Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm in a tug of war with my son-- can I let go of my end of the rope?

On Sunday, I devoured the message that our pastor delivered in church. The message was titled "How to deal with an angry person".

Wow. I took five pages of notes. I have anger issues. I know that it comes from years of physical abuse as a kid. My family members are all pretty much Type-A personalities. That includes me, by the way. If you were to sit at the dining room table, at Christmas, you'd be astounded at how much we interrupt each other. I am making a conscious effort to listen more and interrupt less. Consequently, I am more aware of how much my son won't let me finish a single sentence.

I won't transcribe all of my notes, here (though I should, as it really helped me to understand things). What I gleaned from this message was how my son and I interact.

My epiphany was that my son and are too much alike when it comes to communicating with each other. I tend to feel defensive when I am blamed for something, and I know I'm right. He does the same thing.

The other night, I was trying to communicate to my son that I am not happy with how much he lounges around the house...doesn't seem to have much focus on any one thing. He doesn't shower for days-- and that is something I cannot understand. I feel as though he is just existing-- he is not making an effort to go to "meetings". I'm sorry, but I feel "used".

The discussion went around in circles. I could not finish a sentence, without his fast talking excuses. He was pointing his finger at me. "I have the problem". Mentally, I'm thinking "YOU have the problem".

That's exactly what Pastor M said at church. He reminded that the reason we become angry is because of our ego-- our pride. We need to be right.

Bingo. My stubborn gene has been passed on to my son. Is this my mother's curse coming to fruition?

When friends and colleagues ask me how I'm doing, I understand that they are asking me "how is your son doing"? My newest response is "today is a good day for B". I've given him 5 random drug tests this month, and he's coming up clean for opiates. His THC level is still testing positive, but I'm going by information that it can take up to five weeks to stop showing as a positive. He tells me that he isn't smoking weed anymore.

I have to remind myself that I need to lower my expectations for my son. Yes, I admit, that I am an over-achiever-- by that, I tend to put a lot of perfectionism onto myself. It's taken 50 plus years for me to finally learn skills to remember to do things and to organize my day. I cannot expect my 20 year old son to have those skills. He's really about sixteen years old-- right when he started to use drugs...first weed, then cocaine and then opiates. I try to help my son, by showing him how I do things... and it doesn't work. He's not me.

I need to learn to let go of my end of the rope.

I have to remind myself to expect small victories for B.

His sobriety is at the top of the list.
Managing his diabetes and overall health comes right below that.

He still lies so easily-- or, should I say, he "embellishes".
He still lacks motivation.
He has very little focus.

Like this morning. Right before my bedtime, I let him take my car to the store to buy milk for us. He returned in the right amount of time, left my credit card and receipt (it all checked out) where I asked him to . I had already gone to bed, but my ears were listening for my car.
NOTE: Many parents of addicts must be gasping at my giving my son this much trust. Fortunately, he has never stolen from me. For that, I am truly thankful.

This morning, I noticed that ALL of my windows were left in the down position.

See what I mean? It's like his brain is on hold.

Drugs have really messed up my son's brilliant mind. From what I've read/heard, it can take years to get his brain to function normally again.

I hate drugs. I hate what they do to the addict and I hate what it does to the family.

One small victory-- my son is wanting to stay clean. He is talking with me and we are not fighting.

As long as I let go of my end of the rope.

God, help me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Counting my blessings

I have been off work since Friday; that gives me five days to relax-- three of them are paid days off. I am so blessed, and so thankful!

B left for school about 2 hours ago. I'm adjusting to his living with us, but I have to say that his appetite is back! B is 6'3 and very thin. I can see an increase is how much he wants to eat. This morning, I found the remnants of the ricotta pancakes I had made--and stashed in the back of the fridge for my selfish purpose. He also ate the rest of my bean and bacon soup (quite a stellar batch, if I do say so myself) that I had planned to ration for a couple of lunches.

I am living with a piranha!

