Sunday, May 31, 2009

As clean as clean can be... and my testimony

I'm tired, because I'm not a night owl. I was up past midnight blogging and praying and thinking about my son. Normally, I'm asleep between 9:30-10:00pm. Fortunately, I managed to fall asleep, but I woke up around 5:30am. Of course, my first thought was my son. My thoughts kept asking "why"?

Typically, my husband and I leave for church by 8:45am. This morning, I decided I was not going to leave my house until B woke up. I had to make sure that we got a urine sample, first thing in the morning.

While waiting for B to wake up, my husband and I talked in our usual low voices. My husband is an amazing person. He rarely flies off the handle. He's a right-brain sort of guy (like me) who thinks things through, very systematically. That's why he's a computer IT kinda guy.

Me... I'm a right brainer. I think systematically, too. I'm also an emotional wreck, when I am under stress. I get bitchy, cranky and I fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. I say this with shame and regret. This is when I most behave like my mother used to.

My husband stays calm, loving and supportive when I'm falling apart. I thanked him, this morning, for how supportive he is of my son. Many men would have left me, at this point-- or, at the least, I wouldn't blame other men for putting me in a position to make a choice.

What I see in my husband is that he truly cares about my son. "C" could see the pain in my heart. Having to throw my son out of our home scares me more than you could know.

But, I digress--

B woke up about 9:00. He came for his suboxone and C asked him for a urine sample. Without hesitation, B obligingly filled the bottle to pretty full. C looked at the urine, which appeared to be a bit cloudy and then he checked the temperature. It was at normal body temperature.

I felt as though I was going to vomit, I was so nervous.

Clean for opiates. Clean for cocaine. Dirty for THC.

This may sound weird, but all I cared about was that he's clean for opiates. I'm not concerned about THC. Yes, it's a drug... but heroin is far worse then smoking weed.

Where do we go from here? My son has to do a clean sweep of his room, and C (who is very thorough) will do a second clean sweep.

Were the foils that we found old? Only God and B know the truth.

C and I will abide by our rules. Test positive for opiates, you're out. Period.

We will continue to test more often, this week.

Before I end today's posting, I want to speak about my spirituality. I was reading two very interesting posts from the blog "Mom and Dad". If you haven't read their blog, I encourage you to do so. My heart aches for their situation-- which is far worse than mine. I say that, because their son has been incarcerated and he is shooting heroin. Still, when a child is drug addict and/or alcoholic, it's heart breaking-- and there is no clear litmus test on whose situation is the worst. It's all relative.

The point I'm trying to make is that I probably got a little carried away in talking about my faith and love of God on their comment section. I should reserve that for my own blog.

My blog was created a year ago, last April, at a time when my relationship with the Lord was on fire. Being human, my relationship with God has teetered between being very strong to being complacent. I find that I cling to God when I am in the deepest of trouble. When my life seems to be going well, I tend to spend less time with God. That's very typical, because that's how our human nature is.

I read Ron's honest opinion about not feeling he needs a Higher Power. I fully understand this, and I respect his honesty.

If you read my blog on a regular basis. I am thankful that you do. If you are not a believer in God, I hope that I don't turn anyone off when I speak of Him. I try to blog about my experience as a way to help me process my thoughts and feelings. If what I write blesses others, then I feel that I am doing God's work and I find healing in this.

I blew the whole concept of God off for many years. Here's my synopsis of why I believed that God did not exist:

If God is real, why does he allow suffering.
If God is real, why does he allow innocent people to suffer and die?
If God is real, why doesn't he help me?
How could God allow his own son to die on the cross? How could he be a loving God?
(Hint. The answers are in the bible.)

Other reasons I turned my back on God is that I did not want to live by his commandments. I believed that the Ten Commandments were impossible for me to obey. I simply didn't want to obey them.
I also believed that there was no way that I could measure up to God's standards.
(Since then, I've learned that God knows this. We are sinners, by nature. That's why Jesus died for us, to be forgiven...a difficult concept to grasp, unless you read about Jesus's life, in the bible.)

