Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, Hello Promises of 2010

Click here to get more Cute Surprises

My husband and I are laughing at ourselves. It's 8:30pm on New Year's Eve. We both went swimming (one of the good things of living in California), and took a jacuzzi together, late this afternoon.   I had plans to make a fancy dinner to enjoy at home. Out of character, for me, I opted to make a nice sandwich and two cold beers, rather than scurrying about in the kitchen. Now, we're both in our pajamas with his and her laptops. Wow! We're really living it up!

I had a bit of a temper meltdown, this morning.  It had something to do with my son, and his inability to get information accurately. I won't get into the details, because I've worked through it.  As I drove into town, alone, it gave me time to calm down.  I began to focus on the new calves in the green pastures along the highway between our home and 20 miles to downtown.   I hope to work on not letting my buttons be pushed to the point that I get really worked up about it.  By counting my blessings, out loud, I could feel my anger dissipate and I was able to enjoy the rest of today-- the last day of 2009.

2009 has been an interesting year. Most of it was all about B.  It was a year of giving my son so many chances to stay sober.  As I reviewed most of my blogs, I could read the hope I had for him. I blogged with so much enthusiasm-- desperately hoping that my son was going to be able to keep away from drugs.

Sadly, my son was asked to move out at the end of August.  When I review a lot of my blog entries, I see so much drama.  The longest my son could stay sober, averaged 5 days.  I lost track of how many times he relapsed.

Within the last couple of weeks, things have quieted down with my son.  That doesn't mean that all is well.  I think that I've limited how much I'm going to publicly share about our personal lives.  I'm limiting how much time I will spend on this blog-- as well as my "other" food blog.  I was spending to much time blogging, and my husband deserves my attention a lot more.

B has taken baby steps forward, and he's been knocked back by many miles.  It's been a roller coaster ride, for sure!

As of today, here is an update on my son:
He has his car back, and it's insured and all legitimate.  This is possible, because of his small trust fund that I oversee.  I can only pray that his car will be a tool to find a better paying job...  I won't allow myself to think negative thoughts on how the car could be used.  I can only pray that is all in my son's past. No further comment.

My son got his job back, two weeks ago. He went in for his final paycheck (another labor law broken, as a final check is due within 72 hours of being fired) a week after he got fired.  His boss asked him to come back.
. Go figure.  It's a blessing, in that B is able to pay his rent, have a little money for food, and afford the car insurance. I found a good rate for him through our state automobile association. It's his own policy, and I'm not on it.

B is legally on methadone.  He really likes his counselor a lot. My son signed a release so that I could go in, directly, to pay for it. The money comes from his trust account, not my wallet.  They women, who work in the office,  love him. I used to hearing that, because he is very friendly and likable.

B's roommate is working out, so far. B seems to like his apartment again.

My son is struggling, to make ends meet. He's always broke.  I do believe, that because of the methadone, that he is no longer using heroin.  I almost see the son that I knew back.

I get frustrated with his inability to manage his life.  He still struggles with being punctual (except for work).  He still doesn't follow through on things that need to be done.  He still doesn't manage his diabetes well, but I can only hope he'll start to take better care of himself.

I try to understand that, a struggling addict like my son, can only focus on one thing at a time. My son is struggling to find a way to be free of using drugs.  For the record, I wish my son could endure the pain of withdrawals so that he can clean his body of the poison he's used for five years.  The reality is, my son cannot bear the thought of it.  He is not ready, and I have accepted that there is nothing I can say or do to change that.

What I have seen is a closeness between my son and me, that was never there before.  I have learned to make peace with my son's disease.  I have reached a point, in my life, where I am seeing a 6'3 young man of 21 years.  I'm beginning to find the strength to let go-- in that, I have adjusted to his not living with me anymore.  I can sense that my son is very happy living on his own. I see a few snippets of maturity in my son. By that, he is finally appreciating all the creature comforts that he had in our home.  He no longer has cable television, video games, a fully stocked kitchen nor a quiet house to life in. He's learning what it's like to have noisy neighbors, no food watching BBC television-- because it's the only channel that comes in, without cable.

B did join us for Christmas Eve church service and dinner. He was sweet and very gracious. He received grocery store gift cards, and some clothing. He was very grateful for it.

B couldn't buy us gifts. I didn't mind, at all. I've reached a point in my life, where Christmas gifts aren't important to me.  I told my son, that the greatest gift he could give me would be to spend Christmas 2010 with one year of sobriety.  I would be so happy if my son found a job that he enjoyed and did well-- that he would remain debt-free, drug free and that he was safe and had a clean criminal record.

I am three hours away from getting used to writing "2010" on my checks. I pray that the coming year will be filled with more victories in the fight against addiction.

I pray that I will continue to be supportive of my son, without enabling him.  I pray for all of you who read my blog. Thank you, for a year of support and encouragement.

May this be a year of victories for all of us!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sleep in Heavenly Peace, "Sister Kelly"

C and I are on vacation until January 4th.  For only that reason, I am taking a blogging break. I received a very sad phone call yesterday, and I wanted to write down my thoughts--

I met "Kelly" last September in my bible study group.  I'm so blessed to have the kind of women's ministry that I do-- in our large group of at least 100 women, we break down into tables of 8-10 women. We come from all walks of life-- realtors, school employees, secretaries and those who are unemployed and down in their luck. That was "Sister" Kelly. Kelly was attending her very first bible study ever.  I remember, someone from the church, offering her a free bible. "No," she said. "I want my own".

I observe people, and I watched Kelly with mild curiosity.  She had that look of someone who has seen hard times. 15 years as an Esthetician (licensed skincare specialist), taught me how to recognize signs of smoking, alcohol and drug use.  I pegged her somewhere in her late 30's to late 40's-- possibly 50, but that was a stretch.  She had a "hard" look on her face, and I think she felt overwhelmed about the whole "bible thing". Still, I could see a "Jesus Spark" in her.  I could tell that she was seeking to know the whole God thing.

The next week, Kelly showed up with her new bible-- with the cute index markers that I have on mine-- that helps me to find Mathew or James or Leviticus in a hurry.  She began to open up, as all of us do during these wonderful times together. A bible study group is a time of sharing our lives. It's a time of reading scripture and then sharing how this may or may not apply to our lives. I began to see laughter in Kelly's face-- I also saw tears being shed, as I've done many times.

Then, Kelly opened up to all of us-- she told us how she was 4 1/2 years clean from meth.  She shared with the group the pain of how her family has cut her off....and how her eleven year old son lives with his grandfather and stepgrandmother. Kelly asked us to pray for Parker, and that she would be allowed to see him again.  Pray for Kelly we did, indeed.  I cannot understand why children are the innocent victims.

In late November, I shared with the group about my son. All of it.  I was surprised how two women told me they had been through kids with drug problems-- all heroin.  Nobody judged me.  I told Kelly I was hoping to take my son to Celebrate Recovery. She beamed, and said she hoped to see us.

The next night, B and I walked into CR. There was Kelly-- beaming and motioning us over. As I sat next to her, she had tears in her eyes and said "I'm so happy you are here".  "Me, too", I said.  At "coffee", Kelly told us how meth had destroyed her life. She said that she once had a house, savings, a loyal clientele (she was a hairdresser) and life was good. Then meth came into her life. I never asked how and why-- she never shared how and why".  She looked at my son, and I could see that B wasn't into hearing the rest of her story. (B says he doesn't like to hear 'war stories').  I do, only because I think people find healing in sharing their stories. I think B doesn't want to hear it, because it's too real-- that's just my take on it. I could be wrong.

