Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quiet Reflections two years after my son's addiction is revealed

Two years ago, tonight, my world as a mom came to a grim and horrible realization.  My son had a serious drug problem.  I wasn't sure what was going on with my son, except that he had moved in with his dad. B and I were constantly fighting.  His behavior was erratic.  He didn't graduate with his class, because he was 10 credits short. I honestly had no idea the depth of my son's trouble.

Two years ago, today, I remember B's father calling me in a total panic.  My son had a drug problem, but I didn't fully understand what it was. That's the truth.  All I remember is asking my boss if I could leave my job-- it was close to noon.   I remember driving to the local drug clinic, and finding that since my son was 18 years old, he couldn't enter their program.  I remember driving to the only drug rehab place I knew about-- meeting a woman who told me they didn't take insurance.  The number $8000.00 for detox made me spin with fear for my son.

She handed me a business card, with a phone number of a hospital that was located two hours north of me. She said that they could probably take my insurance.  In my car, with trembling hands, I prayed and I dialed the number. A voice answered. I told her my problem.  Yes, they take our insurance!

Earlier that day, someone I work with gave me the business card of a man who does drug counseling.  I dialed that number.  He answered!  I told him that my son was sick.  I didn't understand what he was using, but he was a mess.  His father said my son was smoking hash.  Ha!

Noah said he had an appointment to see my son in a couple of hours.  The treatment center had one bed available, but explained my son had to want to go in.

The stage was set.

I cried and I prayed the 30 minute drive home.  I called B's dad and told him what I had learned.
My son got on the phone.

"B", what if I told you I could get you into a safe place where you will be in a hospital. A place where you can detox. They promise you won't be stuck in a room all alone to do a dry detox."

The wait for my son's answer was agonizing.

"I don't want to hurt, mom", I remember him saying.

"You won't", I said.  I meant it.  My son was in trouble.

"There's a man who wants to talk to you. Will you go see him?"

My son reluctantly agreed to do that, but didn't commit to going in to rehab.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.  I waited. 

My home phone rang.

It was my son.  He loved Noah!  It turns out Noah is a drug intervention counselor.  My son was ready to go in for help!

Praise God!  I was so relieved.  We would leave at 6:00am, to take my son into rehab.

How little did I know what laid ahead for all of us!  I did not know my son was freebasing heroin.  I'd never heard of such a thing!  I was so naive. I was so afraid.

For the next few weeks, my journey was one of fear, anger, frustration and pain.  I tossed and turned, and I began a new chapter in my life. 

The calls of concern from my best friend, Cliff, family and friends was both overwhelming and deeply appreciated.   I started this very blog, because I grew tired of trying to explain things.  It's like a person dying, and people want to know updates.

In the almost two years, since this blog was started-- I have met so many wonderful people.  Ron & Barbara-- thank you so much for all of you loyal support.  You have been there for me in good times and in bad.  You have never judged me.  Cheri-- my wonderful prayer warrior.  I love your faith!   Some of my followers have stopped leaving comments... maybe you're reading still, maybe you've moved on.  I appreciate so many of you-- Madison, Lisa C... so many wonderful folks, and please forgive me for not listing your names one at a time.

I think that I blogged often, when I was still in my panic mode.  Blogging helped me to release a lot of stress. Sometimes, when I was angry, I'd vent here. So many of you came to my rescue.  Sometimes, a comment would hurt my feelings-- many of you came to support me.

But now-- I'm doing well, despite the fact that my son is three months clean and sober.  He's using methadone, so some might dispute if that's clean and sober. To me, it is.  My son isn't buying illegal drugs. He's still holding on to his job.  He's always broke.  His been served his final eviction notice-- though he's paid his share of the rent. He can't afford the rest. Neither can I.  At least his former roommate has been served, and hopefully he will show up in court. 

My son is showing signs of maturing.  He is going to face this, and we both agree that this will make him stronger.

One last thing-- to my newest blogger friend-- Tom, at the Recovery Center.  I missed your comment you made on this post.   It's where you felt compelled to share your views on my analogy about drug addiction being good vs. evil.  I won't get into a long theological debate on this.  I can see where you might have misunderstood my Christian point.