What changed my life was a very slow and gradual process. It began with finding the right kind of church. My only experience was being raised in a Catholic Church. If you are Catholic, please know that I am not personally attacking your faith. I am sharing my own experience--
I found that Catholic services and faith only made me feel guilty. I could not relate to the whole concept of confessing my sins to a priest. I did not like the long and boring mass services and the organ music, and memorizing prayers and all the stringent rules of Catholicism.

My turning point was when I became a divorced woman, and I was told I could no longer receive "communion" and I had lost my rites per Catholic doctrine.

For many years, I lived my life with drugs, sex and rock and roll. My life was a difficult one, with failed relationships and marriages. I was an angry person, with anger issues and low self-esteem. I figured that there was no way that God could love me, so I was going to live it up and go to hell anyway.

In 1996, I received a postcard inviting me to a new church in my area. The pastor wore Dockers and Hawaiian shirts. We drank coffee in the gym of a public high school, and I heard worship music that rocked! The pastor made the bible apply to real life-- he helped me to understand how to read the bible and how to find a version of the Word that was free of "thee's and thous".

One day, he had a call to those who want to accept Jesus in their life. I remember jumping to my feet and coming forward and someone praying over me. Did I feel the Holy Spirit?


I continued to live my life as a hypocrite Monday - Saturday and then I'd come to worship on Sunday. I was still an angry woman with a lot of issues. I did not think I could ever measure up to God's standards.

Slowly... little by little... my heart began to change. This is what I believe is God's work in us. I finally began to know a totally different God than what my Catholic school upbringing taught me.

I learned that God loves us-- one and all. I found these promises throughout the Old and New Testament.

I began to understand that Satan is real and that we are living in his domain. God allows us to suffer our own consequences, as we allow our own children to suffer theirs. I began to relate to my relationship with God as I began to relate my relationship as parent to my own son.

It's a difficult job.

There is so much hypocrisy among Christians. There are "so-called" Christians who embarrass me, to no end. These are the self-righteous and judgmental folks who stand on their soap box and judge others.

Judge not, lest you be judged, folks.

I fully understand why people reject organized religion. I do, too. What disappoints me, is when I meet people who criticize the bible. Without fail, if I have the courage to ask this challenging question-- "have you read the bible from cover to cover"? the answer is no. Those who answer "yes", I find aren't being honest. I'm not a bible scholar, but I certainly have a pretty in depth knowledge of it. If I ask them about parts of the bible, they look blank. Scripture is often misquoted. You have to read the entire chapter, not cherry pick one verse.

This is my great challenge as a woman who wishes to be a Godly wife and mother. The crux of my personal relationship with God is to be a follower of Jesus. That is what the word "Christian" is. My heart breaks when I meet "Christians" who pick and choose the sections of God's written word that they want to follow.

Proposition 8 (gay marriage) has opened up an ugly debate. I have had to defend my beliefs, as a Christian. I am not judgmental! I veer away from discussing politics, because it's an invitation to ugly debates. Proposition 8 is a challenge to the bible. True Jesus loving Christians have never felt more vulnerable to being judged, when we are only trying to be faithful to God's word. Christians are attacking fellow Christians if they don't try to change God's word.

As a Christian, the most difficult part has been being attacked for following what the Bible tells us to do. I cannot re-write it! While the Old Testament was written thousands of years ago, God is timeless. His Word has not expired.

Part of being a Christian means that I need to be brave enough to stick to God's word. I've been challenged, ridiculed and I try to stay calm and kind through all of it. I pray for those who attack my faith and call it ridiculous.

My faith is very strong, and I do believe that God loves each and every one of us. We are all sinners, and I am a big one.

God's work in me has been to help me be more aware of my weaknesses. When I am upset, there are times I go to God in prayer. It calms me. It gives me clarity. It's not fool proof. There are times when I revert to my old self, and I feel bad. That's what repentance is all about-- humbling myself before God, admitting my mistake and making ammends to others. This sounds like the 12-Steps, doesn't it?

I believe that God has answered many of my prayers. He has restored my finances, and given me Godly wisdom in how to be smarter with money.

He has blessed me with a wonderful husband. Before God, I doubt I would have been the kind of woman that C would have been attracted to.

