Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My son is living the life of Job

Sometimes I feel like if there was no such thing as bad luck, I wouldn't have any at all... actually, I should say that I used to feel that way. A few years ago, I read the book of Job in it's entirety, and I really reflected on what it means to praise God, despite the troubles we have in our life. From reading the story of Job, and all of the terrible things that happened to him-- and how God restored his life, I better understand how God will restore our lives-- in His time, and if we remain faithful in trusting Him. I have learned the meaning of "God has a plan for us", because my life was restored, after years of heartbreak, bankruptcy and so many frightening episodes of "life".

  • I say this, because my son is having a really bad stroke of bad things happening.
  • Two years ago, he was carjacked and his truck was totaled.
  • In May of this year, a girl hit him on the freeway. His car was not damaged, but she is now claiming bodily injury-- months later. He is not at fault.
  • In June, he caused a three-car accident and his car was totaled. This time, it was his fault because he rear-ended a car in commuter traffic in the Bay Area. His father found an identical car to replace it-- the insurance money was less than $4000.00.

Today, B was broad-sided by an 86 year old man, and it appears his "new" car is totalled. B is okay, though he says his back hurts. This happened just a few hours ago.

My son is really bummed. He said to me "I think that God is trying to get my attention".

I don't call this Kharma. Perhaps it is God's way of trying to get our attention when bad things happen. Then again, I think that when bad things happen, it's not that God orchestrates the bad event in how it unfolds. At times, I think it's more than we go about doing things in our life, without asking God for guidance, wisdom and direction. So, (and this is what I do believe) God just waits for our consequences to happen-- and that's when I think he is waiting for us to look "up" and realize that we need to pay attention-- to God's will.

I have no idea why my son has been involved in so many car accidents. I can only thank God that each and every time my son has been mercifully spared of severe injury or death.

At least my son has been hanging out at my house, reading and taking care of doctor visits that he has long neglected. So far, he appears to not be under the influence of any kind of drugs.

Honestly, I sometimes feel as though my son is one drama, after another, waiting to happen.

So, we shall see what the outcome is with his car. Hopefully, it is not totaled and it can be repaired.


Thank you, Lord, for sparing my son of physical harm.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reflecting on 4 1/2 months ago-- it seems a distant memory

For the last few days, I have been reflecting on the miracles that only God can do. I try not to rewind that fateful night, on March 31st, too often. It was the night when my son came to see me and I could see how ravaged his body was from his addiction to Oxy-Contin and to smoking heroin. I felt as though my son had been taken by a terrible demon, who wasn't willing to let him go. B was a mess. I don't wish for any parent to see their child as ill as mine was. I was so afraid for him, and desperate. I still remember, falling onto my knees and crying for God to give me help. He heard me. I remember how hard it was for me to give my son $50.00 to buy pills "from the street". It sounds crazy, but I was trying to buy time until morning-- when I could make phone calls to see how to get my son into treatment.

I remember how afraid I was, the next morning. Since April 1st, I truly believe that the multitude of prayers for my son have no only been heard by our Heavenly Father, but that he has answered prayers for healing, mercy and hope. My son was going through heavy withdrawals, and his father was so desperate to help him that he actually paid for more street drugs so that my son would not become physically ill. In desperation, I asked my boss if I could leave my job and I drove to a local recovery center. I didn't feel as though this outpatient clinic was the answer to help my son. I drove to another treatment center, only to find out that they did not take our insurance. I wish I could remember the woman's name, because she paused and returned with the name of a treatment center (in the Oakland Bay Area) that she heard was a preferred provider for our insurance.

I dialed the number as soon as I got into my car and I remember feeling that God had performed a miracle-- my son had an appointment to be interviewed into their program! The miracles didn't stop, that day. I had to convince my son to go in for treatment, but he was fighting it. He was convinced that a methodone clinic would be the answer. I knew that he was trading one addiction for another. I was given a phone number for a person who did drug counseling. Another miracle-- he answered the phone. He offered to see my son, that evening.

I remember calling my son and telling him I had found help for him. Would he do it? He paused for what seemed like an eternity.

"Yes", he finally said. I have no doubt that God was in control of all of these events. It went to smoothly. I remember loading my son into my Jeep, with my husband and his cousin who came along for moral support. To this day, my son does not remember his cousin being there. He was so loaded, that he says that day remains a blur.

Today, my son sat next to me at church. He was listening, intently, as our pastor spoke about his newest series-- How Jesus give us hope when we are at the end of our rope.

I strongly believe that the only reason my son is doing as well as he is today, is because of faith that God is the God of miracles. He is the I Am. God deserves all the glory for where my son is today, at this very moment. I can remember my fears for my son's life, my heart ache, my sense of being in shock over my son's addiction-- and I would feel a sense of peace that God was handling the whole situation.

My son's recovery has been a series of the right opportunities opening at just the right time. He has met people who have helped my son in his recovery-- with support, with small jobs. My son is about to start a new job on the 28th of August.

B has been staying with me, since this Friday. He is here because he needs a crash course on working around race cars. That is his father's passion and profession, so his father is beaming with joy and pride that his son is starting a career with race cars. B wants to stay with me for a few days, because he realizes he needs to eat healthy food and that he needs to get his body into shape. He sees that his diet of junk food and smoking has left his tall and slender body physically weak. He spent three days, working 12 hour shifts, at a race track and he sees how physically demanding it is to be an assistant to a racing team.

