Friday, January 8, 2010

Breaking my Silence and Waiting to Exhale...

It's interesting how I was reflecting on this very blog, this very morning. Most of you don't know that I have another blog-- they are in two different worlds. My "other" blog is a recipe and cooking blog. Cooking/baking and food photography has become my newest hobby-- now that my horse is too old to be ridden. We (my horse) and I have developed arthritis in both knees, so I've literally put my saddle into storage. I find therapeutic value in the kitchen, you see. If I am feeling stressed about something, I find a sense of "release" if I start chopping things. Maybe there's something symbolic in that-- I'd rather lop the top off a piece of fennel, rather than someone I'm not very happy with.  I sometimes put on my iPod, turn on an audio book and become lost in cooking for a few hours-- inventing recipes and freezing some meals for later on. It isn't so much the act of eating that helps to ease my stress-- if it was, I'd be featured on "The Biggest Loser". I think it's more that my end result of cooking or baking something (and I rarely make the same thing, twice) gives me a sense of accomplishment-- that I learned to make something, from scratch, for the first time. I feel pleased that I succeeded. The biggest bonus for me, though, is seeing a look of sheer enjoyment from my loved ones. My husband appreciates my efforts, as does my son. I'm also learning how to take better photographs, and learning how to use photo editing software. I've met some wonderful food bloggers, who are unaware of this blog. I have separated both identities, and I like it this way. Maybe I've evolved into a foodie/mother of a drug addict Jekyll and Hyde?

What does this have to do with this blog? I haven't been on it, for a while. Truthfully, I think I just needed to take a break from giving so much energy to my son and all of the problems his addiction has brought into my personal life-- and my marriage. I'm sorry if I seem selfish, because I truly do care about so many of my blogger friends who have been burdened with the heartache of having a loved one who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. I think that I needed to step back, for a while.  I think of you, and I pray for you. It's true.

It's worked pretty well, and that's a good thing. During my two weeks of our school winter break, I kept a low profile. My Christmas tree finally went up on December 22nd. I only used 25% of my abundant collection of ornaments. I just couldn't get into it-- and I can't really pinpoint why. I love Christmas, but it's a religious holiday for me. Maybe it's the commercialism that I seem to have been resisting. I never got around to sending Christmas cards.  I didn't bake any Christmas cookies.  Christmas shopping was easy-- I bought my son things he new shoes and underwear.  I asked my husband to agree that we not exchange gifts. I feel like everyday is Christmas with my husband.  Instead, we gave to the homeless. It's what Christmas is all about, to me. Giving. Not receiving.

Our Christmas Eve celebration (I'm not into Christmas Day at all) was lovely. My son ended up joining us in church, and we had a nice dinner. My son was sober, Praise God! I planned on his spending the night, so I wouldn't worry about him drinking and driving. He hardly drinks at all, but since he just turned 21 I can understand that he wants the thrill of ordering a drink-- and being "carded". He slept in, showered and then headed off to work. Yep. Golf Courses don't close on Christmas Day.

B has been flying "off the radar" with me.  That translates to, all appears quiet.  He's on the methadone program. He's taking 40mg a day, which I found out is a very low dosage. He loves his counselor. My son is working again, as I last reported. He is eeking by. I invite him to have dinner with us. The way I cook-- fresh, frugal and plentiful, it's never a problem.

I'm making baby steps forward in not enabling my son. I had a weak moment, where my son called to say that he's "starving". My immediate reaction was to bring him a hot meal. My rationale was that my son is diabetic, and he needs to eat carbs to keep his blood sugars from plunging. My husband called me on it. I sat back and realized my husband is right. It's unfortunate that my son has a disease where his pancreas doesn't produce insulin-- Type I. "You're right", I admitted. I didn't bring my son food, and B never called back whining.  My son needs to learn to get up earlier, pack a lunch and not call Mom-To-The-Rescue.

B and I are slowly working on breaking our codependence.

There hasn't been any huge drama. There have been hiccups along the way. My son has called me for advice, which I am happy to oblige with. Whether or not he takes it is up to him.

So, back to this morning-- I was thanking God that my son is still alive, arrest-free and isn't using. That's huge. I'm going to meet with my son, tonight, to help him fine tune his budget (he has learned some things).

Then, my son just called. His roommate got fired. He was busted smoking heroin on the job. I don't know the details, and it wasn't an arrest.  His boss suspected A wasn't acting right. I would guess that they found foil, maybe? I don't know. It's not my problem.  It just makes me sad for A. He needs help. Maybe this is it.


This is "A", who moved in six weeks ago. Nice kid. He had been sober for a long time, but relapsed. Truly, he's not a criminal. Just a kid from a lot of dysfunction, who got lost. Sound familiar?

The irony is that my son has been begging him to quit using.So when B called to tell me what happened, he sounded exactly like me! He kept saying that God is making A hit his bottom. He was angry that he warned A that he needed to quit-- that this would cost him his job.

So, B is back to square one. He needs to find a new roommate. Unless A gets another job.  A needs detox, I know. But, who am I to say?

Only this time, I'm not going to worry about it. I can only listen and pray. That's it. This is between my son and his roommate.

At least this roommate doesn't have a gun, or ties to gangs. A is mellow.  I had no idea he had gone down this road.

I can only hope that my son is seeing a mirror image of what he put so many people through, by watching A's predicament. I listened to  my son complaining about drug addict behavior. At one point, I started chuckling.

B asked what was so funny.

"You sound like me", I said.

"Yeah, you're right". I could hear him chuckling in agreement.