He has given me a bigger heart of compassion for others. I am learning to serve God in my ministry with high school kids.

He has taught me the most important lesson in life-- God has changed my heart to be one of forgiveness. Before God, I was a bitter person who held grudges for a long time. I can honestly say that I don't hate anyone. I have forgiven things people who have betrayed and hurt me.

My heart has been healed of a lot of pain, and I have put my abusive childhood behind me.

The biggest change of all is that I am more away of the difference between right and wrong, according to the Ten Commandments. I am more truthful and I make different choices, when faced with temptation. Am I better than non-Christians?

Are you kidding? No. I try to be the kind of person who is filled with joy and who won't stab you in the back. I try to be a good and faithful friend, whether or not your are a Christian.

I value integrity more than anything.

I give God all the glory for changing me.

What I do know is that without my faith in God, I would not have been able to change my life.
Please allow me to share with all of you (who haven't stopped reading when I began to talk about God) a bible verse that speaks to my heart. This sums of my faith in God. It's a tough act to follow, but I try to live it one day at a time.

Galations 5:16-26
Life by the Spirit
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

If you are reading this posting, still, thank you for listening.

Prayer is a powerful thing. God hears them, when they come from the heart. He will answer them according to His will-- not ours.


Mom of a Drug Addict

The night vigil begins

I wish I felt encouraged. I really do. One of the comments from Mom & Dad reads:

"I have found the evidence of our son on more than one occasion using - finding foil, black soot, empty oxycontin pkg, even needles. Our son always told us they were old, he didn't want to tell us for fear that we would not think they were old."
Great. This is exactly what my son has been saying. My husband thinks my son has figured out a way to fake his urine tests. Then again, his doctor tests him, too. Otherwise, his suboxone prescription would not be renewed.

B's stepdad wants him to pee in a BIG cup. He wants to be sure that B doesn't have a stash of urine. My husband suspects he's found a way to heat the urine and sneak it in.

B is sound asleep. I could not wake him up to pee again. This is how my son has always been, even as a baby. He's a very sound sleeper.

So, here I sit, in my living room. My shoulders are in knots. This is all so surreal to me.

Oh, B says that the meeting at his job went well. Yes, someone stole a large sum of money, but he was not fired nor considered a suspect. I can only hope so.

Is my son using again? I will not know until tomorrow morning. He will have to take a urine test, supervised by my husband. If it comes out clean, then we will continue to test him more often. If it comes out dirty...

I don't want to think about it. I've blogged before, that my son was told he cannot use and live with us.

Dear God, I pray that my son is not using. I pray, by miracle, that all these nasty foils of heroin are remnants of his past.

It's all so hard to believe, though. Why in the world would he leave this stuff in his room for all these months?

I am praying and I have no control over this. Still, it scares me a lot.

I want my son back-- the beautiful boy I gave birth to. I cannot bear the thought of my son being back in the cycle of smoking heroin...or even worse, shooting it-- which he's never done, but there's always a first time.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

How to be clean and dirty at the same time

I am totally perplexed. Honestly, I do not know what to say or think.

My husband found a lot of really incriminating evidence. It doesn't look good. We found foils with traces of heroin, straws in all kinds of places in B's room. They weren't hidden very well. They were in the trash and under his bed. When we confronted them, he said they were old things.

When I asked him why he would keep these things he said that he was afraid to throw them out-- for fear that we'd thnk they were new. Of course, we asked for a urine test. We had him come out of the bedroom in his boxers. B asked if I wanted to frisk him, but it felt too weird.

I use drugs tests that his doctor confirms are accurate. I buy them online. It comes with a sealed cup and a temperature monitor. My husband used my accurate food thermomenter (Ewwwwww) and it was 103F. This made my husband very nervous. My husband also said that the urine looked really cloudy-- with a lot of sediment.

The test came out clean for THC, Cocaine and Opiates.

What is going on? To make things worse, my husband inspected B's golf bag. He found a bottle that smelled and looked like a small trace of urine. The lid had burn marks. So, is it possible that he's storing clean pee and heating it with a lighter? Is he sneaking this into the bathroom?