My husband went to bed at 9, since he has to work today. I stayed up to surf the net and to watch a little TV that I had recorded. B had eaten dinner with us and left to spend some time with his friend "A". I don't know "A" really well. I do know that he's been clean from using oxy for over a year. I also know that he moved away for a year, he's an excellent golfer and his parents live in town but are divorced. I've had chats with "A" and he seems like he's okay.

B came home an hour earlier than his "curfew". He was feeling chatty, so I paused my show. It's nice to be able to actually talk to B. I try to filter what he says through my B.S. meter. Last night, I felt he was being sincere.

Every so often, B tries to share with me what it's like to be inside the head of an addict. He said that he's been thinking, hard, about where his life has gone. He realizes that most of his high school friends are finishing up college, and ready to go on with their lives. He said that he's wasted so much time as a drug addict. He has nothing to show for the jobs he's had. He's sold everything of value.

He made a comment that I found interesting-- he said that he's glad that I'm testing him often. I replied that I hoped it would be a reason for him not to use-- knowing he'd have to leave.

He paused and said "that isn't why, mom". "Addicts don't worry about those kind of consequences". He went on to say that when an addict wants to use, they can only focus on that one thought-- that two hour time period of being loaded... that feeling that only an addict can understand. He said that's why addicts do such bad things. At the moment that the need becomes to great to use, they figure they'll deal with the consequences later.

He then said "I'm not using because I choose not to."

He also said that he needs to find a "routine"... "structure" in his life. Ha! I'm an expert at that (smile of sarcasm as I write this). My life is all about routine-- from household chores, to work, exercise, cooking... I'm amazed at how busy I keep myself but forget to budget in time for "fun". These thoughts raced through my mind, at wharp speed, as I listened to my son speak from his heart.

I try to take advantage of these moments by offering encouragement and a little Mommy Wisdom...however, I also know that I need to make my point faster than a rapper. I have about a 15 second window to try and think of something brilliant... my success rate is about 50%

For today, I think that B is feeling thankful for where he's at-- living in our home, and eating well. He sees his friend, "A" applying for jobs everywhere that he can. "A" has a good resume, a nice personality and he left his last job on good terms. "A" can't find a job. B realizes that the economy is in horrible shape, and that finding a job is going to be very hard.

B says that living on his own, for eight months, wasn't easy at all.

I need to take the time to create links to highlight a lot of my son's experiences, since I started this blog. My son has been robbed, physically assaulted, thrown out of places he's paid rent to live, cheated out of money, told off by "so-called" friends. He has relapsed again and again. He has lied again and again.

So, last night, I just sat and drank up a sense of gratitude that my son is alive to talk about it.

This morning, I realized that this is my father's birthday. He was born on February 17th, 1922 and he died on February 6, 1986. My son never knew him, because he was born in 1988.

Today, is also the anniversary that my son was carjacked-- February 17th, 2005. I can still remember my son's swollen eye, torn clothes, scratched face and swollen hands. I can still remember how traumatized I felt seeing my son in that condition and all the time spent trying to get information from the police. My son recognized two of the perpetrators as high school students he knew.

I don't think I've shared that story, in detail. We still get monthly checks as restitution from one of the perpetrators, and I use that money for some of B's expenses. The boy was 18 at the time that he (and two other guys) decided to rob my son. B had one of those "BOOM BOOM" fancy stereos (little did I fully know that it was bankrolled by B's drug dealing). I knew it was a target for theft. The 18 year old served 11 months in county jail. I was at every hearing, and I had something to say to him.

The 17 year old got 1 month in jail, and the third one never got caught. Criminals have a twisted sense of loyalty. They won't "snitch".

It's a long story, so I'll get back to where I first started--

Today, I am thankful that my son survived that carjacking, and so many other things.

I have spent an hour uploading photos of food that I have made, for my food blog. I was looking out of my kitchen window, at the rain and all the green grass that's coming up. I was talking out loud, to God, listing off the things I'm so thankful for. I was focused on how blessed I am to try and decided WHAT to cook, WHAT to bake and what photos to share on what my family eats.

That's when I felt so filled with gratitude. I am so blessed. I have everything that I need, and I am so thankful for it. I am happily married. I have a job, and I love it. I love my house. I am a mother. I have loyal and wonderful friends. I have the Lord in my heart.

