Sunday, September 13, 2009

Middle of the night, A Letter to my Son

Dear B,

I am deeply disappointed to hear that you lost your job. I pray that your new job will work out for you. Somehow, I am not surprised to hear that you were asked to resign, because you refused to take a drug test. You were giving me hints that there was something going on at work.

I have written numerous letters to you-- many were never given to you. They were my way of putting my thoughts and feelings down in writing. I was trying to free myself of what I was holding inside. I have also given you several of the letters I've written. At times, I found them in places that made me realize you never read them. I know that I write lengthy letters. It's my curse, in a way. I try to be articulate-- hoping that you will understand what I am trying to say. I have a need to feel understood and writing my feeings has always been my venue. With that said, let me do my best to get to the point in a lot less words. At least, I'll try:

I wish that you could see yourself, from my point of view.  You were saying to me that when you were loaded at work, that nobody could tell. You also said that people think you're loaded, but it's really that you were withdrawing and that you weren't loaded at all. Forgive me, but I think you are sadly mistaken.

The dichotomy in your explanation is that either way-- loaded or coming down, you are using drugs. Period.
You are right, in that I couldn't exactly tell when you were using. What I could detect, without a doubt, is that you were not the B that I know. I am your mother, and I have a six sense when something isn't right with you.

The changes that your stepdad and I noticed were:
•    Constant chattering, and repeating the same things.
•    "Hyperness"-- bursts of energy AND nonstop chattering.
•    Hooded eyes, slurred speech and slow comprehension. If I brought any of these to your attention, you always said you were tired.
•    Personal hygiene- lack of taking care of your clothes and showering.
•    Flaky lifestyle-- standing people up, and being late for everything.
•    Procrastination-- not handling your obligations and ignoring phone calls.
•    Your cellphone began to ring non-stop. I suspect you were reconnecting with friends from your drug past.

The obvious signs of withdrawal:
•    Lethargic attitude-- sleeping for hours on end.
•    Lack of appetite.
•    Irritability.
I have to be honest with you and tell you that you are not hiding your drug use the way that you think you are. I suspect that your co-workers and/or supervisors noticed it, too.

Until a few days before you moved out, I never suspected you of stealing money from anyone. I pray that you will never become desperate enough to become a thief.  I still cannot understand why you needed to take $40.00 from me, two days after your payday. I can only assume that it's drug-related-- whether it's a debt you owed someone, or a need to buy drugs. You never offered me an explanation.  Your lack of silence confirmed that it's something that would upset me.

I have to be completely honest with you about your current situation. I, sadly, must assume that you are using drugs.  Whether you are using 3 times a week, or 3 times a day, you are using. Period.

Until you finally admit to yourself that you are powerless against your addiction, you will live a life that will never give you peace of mind.  It is sad that you are addicted to a drug that has one of the lowest recovery statistics.  That does not mean that you cannot be victorious over this.

I love you with all of my heart, son. But you are in a total state of denial. You are lying to yourself, thinking that suboxone or a shot of whatever-that-is, or smoking weed, is going to save you.

The "if only's" aren't going to help you, either-- X-boxes, a new car, a new job, a new roommate... none of those things will help you to stop using opiates.  In fact, those "things" will be lost to your addiction, if  you don't do something about it.  You will lose job after job. You will sell those "things" that you think will help you with your addiction, in order to satisfy the need to use.  You could end up couch surfing and eventually being homeless. You know I'm telling you the truth-- you've sold everything you ever owned for opiates. You've been fired from several jobs.

I applaud you for the way you handled your current job for the first five months. You were well liked and you paid your rent to us, responsibly. I think that within the last month of your living with us, you were using a lot more than you wanted me to know.  I do think you began to miss work because of withdrawals towards the end.  Somehow, I think that's when your supervisors began to give you a hard time.We found foils tucked inside new magazines, and pants you had worn to work, you know. Those weren't old foils, no matter what excuses you made to us.

Son, it is 2:00am, and I cannot sleep.  I am, helplessly, watching your life spiral out of control again.  I cannot be the person to bail you out of trouble. You know that.  You and I have talked that the greatest fear is incarceration. Being locked up in a jail full of notorious gang members scares the hell out of you and me-- not to mention your diabetes and need for insulin injections.  Then what?  I am in no financial position to bail you out-- nor should I.  You have been blessed, so far, to have escaped being arrested for buying or selling drugs. Please, don't push your luck.

I've written more words than I meant to. I could write pages and pages to you, pleading with you to understand that you are so deeply loved by me, your father and God.  I am deeply saddened, knowing that your life must be hell. How can you feel joy, when you have so much unfinished business?  I'm saddened to see that you are unable to manage your life, because opiates are controlling you. Why are you hanging out with the same people you used with? I cannot understand that at all. 