What's really weird is that I had another of of my dreams-- just like when I was in Hawaii last October. In Hawaii, I dreamed that my son was laughing at me and saying he'd be using all the time. It was such a vivid dream, that I woke up with a terrible sense of forboding. I blogged about that-- that I turned on my cellphone to talk to my son. B told me it freaked him out, because that was the very day he started using again.

Last Monday, I had a similar dream. I dreamt that my son was laughing at me, saying that he'd been lying about his sobriety this whole time.

I told my husband and B that I'd had another one of those dreams. I've been watching B all week. He seems nervous -- smoking a lot more cigarettes than usual. He's been nodding off-- with his mouth open. This is typical behavior of someone who is using. How do I know this? At B's treatment center, this is how many of the addicts look during the meetings we attended. Those who were going through detox kept nodding off-- their heads bobbing up and then they'd nod out again.

All of this week, B has been gone more-- ever since he got his car insurance back.

Things are worse, too. B is in debt again. Not a whole lot. In some ways, it could be innocent. He missed out on four days of work, due to illness. So, his paycheck has been short. I've made him pay rent anyway, because that's the way life is. My son hates being without money, so he borrows from friends. He's been playing golf, which I know he could not afford.

He finally told me, today, that he's been stressing about it. He wrote a check at his job for $40.00, but his bank account is overdrawn by $20.00. I prayed about it, and loaned him the money to pay this off, so he wouldn't get fired. The last thing my son needs is to lose his job. In return, he wrote that he agrees to hand over his paycheck to me and I will handle his finances until all debt is wiped clean again. Plus, we took his golf clubs as collateral.

Then again, he could be in debt because he's using.

To add insult to injury, his job just called. All employees who work the lotto booth, at his job, are called in for an emergency meeting $800.00 has gone missing from the lotto booth-- all during a power failure yesterday. The cameras were out during these two hours. B is a nervous wreck.

My son is an addict and he lies. But, I can say that my son is not a thief. If he was, I would have found money missing long ago. My son has never stolen cash from us, nor any kind of valuables. I know this, for a fact. I've never found cameras, computers, laptops, jewelry, checks nor cash missing. Ever. B chose, instead, to fund his drug addiction by selling his own possession and/or dealing drugs.

B says that a new guy was hired, who he thought was kind of shady. Perhaps this guy is the thief. If my son is innocent, we reminded him that he can't be fired for lack of proof. Still, it's all too much for me.

If anyone, who is a drug addict, is reading this-- please enlighten me on how someone can test clean but use drugs at the same time. And, if I see my son taking suboxone under his tongue and that he can't talk because it's dissolving-- can you still smoke heroin?

Dear God,

I am praying for truth. I am praying that you will reveal, to my son, that you are an all-knowing and all-seeing God. I pray that my son will admit the truth to himself and to you. I pray, Lord, that you will reveal the truth to us-- his mom and his stepdad. If my son is really using drugs, I pray that you will give us courage, strength and wisdom to know what to do. If my son has relapsed, again, I pray that he will find the strength to seek the professional help that he needs. If my son is telling the truth, and he is not using drugs, I pray that you will help us to encourage him with his sobriety.

I pray for the addicts who are struggling with their sobriety, Lord. I pray that you will help them to know that nothing is impossible for you-- and that they would come before You, Almighty Father-- and know that you love them and that can help them to battle the demon of addiction.

I pray for the family and loved ones of drug addicts. I pray that God will give them encouragement and wisdom.

I will post an update as soon as I know what's going on. To my family and loved ones-- please don't call me about this. I do not want to talk about it. I appreciate your prayers and your love. Just read the blog. This is why I started this over a year ago.

I am afraid, yet I know that God is with me.

Dear God, help me

We just found foil with black tar heroin traces in my son's bedroom-- under his trash and tucked into a cigarette box with a straw and foil.

Dear God. Please help us to know what to do.

Friday, May 22, 2009

PAWS - A rough night for my son

It's late-- for me, at least. I could tell that something wasn't right with my son. A mother just feels these things. He was napping when I got home (he gets off work an hour earlier than I do). B ate a little bit of food and went back into his room. He was curled up in the fetal position.