My son is home.

I pray that my son can make it, this time. I pray that he will work the program, and find the strength to resist the temptation to use drugs. It WILL come.

I pray for families who are just now finding out that their own child is using drugs. I not exactly a veteran-- it's only been 10 months since I found out what oxycontin is-- it's a tough road.

I pray that the Lord will use me to help someone-- to let them know that they are not alone.

I am thankful for God's mercy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So far, so good

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged for several days. I am on a min-vacation from work. School is closed since Thursday, February 12th and will reopen on Wednesday, February 18th. I opted to work on the 12th, to catch up on paperwork and to make up on work hours that I missed when my son had his "relapse" episode a couple of weeks ago.

I've been enjoying the rain, sleeping in and doing a little baking and cooking new recipes.

As far as B goes-- I tested him yesterday morning, and he's clean. HisTHC comes up positive, still-- but I've been told that takes much longer to clear the system. I know that this might sound weird, but I'm not as worried about him smoking weed as I am his using opiates, of any kind.

Friday, B logged on to his college website registration page. Sure enough, he's enrolled in 9 units of classes. He has one more class to get his "add on" codes and then we can put him back on our insurance. Halleluia! That will save us a LOT of money!

As I am writing, he just came home. His sponsor might have to back to prison. "What?!", you might wonder....

Many sponsors, in the "program" have a history of incarceration. B has told me that D did "six years" for something unrelated to drug use. I don't know what it is, and he hasn't told me. I try to respect his boundaries and I don't ask. I'm just not a prying kind of person, by nature.

From what B has told me, D did not check in with his probation officer. So, he got arrested and it's in the hands of his PO as to what will happened. I've skimmed over the details. It's not something I feel I should share-- and, I take a lot of what I'm told with a grain of salt.

Addicts tell good stories, you know.

I'm going to make a big pot of soup, so that I can go back to enjoying the rain. It's nice to be home and rested.

As for B, I have to say that I feel we are starting on a better path of a good relationship. We are at the very beginning again. He knows he has a lot of work to do, to gain my trust. However, I have handed him my credit card to fill his gas tank (to go to school, and it's only once a week). He always brings me the receipt, and I log online to check my balance almost every day. Sure enough, he hasn't done anything sneaky.

Those are the blessings that I thank the Lord for. My son is trying to regain our trust.

One day at at time...


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mental vacation and training wheels

I have to confess, that reading blogs from other parents of addicts hit my heart and soul to the core. I know that this sounds a little melodramatic, but it really did!

What stuck out, to me, was how battered and angry so many of the blogs read. Reading between the lines, I felt as though so many parents were stolen from, lied to and manipulated by the addict in their family-- to the point that their hearts were turning cold (and I don't mean that as an insult... it's having zero trust that does this to's a coping mechanism, if you will. As I continued to read deeper, I felt so much sorrow for addicts who have mental illness associated with their drug addiction. I could not even offer any kind of "way out" to these bloggers! I felt totally helpless and unable to offer any kind of solid wisdom.

In a way, their troubles make mine feel so superficial. Yes, my son is a drug addict. I don't take that lightly. Compounding the problem, my son is a Type I Diabetic who must use insulin-- every single day-- so that he can live. Mental illness has been ruled out, by two psychiatrists.

I still count my blessings that my son has not resorted to theft. I won't polish his halo too much, though. He has sold oxy to buy heroin. That's bad enough. I still count my blessings that the Lord has been merciful on my son. So far, my son has never been inside a jail-- small mercies.

I think that's been the cherry on my sundae with "mental anguish overload"-- so many addicts are in jail, and their parents are blogging about their sorrows. That frustrates me to no end!

I cannot imagine what I would do, and I don't want to think about it. At last, not now.

So, for today, I can say that my son is clean. He is starting his first full day of classes at our local junior college. His hopes are high. I told him to take easy classes, as his training wheels. He agrees, that he should take classes that won't put too much demand on him. He needs to get used to actually getting up and GOING to school. He has quit college twice, before. Let's hope that three's a charm.

