Friday, January 23, 2009

A Mother's Day with an Addict in relapse - MorningEdition

As I type this, my son is laying on the couch, snoring and very sick. He has a really bad case of strep throat, compounded with bronchitis. I am unable to go to work, obviously. I do not feel it is a smart idea for me to leave my son at home, alone. I will try to blog on today's progress, so please check in througout the day.

How am I doing? I am a wreck. This whole situation feels surreal, and I feel as though I just got news that someone I love just died. I am trying to think calmly and rationally. I cannot cry, though I know that would help to let go of my pain. My husband and I got sporadic sleep, last night. I slept in clothes, in case there was an emergency. We left our bedroom door wide open, and I left the kitchen lights on. I had to clean up B's bathroom, and to put towels around the toilet and sink. He was so out of it, last night, that he urinated in the bathroom sink, all over the floor and toilet.

The best that I can conclude is that my son has 70 of his anti-anxiety pills missing out of 75. This is a prescription that was filled on Wednesday evening. I found a fresh prescription, from a different doctor, that was filled on Thursday. That prescription was untouched. My son drank his entire bottle of cough syrup, to help with his bronchitis. Obviously, B did not tell the doctor or pharmacist that he's an addict. From the web, I think that the combination of both those drugs left my son in a total state of incoherence.

How can I describe to someone what it feels like to see your son, staggering and barely unable to keep his balance? What comfort can someone give me, if they could see my son trying to talk but all that comes out is slurred gibberish, that cannot be understood at all? All I could do was to soothe him, like when he was a little baby and he had fallen down and hurt himself. I could only struggle to keep my voice soft and encouraging him. I am sure that he has no memory of what he said, or I said.

Throughout the night, B would come out of his room to pee. A few times, I'd hear him in the kitchen and I had to leap out of bed to help him. I found him stirring a pot of water on the stove, but there was no food in it. He was screaming in pain, saying that his throat hurt. Finally, I lured him back to his bed to "relax" and he'd pass out again and snore. Several times, he'd yell out in pain and cuss. I'd jump out of bed to check on him, and he'd be snoring again.

And, so, the vigil kept on through the night. My husband, bless his loving heart, got up at 2am and I could hear him talking to B. B was asking for his cough syrup, and C had to show him the empty bottle. B seemed to be slightly more coherent, but he was still very groggy.

When my alarm went off at 5:30, we were both in a very deep sleep. It was hard for me to not feel my husband roll over and put his arms around me, as he always does. Instead, he was laying on his back, and I felt so bad at how exhausted he must be. I feel so bad that my husband has inherited my burden. I know that he doesn't blame me, but I am concerned that our marriage could suffer from this.

I am, of course, concerned about my time away from my job. I try not to bring my personal problems to work. I've been open about my son's situation, but I try not to let it affect my work performance. I'm fortunate that my supervisor has been compassionate, but I cannot take a lot of time off to take care of my son.

Last night, I did what any loving and concerned parent would do. I got my son's cellphone and I began to search for phone numbers. I wanted to call "key" people in my son's life. I thought of a woman named "C" who has become B's "Foster Mom". She is a woman, around my age, who is a recovering heroin addict. I wanted to call B's two closest friends, whom I know. I also wanted to find his sponsor-- because B has been spending a lot of time with him, and he speaks highly of "D".

I spent a lot of time, on the phone, talking to these folks. I know that my son might become very angry at me for doing this. I will take that chance. My phone calls led me to the truth-- his friend, "Z" admitted to me that the two of them were smoking black tar heroin again. "Z" also told me that his mother threw "Z" out of the house the day before, when she discovered the tell tale aluminum foil with black streaks. I prayed for "Z" on the phone, and I called his mother, at his request. We were able to talk, at length, and offered to support one another.

I was unable to contact B's sponsor, but I got through to his fiancee', "L". "L" offered to come to my house and to take B to his sponsor. I should get a call from her by 8:30, this morning. Last night, it seemed like a good idea. BUT-- B is very sick and he's out of it. I don't know if this is going to work. If it doesn't, I have to call in to work and stay at home with my son. I cannot leave him alone. It is far too risky. I plan to tow his car in to a repair shop (he damaged the steering linkage two days ago, in another accident). There are a lot of phone calls for me to make. I need to find a detox center for him. My son needs a one year program. I cannot afford to pay for it, so I am needing a miracle from God.

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable

How It Works

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called willpower becomes practically non-existent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.
- A.A. Big Book, p. 24 (Substitute your own addiction for drink if your addiction is different than alcohol)

I had to cut and paste this in from

I realize that my son truly has become unmanageable. He has sold his beloved television and was just about ready to sell his golf clubs. That's what his addiction to heroin does. He'll sell things for a fraction of it's value, to buy a balloon of black tar heroion to smoke. It's so pathetic...his addiction to opiates has taken over his life again-- or did it every leave? I don't have the heart to tell my son that his car insurance canceled his coverage, as of March 9th. He had two accidents within four weeks, last May and June. The DMV has a telephone appointment with him-- and I'm thinking he might have his licensed suspended. He has a speeding ticket to deal with. He doesn't have a job. He might miss school, because (God willing) we will have him in rehab. He is broke.

The depth of all this hasn't sunk in, just yet. I know, that as soon as my son is wide awake, that the devastation that his addiction has left in it's wake will begin. I am anticipating that he will blame me and everyone else for his relapse. I suspect he will break down and cry. No doubt, he will feel as though he let us down. I doubt he'll be willing to be with his sponsor. He is in denial, and has lied to me so carefully, that I believed he was clean. All of it...everything...was a lie. That's what addicts do so well.

B needs to start at Step 1 and admit that he is powerless over his addiction to drugs. His life HAS become unmanageable. As his mother, I love him so much, that I want to help him with his recovery. But, even that has it's limits. Only B can make the choice to do everything that he can to stay clean.

I know that I love him, unconditionally. But, I might be forced to make tough love choices. I don't want to focus on that, right now.

Enough for now... 20 more minutes to go...

Lord, I am crying out to you for your strength, wisdom and to know your Will. My son is a gift from you. He is not mine to keep, but your own child of God. I pray that you will expose the darkness in his life with your perfect, loving and healing light. In the name of your son, Jesus, I ask that you would protect my son from the evil that wants to claim my son. I ask for a Victory in Your Name.

1 comment:

Jaz said...

An addiction treatment center is staffed by knowlegable professionals who have been trained to work with individuals who have been dealing with long-term addictive disorders. Problems like these are difficult to overcome, but with the right therapy and a good dose of encouragement, recovery is possible.