Just a short while ago, he said his blood sugar was low (he's an insulin dependent diabetic). I got him some candy that I keep just for these occasions. B finally curled up on the couch, next to me, and said he's withdrawing again.

For anyone who is new to my blog, my son has been testing clean since January, for opiates. However, there is a condition called PAWS - POST ACCUTE WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME. At my son's detox center, we were told that this can happen anywhere from weeks to six months after my son's detox.

B says he is feeling like it's his first day in detox. There is nothing I can do to help him. There is nothing B can really do to help with the symptoms. He says he doesn't want to use. He just feels like crap.

It breaks my heart to see him this way. It also brings back memories of seeing him in his treatment center, just over a year ago.

Those of you who have used, or are using, opiates know what he's talking about. He's hurting.

All I can do is to let him know that I am here, if I can help. He has his sponsors phone number. B is watching television in his room. We tested him, yesterday, and he's now completely clean-- no traces of THC, nor opiates. Fortunately, alcohol is not something he enjoys.

Dear God-- I pray that you will bring healing and comfort to my son. Please help him pass through this phase. I pray that he will not be tempted to find self-medication to deal with his physical discomfort.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

My story of hope as the mother of an addict

Today is a good day. It's been a grueling week at work-- hectic and stressful. I could barely keep my eyes open till 9pm. For the first time, in a long time, I had a deep and restful sleep, for 10 hours. Heaven!

It's almost noon, and I have managed to get my swimming exercise for the day. My son has been awake for a while, camping out in his room and resting. I have to say that B's job is physically demanding. He definitely deserves to spend his Saturdays resting.

It has been almost six months since B stopped smoking heroin. It's a miracle, and I give all the glory to God's mercy and His grace. Is my son clean and sober? That's debatable, depending on whom you ask. B takes his suboxone, twice a day. Some people believe that means he isn't completely clean.

I don't know what to say to that. I have no idea when B will no longer take suboxone. He tried to quit, a few weeks ago. He went through withdrawals-- feeling ill and lethargic. That was the day he snapped, and took off in his car (click here for a recap). Since that day, he has not been disrespectful in anyway.

What I see in my son is a total transformation. He seems happy-- he chatters, smiles and hangs out at home a lot. Strange as this might sound, I feel bad for him? I say that because, at age 20, he should be enjoying the single life. He might even have a girlfriend, by now. Instead, my son goes to work, Monday through Friday and is home no later than dinnertime. He either reads books or watches some TV with us. He goes to bed. His cellphone barely rings at all. Many of you parents of addicts know that this is highly unusual for a teenager/young adult...especially if they are "using". His cellphone was always ringing, and he'd dash off to go "somewhere".

It's such a change!

As for me-- I'm learning, day by day, that I must accept the things I cannot change. Yes, that's part of the Serenity Prayer. It is my nature, as a mom, to want to nurture and to do things for my son. I'm learning to bite my tongue, and not to launch off into my Mommy Wisdom.

On a positive note, my relationship with my son is getting better. There are still times when he frustrates me-- to the point of feeling disappointed in him. That's when I have to remind myself that my expectations are what feeds my frustration. I'm working on that!

My words of hope that I want to share are directed to parents who are the beginning stages of their child's world of addiction. Please learn all that you can. I am still amazed at how many parents I speak to at my job (the counseling office at a high school). I cannot believe how little parents really know about drug addiction. I will forever be thankful to my son's treatment center for their thorough classes and that they work the 12-step program. It took six weeks of traveling four hours round-trip, and sitting in classes for four hours-- but what we (husband and I) learned has forever empowered me with wisdom.

I am very fortunate that my son is so open in sharing with me his world of drug addiction. He has enlightened me to try and understand how overpowering it is for an addict who can only focus on one thought-- needing to find their next fix. He has helped me to understand that his need to find heroin was to avoid the agony of withdrawal.

I do believe that my son is beginning to understand the damage his lies did to his loved ones. I think he's doing much better at lying less often. Still, I can see that he is struggling with his integrity.