He still procrastinates. He still forgets to lock his bedroom window before leaving the house. He still piles up his laundry and then decides to do 4 loads of laundry on my day off. He still sleeps in late, on the weekends. He still doesn't test his blood sugar as often as he should.

He has procrastinated, all of last week, in contacting his outpatient that his insurance hurdle has finally been crossed.

I have to learn patience-- and this is not my strongest virtue. I keep reminding myself that my son's mind is still in a fog. He is still detoxing, but each day he looks much better.

I need to focus on one accomplishment at a time. Almost like having a toddler, I have to cheer him on when he completes something. "Great job!"

I was cranky last night. Really cranky. My job can, at times, demand lots of little deadlines from more than one person. I feel like "Cinderelly" on those days. I just want to go home and chill-- to watch a TV program or surf the net for food recipes (my hobby and passion). Last night, B was so excited about being enrolled and he was a Chatty Kathy (I'm dating myself, here).

I begged for quiet-- and that was just about the time my husband walked into the room chomping on chips. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Then B decides he's going to bang around in the kitchen.

"QUIET!!" I shrieked. My head was pounding with a headache. I had reached my meltdown point, and I can get ugly when that happens.

I could see the hurt look on my son's face. He left the room and I felt like the big bad Ogre. This morning, I apologized to him for acting that way. I really meant it.

I really need to take a mental break-- to do something for ME. I wish I could afford a massage (I did them for years as a profession), but that's not in the budget.

I have four -- maybe five-- days off work. I'm praying for a day devoted to "me time" and another day for "we" time. "We" is my husband and me-- being a married couple.

My son's addiction can take over our lives, if we aren't careful.

Please know, that while I haven't read every single recent blog entry to those I am following-- you are in my prayers.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

So far, so clean (except for my house)-- and allowances for things

**I just tested B. He's clean for opiates. THC comes up with a faint positive. From what I've read and asked-- it could take longer to clean out of his system. Yes!!!!**

Yesterday, I decided to take a day off my obsession about B's addiction. Easier said than done. Besides, work has been insanely busy with a lot of deadlines. That helped.

I finally have my car fixed-- turns out that it was a faulty battery. The sound of the engine roaring to life, this morning, made me sigh with relief. The upside is that B has been driving me to work at 6:45 each morning. It's nice to have that time to talk-- though I have so missed my daily devotionals on my iPod and my "me time" in prayer to the Lord. Instead, I've had to grit my teeth while B kept changing songs on his iPod (I don't even want to know how he bought that...or, whatever).

B had a rough day, yesterday. He forgot to bring his suboxone with him. We didn't have time to turn around and get them. By the time that B came to have lunch with me-- 5 hours later, I could see he was having a rough day. His eye dilate and he seemed antsy. His whole demeanor changes where the "calm" vibe is gone. I bought us my Japanese Bento box lunches (for $6.00, what a bargain) and we drove to the ocean. It was raining, but we kept the car window open so that we could hear the surf. It was a wonderful time spent with my son-- I'm actually beginning feel less nervous around him.

He has 9 units of college classes signed up. He needs one more. That way, we can put him on our group insurance, instead of COBRA. That should save us $250.00 a month. Whew!

My son is a good golfer, and it helps him a lot.

I have debated giving my son an allowance. No! I would not give him cash. But, I've decided that I want to make some things possible for B-- things that he appreciates, and as a mom, it is something I am willing to do.

Golf! I made a deal with my son to do a list of chores. Wouldn't it be nice if he did them just out of the goodness of your heart? C'mon. How many of you have kids like that -- yes, B is 20 years old, but he's stunted from drugs. Truly, he's in high school, by maturity level.

He's still not 100%. He says he's feeling really bad. I hope he goes to a meeting. I'm going to drive to our golf course and buy him a round of golf. I'll pay for it-- trust me, it's a city owned golf course...not some shi-shi country club, because it's way out of my price range. We're talking $15.00.

I'll get him a haircut, too.

Speaking of-- I need to get busy cleaning my house. This whole episode of B's relapse has taken a huge toll on everyone.