On December 5th, I went to the Women's Ministry Christmas Party.  I didn't really want to go, because I was tired. I had to deliver a cake I donated for the auction, and I saw all the hard work and decorations that dedicated women had done. It was beautiful!  So, I decided to go, even though I didn't have a girlfriend to accompany me-- figuring I'd sit anywhere and just try to fit in. Truth be told, I can be a little shy in a large group of strangers.  In short time, I realized that nobody was a stranger-- though there were several hundred women!  We are all Sisters in Christ! In walked Kelly, all alone.  I immediately invited her to sit next to me. We laughed and shared in some ice breaker games.  We went into the buffet area, where there were chocolate fountains-- six of them!  I don't like chocolate all that much, except for white chocolate.  I spotted an abandoned white chocolate fountain, and saw pineapple chunks! Bingo! Kelly looked at me, not sure what to do. I showed her how to dip it and then I popped this tasty morsel  into my mouth. She copied me.  Her eyes grew big, and she smiled. 

I will, forever, remember that moment-- two women, indulging in one of my favorite treats of all time. We giggled. We laughed, as the line for dark chocolate snaked around the room.  We felt victorious that we found our private chocolate fountain-- and she told me about her car accident, just the week before. I had noticed she was wearing a neck collar. Kelly said that she must have had a seizure-- she blacked out, hit a telephone pole and totaled her SUV.  She said the cops arrested her, but she tested clean for alcohol.  She was prescribed pain pills, and she said she still hurt quite a bit.  She couldn't remember what kind, when I asked.  "N-something", she said.

"Norco?", I offered.

"Yeah, Norcos!".

Oh, Lord. That's how my son got introduced to opiates.  I warned her to be very careful of that.

As the night wore on, we enjoyed the Christmas concert we sang Christmas Carols". We both started to yawn, and hugged goodbye.

I thought to myself, "I should invite Kelly to lunch".  She seemed such a lonely person...with a lot of pain in her life.

Kelly died 12 days later, this December 17th.  It is said that she mixed her antidepressants with her pain pills and never woke up again.

Kelly was 41 years old.  She touched my life, even if just for a few months.

When another woman, from my group, called me (crying), I said "let's pray". I could hear "L" crying, but I felt such joy and relief that Kelly is in such a better place. She beat me there!  My thoughts are with her son, now. Will he remember her? Has his heart been poisoned by the family who cannot forgive her? Do they know the pain and torment this caused Kelly?

Only a true believer in the promises of Jesus, can understand why I feel that Kelly has been released from her pain and suffering. She truly is in the bosom of our Lord Jesus.  She is Home.  I'm so thankful that Kelly found the Lord, if only a few months ago. It was a Christian friend who encouraged Kelly to check out Celebrate Recovery and to join her first bible study group. Her friend said that Kelly  said "the prayer", that is so simple to say-- that will set us free, and guarantee that we will be in heaven, at the hour of our death.

Lord, Jesus.  I accept you as my Lord and Savior.  I believe that you are the son of God.  Please forgive me for all of my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross, that I may be forgiven and washed clean of my past.   I ask that you come into my heart, and into my life, right now that I may have eternal life with you. Amen.

I've heard so many versions of this prayers-- some so eloquent, they still make me weep. This is my own very simple and humble prayer. I prayed that prayer 13 years ago, and I have never looked back at my past life as an unbeliever.  I am still a sinner, but I am a new person.  I seek to be obedient to God, knowing that I need to seek to understand my purpose in life-- to worship and follow God.

Have you said that prayer?

I know that I will see Kelly again.  I will always remember her.  I pray for her son, Parker, that he will one day know how much she loved him and missed him. I pray for her family, who hated her so much that they cut her off from seeing her own flesh and blood.  Sadly, there will be no service for Kelly. Her family withheld telling anyone of her death, for at least a week.  How very sad.

Because of Jesus' birth, death at the cross, and resurrection-- we are living in grace.  Grace is giving forgiveness to those who don't deserve it.  God has given me grace. I know I don't deserve it! But that's the depth of his love for everyone of us.

I'm so thankful that Kelly found that.  She is pain-free, drug-free and I will see her again.

I know this.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Peace on Earth, and in our hearts, I Pray

 Heavenly Father,

I am praying for my son, at this very moment.  It seems that so many roadblocks have been set before my son. I pray that this is all part of your Divine plan.  Father, you know the struggles that my son is facing. Father, you know what is going on-- at this very moment-- where my son needs a miracle.  I thank you, God, for the abundant grace and mercy you've given to my son.  Thank you, God, that today I am on vacation. My son and I have things to take care of. I pray that you will fill my heart with Godly wisdom, at this very moment. Help me to know what things I can and cannot do to help him. I pray that you will use me as your conduit to do your work in his life. I pray that you will help me to accept the things that I have no control over. I pray that my son will cry out to you, Lord-- and not hear the voice of darkness that brings him down.
I pray for my son's health, and that you will fill him with the courage that he needs to deal with the physical agony of his withdrawals.

Father, I am asking that you will bring peace and calm to the soul of a mother, who is agonizing over her son's pain.

Christmas is a difficult time for so many families.  I pray that those who are in need of a miracle, that only you can do, will feel your power and presence.

I pray for joy, today, in my son's heart.  Thank you, Fahter, that you hear our prayers.  I pray for my blogger friends who are dealing with their own struggles-- that you will fill their hearts with encouragement and hope.

I pray that you will set my son free of the bondage of addiction. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Taking deep breaths...

48 hours, and no dramas. All is quiet on the Western Front.

Seriously, I am focusing on my work, coming home, cooking dinner and having about one hour of rest before going to bed. I haven't watch TV in almost a week.

I've talked to B, but there's been no drama. He's looking for a job. He has a new roommate, "A". I've known "A" for many years. I like "A", but-- I am assuming A uses, or has used. A was at my home two nights ago, when he brought B to our home to pick up some insulin. I looked right at A and my son and said, "you two are either going to be one another's undoing-- or, I pray, you two will stay sober together.

I do not think my son is in danger. It's just a feeling. I think he's laying very low and I pray that he is finally free of the crazy people who were in their life. They are all in rehab, to avoid jail time.

That's all I have to say. I still don't have one Christmas decoration unpacked. Three more days, and I'm on my two week Winter Break vacation.

I pray, every morning, for all of us-- we family of bloggers. Every morning, without fail... I pray for the Alex's and Keven's and so many of you.

I'm literally taking each day, one day at a time-- in faith and in prayer.

I am trying to breath, and not allow my son's crazy life to become my own.

Thank you, for you private emails and support. I'm sorry I haven't answered back. This early darkness is giving me the blues. Speaking's past my bedtime!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Newspaper Headlines against the war on Oxycontin

Before I launch into today's episode of "How the Drug World Turns", I need to refresh who
The Cast of Characters for those of you who are just now tuning in...

B = my son, age 21

M = my son's roommate, since September 5th, until November 29th, 2009...not quite 3 months. Alcoholic, former oxy addict, but now freebasing and IV use of heroin. Bipolar, not taking meds, age 24. Split from my son's apartment, but still on the lease with all of his belongings still in the apartment. Paid 80% of his share of December rent. M has a jail record-- not clear exactly for what.
C = my son's most recent "best friend"; they've known each other since middle school. Age 21.
D = "platonic girlfriend" of "M". Moved into my son's apartment the same night that "M" split to go into a 5 month rehab, locally. Now, she's on the lam from the law.
Mom = Me. Age 54. Happily remarried, God-loving mom. Full-time employee. Struggling to not be an enabler to my son, but hampered by a devoted love for him.

Today's Episode is sponsored by the drama of drug dealers. We ask that you not support this sponsor. Thank you.

So, my son calls me just as I'm getting out of church.  "D" showed up at his apartment at 2am.  For reasons I cannot fathom, B opens the door.

Pause.  Why, do you wonder, would anyone open the door at 2am?  My son is a night owl, just like his friends. He says he couldn't see, and he thought it was a friend.  Duh.

In bursts D and two guys. They want to know what B told the cops about the home invasion on B's best friend "C".  B tells her he only said she's not there anymore. He knows nothing. They turned over his two pieces of furniture and stole his money on his nightstand ($40.00).   They threatened that if he talked to the cops they would F him up really bad.