I do not consider drug addiction to be good vs. evil.  I do believe it's a disease.  HOWEVER-- please understand that I am not a spiritual woman.  I am not religious. I am a  Jesus loving, Bible believing Christian.  I have spent the last 8 years, immersing myself into reading and understanding the truths of the bible.

My point is that, as a Christian, I believe that we are only pilgrims on this planet.  This is Satan's domain.  I believe that God has a kingdom, and I know that when I die, I will be there.  That's my faith statement in a nutshell.

My point I was making is that the Dark One will use things like addiction as his tool, to make us fail.  I was thinking of how best to explain my point to folks who might not agree with my faith, beliefs, the Bible or Yahweh-- my God and creator of the Universe.  Remember the story of Pinnochio-- the Disney version, that is.  Remember "Temptation Island", where Pinocchio is tricked into going to the Island where they could eat all the candy and do anything they wanted. Only, they were duped-- and the boys began to turn into donkeys?  Remember Jiminy Cricket?  Well, Jiminy Cricket is the Holy Spirit-- Pinnochio's conscience. 

My point was that my son will be tempted to use again.  Because I believe that Satan is real-- my point is that my son needs to find refuge in God's perfect strength.  As Christians, we believe that God is above all else, and even Satan cannot stand up to him!  That was my point!

Had my son resisted the temptation when that girl offered him his first pills-- maybe he would have never triggered his drug addiction! Who knows?  But now, he needs to stay away from folks who will tempt him.  That is also a 12-step believe.

I do not demonize my son! By the way, my son believes in Jesus Christ. He made the choice, on his own, when he was 12 years old.  He just hasn't forgiven himself for what he's done-- so he thinks he is unworthy of God's forgiveness.  I never, EVER shove my faith on him or anyone else  I don't take insult in your honest opinion, Tom.  Unless someone really commits to being a Christian-- and they cannot fully accomplish this if they don't learn the Word of God, and surrender their will to God's... well, it's hard for someone to understand.

My definition of a "spiritual" person is someone who believes in a Higher Power.  But, that doesn't necessarily mean they are a believer in Jesus Christ.  I know "spiritual" people who worship the Universe.  I worship the Creator of the Universe.

I have shared plenty of my own testimony on how God and Jesus changed  my life. I was not a very nice person, until 12 years ago.  It's when I began to seek to know who Jesus really was and is.  I have only been a true follower for about 8 years-- and I have lost friends over it.  They were friend who didn't believe-- I still love them, but I won't compromise my principles that I try to abide by-- the 10 Commandments.

'Nuff said.  

More later...  As for my son-- I give God all the praise and glory for his mercy, his Grace and for making things happen to help my son.  I could not be as strong as I am without my Lord, Jesus Christ.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nuclear Meltdown - my son is coming apart at the seams ... how can I help? How can God help?

 Dear Son,

You are retreating into your cave again, and I can hear the fear in your voice.  I am praying for you. I am praying for me.  Just some thoughts:

When life spins out of control.
You can choose to become a victim. 
You can blame your woes on everyone else.

How to set yourself up to fail:
Financially - borrow money, banking that you'll be able to pay it back.
If you are counting on robbing Peter to pay Paul...that is, collecting money owed to you, to pay back someone you owe money to-- you are playing Russian Money Roulette.

Once your brain has gotten a sweet taste of drugs, it becomes a hunger that wants to be fed.
The need to be fed become bigger than life. It becomes like that evil God-- Baal-- that led people of the Old Testament to feed live babies into the fire to feed it.
Baal represents the evil of evils in worship.

The Dark One's greatest weapon:
In order to keep you in bondage with drug addiction, the greatest weapon that Satan has is to throw enough situations at you, that you will collapse.  He wants you to feel despair to the point that you will seek release by using. To sweeten his grasp on you, he might even put you into a situation to steal, deal and to take what isn't yours. He will even convince you that it's okay.

Recovery cannot stand a chance of suceess without the tools you need.
Baal will continue call out to be fed.
The evil of addiction is powered by the Dark One. The Dark One is very clever.
"It" will feed you lies.
"It" will promise you sweet escape from the stresses of life.
"It" has such a powerful hold on it's victim, that it will justify the lies it takes to get what it wants.