As of today, my son is free of debt! For a drug addict, this is a victory. I see this is a positive step in that B isn't borrowing money, nor going to the Cash Advance place.

B is paying his rent to us, and he has a savings of $200.00. This is huge, because B has never been able to save money. Granted, I'm the one who is holding this savings for him. This money is set aside for the time he moves out to live on his own. As agreed, 50% of the rent he pays us is saved for future rent elsewhere. I am figuring one year.

B still spends several days a week with his sponsor. We've met him. He seems like a nice guy. My son is kinda-sorta working the program. That neither he nor his sponsor has a car makes it tough to get to meetings.

It is my hope that my son will begin to save his money in order to buy his own car insurance. We received a check as restitution for my son's carjacking (B was the victim). I am going to put that into savings, towards his car insurance. For the first time, I will give my son some of the restitution money to spend as he wishes. This is huge! At one time, I would worry that my son would use this to buy drugs.

My son is still testing clean. We see him taking his daily suboxone, because we dole it out to him (we know that suboxone can be sold for profit). My son cannot get high on opiates if he's taking suboxone correctly.

So, back to suboxone-- it is my prayer that my son will finally wean himself off this drug. The day that my son stays clean and sober, without any kind of drugs like suboxone, is the day that I will finally feel my son has reached the pinnacle of sobriety.

I thank God every single day, that my is beating the odds of succesfully finding sobriety from opiates.

There are two students in my school that I fear are using hard core drugs. Their parents are in denial. I cannot say anything, because I have no proof. All I can see are grades plummeting as low as they can go. I am seeing these students failing to show up for classes, or disappearing and being marked truant. Both parents enable this, by excusing their absences.

I am praying for both of these delightful, and intelligent, young kids... praying that the truth will be revealed. I am praying that they will get the help they need-- before it's too late.

My son is still a procrastinator and unmotivated, in my adult eyes. BUT, he is not using anymore. This is what I focus on.

He has been through hell, and spend countless thousands of dollars to support his addiction. He has sold everything he owned and been fired from several jobs. Today, he is loving his job and they really like him.

Thank you, God. You are the God of hope.

I pray for parents whose hearts are breaking, and who are afraid for their addict. I understand. Be strong. Never give up. Love them. Set your boundaries... and know that as difficult as it is to say "no"-- they need to know that you are no longer going to enable them. That is what made my son change-- when he realized he'd be on the streets.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day-- Such that it is

To those of you who are mother's, I do wish all of you a wonderful Mother's Day. It's Sunday afternoon, and I am enjoying peace and quiet at my house. Some moms might feel lonely. Me? I enjoy my solitude. However, I did have a bit of a pity party this morning:

For Mother's Day, I accept that my son doesn't have the money to buy me flowers, take me out to brunch-- and he's not been very good about buying cards. In fact, I can only remember ONE Mother's Day (since B's father and I divorced in 1996) that my son even did anything for me for Mother's Day.

Drug Addiction has a lot to do with my son's lack of money. I know that.

My pity party started this morning. I told B that my Mother's Day desire was that he would come to church with me. He eagerly agreed. In my heart of hearts, I do believe that B wants to come to our church. I've said before, that our church is fun. We have an excellent pastor, excellent contemporary worship music, high tech lighting and sound and it's not a "stuffy" kind of church. Each Sunday, B says he's coming to church-- but it's like waking the dead. He can't get up to go at 8:45am on a Sunday.

I would much rather sleep in, truth be told. But, 9:00am is our church service and that's just how it is. We heard B up and stumbling in the bathroom. At 8:45am, I knocked on his bedroom door to tell him we were ready to go. There sat B, in bed, with a cup of coffee and a perplexed look on his face.

"You didn't say anything about going to early service", he said.

"Yes, last night when you asked what time we were leaving, I told you. I also said that I had to work with the high school kids after morning service-- and that I'd be home in time for brunch (which I made ahead of time, and had frozen... cheese blintzes)."

My heart sank. Once again, another Mother's Day where my son dropped the ball. KA-BOOM.

Somehow, I knew this would most likely be what happened. My husband saw the hurt look in my eyes. I was angry, but I didn't yell or throw a scene. I just got into the car, with my husband and my bible.

