Saturday, July 4, 2009

Freedom in the U.S.A. and how is my son...

Today, being the 4th of July, I'm so thankful to be an American. Though our country is currently in a financial mess, we Americans are truly blessed with freedom and civil rights. Amen.

Today, also being Saturday, B is sound asleep. He works very hard at his job, so I leave him alone. He's earned his rest.

How is my son? From what I can see, I believe that he really wants to stay clean and sober. I've helped him along with that by trying to be supportive, but keeping my eyes wide open.

On Wednesday, I took B to my chiropractor. For those of you who think chiro's are "quacks", I understand that. This one is amazing. I won't get into the technical reasons why, but she has helped my husband to be virtually migraine free for five years. I suffer from osteo-arthritis in both knees, so my hip and low back can go out. Dr. "L" puts me back together, so I believe in her. I don't need any kind of pain meds.

B's back was pretty messed up, as a result of his car accident last year. He lifts heavy things, and he recently took a hard spill and twisted his ankle. Dr. B set things back in place. My purpose on paying for this is my attempt to eradicate my son's "need" to use because of his back pain. Evidently, B has been very happy with how he is feeling-- physically.

Yes, my son has been smoking heroin. According to him, the last time he used was just this Monday-- the day that his father returned to Oregon from a visit here. B says he skipped his suboxone dose in the morning, then smoked a $10.00 "bag" (or whatever you call it), which is just enough to take the "edge" off what his brain wants.

Why, you must wonder, do I not just throw him out in the streets?

I've had to wait, think, pray and listen to what my gut feeling says (that would be God):

B is definitely going through withdrawals. He is being 100% honest about what they are, and I can see them. His appetite has been poor. He gets the chills, and I can see the goose bumps. He suffers from insomnia, and his eyes look exhausted. He's not full-blown withdrawing, which many of you know is awful to witness-- let alone exprience. It's painful physically and emotionally. He's withdrawing just enough that I hope he remembers how bad it could get, if he falls back into the pit of using all the time.

This might sound strange, but my seeing these milder symptoms of withdrawal tells me that he's trying to quit. He doesn't have the money to buy drugs, and he doesn't own a thing (except for his car) to sell. He's also been coming home and staying at home. We watch television together, and talk. I've grown to appreciate those times, because one day he will truly leave the nest.

On Wednesday, B did laundry-- which he, typically, piles up for more than a week. I found a foil in the washing machine. Something inside me snapped. That was "it". When B came home, I waited for him to settle in. I looked him in the eyes and (calmly) said:

"I have to tell you that I found drug paraphernalia, once again. I'm taking into account that this could be more than a week old, and you've admitted to me that you've been chipping. However, I've had enough. I'm sick of it. I don't want to see anymore drug paraphanalia and I've reached my limit. This is it."

B looked at me, and softly said, "I understand". "I will do whatever you want".

"No, YOU need to do whatever it takes to admit you are an addict and that you cannot use-- just a little, no matter what. "

Then, I gave him my decision/ultimatum:

"I am giving you 30-days to find a new place to live".

My son's mouth literally dropped and his eyes grew huge.

He got the message. Loud and clear. I could see his physical shock.

I also said, "I know that I've given you several breaks when I should have kept to my promise to throw you out the first time we found evidence of drugs in our house."

"Yes, I know, mom. Thanks."

"However, I really mean it, this time. Please believe me, that I'm not joking this time. I'm very serious."

Very quietly, and with a look of remorse he answered "I believe you and I'm sorry. I don't want to lose what I have here."

I told my son, that he has 30 days to literally clean up his act. While he is working full-time, and faithfully paying us rent, giving us a percentage for his savings and making weekly payments on money I've paid out to consolidate his debts he still must remain clean.

The reason I am not throwing my son out, today, is because he's really trying. I know that it's tough. He's a good employee, he's respectful at home and he's willingly handing over his paycheck and keeping a small stipend...not enough to buy the kind of drugs he'd need if he was full-blown using. Still, he's an addict and I'm not condoning his "chipping". Read on...

I have given my son 30 days to redeem himself. Here's what he has to do, to be allowed to stay past the end of July:

Though the medical insurance (we pay for) and the co-pay from me, he is seeing his MFT (licensed therapist). He says he's happy to talk to "M" again and that she's helping him to understand the consequences of his addiction.

B told me about a woman who owns a drug testing business in town. I stopped by to see her, on my first day of vacation. She's a hoot! She clearly remembers my son talking to her. She made a phone call to her lab (located in Kansas). I learned two new things-- the UA home tests that I am giving my son can definitely show a "positive" if there is suboxone in his system. I also learned that she can give my son a test and if it comes up positive, her lab can distinguish if it's opiates, suboxone or a combination of both. It will cost $50.00 and I am going to pay it!