Now, what is a mother to think?  I'm angry. I just left church after listening to how Christians need to practice grace. That is, accepting a person, despite their behavior.  I'm seeing red.  B says he hasn't been harmed, but he sounds really bummed.

"When is this all going to stop?", he wonders out loud.

Well, duh. It will finally stop when you quit associating with this kind of scum. Get out! 

I say this to B, and he glumly agrees.

Now, before anyone says this-- could my son be lying about this? Could he be making this up so I give him $40.00?  No. He didn't ask me for money.  Sadly, I can just feel that my son is telling me the sordid truth.

I live in a city that has had 27 murders since January 1st.  Just 10 minutes away, by car-- outside my gated community-- is the East side where the Norteno and Sureno gang members are holding the city hostage. Shootings are happening in broad daylight. The news always says they are gang related.  Witnesses won't come forward. It is said that when a local police officer arrests a gang member, the member will spew out the name of the cop's wife and kids. That's how bad it is!

What's my point?  My son will not call the cops and tell them. He says that if he does, D will find out and he'll end up stabbed or shot.  What's so sad is that he's telling the truth.  I cannot bail my son out, and that's even sadder. By that, I cannot move my son out of his apartment.  I can only pray that my son will look over his shoulder and not be stupid enough to open doors. I'll buy him a chain lock, but he just needs to learn common sense.  Where he's living is in a fairly decent area. It's right behind where I buy my groceries. It's a huge apartment complex and there have been some crimes.

B was supposed to come over to do laundry...maybe help decorate the house. Instead, he says he wants to clean up the apartment and put things back together. He'll call me later. He assures me that he's okay.

I hang up the phone, close my eyes and I pray with such anger. I pray that D will get busted.  I go so far as to envision me pounding her face in until it's pulp. I cannot believe my anger!  I have never hit a person in my life. It's not my nature.  But, I'm angry. I feel almost as angry as the night my son comes home after being attacked, kicked in the head with steel-toed boots when he was carjacked.

No matter what, I cannot bear the thought of my son being harmed.  It makes me crazy.

I take a shower, and I talk to God.  I'm praying that God will take away my anger and I thank God for protecting my son.  For whatever reason, my son has been spared more times than I can count for his transgressions. That's the power of God's love, I believe

The phone rings. It's B.

"OhmyGod...", he drawls.

Oh, no, now what?  B asks if I have the Sunday paper.  Yes, but not my city local paper. I don't like it.  I start to search the internet, but today's issue isn't uploaded yet.

He tells me that C was looking at 25 years to life for selling oxycontin (I talk about this episode here).  He says that C ratted out every single source of oxycontin.

Then, I remember... on Friday, on the morning news, I saw mug shots of four our five men who were arrested for dealing oxycontin.  I remember thinking "good".  I thought of my son, who once sold that drug, and never got caught.  (This I don't say with glee, but with thankfulness that he doesn't do this anymore).

B tells me that C has a hit out on him. He heard that C is as good as dead, if "they" find him.  He ratted out the big dealers and he was stupid, B is saying. B sounds upset and concerned for C.  Now, now... I don't feel that kind of compassion for C. It's just that I know C! I've known him for many years!

Then B pauses. He says,  "I guess if I was looking at that much time, I guess I would have, too".

In a way, I'm glad this has happened. In a big way, anytime I hear that a dealer goes down, I'm thrilled.  One victory is one step forward in the war against drugs.  I feel bad for C's family. They're good people. B says that his family is in big danger. I hate to say it, but it's probably true.

Somewhere in my own city is a girl named "D".  She is evil.  I am praying, with all of my heart, that she will go down. I am praying that B's former heroin source will go down.  I'm praying that the people of my community will finally say "enough" and stop allowing these gangs to control our city.

Only 25 miles from where I live, is one of the most famous tourist cities in the world.  If I said the name, and mentioned the tourist attractions and the celebrities who owns home here, you would not believe that this is going on just a 30 minute drive away.  I live in a part of California that has this dirty little secret.

Somehow, someway, my son got sucked into the darkness of my community.  It all started with a pill, that made my son feel good inside...

Deep down inside my son, there was a pain that was longing to be healed by a drug.

Deep down inside my son's heart, was a void in his life.  He had forgotten that only our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, could fill it.  My son fell into The Dark One's pit of darkness and the Accuser has not let my son go.

Methadone. Suboxone. Treatment Centers. 12-Step Programs...

Not any of these can be as powerful as God's healing touch.  I believe this with all of my heart, with all of my soul, with all of my being.

My son's journey to peace and sobriety is waiting for him, and the Lord is waiting for him.  There is no pill on earth that can heal the beast within that holds us hostage.  I am praying that my son will be set free by the Grace and Love of God.

Deuteronomy 6:5 (New International Version)

5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The more I read and listen, the less I know

It's a rainy morning in California, and I'm thankful for it. I live in an area where growers depend on their crops to feed the United States. From where I am sitting, with my laptop, there is a fire crackling. Today, I plan to make some Christmas cookies and tidy up the house. This whole week has been a very busy one, and the house looks like clutter has moved in. I can't stand clutter. Clutter makes me feel out of sorts...disorganized. That's kind of how I've been feeling all week.

My son's lack of organization can be that button that pushes my ability to control my temper. Addict or not, my son displays textbook ADD traits. He can't focus on one thing for long. He loses things. He forgets things. He completely falls apart when he has to hand more than one thing at a time. Now that he's unemployed, he has to handle filling out forms and finding pay stubs (which he's lost) or ordering copies of them. He has to handle food stamps and applying for jobs.

Me, being the organized mind-- who can multi-task at her job...and actually THRIVES on being really busy-- the mom who can cook 3-4 different recipes and meals at the same time... well, it's hard for me to deal with my son's inability to focus.

Of course, I take into consideration that drugs have damaged his brain. There is no doubt in my mind.  It saddens me that my son's brilliant mind has been hampered by his drug addiction. He is truly a highly intelligent young man, with so much promise.

But, that's not my point today.  I have been reading a lot of comments from "ANONYMOUS" that talks about the benefits of methadone treatment. Of course, everybody has their own views. I've read all of them-- from those of you who have watched a love one fail in finding sobriety with methadone. I've read Angelo's comments, defending his use of suboxone. I've read websites and still-- I don't know what to think!

In addiction, there really isn't a clear and perfect answer. It's just like parenting-- what works for one kid, won't work for another one.  Everybody has an opinion. Nobody's opinion is the one and only answer. I know people who found sobriety through the 12-steps. I've known others who found sobriety without the 12-steps.  If I put 1000 addicts in one room, and took a poll-- they would belong to many different camps.

My son's treatment center stressed to use that "self control" isn't the answer. I believe that addiction is a disease. It's not a choice. I've heard people tell me I'm wrong. Fine, they can think what they want.

I am going to post ANONYMOUS's comments, today, purely as information for you to read and make your own decisions.  I wish that ANONYMOUS would re-create a Google account or would even be willing to give us links to back up his/her information.  Still, the information reads as though it's coming from someone who is intelligent and appears to have done studies or research.

For the record, I remain "interested but cautious" with the information.

For today, my son is hanging in there.  I raided my freezer and pantry and brought him food to eat. I spoke with B's father for the first time in weeks, and I finally feel as though he's on the same page with me.  I have been prayerfully considering what role I play in my son's next move.  I'm keeping that to myself, because I don't want to be influenced by anyone else.

I want to thank so many of you who have sent links to me to look into MediCal and treatment centers. I'll focus on those, with my son, while I'm on Winter Break vacation-- next week.

Today, I'm feeling some hope.  Guarded hope.  Today, I want to immerse myself into taking care of my home and some baking therapy for Christmas.  I told my son that my Saturdays remain "sacred" for me. It's MY day to do what I need to do. I don't want to be a taxi and I don't want calls with more crises behind it. I want to be Debby and I want to be a wife.  ME TIME!