Can I exhale for now? Tonight, my husband and I are going out to the movies. I'll cook (to save money) and he cleans. I need quiet time with my husband-- to cuddle, hold hands and feel like a couple again.

Just for today-- I thank God for another day of life. I thank you, Lord, that my loved ones are safe. Thank you for the rain you've blessed our thirsty land with, and for the sunshine that has brightened our day. Thank you, God, for my son's sobriety...just for today.

I pray for the families and loved ones, who have a daughter, a son, a husband, a wife, a sibling, a cousin... in jail because their life has become so unmanageable from addiction. I pray, Lord, that would you give them courage, strength and wisdom. Father, I pray that these addicts would surrender their concept that they can handle their addiction by themselves. They are powerless over their addiction. May your perfect light of love shine upon them, that they can take that first step to sobriety.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Just for today, what a cliche'

In my last post, I had mentioned that my son had tested clean. Many thank you's to my newfound parents of addicts and friends, who are visiting my blog and posting comments. Thank you!

I've been reading new bloggers sites where they describe the emotional roller coaster on being the parent of a drug addict. Sometimes I feel as though their stories mirror mine.

For those of you parents who are in the first stages of being the parent of an addict (that is, your child is going through Round #1 of rehab), I can see how naive I was then. Just reading my earlier posts, I can see how I thought my son could get "better". I guess it is our naiveté that makes us think that our kid will detox, go to meetings and this whole thing will go away.

Little did I know, that relapse is part of the process...again, and again, and again.

So, while I'm elated that B tested clean I am also very, very cautious about his sobriety. In some ways, it's like trying to lose weight. You have every intention of dropping the points on the weight scale. You start off eating healthier and exercising (I am speaking from personal experience, here). You keep a food journal. You say "no" when someone brings in a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. Little by little, that hunger in your brain craves sugar. Just a bite won't hurt. So, you start to nosh when nobody's looking. You skip a weight watcher's meeting.
Before you know it, you pull into Carl's Junior to get that bacon cheeseburger that you crave. In my case, I dont' eat fast food. It's dessert that is my caloric snare. It's like valium to me.


With my son, and opiates, he tells me that he has thoughts of using-- and he is in day #10 of not using opiates. He says that this is harder than I can imagine. I told him about my struggles to resist sweets (I have a strong sweet tooth). He paused, thoughtfully, and then nodded-- "yeah, mom, that's kinda how it is with me".

B and I have been doing a lot of talking. My car won't be repaired (mechanical problems) until Saturday. B has been getting up early to drive me to work. It's been a good chance for us to chat. Yesterday, for instance, he said he was feeling a lot of withdrawals. He curled up on his bed to sleep for a few hours, having tossed and turned all night long. His appetite is good, though. When B was using, his appetite was one of the first things I'd notice would wane.

Trust is something that is going to take a long time for B to rebuild in me, and his stepdad. I feel like a woman who has been cheated on by an unfaithful husband...over and over again. In October, I heard the whole script-- I screwed up. I'm sorry. I'll go into rehab. I'm clean.

I didn't read between the lines of his calls to me, from San Francisco, where he sounded so depressed. There's another clue that all is not well in B's world-- and that he's most likely using.

B was chipping in December, when we allowed him to come back home. That was an Oscar performance! He was good. He was going to meetings, but he was hanging out with his friends that he used with. All of them were fresh out of rehab.

Duh. I thought to myself, that didn't seem right. But, I believed "B" when he'd reassure me that his friends were all "clean". Ha!

So, here I am. Giving my unfaithful husband, aka "B" one more chance to stop deceiving me.

I have to be fair, though. I really don't think that my son plotted to DELIBERATELY deceive me. The addiction was too strong for him. He set himself up to fail-- hanging out with friends from his past. He was not ready to quit. He thought he could use a little, and though he had everything under control. These are his own admissions.

The addiction is bigger than us.

I live each day in the moment. Like so many parents of addicts, I long for a day when I don't have to think or worry about my son. I wish I could rewind back to my trip to Hawaii with my husband-- just last October. We were in paradise. Our cellphones were turned off. We were a couple, enjoying time together...holding hands, sleeping in, sightseeing... until the dream came to me at 3:00am. "My son is using".