The battle of addiction, being evil, can only be won by the power of Good.
God is Good.
God is Love.
God is Merciful.

You can choose the support of your friends. BUT--
If your friends are drug addicts, they will pull you right back into the Pit of Evil.

The support that will save you, and keep you, and encourage you comes from Good.
The 12-steps works.  If you don't like the groups in our area, there are other resources.

That is why I chose to change my own life circumstances. I got tired of the constant worry, and battles in my life.  I am so thankful that my life was so miserable, so lonely and so hopeless and that I found my Savior in Christ Jesus.

I have come to believe that God allowed my pain and suffering as a way for me to finally reach a dead end.  I also believe that God was not the cause of my own pain and suffering.

I was.

God gave each of us "free will" to make our own choices.  While nothing is impossible for God, He is not going to force you to accept him as your Creator.

YOU can CHOOSE to change your life.
Life isn't easy, and God never said it would be.
We are living in the World in a way he did not create it to be.
We are living in a world that is fighting against good and evil.
You have a choice to make--

1.  Keep trying to deal with the stress of life-- drugs, money, roommate problems-- on your own. How's it working for you?

2.  Choose to give it all to God and to make an effort to live life with integrity, which is how God wants us to be.  It will not be an easy journey.  Our character is so used to doing things our way-- and God wants us to do it HIS way.  We are a work in progress. God knows we will stumble and fall. BUT, if we learn to trust in Him, to get to know Him, he can change our heart.

I am speaking from my own experience. 

I pray that you will find that when trouble comes, it is FAITH alone, that gives us strength.

I have been working on change my heart for twelve years.  I never want to go back to the way I used to treat people, and my own lack of good character.

I pray that for you, son.

I know you are in trouble, right now. I can feel it.  You are having a meltdown.

I'm on my knees praying for you. Remember, you are a sick as the secrets you keep.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another one goes to rehab, but it's not my son

So. Here I am. It will be two years, on April 1st, as the day I first found out my son was an opiate addict. How little I knew then! How ignorant I was.

Are you finding my blog for the first time? I hope so! Are you a regular follower, who has wondered what's up with Debby?

Well, I am here. I am angry at a parent, if you really want to know. It's more of a frustrated anger, really. It's not something that will make me toss and turn. It has to do with a parent who is in total denial that his son is a drug addict.

It's my son's roommate-- or, should I say, as of today... he's also gone into rehab.

B called me, upset last night. History is repeating itself. His roommate "A" owes my son backrent. My son can't find a new roommate. His original roommate (to you newcombers) split, on a one year joint lease with my son in December. B has scrambled to get a roommate, and he took in his friend "A".

Only B, I think, was delusional in thinking he could "save" A from his newfound addiction to Heroin. A was clean for a long time, from addiction to oxycontin. This time, he got hooked on heroin.

It's been interesting to watch my son go through what he put me through! A got fired from his job, and smoked what money he had. B kept nagging A to be more responsible, and even had him sign a paper that he would pay XX number of dollars for rent. Only A couldn't keep his promise, because he's hooked. He needs his fix.

The other day, my son said that A swears he'll come up with the backrent. In the meantime, my son has paid his share of rent, but not the rent is in arrears. He got an eviction letter. My son said he just couldn't throw A out on the street.

Really. I reminded my son that this was the agony that he put me through six months ago.

B was quiet. Then he exclaimed "but I'm your son"!
Yes, you are, B. That's why it broke my heart to make you leave our home.

So, it happened. A's father, showed up at the apartment to collect his son's things. He threatened to call the cops on my son, saying he'd have them find drugs. Only my son is clean. I know this, because he is getting his daily dose of methadone, and he looks and acts the best he's been in two years.

Back to the latest--

A's father blames my son. He called my son a loser and all kinds of accusations. My son was upset, because he was trying to help A detox.

I reassured my son that he did not hold a gun to A's head to use. A made that choice. The father is ignorant, and in denial. Both of A's parents have enabled him to no end. A's girlfriend is 17, and A has lived in her bedroom on and off for two years, with the mom sleeping in the same house! Hello?