Here's the comment. Your thoughts are most welcome. Be kind, though, if you disagree. I don't want anyone to feel intimidated to leave comments on this blog. Thank you:


I did post some info on why many long term addicts may need long term treatment with methadone. Many folks think that the purpose of methadone is simply to provide for an easier "detox" from the opiate of abuse and that's it. This is not the case at all. Methadone TREATS the imbalance in the brain chemistry that occurs with prolonged opiate abuse, and this condition may.....or may permanent. Many people want to know why their loved one is "still on that stuff" after ______ years. This is the reason why. It is NOT a cure--there IS no cure. It is a treatment. It controls the symptoms of active disease so the pt. can function. Just as diabetics must get insulin from an outside source because their pancreas no longer produces it, methadone replaces the endorphins that the brain no longer produces. Some diabetics need only diet and exercise, others need oral meds, still others require injectable insulin. In the same sense, some with opiate abuse induced endorphin deficiency need just support, time, exercise, etc---others need suboxone, and still others may need methadone--some short term, others long term. It's a spectrum.  Your son's frantic desire to avoid a cold turkey detox is very understandable. There is no benefit to forcing someone to undergo these agonies. It does not "teach them a lesson"--they are ill, have a disruption of the brain chemistry, and torture cannot repair that problem.

However, I would be very very reluctant to put him through a 21 day "detox". Most states and most clinics have discontinued use of these programs as they have been shown to be VERY unsuccessful for long term abstinence. The problem, after all, is not getting the person OFF drugs--it is in KEEPING them off. Doctors now recommend a MINIMUM of 1-2 years' maintenance before even attempting a taper, to allow for stabilization. Please know that your son's not wanting to go the abstinence based route is not a lack of courage, or of being lazy, etc as many think. He knows well what will happen if he goes that route.

I myself went through 13 abstinence based rehabs without success, both in and out patient. I went to thousands of 12 steo meetings, had sponsors, worked the steps, did everything I was told. However, only with medication did I experience success--and the success was profound and long lasting.

Does it REALLY matter, truly, if a person needs a medication to function normally, as long as they DO function well? Many many people all over the world require a variety of daily medications to live, or to function normally, and they are almost never told to get off them or stop taking them. I swallow a medication each day that allows me to live a normal life and I don't give it another thought. My life is great. Had I been forced and pushed OFF this medication, for the purpose of being "drug free", I would undoubtedly be in jail or dead. It was very clear, after many such attempts, that abstinence was NOT working, despite my best efforts to make it work. My family agrees wholeheartedly--they are so amazed at the difference proper treatment has made in my life.

MMT is vilified primarily because people do not understand it or how it works and they believe rumors and false information they have heard or read. Used correctly, however, it can be a very valuable tool in the opioid addiction toolbox and is, in fact, far and away the MOST successful method of treatment for opioid addiction available today.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I've been visiting other blogs. Many are filled with hope. Some make me feel like I could substitute their addict's name with mine. I try to not feel hopeless.  I am praying for you.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lots of info, a little too late

Sometimes, in my effort to not "enable" my son, I should have done my own research. To be specific, I should have made my own phone calls to our methadone clinics to get the FACTS on how to get into the program. Let me explain-- I didn't make the calls, because I didn't condone it.

So, my son calls me right before my lunch break. It's my son, and the first words out of his mouth are, "Mom, I have bad news".

Does that make ice flow through your veins? It did me.

In short, B tells me he had a UA and came up clean for heroin and so the methandone clinic wouldn't prescribe methadone because he's not using.  He's upset, and I'm calmly telling him to slow down....  B says "I should just buy a little heroin, smoke it and then I'll test positive and then I'll get on methadone."


I tell my son I will call him later.  So, I make the calls to both of our local clinics.

Clinic #1 tells me that they send their UA's away, and it takes 3-5 days for results to come back. They are mandated, by law, to find traces of opiates. It makes total sense to me. The law won't allow them to introduce opiates. I get it. Their 21 day program costs $300.00. Maintenance is $375.00.  B says he only needs 21 days, and the clinic does a blind taper.   If my son brings in his suboxone, that will help. Most likely he can get into this clinic, but not for another week.  In the meantime, my son is freaking out. But... he has no money. Zip. Nada. 

Clinic #2 is the one B says he went to, today.  Interesting...their UA's are also sent away. They wouldn't get immediate results. So, whose lying here? Why? I speak to a counselor. She explains to me that in order to qualify, the person needs to be IN withdrawals. IF the person is in withdrawals, then the doctor determins "yes" or "no".  There is no guarantee.

In the meantime, B is now on to wanting to find a doctor who will just prescribe the methadone.  I'm not liking this at all. It's a copout.  At least, with both methadone clinics, he has to take UA tests and there are counselors there. With the doctor, I have visions of cha-ching and that's it.

But, what stands out the most-- B says to me he can't do withdrawals. He just can't. He's scared. I can hear the panic in his voice.

I say "let's get you into a detox place". He panics. No way! He says he HAS to have a pill. He absolutely cannot do detox. He's almost hysterical, at this point.

Breathe, mom.

Therein lies the problem.  My son cannot build the courage to go through detox. I remember it well-- April 2008.  B is on meds for several days at his treatment center. He's all happy he's getting help. He's doing great. Everybody loves him.  We are told that to brace ourselves that the addict will panic, as withdrawals become worse. We are told that, under no circumstances, to pick up the addict (my son is two hours away).

Sure enough. The treatment center quits all meds for detox.  I guess there's no way around it. At some point, the addict must go cold turkey.  B panics, big time. He calls me at midnight. He's afraid. He's begging me to come and get him. I hang up, and start crying. He calls again.  Again, I say "no".  He calls me every bad name he can think of-- and more. I unplug the phone. B removes me from the list of people who are allowed to call the treatment center.  We come to the next class, and B is really sick. He's got diahrrea and he's vomiting and very, very sick. His blood sugar is skyrocketing. 

B made it, though. 30-days of inpatient treatment, my son was clean.  Everybody loved my son and said what a nice kid he is.  That lasted for, oh-- 3 months?

So, here we go again.  My son is convinced he's going to detox with methadone. I know my kid. He's determined to do it his way.

There is nothing anyone can do to change my son's mind.  My choice is to no support the decision. The money is in his trust account. It won't come out of my own pocket. I guarantee that.

I hate this. I hate that crap.  Who discovered this nasty black tar crap, is what I want to know? It has consumed my son's life and destroyed so much-- his health, his finances and I can't even help my son!

Merry Christmas.

I'm angry at addiction at this moment. This, too, shall pass. Later.  For now, I'm venting.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The walls begin to close in... maybe?

I read all of your comments, yesterday, like a blubbering fool. I guess it's so obvious how much I love my son.  I know I'm not alone in that. He will always be that child that I so desperately wanted to have. Even as a young man, struggling for sobriety, I have no regrets that he is my son. I see the goodness in him, that has been clouded by his addiction to opiates.

I woke up at 1AM, thinking of my son-- of course.

Maybe the "bottom" is hitting him? He's unemployed and is going to be very limited on what jobs he can apply for. He won't pass a UA test. I asked one of the police officers at my school campus. Yes, they confirm, methadone will test positive. With unemployment rates making headlines, my son needs a miracle.

Or, maybe this is the miracle of God's work? 

Last night, I spoke with B. He spent the entire day filing for unemployment. I had to stifle a laugh when he described the Social Services building as a "total zoo" and that he never wants to walk in there again, for the rest of his life!"

Yeah, me too.

B sounded so remorseful for the bounced checks he owes. All of his last paycheck has gone to pay them back. In a way, I felt a ray of hope, when B said that "all of this was when he was strung out again, wanting to use".  I could hear a true regret in his voice.  He says he feels so stupid for believing his former roommate (M's) advice to just write a back check, get his drugs, and pay it back on payday.  He didn't count on how high the fees would be from both the bank and the grocery store.  He also said that the grocery store told him he could have been arrested for writing bad checks.  B sounded so surprised.