Little did I know, until the day I returned home, that my dream was prophecy.

I try not to look back too much. What happened cannot be changed. I try to look back so see what signs I missed. What could I have done differently?

Wisdom is what I cling to. I need to learn all that I can about addiction. My husband doesn't want to spent anymore time on this topic. I understand. But, this is my son-- my one and only precious boy. I wanted to be a mother more than anything in the world.

I am here for him. It's what a loving mother does.

One day at a time... So, just for today, I am having a good day. I pray, each day, that B will be able to pass my random drug tests with flying colors. B is in good spirits today. He's busily trying to get add on codes from classes at our junior college.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One Gem of a Blog Post

I wanted to update that my son tested as clean last night. The three of us cheered, in joy. FYI-- we are aware that addicts are known to keep urine stashes and to switch them. We make him test in our bathroom and check him beforehand.

As B and I hugged each other, he was trembling. "Mom, I want this (sobriety) so bad!"

As the mantra goes-- one day at a time....relapse is part of the recovery...let go, Let God, "The Three C's-- I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I cannot cure it".

Got it.

How I wish I had found this blog much sooner! The woman is a brilliant writer. LOVE her blog!
It appears that she's not going to blog for the month of February. I'm hooked.

I had to post one of her MANY insightful blogs on being the mother of a heroin addict. It spoke "VOLUMES" to me:

From: "Broken Hearted Mom"

My son has been a heroin addict for 8 years, give or take a year. Junkys have a hard time with chronological events. I know heroin. I know rehabs, paraphernalia, police cars in the drive, relapses, lies, dope sick, proper attire for inmate visits, counselors, social workers, and endless advice from people who don't know shit about heroin. I know that if your kid is addicted to prescription opiates or crack or alcohol, you are living a life similar to mine. Don't know much about meth, except that my son did it a few times when he couldn't get his drug of choice, heroin. He said he didn't care for it. How lucky am I!
If you came here by searching heroin, because you are in that frantic early stage where you think that by educating yourself, you can fix this, I give you the top ten ways you can tell your kid might be an opiate addict.

#10 You can't find at least one item of yours that had great sentimental value and cannot be replaced.

# 9. You sleep with your car keys under your pillow, and keep your purse under the bed.

# 8. You have received at least one inappropriate and shoplifted Mother's Day gift.

# 7. He doesn't have one of the Christmas or birthday gifts you've bought him.

# 6. All of your day is spent on his overwhelming problems.

#5. Everything has to be done RIGHT NOW

# 4. Your idea of rock bottom is his idea of another day in paradise.

# 3. You've had him jailed because you wanted him to be safe.

# 2. You sometimes believe that he can overcome this with your unconditional love.

# 1. Your head knows its not your fault, but your heart is broken.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sleep interrupted

I'm so thankful that our beautiful weather continues, though we really do need rain. I live in an area that relies on agriculture to feed a lot of families. The sunshine is helping me to feel joy in appreciating where I live.

How is B today? AFAIK (as far as I know...and I will precede updates a lot with this acronym), he went to his first day at our junior college. He is late in signing up for classes, but we verified that he can still do this. Tomorrow, we (C and I) plan to pay for his classes-- with a LOT of caveats! First, he has to test clean. B says he's ready and willing, and confident that we will not be disappointed.

Let me digress, and I know I'm famous for doing this-- I am sleeping well in spurts. I dream a lot of my fellow parents of drug addicts. Reading their blogs takes a lot out of me, emotionally. I feel such compassion for their troubles. While B has never been arrested, nor stolen anything from us-- I know that, if his addiction goes full blown, that this could happen. I toss and turn, with fear that my son will test positive. I fear having to use Tough Love, Phase II. Truthfully, it scares me to death. I worry about my son being an insulin dependent diabetic and being out on the streets with needles. I have to stop thinking like that, I know.

