Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Eve

What has happened to my time? I haven't blogged in quite some time. I've been sick, which led to bronchitis. Yesterday was my first day of feeling well enough to get dressed and to try and catch up on Christmas.

But, this blog is about my son. I don't want to write Tolstoy's War & Peace, though it seems that my son's young 20 years of life could fill a book of that size.

B is trying. He really is. As his mom, I've had to make a lot of adjustments and I've had several days of feeling anxious and out-of-sorts. Last night, at our family therapy session, I identified that my feelings of angst is because my son's life seems so unmanageable-- so "drama" driven... it seems that my son cannot organize his day, be on time for anything. It seems that he bites off more than he can chew. Me-- I've got that German organization going on, but much of who I am is who my own mother was. I won't even go there, because I'd be fodder for a good psychiatrist.

But, back to my own son.

My observations on B is that he is very immature for his 20 years. Years of drug abuse has affected my son's ability to think clearly. He is easily distracted. He has a hard time focusing on one task...one goal. He is unable to sleep at night, and he dozes off during the day. The more I strive to learn about drug addiction, the more I see how much his drug addiction has ravaged my son's high intelligence. I have not lost, hope, though. Still, I struggle with my own ability to be patient with him. I know that this comes from my mother, who wrote the book on guilt and controlling behavior.

With the help of an excellent therapist, my husband and I are getting honest feedback about what we expect from B. Our therapist is helping us to understand that we need to take baby steps with him. I have to remember to praise my son and to encourage him. There is a trust issue, of course.

We have fine-tuned our "guidelines" for his living with us. B has agreed to them-- some rules we have toned down, to be a goal my son can see hope in. We are helping him to choose classes at our community college that won't overwhelm him. My husband is helping B to learn HOW to apply for jobs.

Most importantly, we got B in to see a doctor who is certified to prescribe Suboxone. This is a very controversial step in helping an addict who has an addiction to opiates. Suboxone is not for every one. But, I can see that my son needs this prescription drug to help him cope with life.

On Saturday, I drove with B to the Bay Area to attend the memorial service for his former Benicia roommate. "Allen" shot himself, it turned out. He lost hope, and he could no longer battle against the demon of alcoholism. My son is traumatized by this, but he is learning not to blame himself. Hopefully, the memorial service helped my son to gain closure to Allen's death, at the age of 48. It is also a painful reminder, that untreated addiction (and mental illness) can ultimately lead to prison and/or death.

It seems that every friend that B has made in "the program" has relapsed--every single one of them. One of his "rehab friends" is drinking again, and his marriage is in the process of a divorce. The mom and daughter he was living with, most recently-- the mother is drinking herself to death and it is rumored that she is now using heroin. The daughter is an anorexic/bulimic and she has a lot of emotional issues. This is the environment my son lived in for 6 weeks!

So, you see, my son is surrounded by people who have relapsed, killed themselves and who has so much emotional baggage. I long for my son to find friendships with people who are healthy-- mentally and physically.

On a positive note, my son IS working the 12 Steps with his sponsor. My son has agreed to attend meetings no less then five days a week, and he will bring us proof of his attendance.

I know that my son has a hard battle ahead of him. I need to keep myself healthy-- emotionally and physically. I need to work on myself and to learn how to set boundaries and keep them. I need to learn not to allow my son to provoke me to anger. I need to work on my lack of patience, so I'm going back into therapy for myself.

What my son needs is a loving mother who can be there for him, without enabling his addiction. He needs to feel hope, and to be encouraged.

Tomorrow night, we celebrate Christmas Eve, in my German heritage/traditions. Our family will be together, as a whole. I pray that we can focus on the true "reason for the season"-- on the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

My Heavenly Father has been so good to us. He has blessed us with the ability to provide the medical insurance my son needs. He has kept my son alive with an unblemished criminal record. I have a husband, who is kind and gentle and patient. My husband is becoming my son's role model by teaching him basic Life Skills. My husband loves me, despite the fact that I've been on an emotional roller coaster. Most importantly, I am forgiven and absolved of the sins of my past. Without Jesus, in my life, I could not find the strength to break free of my own childhood dysfunctions. I give God all the glory for the changes that He has made in my heart.

I pray for those who are homeless...those who are without jobs...I pray for those who are suffering from addiction and who cannot afford to get the professional help that they need. I pray for the families of addicts-- that they will not lose hope.

I wish to all of you who are reading my blog-- thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support.

Merry Christmas

The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[c] the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."

38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

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