Yep, it's a crime, B. That's check fraud.

He was silent.

At times like this, it takes a lot of effort to not lecture my son. He gets it, now. The harsh reality of how his drug addiction has bled him dry, has really begun to sink in. I FEEL it. 

He started to ask me something, then his voice trailed off...

What? I asked.

He's out of milk and low on food.  I had to tell him I can't help him-- dammit, that's hard.

B did apply for food stamps. IF he qualifies, the maximum he'll get is $200.00 a month.  Actually, I could live on that, but I am an advanced cook. 

It looks like medical is a no-go, for my son.  I'm beginning to worry about how he's going to afford his insulin in about 3 months. I have stockpiled his supplies from the last of his health insurance.  For the first time, I looked at the retail value of his supplies. Wow!  One bottle of Lantus insulin is $199.00 and one box of his Humalog flex pens costs $200.00-- and he was getting three boxes for $40.00 on his insurance!
So, for $300.00 we got about $2000.00 worth of diabetes supplies. It's shocking.  His premius will go up to $800.00 a month-- and we cannot afford that.

As I lay in bed, wide awake in those early hours, my heart grieved for my son.  No matter what choices my son made, I believe that my son never considered the consequences. That only make sense. What addict makes a conscious choice to live that kind of life?  I think of my son's brain, and the damage done. I think of my son's lungs, from smoking black tar heroin and cigarettes. I think of his kidneys and his eyes, that are being damaged from not taking care of his diabetes.

Then, I see my sweet baby boy, and my heart feels so sad. As I type this, I can feel the tears coming again. 

I remembered a saying I once heard--

When you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the shepherd. So, I asked God to help me let go of my worries and that he would take them into his own precious hands.  I drifted back to sleep until the alarm went off at 5:15am. I woke up feeling warm & toasty, with my husband sleeping next to me.  It makes me count my blessings, as people in my own hometown are homeless and cold. I don't want that for my son!

This morning, I prayed that my son would feel HOPE today.  I thought of "Alex" (from Dad & Mom), and how he refers to our world as being cruel.  Then, I thought of my son, and all the bad things that have happened to him in his short life as an adult.  I thought of my son's friends-- many whom I've known since they were in the 6th grade.  Some have gone on to be graduating from college. Some have found sobriety. Other shave been incarcerated, while some are currently in rehab. I recall a few of my son's stories of being robbed at gunpoint, threatened, being carjacked and ripped off... I can't dwell on that too much, because I see my baby boy being hurt. Moms don't like to think of that. It breaks our hearts.

Where will my son end up?

The hardest part, as a loving mom of an addict, is that we are wired to be compassionate. Men, on the other hand, view things much differently. I see it in how Ron writes (Dad & Mom).  He is the male voice of common sense. While I think I have common sense, I am still a mom-- who carried this child in my womb and who raised him from the moment he came into this world.

I live in a good world, because I see the goodness in it. I don't associate with "bad people"-- criminals.  I value the friends that I have because they are good and honest and hardworking people.  I have the most wonderful and loving husband in the world. I adore him. He's honest, hardworking and I trust him, implicitly.  I love my friends and my two brothers.

I want that for my son, more than anything. I want for my son to stop seeing the darkness and evil that's in this world. Satan is at the head of that table-- he lies, he deceives and he doesn't want to let my son go.

I pray that my son will feel God's presence in him and be filled with hope. Only a God loving person can understand exactly what I am saying. It is when my world has been battered by the storms of life, that I know I can cling to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is my rock and my salvation.

I prayed for so many of you-- each person who has left comments-- Madison, Dawn, Barbara, Chai, Cheri, Lisa C...oh, so many of you!  You are all in my thoughts. You understand what I'm going through. We're all in this together, at different stages.

I left my son a voice mail, this morning. I just told him that I love him, and that I'd like to have him over for dinner tonight. I'm hoping we can print the forms he needs and help him to get through the red tape process of filing for assistance.  I'd like to encourage him to apply for a one-year program. This could take a while.

Now, if I could just get into the festive spirit of Christmas.  I can't stand all that commercialism, buying presents (we only pay cash) and decorating.  I feel the spirit of Christmas as a religious holiday. That's what it is, and it saddens me to see how many people forget that it's "Christ-mas" and not Happy Holidays.

I'm going to try, this weekend. I have this fantasy of B coming over and helping to put up the tree ... but, sometimes these things don't happen. We shall see.
I also pray that my son will go to a meeting and keep applying for jobs. It's tough, but he can't give up.

I won't.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

'Tis the Season for...?

I have been trying to find balance in my life. Right now the "to do" scale is heavier than the "Me time" side. I haven't even unpacked the Christmas ornaments or done any kind of decorating. I feel as though time is on fast forward, and my plate is too full.

I did't hear from my son for two days. When that happens, I can only assume that he's either "using" or -- on the hopeful side-- he's taking care of business on his own.

B got fired yesterday. My son sounded so upset, this morning. He kept saying how he busted his a** to do hard work, so his boss would be happy with him. As I told my son, it seemed as though his boss had already made a decision that he didn't like my son. The reasons could vary, but it was obvious to me that it wasn't "if" he'd get fired-- but "when". With a positive voice, I told my son that he has 30 days to figure out something (the next rent is due). He might have a new roommmate-- a friend he's known for a long time. Yes, he uses. No further comment from me. Supposedly "A" is not using, but I plead the 5th. It's none of my business.

Anyway, "A" has a car, so he's going to drive B around today. I told "B" to head straight to the unemployment office-- don't assume he can't collect. Just do the paperwork. Then, go apply for food stamps. My son's a tax payer, so this is what it's for. Go get his UA for his methadone treatment that should start tomorrow (more on that later). Last, go to that place his friend said has a job opening. Take advantage of not working by making finding a job his full-time job.

I tried to tell him to limit his goals each day, to be do-able. Stick to the three.

By the end of the phone conversation, I could hear my son's voice change to sound better.

I reminded my son that, should he lose his apartment, he can look into rehab or a one year program-- like Teen Challenge America or something similar. I also reminded him, that should he make that decision-- all it would take is one phone call to a dear friend of ours. If my son was sincere, the odds are good that this dear friend would get my son into a free one year program. But, my son has to want it enough and to convince our friend-- but, now for today....

I was reading Alex's blog "Trapped in Addiction". I find his writing to be intriguing, as I read the "other side" of how addicts must feel. Sometimes, I realize that I can easily fall into lecturing my son-- out of worry and love.  . My life is so blessed-- I have a lovely home, a warm bed, plenty of food to eat (I even blog and photograph it all). I have health insurance, an emergency savings account... I can see the answers before me.

I have to remind myself that my son's life is so unmanageable, that he is feeling overwhelmed. Alex has helped me to see how my "lectures" can overwhelm my son.

I think my son is trying-- but, it still breaks my heart that I can see the fear he has from the financial devastation that drugs have done to him.

I received an anonymous comment, this morning, from "Ryan". Yes, Ryan, I agree with you. For the record-- I am not supportive of my son's decision to use methadone. I say that, because I agree with Ron (Dad & Mom) that sobriety is hard work. It is my urgent prayer that my son will get through detox and find the path to sobriety, without the use of suboxone nor methadone.
Theres def some good input on here but Id like to add a few things.. With suboxone an addict must stop dosing for at least 2 or 3 days if he even wants a chance at getting high as its half life is about 37.5 hours. Even then it is still hard to get as high as you normal would unless you dose a lot heavier than normal which can be deadly. Hence this makes it more difficult for the addict to use as the relapse must be pre-meditated.

I dont have personal experience with methadone but from what I have read an addict can still get high during maitnence. Pretty much all they have to do is skip a dose or take their dose first thing in the morning so they can use later that evening. Granted it still binds to your opiate receptors, all you need to do is dose a little bigger than usual to get the desirable effects. A lot of addicts prefer this drug because they can easily binge and then go right back on the methadone without feeling much of anything.

