Monday, September 8, 2008

Hoping the calm will last

I know that my last blog was very long. I have come to realize that "blogging" is a high-tech way to journal. Journaling is therapeutic. At least, for me, it is.

So, today I am feeling peace in my life. I want to be optimistic that my son has everything he needs to learn how to live on his own. He has a full-time job. He has a new place to live. He has a car. He also has a few things that many people don't have-- he has health insurance (that we pay for) and he has car insurance (that his father pays for... and I have no say in that one).

Is my son using? That's the million dollar question. I have to say "I hope not". My son failed a drug test. Why is something that is between B and God. I've heard it all before-- I've heard my son swear he's clean many times before he went into a treatment center. Since he was discharged, at the end of April, I can only gage his sobriety by his behavior.

Before his detox, my son was highly irresponsible. Telltale signs that something was amiss was his body. He stands tall at 6'3 and is already pretty thin. B grew very thin when he was using. His eyes were dialated, and sometimes they were barely open. He always had dry-mouth.
B couldn't sit still for long-- his knees would shake up and down, like a nervous twitch. The most frustrating part was that I could not understand my son. He spoke fast, and I felt like he was speaking a foreign language. B was always begging for money, and he was always broke. I noticed that his laptop was gone. He sold anything that he owned to buy drugs.

The worst part of my son's addiction was that the two of us butted heads all the time. He was sweet and charming when he needed money. Otherwise, he wouldn't answer his phone or he'd get mad at me when I'd say "no" to him.


Today, I don't see that kind of behavior. What I see in my son is laughter again. His eyes are bright and alive again. He eats me out of house and home, when he comes to visit.

Yeah, he's still irresponsible-- but he's also a nineteen year old kid who lost two years of his life to drugs. He's also a kid whose parents divorced when he was seven. It didn't take long for my son to learn that two different households had two different rules. The end result, is that my teenager perfected the art of manipulation.

A teenager who is also a drug addict-- what a combination!

I am hopeful that my son and I are rebuilding a relationship of trust that has been broken between us. There is a long road ahead for my son-- he is walking a very brittle line between sobriety and the "call" of drugs.

In a very small way, I can understand how difficult it is to fight addiction. I am addicted to sugar. When I'm feeling stressed (or occasionally bored), my brain starts telling me that a nice big chocolate bar would taste so good. If I give in to that craving, the worst damage I've done is to my waist and my scale. For my son, giving in to his brain calling out for an opiate "high" would potentially put him back into a tailspin of drug addiction.

I need to focus on being the kind of mother who is a safe and supportive person he can turn to when he is feeling "lost". I feel so bad that my son has to grow up so fast, without the life skills he needs. This is not what I had planned for him-- I had hopes and dreams that he'd go to college and be the first college graduate in my family tree.

He is the greatest gift I've been given. I will never give up on him. He has the charm, intelligence and a group of supportive friends and family. I only wish that he would understand how much he needs to find a sponsor and to work the 12-Steps. He needs to look to his higher power to help him fight the urges to "use" when he feels overwhelmed.

My son is a believer in Jesus Christ. Is he following him right now? I can only pray for him every single day.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Hi, I found your blog because I have a google alert set up to notify me whenever anyone posts anything about Benicia - because that is where I live.

I have subscribed to your blog, and I hope you don't mind. I have two sons, now 28 and 30, and they have gone through their share of troubles. Now, they are both doing great, and they often credit me, and my love and my standing behind them but not condoning their mistakes, as being a huge help to them as they became adults. I was also divorced when they were 5 and 7 years old. That is very hard on boys, as I now know.

But boys can rise above it, and even understand the necessity of it. I remarried, too, and there were the usual frictions between my sons and their step-father. It helped that after about two years, their birth father and I set aside our differences and became friends again. I consider my ex-husband's daughters my "half-daughters!"

All of this is a long-winded way of saying, hang in there, and your son will hopefully pull himself up by his bootstraps and decide that it's worth making something of himself.

Keep doing what you are doing -- loving him -- because what else is more powerful? And, above all, hold him accountable. He will thank you, and love you for it.

Take care, perhaps we will meet someday! Deborah/Benicia