God works in very mysterious ways. He sometimes uses people to reach others, this way.

Is all of this God's way of showing my son where he was headed?

I want to be sure to look for the positives, whenever I post. What I am seeing in my son is a snippet of maturity. He still frustrates me with his lack of follow-through and punctuality. But, compared to a lot of the young adults his age, he's pretty much "typical". Now that he's living on his own-- without all the comforts that he's used to, I am seeing him gaining a new appreciation for what he had. He's showing a little more responsiblity with money.

I also find it amusing that my son is proud of his cooking achievements. He's learning how to cook, frugally. He's realized that eating out is out of his financial reach. Sometimes he calls me for recipe ideas.  Do I see a future chef?

Most importantly, I am 99.9% convinced that he does not want to use. Is methadone going to do it for him? I can't answer that.

All I know is that, right now, my son seems to be "himself". It's so nice to not fear finding those ugly foils in his pants pockets (when he does laundry at our house), in his car or anywhere else. I don't see the black smudge prints on door jams (from heroin), the tell-tale yellow, green or blue stains on his t-shirts (from rubbing off the time-release coating on oxy pills). My son has energy again, an appetite and he seems happy.

One day at a time... I walk in faith and hope.


Barbara aka Layla said...

Hey Debby! Good to see you :) It sounds like things are going well. I wish I had just a tiny little bit of your cooking talent, I can just imagine the wonderful meals. I think its sweet what you said about everyday being Christmas with your husband (sigh, I am a hopeless romantic).

As for B - it sounds like he's doing well and making good progress. I hope he keeps it up.

clean and crazy said...

it is a good sign when you can both laugh at yourselves and not take this so seriously!!

it is losing its grip!! awesome that is a bit of a "God shot"!!

I here a bit of detachment here!! awesome prayers have been answered, these detachments give us serenity!!

and you got your tree up!! and the spirit of the season!! giving!! awesome!! you sound like you are in a wonderful space.

addicts are very, very creative people, look at all the ways we manipulate to get drugs!! now it sounds like focusing on cooking maybe, i bet he will find a real knack for it and find real enjoyment in it!! imagine if he focuses on that what other talents lie ahead!!

HOPE that is what i read today!! Awesome great post i am so happy for your faith and hope!!

LisaC said...

Barbara, I've missed your posts...your learning, your wisdom and your honesty. I was glad to see you back.

Things sound hopeful and can we really ask for anything more?

I'm just taking down Christmas today because we were gone last weekend. I'll miss the lights of Christmas, which I always love.

Heather's Mom said...

I'm so glad to hear a good report! And Christmas Eve sounded SO nice!!!
It sounds like B is doing well. His behaviors and actions A+!!! Praise God :) It is really nice to hear :)

You can't tell by my total lack of creativity or caring on my blog... (maybe I'll work on it one of these days when I stop doing web sites for my friends and family members!!! or when I learn to say NO - lol) but anyway, you mentioned food photography and editing programs. I've been a member of NAPP for 10 years (photoshopuser dot com) BEST way to learn Photoshop... and how to create professional product shots etc.

Madison said...

"One day at at time...I walk in faith and hope." That's great, Debby. I hope you have a very blessed year.

Angelo said...

I'm glad to see you happy and content. I really glad to see B doing well on the methadone program. Your year is starting of very well.


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Anonymous said...

This is wonderful Deb. I'm sorry to hear about B's roommate, but perhaps you're right about that being his future. I'm glas he sees it.

And as for not running to his rescue to feed him, good for you!


Thomas said...


I thought you and your son might want to check out the series I just started at on 10 Things You Should Know About Methadone.

I also wanted to just offer my take on the incident you described about your son saying he is "starving."

I am not one of the professionals who urges a focus on the concept of enabling in relating to a son or daughter with opiate dependence. And one of the reasons for this is because I think it often makes parents feel guilty for interacting with their children on a natural, healthy and genuine level.

In my opinion, it would have been fine for you to send your son over a meal. It would have made you both feel good and allowed you to have a positive interaction.

And from what I gather, your son is in treatment and in recovery. The idea is not to "enable" addiction. Your son eating food is not contributing to his addiction in any material way. He needs to eat. He isn't spending his grocery money on drugs and then asking you to feed him.

You like to cook, and it feels good to have your food appreciated by your family. That is natural and healthy.

I like to cook too. And by these extreme definitions, I spend my days "enabling" people with opiate dependence for a living!

I'm trying to start an online social support network for people who are living with and seeking to overcome opiate dependence --and their families and friends.

I'm sure we will be exploring the concept of enabling a lot there!

You can find it at

Please come and join and help me get this going!

Thanks, Tom at

Cheri said...

Hi Debby,

Sounds like everyone is doing well and you have reason for optimism! That is so good to hear.

You wrote:

"You sound like me", I said.

"Yeah, you're right". I could hear him chuckling in agreement.

This reminds me of conversations that I've had with my d-i-l when she shares her fears about her twin boys, how she doesn't want to have to deal with "this" or "that" when they are teens. I just chuckle, because the things she wants to avoid are exactly the things she and our son put hubby and I through ten years ago.

Life is certainly ironic!

I will be scarce around the blogging world myself for some of this spring, as I pour my energy into finishing the book I'm writing, our family memoirs. Some cook... others write... =)

Good to hear your news,

Her Big Sad said...

Its good to hear from you! Love how you and B were able to chuckle together and that he's open to hearing and even requesting your suggestions on things like budgets and recipes! Yay! Prayers continue...