An ideal setting would be for the addict to cold turkey with comforting meds to ease the hell of withdrawal and help keep the addict somewhat sane. All Methadone and Suboxone does is fill the void for the addicts opiate of choice which does not allow the brain to heal. It is basically like a cancer patient in remission. To truly beat this beast you must eliminate all opiates/opiods and allow your brain to recover. Yes it is extremely tough as I know from first hand experience but it can be done

As I see it-- my son doesn't love himself enough. That's why he doesn't take care of his diabetes. That's why he smokes, even though it's terrible for his diabetes (and overall health). I shudder to think the damage he has already done to his brain-- that brilliant mind of his, that can't cope with life.

I'm so filled with love and compassion for my son. I don't need to hear the usual "don't enable" him, today. Please. I get it! I'm blogging this to help others who are in my state of mind, and to let my family know how my son is doing.

He's struggling. I pray that my son will find that path to sobriety where he can be free of any kind of pills-- and that he will use his story to help others.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The "Other Side" and an intriguing comment

Many of you know that I work at a high school. It's a great job, because part of my duties is registering new families & students. I am usually the first face parents see when they come in with issues about their student. I've come to know many of the high school kids, and I'm aware of their personal struggles-- though I am bound to confidentiality.

I also spent three years working with the high school ministry at my church.  One of the most memorable events was a six week small group. I'd have six to eight high school students and we'd talk about really "deep" things.  The kids didn't have to be a believer-- they could be seeking.  Many a tissue was passed around, because many tears of pain were shared-- including my own.

My point is this-- I have learned how precious it is when a teenager or young adult lets you into their world.  Our high school pastor used to say it takes a lot of work to gain their trust.

I'm there with my son.  Sometimes, my son and I are alone in my car, and he'll start to open up. He'll say something to me about how he is feeling.  Trust me, this is not manipulation.  He is sharing with me his fears.  These are short moments, but I consider them small gifts from him.  I don't share all of what he says on this blog. I consider these to be sacred-- between us. 

I so want to understand what's hurting him. Why?  I see my son so incapable of dealing with stress.

I am always appreciative when an addict lets me into their world-- not the facade, but into their deepest feelings.  It helps me to try and understand, because that's what I want to do.

I regret that my life never including a college degree, nor onto a Master's Degree.  It was my dream to be a licensed marriage family therapist.  

I believe that God gave me many gifts, as he does to all of us.  I'm just comfortable with adolescents. I'm not afraid of them, and I don't dislike them.  I watch the kids at my school, and I am very comfortable talking to them, teasing them, and learning their names.  I notice the invisible kids. 

I have added "Trapped In Addiction" to my blog roll. Ron sent me the link. It's his son.  I hope that Alex will continue to blog.  One day, I hope my son will write something for this blog.  He knows about it, but doesn't ask to read it.  Maybe he will-- when he's ready.

I received this comment, yesterday.  It was anonymous, so I don't know the credentials of the writer. Still, I found the information interesting. I thought I'd pass it along for you to read. It's about suboxone and methadone:

Hi there. I just stumbled across our story and just wanted to give you a little better idea regarding the difference between methadone and suboxone.

Both medications are opioids--synthetic opiates. Suboxone has another drug added--naloxone--to discourage the crushing and misuse of the medication. In addition Suboxone has a ceiling effect--a dose at which it ceases to be more effective if increased past. Methadone does not. Studies have shown that, in general, pts who need more than about 60mgs of methadone to control their symptoms don't do well on Suboxone, and the average needed dose of methadone is 80-120 mgs. Suboxone and methadone are really targeted at two different populations, with some degree of overlap. Suboxone is targeted to those with lighter habits of shorter duration. Methadone is targeted to those with heavier, longer habits. They both work in basically the same way however.

Some people find that suboxone makes them feel depressed, anhedonic (unable to feel normal pleasure), etc. We don't know why this is--some feel it may be due to the effects of the naloxone addition or the fact that buprenorphine itself is a partial opiate agonist and may possibly decrease the brain's production of natural endorphins. However, once the pt. is stabilized on the medication, neither drug will cause a high or euphoria, so there is no reason to assume that your son wants methadone so he can get high on it, etc.

Some folks only need short term treatment with MAT (medication assisted therapy) and others need long term treatment due to permanent impairment of the brain's ability to produce endorphins caused by long term opiate abuse. Many loved ones try to urge their family members to leave treatment before they are ready and this leads usually to disaster. The relapse rates for those leaving methadone treatment are 90% within the first year. However, for those who remain IN treatment, the success rate of Methadone treatment is higher than any other treatment for opioid addiction, by far.

I wish your son all the best and hope things go well for him.

It's Friday. I'm ready to unwind.  I'd love one weekend, at least, of no drama.  Just peace, a fire, and time with my husband. Just the two of us.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Swiss Cheese Drama Stories

When I posted about my son's most recent drama, I was being more on the "tongue in cheek" side. This is a side of me I haven't revealed, much, on this blog. I'm usually very serious and my "release", if you will, is to write with a fury to get my frustrations or anger on a computer monitor.

I have a general rule of thumb on how I handle drama-- or a crisis. I give myself 24 hours to process it all. I find that once I allow my knee jerk reactions to calm down, I can think more clearly.

Today, I see the holes in the Swiss Cheese stories from my son's crazy life. Again, I'm not asking for advice. I'm writing them down as a release:

If you missed my "Cast of Characters" (from yesterday's post) , here they are again:

B = my son, age 21
M = my son's roommate, since September 5th, until November 29th, 2009...not quite 3 months. Alcoholic, former oxy addict, but now freebasing and IV use of heroin. Bipolar, not taking meds, age 24. Split from my son's apartment, but still on the lease with all of his belongings still in the apartment. Paid 80% of his share of December rent. M has a jail record-- not clear exactly for what.
C = my son's most recent "best friend"; they've known each other since middle school. Age 21.
D = "platonic girlfriend" of "M".  Moved into my son's apartment the same night that "M" split to go into a 5 month rehab, locally.  Now, she's on the lam from the law.
Mom = Me. Age 54. Happily remarried, God-loving mom. Full-time employee.  Struggling to not be an enabler to my son, but hampered by a devoted love for him.
I have come to fully accept that, at this time, my son has very few  friends left. Those who are in his life, use drugs. Drug addicts use each other, because addicts are selfish. It's how the disease works. Those who are no longer associating with my son, don't use and want nothing to do with being around a drug addict. I can sense that my son is sad about this. But , he also knows what I know and we don't discuss that much.

Regarding C-- my gut reaction about C being beaten up in a home invasion, yesterday,  was out of shock-- and then compassion for him. I'm a compassionate person, and it pains me if someone I personally know has been hurt.-- I'm just not apathetic, as it's not my nature. I haven't been jaded, yet, about my son's life that's out of control. I hope I never am.  I also thought of C's parents, last night-- the horror of their son being injured and in jail in an orange jumpsuit.  How painful! Lucky for the parents that when the crime happened in their home,  they were at work. Been there, done that. My son was carjacked four years ago. No mom wants to see their own kid injured.

Despite my fondness for C-- and  I didn't know of his secret life-- I now know that he's a drug dealer. That's the sad reality. My son had no business associating with him. But, my son obviously lacks enough common sense and moral values to see this.   My husband hit it right-- drug dealers destroy people's lives. I won't get into all of what my son had to say about his friend "C's" secret life. The way I see it, this young man was motivated by greed. He was in it for the money. He got robbed, he got beaten and he's facing felony charges. I can only hope that this will turn this kid's life around, but he needs to pay the consequences of his choice of crime. In some ways, I think B feels that way-- but it's a little lopsided. Like I said, B shouldn't have associated with C at all. I suspect that my son was benefiting from C's financial gains. C was B's loan shark.  It's stupid.  The whole thing makes my head shake, with disappointment.

