Monday, February 15, 2010

You can't walk with God, if You're Holding Hands with the Devil

It's been a while since I've blogged-- let alone visited my Bloggie Friends. I got a bad cold, last weekend, and I'm still coughing and sniffling.  But, life goes on.

What's up with my title, today?  It was yesterday's message at church.  We are doing a study on James 4, and I am loving it. I thought of my son, the whole time. So, how is my son?

That's the million dollar question.  He's been really sick, too.  I think we exchanged germs.  B missed two days of work, because of it. His boss told him that if he didn't come back to work, he was fired. Nice boss, huh? It's the same one that fired him once before, then rehired him. How I wish my son could get a better job.  In my humble opinion, I don't see him making a true effort to get a new job. Sure, he applies here and there-- but he doesn't find value in my advice to follow up with a phone call.

My son shows such classic symptoms of "ADD".  No, he's never been tested.  I'm aware that there are folks who believe "ADD" isn't a true diagnosis.  I won't go into that, right now. It's just a hunch. My point is, that my son can't focus on one thing.  Sadly, he's so darn intelligent!  As a mom, watching from a distance, he is a professional procrastinator.  He has no perseverence. He gives up, so easily.

My wonderful pastor, spoke on this and it really hit home.  My son is living his life for one thing-- sobriety.  This is a good thing, but I think he's missing the vital tools to find the strength and conviction to know what to do when (I didn't say "if") the need to use hits him.   I believe, with 1001% percent of my heart, that my desire to follow God-- no, WALK WITH God is what keeps me moving forward.  I have shared my testimony on how my faith has changed the person I once was.  My son is holding hands with the devil. 

Did you know that 87% of Christians see "The Devil" as a figure of speech, and don't believe his is real?  I believe that there really is a Satan-- a fallen angel-- and I believe that he seeks to destroy us.  Until my son has a revival in his heart (which he once had), his life will be filled with such sorrow and stress.

That's where B is right now.  He didn't take care of his financial business, is all I will say.  It meant that his methadone clinic began to dose his methadone down.  B was feeling the first signs of withdrawal, this weekend.  I could hear the panic in his voice.

What am I talking about?  For any newcomers, my son is on methadone.  He didn't make his payment on time, and on weekends the office staff is gone. So his dose got cut and he can feel it.  The clinic explained this to me-- that if $350.00 a month is paid in full by the 10th of the month, they won't just cut off a patient. But, they'll begin the detox doses.  It reaffirms my observation that my son is scared to death of withdrawals!  How I pray that my son can find the courage to find sobriety without need of methadone.  I know, I know... many of you have explained that methadone has/is saved/saving your lives. I get it.  Sadly, if my son would have kept is promise to go and apply for Medi-Cal, most likely he wouldn't have to pay $350.00 a month.  My son should get Medi-Cal since he lives below poverty level and he is a diabetic.  Alas, he just doesn't get into the office to wait the long time that it takes-- that takes perseverance, and my son doesn't have it.

B called me, last night, saying he felt like shi*.  He sounded worried and said he didn't want to be alone. He asked if he could come over, and I said yes.   He never answered his phone. I am supposed to pick him up in 30 minutes, to take his car into the repair shop. He's not answering. He didn't answer his phone, last night.

What did I do?  I prayedI gave it to God.  I cannot collapse or fret with worry.  Maybe my son can learn the consequences of not taking care of responsibilities... maybe this is a wakeup call? I can only hope so.  I tell you the truth-- prayer gave me a sense of calm. I didn't hit the panic button.

My son frets and worries and falls apart so easily.  How I pray that my son would discover, that when we walk with God... talk to God, that he fills our heart with courage.  "B, please focus on the solutions-- and not the problem" is my Mommy wisdom that seems to fall deaf on his ears.  Come to think of it, I used to be like that at his age-- I seemed to fly  into a tailspin at the first sign of problems.  That was all "Before Jesus" in my own life-- which has only been about 15 years of my 54 years of age.

UPDATE: As I typed, my son called. He fell asleep. He's okay.  He's feeling crappy, because his dose of methadone got decreased. The office is closed, due to the holiday.

My thoughts?  Addiction is a crazy world.  I cannot fully understand it.  To the best of my non-addict mind, my son's world is held captive by the battle of his brain craving the drug it wants.  The only thing my son can find comfort with is a chemical form of opiates to "trick" his brain and calm it down.  How I pray that my son will be set free of that!

I love God with all of my heart.  I have met so many Christians, who love God as I do. I have heard their stories of how God has comforted them through live events that are heartbreaking.  If only my son could live each day, putting God first in his life.  The devil is tempting my son. How I wish my son had just ONE Godly friend.

Enough said.  I will continue on with my series of revamping my life as the Mother of  a Drug Addict--from the beginning-- later on.  Right now, I have some praying to do.