C and I talked about supporting B's desire to go to college. B did not get his financial aid applications in on time. With the state budget crisis, we also know that it's going to be tough to get money. C and I decided that we will "lend" B the money to go to college as long as he tests clean and that we pay the money to the school. It should cost a few hundred dollars. That hurts us, a bit, but we are trying to help B to get an education. We've told him that he must complete the classes. If he's failing, he can't drop. For this semester, we just want to see him COMPLETE the classes. If he's struggling and needs to drop, then we have to know.

C feels that B should maintain a 2.8 GPA. Truthfully, I don't care about the GPA, as much as I care that he goes to school and does the work. B has dropped out of college three times. This is round four.

I want to say positive things about B.

I see an improvement in him, physically. When he's using, his clothes looks dirty and he doesn't shower for days. His skin looks really bad (I've got 15 years of experience as a licensed esthetician). His appearance looks good enough to apply for jobs. His skin is clear. His eyes look bright and alive again. He is not antsy.... pacing, and constantly wanting to go someplace. ("I'll be right back". How many of you parents of addicts are all too familiar with the nervousness of an addict who is using?) His profanity (which makes me wince) has gone from Rapper quality to PG-13.

B is home a lot. He is helping around the house. We don't have to ask for help, he just does it.
B is not argumentative. We can talk. There have been no confrontations. He is changing his cellphone number and he's deleted most of his phone numbers, including his dealers.

I've said this before, and I've been proven wrong. AFAIK, B is not using. I did not realize that I had used my last drug test, until this morning. I ordered more, today. I should have them in 2 days. That's a reprieve for my son.

My car broke down last night. Great. I've got over 200,000 miles on it, though it still looks good. C and I don't want to buy a new car (even used) because of the economy. We are being very careful. B is mechanically inclined, like his dad. So is my husband. Hopefully, they'll fix the alternator for a fraction of a commerical mechanic.

B drove me to work, this morning. He even got up at 6am and was out the door with me at 6:45am. I no longer feel edgy around him. I feel like we are connecting. He headed off to classes, AFAIK.

He got the insurance snafu fixed, so he's headed to the outpatient clinic. He needs to start a program, and that is another one of our conditions. He agrees and says he wants to do this.

B told me that he needs to know that I stop worrying about his not using. He says that he has to prove it to me and to give it a chance.

I will try. Still, I struggle with worry. I miss having a solid night's sleep.

Still, I will test him...often.

Praying for many families of addicts.

Monday, February 2, 2009

That feeling in the pit of your stomach

While my friends, in the East Coast, are shivering from cold-- here I sit, in a library during my lunch break...just a few miles to the ocean. It's a gorgeous day, outside, but I need to journal and share my feelings and updates on how my son is doing.

I have a few new blogs that I've subscribed to, via RSS feed to my google reader (I just love that feature). The postings are just so sad and they are heart-breaking. While I feel a sense of companionship with other parents of addicts, I couldn't sleep soundly last night. I have posted links to a few of these blogs and I hope that other bloggers will post my link to their blogs. We need each other.

I am feeling on edge... with that feeling of "doom". I am struggling against that gut feeling that my son is not being completely honest with me, let alone himself.

Let me backtrack to Super Bowl Sunday. I am not a football fan-- not in the least. My son is a HUGE fan of football and my husband enjoys it. It's my tradition to make my special recipe for Chili and a few new dishes. I love cooking-- it's my therapy, passion and hobby. I decided to prepare Super bowl food so that my men could enjoy the game and feel pampered.

As I shared, yesterday, B joined us at church. Actually, it was B who led us to this church about three years ago. I had belonged to another one, but he promised me that this was THE church. Ironically, he has barely attended since we started going, but my husband and I attend every Sunday...pretty much.

While C was outside, working in the yard (on a gorgeous sunny day) I was inside doing my typical routine-- tidying, cooking and spending time on my laptop in spurts (I time myself so that I don't spend too much time online. If I'm not careful, I can waste too much time surfing the net.)

B felt chatty, and the next thing I knew, he was sitting across from me and we started talking... REALLY talking and LISTENING. I was telling B how I had discovered a family of bloggers and I shared some of their stories to them. He looked really sad and then his face changed to being very pensive. Our conversation led to me telling my son that I plan to share my blog with him, someday. I also encouraged him to journal his own thoughts. Maybe, I said, we can exchange journals one day. Maybe our journals can help us better understand the affect that his drug addiction has brought into our home and our lives.

