Sunday, July 5, 2009

My name is Debby...and my son is a drug addict

Today, I am feeling... sorrow.

When my husband and I attended our weekly drug classes, at my son's treatment center, each attendee was asked to introduce themselves (first name only, of course) and then we had to choose one word to describe how we are feeling. We were then give a minute or two to share why we were feeling that way.

I am beginning to accept that my son is headed into a full-blown relapse. I don't want to feel this way, but I am seeing signs in my son that I can only describe as "hopeless".

I'm beginning to come to grips with the fact that I will, most likely, have to help my son pack his things and to move out at the end of this month. Since I'm being so honest, today, I will go as far as describing how I feel about this as being similar to when my mother was within her last days of her life.

That is, I took care of my mother. Though she had a full-time caregiver, at her home, I stopped in several times a day to make sure she was being fed and taken care of properly. I was mentally exhausted from trying to balance my work and home life, to make time to take care of her. There were days when I'd pray that God would call her home. Yet, I'd feel guilty, because I wasn't ready to accept that I would never see her again-- until I die.

I don't want my son to die! What I am saying is that I have mixed emotions on accepting that my son is heading towards losing the privilege of living with me. I will miss him terribly, and I will probably worry more about him. Yet, my son's constant up and downs with his sobriety is the only thing that tends to rob me of my joy. I can handle the stresses of life pretty well-- having a close call with losing my job... unexpected financial costs... getting sick... a difficult co-worker.

But, seeing my son looking as sad and lost as he does this morning brings such sorrow to me. I would not want to be inside his head. I cannot imagine that my son has any sense of peace. He says he was up all night long stressing--

Stressing about what? That he owes someone money? That he's holding more secrets within himself? That the demon of addiction has my son's soul?

He got up, saying he wants to go to church. I sensed he was doing it for me. I told him to, please, not come to church for me. Go, only if it is what he wants to do.

I keep reminding myself that I have no say in how my son is doing. Yesterday, my son and I had another deep talk. He admitted to me that he is struggling so hard not to use. He kept saying to me, "you don't know how hard this is".

No, I don't. The common sense in me thinks "Just quit. Say no."

But addiction is powerful. It's why gambling addicts need to roll the dice "one more time" again and again. It's why alcoholics want just "one more drink" again and again. It's why sex addicts risk their marriage by looking at pornography one more time... or have meaningless affairs, just one more time.

I feel so helpless to help my son.

My name is Debby, and my son is a drug addict.

I am feeling sad.


Dad and Mom said...

It is sad but it is a step that we all must take as parents of an addict.

It took years before I realized I couldn't fix this. It took just as long to realize I didn't cause this.

Your son, my son others sons must deal with this pain alone. No one is allowed inside one's mind but oneself. I have found this is where the battle is fought. Truthfully I still don't understand this addiction thing, I only accept it. You have done what you can. You gave birth to him, you raised him with the knowledge of right and wrong, you did whatever you could. You have set some reasonable and fair boundaries. It is time you allow him to live and make his life, one way or another.

We know it is impossible for a parent not to enable, that is one of the consequences of love. Sometimes it requires others. I guess that is why sponsers, officers of the law and corrections officers, probation officers can be successfull when we can't. Mom it is time to let go. It is not hopeless, when you accept you cannot help him with this and he wants to change and seeks others help it is hopeful. When you accept him as an addict you can be hopeful, because you accept him, not what we want him to be. I know this from my own experience.

Hard words but I am not saying this to be mean, I am just sharing a few of my experiences and learnings.

Madison said...

You are not alone. Keep the faith.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Oh Debby, my heart hurts for you. I read the comment left by Dad and Mom and appreciate their wisdom. I just want to hug you right now. I am not sure if you read that my son is in jail. It is kind of a good feeling knowing exactly where he is and what he is doing.

mother of drug addict said...

It took me 10 years to realise that all I could do was pray for the best and quit (as best as I could) trying to control it. My prayers are with you.

Dad and Mom said...

This is the posting that caused me to try and articulate the truths I have come to know on my page.

Thank you for your inspiration.