May God fill each person's heart with his presence. Lord, I pray that you will reveal yourselves to those who doubt you exist. I pray that those who blame you for the sorrows of this world, will realize that it's Satan's Evil handiwork.  Fill my heart, Lord, with your Holy Power and Presence, that I will have the courage to face the trials and tribulations of life on Earth.  I pray that you will take my fear and worries into your perfect and all-knowing Hands, and fill my heart with joy and hope.  I pray for my son-- and so many other drug addicts and families of drug addicts-- that you will be their Higher Power... Yahweh, Father God in Heaven.  Thank you for your grace and mercy.  May those who believe in you, extend your grace and mercy on others.  


Tom at said...

It sickens me that a clinic would cut the dose of a patient's medication as a form of bill collection.

Especially since the dose must be maintained, or the patient becomes violently ill.

And especially since a sudden reduction in dose puts the patient at serious risk for relapse and drug overdose (and that is just the start).

This is professional negligence, in my opinion. And some day somebody a clinic is going to cut somebody's dose for non-therapeutic reasons, and the person is going to relapse and die of a fatal drug overdose. After a lawsuit, this bill collection technique is going to cost the clinic a couple million dollars.

And it should.

How is a patient supposed to maintain a therapeutic alliance with this clinic? They've shown that they are willing to disregard his recovery, and blackmail him in the name of money.

It's sick.

Keep in mind, methadone is an inexpensive medication. Notice, they don't reduce his counseling appointments, they cut his medication.

Decisions about methadone dosing should be made for therapeutic reasons and in the best interests of the patient only.

What would we say if a clinic reduced somebody's insulin or chemotherapy dose because they were late with a payment?

Talk about evil!

If I had a client who was having trouble following through on accessing health insurance, I would take them to the insurance office and sit with them and help them through the process.

Many people need this kind of help (for a variety of reasons), and they should get it. It may seem like this is something the person can and should do for themselves, but the reality is often more complex.

At the program I supervise, we have case managers who provide exactly this kind of support. The goal is to enable recovery. It's important, and it works.

Early recovery is not the time or the place to hold a person "accountable" or "teach them a lesson" about life skills. It's the time and the place to do what it takes to support a fragile recovery that can easily grow stronger or collapse.

What you will often find is that when you help someone get over the barriers to recovery, they start to gain momentum, and they begin to get beyond the psychological paralysis that they often feel, but don't understand.

Dad and Mom said...


You are so right. I have told my son I'd move the moon and stars to support your recovery, I won't give you a single dime to enable your addiction.

There really is a serious disconnect between what we say as a nation about drug addicts and wanting them to end their addiction and the reality of what we DO.

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

Unfortunately, my son needs to take responsibility for his predicament. He had the money to pay for his methadone, but failed to get a money order on time. While it seems heartless for the clinic, they make it very clear that payment is due on the 10th. He will get back in order tomorrow-- Monday. Harsh as it is, I can only hope that my son will learn to take care of his priorities. He blames the clinic. I think my son needs to own up to his failure to take care of what's important. It pains me, but he's alive and he didn't use.

Cheri said...

Well, we can debate all day long the right or wrong of the clinic in handling late payments in this way, but how much better to take our energies and join Debby in prayer for B. That's what I'm doing. We cannot beat city hall, but we can cry out to God, and He is always open and available; He doesn't take holidays.

Agreeing with you in prayer, my friend, for B's deliverance from addiction and for his growth in personal responsibility. May God take all these things and work them together for the good.


Angelo said...

I agree with the whole post Tom from recoveryhelpdesk. I also understand where Debby is coming from in saying B was at fault which he was. My concern is B knew the consequencies yet didn't make the payment. He can get his meth for free if he applyies for medi cal yet doesn't. Why? This I can't understand. When my back is against the wall and I know I need to do these things or I will be sick I do them no matter what. Yet B doesn't Why? I just don't get it. It has to be more then him procrastinating. The only thing I can think of he didn't have the money because he blew it on the stuff. Debbie, I'm just saying what I feel. I'm not trying to hurt you. I know addicts and our biggest fear is being sick. Yet B fears it but negleted to do what is required so he wouldn't be sick. Another thing that doesn't make sense. Debbie when they cut your dose you will not feel it for days. We talked about the long half life. B can miss 2 days "EASILY" without taking methadone and he will not feel no withdrawl because of the long half life. Unless they been detoxing him already and they cut a big dose then he may feel it but unlikely in one day. Doesn't make sense at all. I just hope B didn't spend some of the money on heroin which is why he didn't make the payment on time. I can't think of any other reason why it didn't get done. I can't see him negleting something major like that.


Heather's Mom said...

WOW! This was a very enlightening post and following comments!
Taking everything that was said, while I found it very enlightening, loved hearing the honest points of views, kept changing my mind on the situation with every additional thing I read. I have to say:
You're doing exactly what you should be doing, and I too will continue to pray for you and B.
And, at the end you made the same plea I pray for Heather every night - if she could have just ONE Godly friend (who also didn't take drugs of course).
God bless.

Tom at said...

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.