When you finally make that decision that you no longer want to use drugs-- and you stop playing the victim and blaming everyone else for your own troubles, you will begin to find peace again.  You are too deeply addicted to opiates to do this on your own. You have tried to do this for 18 months, and have relapsed more times than I can count.

I think you need a professional treatment center.  If anything, I believe that if you work the NA program and find a sponsor that has been sober for a long time-- and doesn't have the kind of drama that your current sponsor has-- that you stand a good chance of finding sobriety and peace in your life.

I pray that this job will be a good outlet for you, son.  If you balance work and your sobriety (with the help of NA) you might begin to experience peace in your soul. It will be hard, though, because when you're tired you think of reasons not to go to a meeting.

I will never leave you, or forsake you, B-- as your mother. Neither will the Lord.  However, I have to let you reach your bottom.  I will support you, morally (not financially) should you go into a treatment center. If I keep bailing you out of trouble, you will never want sobriety enough to really seek it.  Every time I have helped you to pay off your debts, I have delayed any chance of your making the decision to end the crazy cycle of using drugs.

You know that.  Please, get professional help.  I am going to back to the Women’s Bible Studies on Tuesday nights at our church  and Celebrate Recovery on as many Wednesday nights as I can. Your sobriety will save your life. I want you to find peace in your life—joy, honor, integrity and to reconnect with God’s perfect light—so that the darkness can’t lie to you anymore.

I love you,


NOTE: I will deliver this letter to my son. I pray he will receive my words.


Madison said...

Debby, you are one precious mom. Addiction is a family disease. I'm rewording your advice to B. "Until you finally admit to yourself that you are powerless against B's addiction, you will live a life that will never give you peace of mind." In the most expensive rehabs in the country, addiction specialists will advise you to go to Alanon meetings. They will tell you that the most important step you can take to help your son is the step through the door of an Alanon meeting. They will say this again and again and again. Be blessed today. God will never leave B, nor forsake him. God loves him deeply. So many of us have lived with heavy hearts in the middle of the night. I'm glad you have this blog.

Anonymous said...

As I was reading this letter I was hoping that it would be one his eyes would read and his heart would accept.

I'm so glad you delivered it to him. I pray that he "hears" and feels your love for him through your words.


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I am crying my eyes out as I read your words for B. I UNDERSTAND EVERY WORD YOU SAID HERE. My son told me this very day from behind bars that he should not be in jail because he was not under the influence at the time of his arrest. He admits to being under the influence just a few HOURS before his arrest but does not get the connection. He thinks he is hiding his using even though he has the EXACT list of traits you listed for B. Kev used to shower twice a day, that was his routine, before shcool and after a workout at the gym. Now he goes for days without a shower and expects me to not notice what that indicates? They really don't see it do they? That's the scariest part, if they don't see how their use is so obviously controlling their actions and their lives, how will they be able to get to that place of surrender. I am scared.

I hope B receives this letter with an open heart, but he may not be ready. That's the hardest part for me. What on earth will it take for these boys to be ready?

angelo212 said...

Your letter to B was my life story. I can't believe how well you put it into words. That was written just for me to see. That was and is my life.
I believe B is not ready to stop yet. He needs to hit his bottom alot further. Got locked up and lose his apartment or lose his other job or overdose. He is hanging out with junkies and lives with one now. You are doing everything right by not supporting him financial or helping. Please believe that no matter where his addiction takes him you can not enable him one bit. Your letter will be printed and I will read it everyday because (you didn't know this and neither did I) but it was meant for me to see because that is me in that letter.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

I also wrote many letters to my a few years back, many of which he didn't read. He thinks he has everyone fooled when he is high. He has lost countless jobs, been to jail first time just recently for 4 months and now thinks he is fooling probation. Addiction has a way of doing that. I used meth many years ago, pretty heavily. I thought nobody knew, meanwhile I was have agoraphobia/panic attacks and would barely leave my house, those friends that did come by, lots of times I was breathing in a bag due to hyperventilation, along with many other things I did to try and feel and look normal. I was shocked when one good friend asked if I was using!! The addiction takes you over and convinces you that nobody can tell, and everybody else is wrong. It is hard watching my son now go through this with the opiates. It appears all my "trying to help" has just gotten in his way of life lessons he needs to learn, no matter how bad my fear keeps me wanting to enable. I could have written you post to a tee. Thank you so much for being such a support to me in my struggle with my boy's addiction also.