Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Discussion continued... and my son's mad dash against deadlines

 I just got home from work, and then my women's bible study. I have 30 minutes before I need to hit the sack, and start the work cycle all over again. I'm glad that my posting brought out such varying comments. I think this is good.

I want to print Tom's (Recovery Desk)follow up comment to my comment. For those of you who missed the post, it's one more post down. I think Tom understands where I am coming from. Here, just read it. Please:
I agree with Angelo that the behavior does not match self interest. Angelo has a logical theory. I was also wondering about the consistency between being scared/sick and not wanting to be alone, and falling asleep. Most people who are in withdrawal don't fall asleep --especially so soundly that they don't wake up until the next day.

But I didn't choose to focus on the use/non-use issue because 1) I don't know the truth of the situation; 2) it's not helpful for a parent to focus on the "are they using" play by play; and 3) whether or not he is using today is far less important than getting things in place so that he has a shot at a sustainable recovery.

This means making sure he has insurance in place.

Also, given the description of his chronic inability to focus or follow through, I have to wonder if there are mental health issues that are interfering with his ability to get his insurance in place without additional support.

This need not be a major mental health issue. We all have mental barriers to doing things we know we need to do and really want to do from time to time.

I would be embarrassed to tell you how much this was me when I was younger, and I have no addiction history or major mental health issues. I had maturing to do. I needed to gain confidence and experience. I had mental barriers that I had to age/experience past. I see this in other people every day.

A young person in early recovery is unlikely to be in the best position to function without additional support.

Millions of adult Americans without addiction or mental health issues fail to get health insurance for which they are eligible. They fail to get their bills paid on time and get a late payment fee. They bounce a check now and then because they didn't balance their checkbook. They fail to save for retirement. They fail to be financially prudent and they end up in bankruptcy.

Most of us have been there/done that (at least part of that).

I think it is reasonable and effective to offer concrete support in strategic ways to someone in early recovery if it means that they are more likely to succeed in recovery and in life over the long term.

I call it a good investment.

I fear I may be dangerously close to second guessing a parent's decision. And that is not my intention. I'm not trying to be critical. Just describe an alternative point of view based on personal and professional experience.

Debby, please accept my sincere apology if I am out of line at all. I have a lot of respect for you...or I wouldn't care to have this conversation with you.
 I highlighted, in red, the comments I nodded my head in agreement.  Absolutely!  I don't think my son resorted to using heroin.  Why? Because he had 75% of the money-- what he didn't have amounted to very little.  If he used, it would all have been gone.  What I believe my son did do-- I believe he bought methadone, on the street. Yep, that's what I think he did. It cost hi $30-40.00, I am guessing.

It is astounding, to me, how people can't set priorities. My son can't.  He procrastinates-- he forgets, he gets distracted, or off on a totally different mission. He's rarely on time-- except for work.  He races to work, waiting until the last second to make something to eat, then snarfs it in the car. I know this.  His cellphone dies, because he forgets to charge it.  He misses deadlines.  He spaces out-- I've lost count on how many times he's said he'll call me right back-- two days later, I call him!

Addict or not-- he has few organizational skills.  My husband says he was the same way, at his age.  Dear Angelo-- don't forget that my son is 21 years ago-- but closer to about 17-18 years old in maturity.

I also agree that my son would not sleep soundly if he was using. Tom is absolutely correct. My son suffered from severe insomnia, when he was using. He'd be up all night long, pacing and antsy.  My son sleeps a lot. He says methadone helps him to sleep better.

So, there you have it-- B is finally back on his recommended dose of methadone-- which was increased a little at a time.  Right, To?  I have to say, that I actually don't blame the methadone clinic.  How many addicts must've lied about getting their payments in?   At least, the methadone clinic didn't cut him off-cold!  No, my son knew the policy but he thought he could fudge it. Uh-uh.

My son, as I see it-- is looking for healing in a pill.  It was my dear blogger friend Cheri, who pointed out that nobody picked up that my post was based on my Christianity-- my faith in God.  That was completely overlooked-- except for Cheri and Heather's Mom. I wish my son would return to his spiritual roots.  He needs to pray, meditate and do some inner healing. It's okay, though-- I cannot expect everyone and anyone to belief what I do.  At least, I'm not afraid to share my beliefs.  Like "meetings" say-- take what you want, leave what you don't want.