The girl "D" who the police are looking for? She doesn't officially live in my son's apartment. For some cryptic reasons she sometimes stayed at the apartment with "M". She doesn't have a key to the apartment. The police showed up at my son's apartment, looking for her there. B says he hasn't seen her since the day before the crime.  The police had no legal papers to search B's apartment. My son, willingly, allowed them in. If he had drugs in there, do you think he would have?  I doubt it.  

I have come to be more pragmatic about my son's drama. Quite bluntly, when you swim in a cesspool, you come out covered in poop. As long as B continues to hang out with his drug homies, he will continue to be sucked into the drama. One day, his luck might run out and he'll end up in the slammer-- just like his friends. I don't wish it on my son, but there is nothing I can do. 

I don't get sucked into my son's dramas, all the way. Like I said, I process it all and then start seeing all the holes in the tales.  Then, I move on. I go on with my life, being a wife and my job.  My son's drama doesn't paralyze me. It just makes me sad, and it gives me more fodder to pray about.

Wanna know the Swiss Cheese Tale of what supposedly happened yesterday? Go get a cup of hot cocoa. This is my son's version:

Apparently, D and a girlfriend showed up at C's house (his parents) to buy some oxy. The two girls beat him with a closet rod. They stole $5000.00 in cash and his pills. Of course, I'm wondering how they knew about the cash-- as the police are...which, I am guessing, is why my son was questioned.

C called the police to report he'd been robbed-- and told them why. D'oh! The police found pills and they took him in.

Now, is this one of those stupid criminal stories?
"Hello, PO-LEECE", I was robbed of my drug money and I want to file charges!

Sorry. There are holes in this story. Maybe, one day, I'll hear the truth. Maybe I won't.

For the record, if my son was involved in this I'd really be floored. My son is a manipulator and can tell some tall tales, but-- I don't think he'd do that to a friend...shady as his friends are... plan to rob someone, that is. 

Regarding my son and methadone--

I am accepting that my son needs to follow his decision to try it. I'm not an addict, so I can't understand the difference between suboxone and methadone. I mean, I've read about both.  I've talked to people on suboxone with success stories, and other who are still taking it after five years. The same goes with methadone-- I've heard good and bad stories. I don't think neither suboxone nor methadone are going to be his magical pills. Yes, I'm highly suspicious why my son feels suboxone doesn't work for him and he needs methadone. Of course I take into consideration that his use could be worse than he's lead me to believe. Actually, I believe my son about as much as a wolf in sheep's clothing. I take what he says with a grain of salt. I know my son's not a saint. He's a drug addict.

Ultimately, it is my hope and prayer that my son will go into a one year program. Believe me, I know the different options-- from Teen Challenge America to Rescue Mission.

It's just in God's hands that my son will make that decision.

As far as my son's apartment-- he has to figure out what to do. The lawyer (which didn't cost me a penny) was a service my son could use as a  way to ask his own questions and to gain knowledge. I don't think that's enabling.

For the record, I am going to ignore comments pointing out my enabling-- in other words, I'm to work on not taking that personally--lest, I slip into trying to defend myself.  It's a touchy subject for me, I admit. But, you don't know me. You don't know my son. I don't give all the details, so you might jump to conclusions because I don't want to ramble on and on. My posts are long enough, as they are. Believe me, I do pray about things, talk them over with my husband and think them through very carefully. I think I'm intelligent enough to think things through.  If I make a decision that a therapist says is "enabling", I'll own it.  I doubt anyone can say they've never enable their kid, at one time or another. They just won't admit it.

Still, my prayers are for my son and his friends. I keep praying that God will sever all of those friendships and that my son will finally figure out to stay away from the cesspool and to clean up his life with people of much better character.  I've said to my son, before, and he's nodded in agreement-- once you find that path of sobriety, and learn the value of integrity-- good and lifelong friends will follow you again. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Total craziness & the cast of characters

Welcome to another episode of "The Crazy Cycle of my Drug Addict Son, and his crazy friends"

In order to not lose my sanity, as the mother of a drug addict-- I need to view my son's crazy life as a television show. I need to remind myself that what I "see" isn't always real.  Mixed into the stories, according to my son, is fiction. The cast of characters change, constantly.

Today's story involves the following cast of characters:
B = my son, age 21, struggling to not freebase "black" as in black tar heroin. Type I Diabetic, insulin dependent. Presently employed, but skating on thin ice with his boss.Currently taking methadone.
M = my son's roommate, since September 5th, until November 29th, 2009...not quite 3 months. Alcoholic, former oxy addict, but now freebasing and IV use of heroin. Bipolar, not taking meds, age 24. Split from my son's apartment, but still on the lease with all of his belongings still in the apartment. Paid 80% of his share of December rent. M has a jail record-- not clear exactly for what.
C = my son's most recent "best friend". Age 21. Cleancut, good looking kid, living at home with mom & dad. Currently unemployed, having been laid off his job that paid a decent salary. Graduate of a prestigious private high school, with honors. B and & were friends a few years ago, drifted apart, and reunited. He's been to my home as recently as 3 weeks ago, for dinner.
D = "platonic girlfriend" of "M".  Moved into my son's apartment the same night that "M" split to go into a 5 month rehab, locally.  B thinks she's "cool", and she sleeps there, at night, in M's room. No hanky panky between D and my son, or he'd tell me. (Note: it's no business of mine, anyway and I've never met her.)
Mom = Me. Age 54. Happily remarried, God-loving mom. Full-time employee.  Struggling to not be an enabler to my son, but hampered by a devoted love for him.
Anytime you see italics, it's what I'm thinking, but don't say.

Today's episode:

Phone call at 12:30. My son.

B: "Mom, I"ve had a crazy day".
Mom: (in my head...oh, Lord, what now?)
B: The police just left.
Mom: (Dear God, give me strength).  Adrenaline begings to rush through my body.
B: C got beat up real bad from a home invasion robbery. He's messed up and the police are looking for D.
Mom: OMG!!! Is C okay? I can't believe it! What happened? (visions of a bloodied young man and crying parents in my head.)
B: The police say she's involved in it. They questioned me for, like an hour. I told them to look around, and they did. The police are looking for her, and she's on the run?
Mom: Did they find anything? Do you know where she is?
B: No. I don't have any drugs anyway. (I sure hope not.)
Mom: Are you in trouble?
B: No. Hold on, my job's calling me... I'll call you right back?

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

I call my husband, in the meantime. We both decide his locks need to be changed. I wait. I pray. I try to comprehend what the truth is.

30 minutes later...
B: Sorry. So, yeah. It's been crazy. I couldn't call the attorney, because the police were here.
Mom: So, how's C? I mean, can you find out how he's doing. I can't believe it. What happened. Tell me.
B: I don't know (he sounds worried) Can you find out if he's been bailed out?
Mom: What? What are you talking about?
B: Oh, I didn't tell you?
Mom: Tell me what?
B: C is in jail.
Mom: What??? What happened? What for?
B: For possession of oxy(contin).
Mom: C's using? I thought you said he didn't use? (duh... stupid me)
B: He wasn't. That's how he was paying his bills?
Mom: (what bills? he's living at home?)
Mom: B. Do you see how God has protected you. You must have a legion of guardian angels!
B: I know, mom. It's crazy. That's why I want to be clean.
B: C was just planning to get "out of it" (dealing).
Mom: Well, it's a little late, isn't it?
Mom: You've never been arrested. Now, another one of your friends is in trouble.
B: Yeah, he's in big trouble. I mean, possesson of oxycontin for sale is a felony.
Mom: Father, you have been so merciful.
Mom: B, God has been severing your friendships... M, just a few days ago. Now, C. Can you see the signs? I think God's showing you that you could be next.
B: I know.
Mom: Everything okay at your job?
B: Yeah, I just forgot to sign my time card.
Mom: You went to your job?
B: Yeah, A gave me a ride (a friend of B's that I suspect uses, too).
B: I'm on my way to see about that job my friend told me about. Then, I'm going to call the methadone clinic to get the exact amount of money I have to pay them tomorrow.
Mom: I'll see you at 5:15. We'll handle the money order.
Mom:  You are one very lucky young man. It's a miracle that you have never been arrested. That could be you. I can't believe it.... I'm worried about C.
B: Yeah...
Mom: Don't push your luck. This is crazy. I can't believe how so many crazy things keep happening to you.