Today, the miracle that my son is still clean and doing well in his recovery, has made my heart feel a deep gratitude to God. I give Him all the glory and praises for saving my son from death-- and that is not an exaggeration. The odds of my son's recovery is only about 3%. That is not very encouraging. That B never got arrested is another miracle. I call that God's mercy. God has a plan for him, and I hope that my son finds the way to fulfill it.

Based on what I am seeing in B, today, I believe that he is not using drugs. He still struggles with sleeping well, and he tosses and turns at night. He relies on paxel to combat depression-- and that saddens me. He is still very immature, and I believe that his drug addiction stunted his mental growth. He struggles with remembering things-- all drug aftermath, he agrees.

I still catch him embelishing stories, and I still don't believe everything he says. He is still very manipulative, but I am learning to call him on it.

My son has a long way to go, and I don't forget that the demon of addiction wants him back. I am not comfortable with my son being back on his home turf-- close to all of his drug contacts. While he says he deleted their phone numbers, I don't doubt he could find a drug dealer if he really tried. He plans to return to his apartment in a few days. In the meantime, I will line up doctor appointments to manage his diabetes and to get his eyes checked.

I think that the reason I am not blogging every day, like I used to during April, May and June, is that I feel as though the crisis of B's drug addiction has passed. I need to remind myself not to become complacent. My son could relapse tomorrow, next month or in a year.

My son is a drug addict, and he always will be. I will continue to pray for him, and others who are struggling with this disease. Ultimately, I pray that God will use my son's experience to become a testimony to others who are going through this.

I will continue to blog about my son's addiction, how it affects me and to share other stories. I might not blog every day, but at least once a week. If I can touch one person's heart, encourage them, pray for them-- then God is using me for his Glory.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Feeling behind, overwhelmed but thankful

Dear Friends, Family and the anonymous people who are reading this blog:

I am feeling a lot of pressure because my daily life schedule feels so out of balance. It's ironic that I had the entire month of July off work. I had the privilege of sleeping in for a month. I cherish my quiet mornings, so to have the house to myself (except for two cats who seemed to bask in the glory of having a human at home during the day) I had all kinds of plans and goals I wanted to accomplish.

What I did not expect was that the month long vacation would vanish faster than I imagined. While I managed get my house clutter cleared away, I found myself feeling unfocused. My daily morning times reading the Word, prayerfully got interrupted with a list of things I needed to do.

I was not putting God first in my life. This blog is an important part of keeping a spiritual attitude about my son's addiction and I just couldn't find the mental energy I needed to write.

I have received two emails from mothers who are going through the same situation that I am in. Every day, I wanted to write back to them and share my encouragement and compassion with them-- but the day slipped by and so I promised that I'd do it the next morning. I never did.

A mother that I met through the high school, where I work, wrote a lengthy and encouraging update about her son. I flagged that email to respond to her. I never did.

A family member wrote a wonderful email to me, so I flagged that to respond to. I never did.

So, why am I acting like a flake? That is so not like me! I strongly believe that the evil forces of nature-- The Enemy-- will stop at nothing to distract me from putting God first in my life. I know that the Dark One is clever, cunning and I think I've not kept myself spiritually fit. I have allowed my "I'll do it when I am finished with this..." excuses to keep me from staying in touch with God first. No wonder I don't feel His peace!

So, today, I am stopping my household duties long enough to post this blog. I want to say to each and every one of you-- you are all in my thoughts and my prayers. Many of you are struggling with dealing with an addict. I want you to know, that every morning, I lift up in prayer to God that He will encourage all of you who are dealing with the pain and helplessness that we feel when a loved one is using drugs and/or alcohol. I am praying for Connor, Colby, John, Debbie and the faceless addicts who have an addiction demon that only our Higher Power can help them to fight against.

I am praying for the families who cannot afford to put their loved one into an in-patient treatment program. The costs are astounding, and I don't know what options there are for those who don't have insurance. I thank the Lord that our insurance took care of B's bill, except for 10% The final cost of his detox/recovery treatment came to $36,000.00. That does not include the $10,000 in costs to help my son stay away from his home town. That was only possible because my mother left my son a trust fund that I carefully invested into the bank.

I have saved the emails that have been sent to me to my personal emails. It is my deepest desire to respond to each one of them. They mean a great deal to me.

I have much to write, but a very quick summary (for I must finish my chores) is:

B has been offered a job that sounds too good to be true. Yes, that's a cliche' and I sincerely hope that this is something that God has as His plan for my son. He would work for a Formula Mazda Race Team just five minutes from his apartment in Benicia. From what B told me, he will be training the be the owner's right hand person. Basically, he will be a "glorified gopher" and his starting salary would be enough for him to afford his apartment and his basic needs. He will travel 3 out of 4 weeks a month with the 18-wheeler that transports the race cars. That is all I know, for now. So, he wants to stay in Benicia.

I thank the Lord that my son is no longer considering moving to Nevada. I have prayed that my son would understand that to "freeload" off people by living with them without a job, is not the moral thing to do.

B is excited and I am happy for him.

I have concerns, though, of course. Is he using? I don't know. I don't see him often enough. However, I do not hear his slurred and rapid speech that was common he he was loaded on oxy-contin.

He is returning phone calls, promptly. When he was using, he only called me with an emergency reason why he needed money. That's not happening, from me. His father, though, still gives my son money. I am at peace with that, because that is his father's decision.

My son did spend last weekend with us, and he went to church with us. I am thankful, that my son is a believer in Jesus Christ. Is he a follower? I think he's still in the Prodigal Son mode, but I think he wants to find a church in his area.

One quick note: "Pastor", thank you for your anonymous encouragement. Please email me, privately, as I do not have your email!

My timer just went off, so I must return to work. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I will strive to do a better job answering your emails.