Next week, my son agrees to take the test through her. If he comes up clean, then we are back on a week-to-week basis; same rules. He continues to pay rent $50.00 a week (which is a bargain, because it includes food and medical expenses which is far more than that). $50.00 a week goes into rent savings, for the day my son moves out. I'll pay that to his landlord, directly. $50.00 a week pays off loans from me, and he gets his golf clubs back.

B closed his checking account, because he can't manage it. He also can't go to Cash Advance places anymore, without a checking account.

I also decided that the day B gets tested, from the lab, that I will bring one of my home tests. I want to test the theory on the results. Call this an "experiment" of my own.

So, there is what's going on with B living with us.

There's a lot more, but I'm reluctant to become too long-winded. I want to address my last posting that I wrote to Anonymous #1. It was long, yes. It was filled with a lot of spiritual views and biblical principles, yes.

I am not going to apologize for what I wrote. I got two comments that were hurtful to me. They were offensive, and one was filled with profanity-- rambling on about Michael Jackson and saying very rude things about Christians. I've also received comforting emails and comments, and thank you so much for that.

Because I am a Christian, I will not hide my personal feelings in my faith, so I am prepared to have my believes challenged. Religion and politics are fodder for arguments, . That's not what my blog is meant to be. The purpose of my blog is not to become a pulpit to preach to folks that you MUST become a Christian! The purpose of my blog is exactly what my header says-- this journey began as my way to let my loved ones know how my son was doing, when we first learned of his dark secret of addiction in April 2008.

Eventually, I learned that there are so many families who are blogging about their experiences. Several, whom I often visit, are listed on my blog. Like people who go to AA, NA, Al-Anon, Teen-Anon and Naranon... it helps to be surrounded by people who can fully relate to what we are going through.

The design of my blog has always had Christian info-- i.e. daily scriptures, links to Christian sites. This reflects who I am. If you are a non-Christian, atheist or belong to other faiths/religions, I hope that we can have in common is that we are part of the world of addiction... be it as a parent, sibling, spouse or someone who is fighting to stay clean and sober.

My very long diatribe, that addressed "Anonymous #1" came from my heart. It took a few days for me to address the comments. In my heart, I felt that Anonymous #1 was sharing his/her heart. For some reason, I get the feeling that Anonymous #1 is a male. I felt God prompting me to be His voice.

There is more to share-- but I want to end with positive things. My son and I are growing much closer. He is helping me to break away from the the tyrannical parenting that I learned from my mother. He is teaching me to not overreact. I'm learning to pick my battles very carefully.
When I see my son heading into a direction that I can clearly see is the wrong path-- I'm carefully weighing what I should or should not say.

My son is teaching me about addiction. One day, I hope that I can serve with some kind of organization that supports parents just like me. I'm try to learn what I can about opiate addiction and recovery. I'm no expert-- just a mother who's been there and done that, and is still doing it.

For those of you who are addicts, but are staying clean and sober-- I pray that you will consider sponsoring someone who is struggling with their addiction. My son's sponsor just got arrested and is in jail (details are sketchy at this time). I feel very sorry for "D" and yet, I pray that my son will find a new sponsor. I felt that "D" had too much drama in his own life and lived too far away to be available for my son. He was hard to reach by phone, sometimes taking days to return his calls.

My son needs a sponsor who lives close by and who checks on my son-- and encourages him to attend meetings and to work the steps. B needs someone, who understands exactly what his brain is doing to him...someone he can call when he feel stressed or the need to use.

Sorry, I got long-winded again. B just walked in, to tell me that he's going to have coffee with his sponsor's girlfriend. She's totally distraught.

Addiction brings so much drama into one's life, doesn't it?

As for my husband and me-- we're off to a BBQ at my brother's home, by the ocean. We are one vacation, together, through next week. I plan to laugh, relax and appreciate living in America.




Anonymous said...

I can't understand how you son is showing singsns of withdrawl. If he skiped his dose of suboxone and did a ten dollor bag he could just go back on the suboxone and he should be fine. Although I can't understand how anyone can feel heroin after skipping one dose of suboxone. It builds up in your system. Each pill last about 37 hours. He had to have skiped more then one dose. He must have been getting high a while then jumbed back on the suboxone hence the bit of withdrawl. Something I just went thru. If your son stays on 8mg a day and misses a dose he will not feel a bag or 3 of heroin. He would need alot more then that. The suboxone should block it.
I'm trying to find the site where they'll sell a suboxone test for about $4.00. There drug test are cheap. I never heard of a eroin test that comes up positive for suboxone. Maybe there is but I think I would have known about it. Let me find the link to some test to save you money. This relapse is stuning in it means he is not finished by any means. Tighten the ropes.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous--
Neither can I! I fear that my son is, yet again, not telling me everything. I do think he's skipped more suboxone that he is admitting to. That's what addiction does-- "it" overrules any kind of moral fiber. Because the addict cannot fight the need to use, they will say anything to get it.

Addiction hurts everyone.