I saw B tonight. He's feeling a little bit better. He says he is managing his blood sugars, because he loves the new glucose meter I bought him.  He says that tomorrow he will go to apply for Medi-Cal and for food stamps.  I'm thankful my son is alive, and he isn't smoking heroin.  I mean that--  and maybe my son learned a very valuable lesson in life-- that taking care of his priorities are important.  I seriously doubt he will ever blow off following the methadone's payment policy.  I can almost guarantee it.

Thank you, Tom, Angelo, Cheri... and those of you I haven't personally named.  I thank those of you who read my blog, but don't leave comments.

I feel that I need to continue keeping this blog going.  I want to support others, and I thank all of you for your support.  Yawn.  It's bedtime.


Madison said...

Because you pray, God moves. If there are drugs involved, there will be drama, then drama, then more drama, small drama, big drama, the kind of drama where you want to figure out who exactly is at fault, what person or system is dropping the ball, who is not doing what they're supposed to do, who exactly is upsetting the world of the addict. Maybe it's the stress of it all, maybe it's immaturity, maybe it's a mental illness, maybe it's an insurance company, a parent, a girlfriend, a roommate. Maybe it's God shaking things up while you pray. Maybe it's God gently moving B toward a life of recovery. Maybe all your prayers are being answered in the middle of B's worst days. Maybe days of drama form a foundation for years of drug-free living and the courage to begin walking out of the hell solely due to the use of drugs. If so, all the pain would be a very good thing. Keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

My son runs a parallel life with your son. Need I say more. My son is in the process of getting off of the suboxin, his Dr. prescribed the following holistic over the counter products:
Sedalin - to sleep
Phosphatidyl Serine - to boost Brain Function
Rhodiola/Cordyceps - to help him focus
Probiotics - for digestive problems

He said they have really helped him. I never know if he is just saying that so I'll get off his back.

Anyway I hope this helps.

Mother of Addict.

Heather's Mom said...

That's one thing I always forget - when you said - "Addict or not my son has poor organizational skills". I try to remember this - I say are my expectations for a 19 year-old girl or a 40 year-old? I try to remember back to what I was like.
Like the mental illness/addict conversations that have been going on, there's also always the young adult/addict distinctions too that are so hard to figure out.
God bless.

Cheri said...

We certainly have a precious community of people here, and I thank God for bringing us together.


Tom at Recovery Helpdesk said...

Debby...I know I don't comment on the faith aspects of your posts, but they don't go unnoticed or unappreciated.

I live a faith based life, and I see my work and the world in those terms. But, I guess what I feel I have to contribute to the conversation relates more to the other aspects of the conversation (also more my comfort zone in public conversation!).

I also believe that God gave me a brain, senses and experiences to inform and help me in my life and my work.

Of course, sometimes good can flow from tragedy. But often it is just tragedy. And the good can be had without the need for tragedy.

I'm not willing to assume that losing custody of a child, spending years in jail, or becoming infected with HIV or HCV is really God's way of guiding someone to the path of recovery.

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. And often it's not even a cure!

I'm more willing to believe that God wants us to take appropriate action to prevent evil/harm, and actively support recovery.

This is more humane, and more effective.

Why are we so willing to believe that we are to be hands off in this context but no other?

Should we be hands off in Haiti in case God is really leading the orphans to some greater good out of the tragedy? Or should we help feed, cloth and shelter them and leave God to work his greater good on children who are safe?

I feel a sense of responsibility for the opiate dependent people I work with. It's a moral responsibility. It's a calling.

I honestly think that part of the willingness of parents to believe that they should take the hands off approach is that they don't have an understanding of a hands on approach that will work for their child, family or themselves.

They feel they have to let go, and it helps to believe that letting go is helping.

Sometimes letting go is helping, but sometimes helping is helping.

I hope people can learn to recognize that they have more options and opportunities than they may think.

Angelo said...

Hi Debby,
I didn't realize B had 75% of the money. Like you said (good call to) I believe he most likely did get more methadone. I like what Tom had to say. I really thought Tom was an ex-addict in recovery but from his post I guess not. He knows his stuff though. Now that you mentioned it Debby I realize I need to remember B is 21 and maybe emotionally younger in maturity. I am really really excited that B is going for the insurance and food stamps. I really believe when he gets more stability which the FS and medi-cal will provide he will do well. The methadone is working for him. He already felt how he is going to feel when they start to reducing his dose (even when they do it slowly)and it is not pleasent. I believe he will chose to stay on and B is going to be "alright."