The service was amazing. When the pastor applauded for "Mom's" I could feel my eyes welling with tears. I struggled not to cry. I so wanted my son to be with me, as I looked around to see other families with their kids.

The pastor prayed for moms-- and then he did it. He prayed for moms who are struggling with their adult kids. Dang. The lump in my throat grew.

I remember praying that God would not allow resentment to grow in my heart. I know the devil's tricks. I know that the Dark One thrives on feeding negative thoughts. "It" wants me to become angry.

My heart began to calm down and I just accepted that I was not going to let my Mother's Day be ruined. My husband, bless his heart, held my hand and I could feel his love-- that comforted me, tremendously.

The message was based on C.S. Lewis and it was about how we allow distractions to keep us from spending time with God. I thought to myself how I allow so many distractions to keep me from having my quiet time. When I do take the time to open my bible, and to read scripture (and I've been remiss in that, to be honest), I find such comforting in reading God's Word.

My son has his own distractions. I realized that spending Mother's Day with me, at church, wasn't important enough to him. Staying up all night long to watch last season's episodes of "Heroes" is more important to him. Watching MTV, while I'm out on a date with my husband, was more important to him than doing his laundry and being ready to keep his promise to me.

When I arrived at the High School ministry, I saw one of my co-leaders. "Betty" told me that she had been gone due to chemotherapy. I thought that her hair looked different! We chatted a bit, and I'm amazed at what a Godly woman she is. What a positive attitude. She was more concerned about my son than telling me she'd been ill.

When I returned home, the house was a mess. B hadn't bothered to clean the house. I suspect, that as soon as he heard out car in the driveway, he jumped out of bed and began to do laundry.

I wanted to blow up with anger. Instead, I grabbed my bathing suit and towel and drove to the swimming pool in our subdivision. Swimming has become great therapy for me. By miracle, there wasn't a living soul at the pool. I gambled that most mom's would be at brunch. I was right.

When I'm in the water, and alone, it is a great time for me to pray. I began to think about my morning, and my disappointing Mother's Day. Then I thought of a good friend, whose son is in prison for murder. I realized that she had a far worse Mother's Day than I could imagine. I then thought of "Betty" who is such a brave soul, battling cancer.

It's humbling, you know. As I was doing my aerobic exercises in the warm water, I closed my eyes and thought of what it's like to be a mother.

Being a mother has been my greatest accomplishment in this lifetime. I wanted to be a mother, and God blessed me with a son. B was a wonderful baby, a joy and some of my happiest memories are of raising him. Until middle school, he was pretty easy to deal with.

Even though my son has battled his addiction to opiates, I had to thank God that my son is living with me. He's not in prison. I know that I say this a lot, but it's so true. My son is alive and he's here.

I also thought about my own mother-- and I asked myself "what do I remember most that my mother taught me". My answer was, "she taught me life skills".

I'm trying to do that for my son. Some days I think he's appreciative of it. Others, I think he's clueless.

An hour later, I had done my water aerobics, swum laps and sat in the jacuzzi-- all by myself. It was a beautiful and sunny day. When I returned home, B had cleaned up the house while I was swimming, and I thanked him for it. He did trim the hedges outside, and he cleaned up the yard nicely. I thanked him for it.

B has gone into town to hang out with friends. My husband has gone hiking, after his asked if I'd mind. It's okay. I've spent a little time doing some finances, and I thank God that we're doing okay. I'm watching some TV shows that I've recorded and never have time to watch.

The boys planned to BBQ for me, for dinner. Foodie that I am, I need to let them do it and not try to micro-manage how it's done. It's my nature to jump in and make it all happen. Salmon, salad and grilled corn shouldn't be too hard!

I need to work on not putting my expectations on others. It sets me up for disappointment.

One day, maybe my son will finally realize how much Mother's Day means to women. Maybe when he has a good woman in his life, she will set him straight.

For now, it's Debby Day.

I wish all of you mother's of addicts that you are finding love, encouragement and a blessed day to honor what you do. We love our kids, no matter what.

For those of you moms who do not know where you children are, or they are incarcerated-- my heart goes out to you. I pray that your children appreciate all that you have done for them.