Those of you who have a good relationship with your child can understand when I say that I felt a connection-- a moment where I felt that B was seeing me as a mom... a person who has wisdom and who genuinely loves him. He shared some very personal issues with me.

B told me all the wonderful hopes and dreams that he has. He said that he can hardly wait to start college (today). He said that he accepts that he won't be able to drive his car in a couple of weeks-- when his insurance lapses. He said that he plans to disconnect himself from any friends that he used drugs with (praise God). He said a lot of things, and they all sounded good.

But, that feeling in the pit of my stomach cannot help but wonder-- is he trying to talk himself into believing these things? Is he really going to do them?

I think that B really got the message-- that I had put myself out for my son...that my husband is willing for me to give B one very last and final chance. I think that B understands that I am not kidding. At that moment, I finally felt the tears come and my throat felt as thought it had completely closed.

"It's okay to cry, mom" he said.

I can't weep in front of anyone. I used to, a long time ago. At that time, I used weeping to impose guilt on someone. It was my way of saying "I'm hurt". I learned that from my mother, who was quite the Drama Queen.

But now, I cannot cry that easily. I seem to have gained supernatural strength to find composure when I feel sorrow and then the sense that I'm about to start wailing. I hear that it's highly therapeutic to have a good cry. Sometimes I wish that I could find a place to cry until I think there's no more air in my lungs. The last time I felt that way, was the day that I held my mother's hand and it was limp-- she was dying. She was taking her last breaths. That was in 2003. Sure, I've cried. But it lasts a nano-second and I prefer to do it in private. It embarrasses me-- and I wish it didn't.

That is not to say that I don't show my feelings. I don't think I'm a cold person. My eyes do water and the pain shows. I know that. But, I can't have a good cry-- yet.

Sorry. I got side-tracked again--

Before I went to to bed, B wanted to write three things that I reminded him needed to be done-- three things that are vitally important for him to take care of today.

Why do I have a feeling he isn't doing them? Here I am, working at a high school and loving my job. It's a gorgeous day. I have the most wonderful and loving husband. I have wonderful friends. I feel blessed. Instead, I feel worry creeping into me and my shoulders are turning into tight knots.

To you parents of addicts-- you know what I'm talking about, don't you? It's like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I am going to test B very soon. Very, very soon. He says he's ready.

I'm scared to death that he will test positive.

That's when I have to do that hardest thing that any parent should NOT have to do-- second only to burying your own child.

I believe that these kinds of negative thoughts come from a Darkness. I need to cling to the hope that God loves us all-- and that he is the God of Hope.

Lunch is over. Time for me to get back to work.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I've tapped in!

Tonight's posting is very brief, for a change

B joined us at church, today. He seemed very happy to be back. Our church is a contemporary service, and it's a wonderful church. The message was on "Why Good People Do Bad Things". Our pastor (who is funny and wears Hawaiian shirts) talked about our mouths, and the mean things we say to others. I took a lot of notes, and was reminded of my own shortcomings.

I spent the rest of the day cooking for Super Bowl. B and I had some one-on-one talks about drugs. I'm still learning a lot of sordid details about his life, why he used, and I tried to relate to what it was like. Likewise, I told my son that there will come a time that I want him to read my blog.

I felt as though we were connecting. Still, he knows that another random drug test is coming. Soon. Very soon. He also knows it better test "clean". 'Nuff said.

I finally tapped into a family of bloggers who share having a child who is an addict! Last night, I immersed myself into reading as many as I could. One, in particular, grabbed my attention.

I will post links to the blogs I've found. Likewise, I pray that others will link my blog to theirs.

Thank you, God! I don't feel so alone, anymore.

It's bedtime and work begins at the crack of dawn.

For today, I enjoyed my time with B. Still, like so many parents, I remain guarded. My deepest fear is that my son is lying and he is using...and that I will have to banish him from my house.

B knows that I'm serious. He says that he's ready to stay clean.

I pray he's finally being honest with himself.

Good night