Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday morning peace and new directions, maybe even reverse

Good morning,

I just noticed that I've only blogged four times during the month of January. Life goes on, and my son is still struggling to survive on a part-time job, with minimum wages and an expensive area to live in.  But, he's alive. I haven't shared much about B, lately.  There's a reason why I'm not blogging as often as I used to.  I've been trying to work on letting go of trying to monitor or "coach" my son in how to take care of his responsibilities. Do I hear an Amen?  I'm speaking from the view of a mother.  Yes, ladies, I think we are wired to protect our young. It's just what we do.  So, when one of our young turns out to be a drug addict, we are thrown into having to unlearn our gut instinct to protect our cubs.

That brings me to putting into writing what I've been hinting at, over the last few posts. What direction do I want this blog to go?  It has been 22 months, since my son went into rehab-- for the first time.  It's also the anniversary of my finding out the depth of my son's addiction-- for the very first time. Sometimes, it feels much longer.  My blog has a lot of entries, and one day, I should re-read the beginning of my journey as the mother of a drug addict.  That's when it hit me--

I have met so many of you, who have struggled with horrific stories of the devastation that drug addicts cause in families, and to themselves.  Many of you are dealing with drug addicts who are in jail.  Some of you are raising their children-- some of the kids even come from different dads. Many of you have been robbed blind by addicts. Most of us have invested a lot of money in rehabs, bail money, prescriptions.  Darn near all of us struggle with learning how to define the line between enabling our addicts, and having to make the tough choice of building impenetrable boundary walls.  We have learned to speak the "lingo" that can only be understood by those who are learning (or struggling) to accept the fact that our loved ones have an addiction that has no cure.   It's a tough road, and it hurts a lot.  Sadly, some of you sound so jaded... so beaten down... and you are the ones I pray for the most.   I don't feel any kind of glee is knowing that your situation is worse than mine. I have to look at my own situation, and not compare it to yours-- or anyone else's.  I am dealing with my own son--and learning things by stumbling around. Sometimes I've made choices that others tisk tisk.  I can't allow that to discourage me, or make me feel unworthy.  I'm learning, and with that I have begun a growing list of things I wish I had done differently-- things I wish I hadn't said-- and things that have worked. 

I'm by, no means, an expert on addiction.  Judging by some of the feedback I've received, via comments, there are some folks who have disagreed with how I handled things with my son.  Then again, I've received encouragement -- and even private emails-- from people who tell me that something I wrote touched their hearts. It is for the latter group of people, that I am not going to abandon this blog.  The direction I hope that my blog will go is in "reverse".  Yes, that's right.  I want to write from the point of view of that mother, who had no idea what oxycontin or black tar heroin was-- 22 months ago.  I hope to be a voice of encouragement to parents who are very new to the world of drug addiction.   What I don't want to do is to fall into my own personal trap of blogging when I'm angry or upset.  Instead, I will lean on prayer between me and my Higher Power-- my God in heaven.  I want be inspired to blog when I have been faced with a challenge, or even experienced a victory.  I want to share how I got through it and maybe reach one person, who is feeling confused or needs encouragement-- and something I wrote is an answer to their prayer.

I want to be a place where people can feel encouraged, or to reignite a spark of hope.  

I have received private emails from readers of my blog, who say that they are afraid to comment publicly. Now, why is that?  I realized that it's because there are bloggers who have been through hell and back, and who have war stories to share about their ordeals.  I respect these bloggers, but I wonder if they realize how intimidating it is for many people who read their comments. It's taken me a while to not take people's way of expressing their opinions personally. 

For that reason, I've made a commitment to myself that I am going to write for me.  I realized that I began to edit what I wrote-- for fear of being criticized.  I realized that my own need to feel accepted by everyone was keeping me from blogging my honest feelings and thoughts.  A week ago, I had an epiphany--  Debby, you are blogging because you have your own story to share.  Debby, you cannot please everyone.  Be a voice to people who are feeling hopeless, because God has given you the gift of encouragement.  Do not let anyone influence what you say or write.

I will try to carve out more time, for this blog.  I hope that I can rewind the way I write from a beginner's perspective.  There are people who visit my blog, for the first time, and I am thinking that they have no idea where to start reading my story.  I feel that way when I visit other blogs. Sometimes I read comments, cheering on someone's victory-- then I wonder...what happened?  What I'm trying to say is that sometimes I find blogs are stories that go back so far, it's like opening up a 900 page novel and starting 3/4 of the way through it. Does that make sense?

It is my hope and prayer, that I will take time to log on to this blog at least every other day.  Maybe some of you will smile at this-- I also hope to write brief paragraphs.  It seems the less I blog, the longer my posts become. They're line a novella, aren't they? (Blushes and smiles).

How is my son?  He's struggling to survive in a world of high unemployment. He's applying for a better job, with more hours, but he's not getting any offers. He tosses and turns at night, worrying about paying his rent and living on the poverty level.  He's not using illegal drugs anymore. Of that, I am 99.9% certain.  He's taking methadone, legally.   He's very sick. The ravages of his out-of-control high blood sugars are affecting him, and the Type I diabetes has become almost as dangerous as his addiction to heroin. He's thin, lacking muscle tone.  He has no medical insurance-- we can't afford it anymore.  He is trying, so hard, to keep from feeling depressed. He has almost no friends, because he's breaking away from the people he used with.  Another former friend of his recently died, from a drug overdose.