Friday, May 8, 2009

One Day At a Time is a victory-- and what about ADD?

I just received an email from someone who lives in my area, who has started her own blog about her son's addiction (I will add her link to this blog). Her story is so similar to what I experience one year ago, in April.

I haven't been blogging here, nearly as much as I once did. Instead, I've been focusing most of my time on my food blog. Like Ron on "Dad & Mom", I find that my hobby/passion for cooking, baking and photography is my therapy. As strange as it sounds, I find chopping and focusing on a recipe and photographing how I create a dish gives me a sense of calm. My son and husband know that this is me being in "the zone".

Overall, my son is doing very well. It has been almost five months since my son has tested positive for opiates. He is taking suboxone and, last week, he still tested positive for THC. From what I've read, it can take as much as five weeks for the THC to clear his system-- which is right about when my son admitted he was smoking weed.

Now that my son is staying clean and sober, I am noticing a lot of behavior about him that is leading me to think he has ADD. There are divided camps on this issue-- those who says it doesn't exist and those who say it does. The more I read about addiction, and talk to other addicts, I can see that many addicts are bi-polar. I'm also reading that ADD isn't uncommon, either, with addiction.

Why do I suspect my son has ADD? He loses things, constantly. He's forgetful. He's distracted, easily. He's gung-ho to do something one day, and the next he's balloon has deflated. He doesn't remember my asking him to do something. He's flaky. He's unmotivated.

I just assumed he was lazy and that his years of drug use has affected his brain. Now, I'm wondering... could he have ADD?

My son won't go in for an evaluation with a reputable psychiatrist. He believes ADD doesn't exist.

What I don't think is that ADD is a badge of shame. Like addiction, I want to find out and talk to parents of addicts who also have diagnosed ADD. I'd like to hear your stories...

My son lost his wallet...again. Both times, he had cashed his weekly paycheck and he's lost almost $200.00. We drug tested him, believe me... daily...and he's come up "clean". He's just as airhead.

The good news is that my son has not been able to drive is car since March 9th (except for the one night he got mad and peeled out of the driveway and returned about 2 hours later...sheepish and apologetic as he handed me his car keys). Without a car, my son is unable to even think about buying drugs. My house isn't in town, so we are isolated. I like it that way.

B was without a cellphone for almost six weeks. He lost it, you see. I was elated, because his phone number was put on suspension (by his father). That means, anyone who wanted to contact my son to buy or sell drugs, wouldn't be able to get through. Thank you, God!

My son is loving his job, and the managers are very happy with him. B is a very personable young man, who has great manners so he is thriving with the daily contact with customers. He appreciates the weekly financial worksheet I designed for him-- he is learning how to calculate his income, expenses and he is paying us rent (which goes into a savings account for him).

B is being a great roommate, actually. He's chatty and helpful, when asked to do something. I really can't complain.

I still get frustrated at his procrastination in some areas, but I am working on not putting such high expectations on how my son should do things.

As far as my marriage-- we are doing well. My husband and I reached a point where B was driving us nuts. He's high maintenance-- constantly forgetting small things, like locking his window when he leaves for work...losing the house key and then finding it... eating me out of house and home, and not mentioning he polished off the milk. He needs rides to and from places, and he's a bull in a china shop-- breaking things.

Finally, my husband and I had to make a pact, that we need to realize that B has a long road ahead of him and we need to not let this cause us to fight. We cannot allow the addiction to take over our lives and our joy.

I'm going to quit blogging, for tonight. My son is a few feet away and chatting away. See what I mean? On one hand, I'm happy he's safe and with us. On the other hand, I miss my quiet home.

I try to remind myself-- despite all the drama my son brings into this house, I'm so thankful that he's not in prison, in a mental institution or living on the streets.

If you are reading my blog for the first time, my journey has been a rough one. I'm appreciating my son's sobriety-- but like many parents of addicts, I struggle with the fear and lack of trust that my son is "chipping" on drugs and has been tricking us. I cannot allow fear to affect my joy.

Till later,

Debby (who has no time to proof read for typos or grammatical mistakes)