I look at my watch. My lunch break is over. 

Mom: I gotta go. Talk to you later.

No advice needed here, folks.  What can anyone say?  I have to keep a sense of humor when I blog about the crazy cycles again.  I pray for C. I can't believe it. I so liked C!   Stupid! What an idiot! I feel for his parents. They're heart must be broken.  They're nice, "normal" parents. Nice home. Both work.  They must be freaking out. C has never been in trouble before.

Father, I pray that my son is feeling very afraid. Like the Ghost of Christmas, who showed Ebenezer Scrooge what is to come-- I pray that my son will realize the reality of illegal drugs and all that goes with it. I pray that my son will make the right choices-- that he will see that crime does not pay.  Help me, Father, to make decisions that are part of your plan for him.  I pray for Chris, that he is safe. I pray for that young man to have a life-changing experience.  I have been praying that C would be open to a spiritual awakening.  I pray that this will be his chance.

It's all so crazy.  My son seems to be a drama magnet.

Stay tuned for the next installment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cautious Optimism

I just talked to B. I have to give him kudos that he continues to go to work, despite the stress of his boss being on his case all the time. B called to say that his boss told him that his chores need to "be perfect" because the owner of the company is coming tomorrow. He said if it's not done right, then he's fired. It seems that B's boss is on a mission to fire my son.  I want to say this-- there are always three sides to a story. His. The Boss's and the Truth.  Today, B is not feeling well. He's withdrawing, and tomorrow morning he starts his methadone. He says the suboxone just isn't working. (He still has his suboxone, which surprised me. B hasn't sold it). Still, my son went to work and got there early, today.  That's huge-- as any heroin addict can tell you. When you're feeling sick, for my son to work his tail off-- then tell me he's going to work overtime (off the time card) to make sure he does a good job-- this is good.  It's not out of my way to pick him up. I need to grab a quick bite of dinner, so I'll buy him a meal, too.

Fractal mom gently warned me to stay guarded about my optimism. I am.  I am, literally, living one day at a time with my son. I'm waiting for that "show me" moment, where my son actually does what he says he's going to.  Right now, I measure his progress day-to-day.   In a way, I feel as though I'm holding my breath and waiting to exhale-- whenever that comes.

I am going to get the money order for his methadone treatment.  Am I thrilled about his decision? Not really. But, I look at it this way-- at least he's going to be doing something legitimately. This money isn't coming out of my personal pocket. It's from his dwindling and very modest inheritance.

Tomorrow, my son will use my prepaid legal plan to talk to an attorney. For a monthly fee, I have a family plan where we can get legal advice from a genuine attorney.  I suggested that B find out his legal rights for when he gets fired-- it's going to happen.  He needs to know how to file for the unpaid overtime and for the raise he was promised, and never got. He needs to find out his rights, since he's been discriminated against for being a diabetic-- getting in trouble for going into the bathroom to inject himself with insulin.

He also needs to learn how to get out of his lease and the fact that his former roommate just left-- with all of his belongings still in the one bedroom.

I admit, that I hope my son will have no choice but to choose homelessness or a one-year program. B has voiced that, himself. Again, we shall see...

As for me-- I'm hanging in there. It's impossible for me to not think of my son.  Most of yesterday, if I thought of B, I talked to God and prayed for him.  I am praying for so many of you family of bloggers, too. For Keven, for Alex, for so many of you.

How far I've come in 17 months!  Here I thought my son's rehab would cure him and he'd be all good. Little did I know then, that the saying "relapse is part of recovery" would be prophecy for my situation.

I suffered for eleven years with my own trials and tribulations, and I'm finally free of all that.  Now, I can only hope that my son will finally be free.

I'm off to my women's bible study group, tonight.  They're a nice group of ladies who care about me, and vice versa.  One of the ladies is a meth addict, who is now 3 1/2 years clean. She's lost her rights to see her 11 year old son. It's heartbreaking, but I admire how she's turning her life around. I missed my Nar-Anon meeting, last night, because my jaw was throbbing from oral surgery last week-- and I didn't sleep well the night before.  I'll try, again, for next week.

That's my son's update.


I found a great website and I wanted to print this summary of JOB. I think it does a great job of explaining this book of the Old Testament:

Author: The Book of Job does not specifically name its author. The most likely candidates are Job, Elihu, Moses and Solomon.

Date of Writing: The date of the authorship of the Book of Job would be determined by the author of the Book of Job. If Moses was the author, the date would be around 1440 B.C. If Solomon was the author, the date would be around 950 B.C. Because we don’t know the author, we can’t know the date of writing.

Purpose of Writing: The Book of Job helps us to understand the following: Satan cannot bring financial and physical destruction upon us unless it is by God's permission. God has power over what Satan can and cannot do. It is beyond our human ability to understand the "why's" behind all the suffering in the world. The wicked will receive their just dues. We cannot always blame our suffering and sin on our lifestyles. Suffering may sometimes be allowed in our lives to purify, test, teach or strengthen the soul. God remains enough, deserves and requests our love and praise in all circumstances of life.

Key Verses: Job 1:1, "In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil."

Job 1:21, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

Job 38:1-2, "Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said, 'Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?'"

Job 42:5-6, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."

Brief Summary: The book opens with a scene in heaven where Satan comes to accuse Job before God. He insists Job only serves God because God protects him and seeks God’s permission to test Job’s faith and loyalty. God grants His permission, only within certain boundaries. Why do the righteous suffer? This is the question raised after Job loses his family, his wealth, and his health. Job's three friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, come to “comfort” him and to discuss his crushing series of tragedies. They insist his suffering is punishment for sin in his life. Job, though, remains devoted to God through all of this and contends that his life has not been one of sin. A fourth man, Elihu, tells Job he needs to humble himself and submit to God's use of trials to purify his life. Finally, Job questions God Himself and learns valuable lessons about the sovereignty of God and his need to totally trust in the Lord. Job is then restored to health, happiness and prosperity beyond his earlier state.

Foreshadowings: As Job was pondering the cause of his misery, three questions came to his mind, all of which are answered only in our Lord Jesus Christ. These questions occur in chapter 14. First, in verse 4, Job asks "Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!?" Job’s question comes from a heart that recognizes it cannot possibly please God or become justified in His sight. God is holy; we are not. Therefore a great gulf exists between man and God, caused by sin. But the answer to Job’s anguished question is found in Jesus Christ. He has paid the penalty for our sin and has exchanged it for His righteousness, thereby making us acceptable in God’s sight (Hebrews 10:14; Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Job’s second question, “"But man dies and lies prostrate; Man expires, and where is he?" (Vs. 14) is another question about eternity and life and death that is answered only in Christ. With Christ, the answer to ‘where is he?’ is eternal life in heaven. Without Christ, the answer is an eternity in “outer darkness” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).

Job’s third question, found in verse 14, is “If a man dies, will he live again?” Once again, the answer is found in Christ. We do indeed live again if we are in Him. “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).

Practical Application: The Book of Job reminds us that there is a "cosmic conflict" going on the behind the scenes that we usually know nothing about. Often we wonder why God allows something, and we question or doubt God's goodness, without seeing the full picture. The Book of Job teaches us to trust God under all circumstances. We must trust God, not only WHEN we do not understand, but BECAUSE we do not understand. The Psalmist tells us “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. This may not seem possible to us, but our minds are not God’s mind. It is true that we can’t expect to understand His mind perfectly, as He reminds us “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Nevertheless, our responsibility to God is to obey Him, to trust Him and to submit to His will, whether we understand it or not.

© Copyright 2002-2009 Got Questions Ministries.