How am I?  I try to focus each day on counting my blessings.  Sometimes, in the early pre-dawn hours, I am jolted awake with a sense of worry for my son.  I struggle not to cry about it.  I talk to God, all the time.  I battle against the sneaky emotion of fear-- because I need to focus on trusting God.

My son is a drug addict.  He is trying to find sobriety.  The methadone program will end in 3 months.  My son wants to be sober, without any kind of legal drugs.  My son's brain needs to heal.

I'm off to church, and B hopes to join us there.  Otherwise, I will take him to buy some new dress clothes so he can continue on with job interviews.  I'm praying that my son will be given a job, with a boss who will treat my son with kindness. If that new boss would be a God loving person, I would rejoice even more.

For those of you who have wanted to comment here, but you are too shy-- or feel too intimidated-- please receive this:

You are anonymous.  This should be a support forum.  We all have our opinions.  One thing is for certain-- there is not one single "cookie cutter" solution that is universal.  Our children are all individuals-- not one is the same.  Please know that I invite your comments.  I am going to put my comments on moderation, though.  There are two reasons why--

#1 - I don't want people posting here, using my blog as a way to bring traffic or advertise they own sites.  If I visit your site (or blog) and feel it is something very useful, I will add you to my blogroll.  Otherwise, it's just not cool. If you are a drug company, I'll delete your advertising or SPAM.

#2Be nice.  If someone leaves a comment that is written in the spirit of anger or insensitivity, I won't approve you.  In 22 months, I've only done that twice.  I'm not going to censor people's candor.   You don't have to be a Christian to comment on my blog. I only ask that you respect my love of God. I simply won't publish profanity or attacks on my faith.

#3 - You might want to check back to when you leave a comment.  I might just cut and paste a comment (or two) and give feedback to it.


Barbara aka Layla said...


Your posts may be a bit long but every word is interesting so they don't seem long at all. I can relate to a lot of what you shared here, including the need to write what I need to write because I found myself editing my words too and that's never been my style in five years of blogging on several topics!

I worry about B and his diabetes. I hope he can find a better job soon - I'm out here looking to and its NOT EASY! I read that its most difficult for college age people to get work. How messed up is that?

Glad you'll be writing more, I've missed reading here.

Heather's Mom said...

I actually teared up when I read this! I remember "those first weeks" typing into Google things like, "daughter on drugs" "daughter abusing oxycontin" "child using oxycontin" "parent of child on drugs" etc etc etc... there REALLY are FEW (relatively speaking) sites to tell parents how it is, to support parents. Commercial websites didn't tell me anything useful - well it was useful - I guess the term I mean is "firsthand".
I am sooooooo blessed to have found ONE parent's blog, that linked me to others. I don't know which was that first one, maybe it was yours, but through these blogs, I've gained so much.
I'll say thank you now from the future parents who land here, and from me. God bless.

Madison said...

Debby, great blog. I especially love the first paragraph. The only thing I don't agree with is the kind of hopeless, no cure comments. I hope you are wrong about that. I believe a good life can be ahead for B. With God all things are possible.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

What I mean is that there is NO cure for addiction. Just like my son's disease of diabetes, he can only manage it. But, as of today, there is no cure. Sobriety is what I look for. Maybe, someday, there will be a cure for both of his diseases.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby,

My son has at last found a part-time job and is working hard while he looks for more hours. He is starting his 3rd year on methadone, and it has taken him that long to heal and titrate down from 80 mg to 30 mg. He can't yet afford to live alone, but he is doing his part at home.

We are learning a lot from yours and other's blogs, and I have stepped back to let him work things for himself. I wanted to say that I don't think having my son at home is enabling him in the codependent sense while he works hard to get his life together. And I'm grateful he had this prolonged period to work things out.

Would you reconsider B's coming home to you and C? Can you find him a methadone program that allow HIM to choose when he's ready to stop the medication?

Love and thanks.


Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

The reason my son cannot come home are two fold-- he has signed a lease, which would cos $1000.00 to break. Second, but most importantly-- he has broke the no drug rule far too many times. He ran out of second, third and fourth chances. Until he's been sober for at least one year, I doubt my husband nor I would risk bringing that lifestyle back in our Christian home. My son understands that.

sydney said...

Hi Debby,

I can't help but worry that your son is using and hiding it from you too well. But I'm sure you;ve heard that before. I appreciate the honesty of your blog. There is no doubt that you express what you are truly feeling.

Angelo said...

"My son's brain needs to heal".

That is your quote above. I see you mentioned B was to stop his methadone after 3 months on a detox and stay clean with no drugs. I don't think he relizes he is going to be going through withdrawls from the methadone ones his dose gets lowered enough. He will eventually be in full blown horrible withdrawls. He now has a methadone habit. The half life of methadone is very long. IMO B needs a very long time on meth to take away the "obsession to us" which it is doing. He should just stay on it. It works for him. His brain will heal on methadone. He can stay on a low dose. He doesn't abuse his meth. It is working and he shouldn't mess with it. My problem is B will start to feel the withdrawls as his dose gets lowered and use because of it. This is where alot of drugs addicts overdose. There system is clean and they do a whole bag and it's over. They stop breathing. Maybe you can mention to B that you just want to cover all bases and you just want to mention if he ever does give in to his urges that he probable can not tolerate a whole bag and you read where people who stoped a while or people who been locked up a while do a bag of heroin and they overdose. I can count on all my fingers and toes how many friends who died like this. This is really worth mentioning as your relationship with B is lets you to be able to talk with him about this. I lover your blog and how much of a special and talented and most of all compassionate person you are.