. So instead of fighting and losing the only man I have ever had a good relationship with, I have decided to "suggest" alternatives to him just handing him money. And the moral of that story was that his brother somehow ends up not needing the food, meds or whatever when Tim offers to go with him and pay. I was merely pointing out the manipulation power an addict has over their loved ones........

I hope you did not think I was in any way criticizing your way of handling your son. Seems to me your doing just fine, and so is he. Thank God.

I will check in often and keep "B" in my prayers. I have a long list I go thru at night when I am thanking God for this wonderful journey he has allowed me live.

Hugs to you.


Debby said...

Dear "SM",

I did not take offense to your comments. I do hope that you check in often-- and I do value the views from an addict's point of reference.

You are right-- everybody reaches "bottom" a different way. My son's "bottom" was that he had sold everything he could to support his habit. Mercifully, he never stole from me and he never resorted to stealing from others. I think his "bottom" was how sick the drugs made his body feel.

Regarding "enabling". I do believe that B's dad thinks he's helping our son. He loves his son. I guess I grew up differently. Had my mother not raised me to suffer my own consequences and to earn my way at a very young age-- I would not be the strong and independent woman I am today.
Thank you for your prayers. I pray, each day, for those who are out "there" suffering from addiction and they have no way to get the help they need. It's expensive. I thank God for all He has done. He deserves all my praise & glory!