If you are reading this, and you are at the beginning of the journey I've traveled for two years-- this goes to show. You cannot blame yourself for your kid addiction-- UNLESS you used with them, or you have known it and chosen to ignore it... even to the point of buying your kid drugs.

I say this, because I'm somewhat guilty of that as is his father. By that, rather than having my son suffer dangerous withdrawals, I helped him to buy methadone on the "street". This was a while ago, and I justified it that I was waiting for my son to get into a clinic.

It's wrong.

As for A's father-- he has his own journey to find. He can blame my son, but B says he had no drugs in the apartment. A warned B ahead of time to clean up A's room. My son (B) said he found drawers full of foils, which he clean up and threw out.

History repeating itself. I used to find lots of foils in our house. They made me sick to my stomach.

I rejoice that A is in rehab! I have been praying for this. I pray that his parents (who are bitterly divorced) will learn how to effectively be the parent of a drug addict. Its' a hard thing to learn. But, you must learn it! You need to go to support groups to talk to parents who have been there, done that.

I'n not an expert. But I've come a long, long way in two years. A's parents have a long way to go, because they need to take that first step. They need to say, and mean,
"My name is ________ and my son/daughter is a drug addict".

My son is spinning out of control, tonight with worry. His stepdad will pick him up in an hour. We'll talk.

I have no idea what will happen. My son just needs to calm down.

Like I kept trying to tell him-- he was counting on a drug addict, in full-blown "use" mode to come through with rent money.... "ain't gonna happen". A isn't home. The drug demon has kidnapped A. I pray that A will detox, get into a program and get the help he needs. God help him.

As for my son-- I still remain with an awareness that he could relapse at any time. It's only been four months. It's a long, hard journey.

I pray on my knees, with heartfelt pleas that God will grant me wisdom, courage and strenghth.

I pray that for many of you parents out there, who are just like me. Just like A's father.

It sucks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quick Update of encouragement and slow progress

I have been blogging here, mentally, for days and days! Sometimes, I'm just inspired to share the things I've learned in the almost two years since my son revealed to me his deep, dark secret of opiate addiction. Sometimes, I just want to share happy moments with my son. Other days, I want to vent. I just don't have a lot of spare time to write the things I so want to share here.

Sometimes, I drive to the ocean which is just a few minutes from my job. I park, overlooking one of the most beautiful and famous areas of the California Coast. I listen to the waves, eat my packed lunch-- sometimes I read a foodie magazine... or do a little bible study. Other times, I just sit and reflect on how blessed my life feels.

How is my son? He is 21 years old. Depending on how you feel about methadone-- he has three months free of buying illegal drugs. B says that he has absolutely no desire to use. Amen! He struggles with everyday life, of course. He hates his boss, he says. I try to rephrase that way of thinking to be "he is frustrated with his boss". Sometimes, there are people who are given power in their position as a manager-- but they are lousy leaders. Still, my son shows up to work on time. I'm happy to see that. My mother always gave me that desire to be punctual to work-- even early. Because we've been experiencing some heavy rains, that shortens his work day-- thereby reducing his paycheck.

B is having a terrible time with his roommate "A". Very long story, short-- his original roommate, who is on the lease, bailed on my son in January. I'm delighted, because M is living a very dark life. He was a terrible influence on my son-- a thief, a liar and I can only pray he is finding sobriety in his rehab.

In desperation, B's friend "A" moved in. He has been sketchy with paying rent. A is so heavily addicted to heroin, that he got fired from his job. My son is disgusted with A, but he feels he's stuck. He says he needs "A" to help pay the rent.  But A hasn't kept up with it. He smokes his money.  What's so sad is that I know "A".  He's not dangerous like "M" is.  A doesn't pack a gun.  He is a nice young boy of 20.  Unfortunately, he got hooked on a dangerous drug.  So far, he hasn't robbed anyone.  His family enables the addiction.  I pray A will run out of money, that will finally get him to seek help.

I can't help my son with that. His trust account is emptied out. It's gone. I have helped my son by buying him food staples, while he waits for food stamps to happen. I am angry at the multitude of rejection letters we've received to get my son any kind of medical insurance. Because he is a diabetic, insurance companies will NOT insure him! He doesn't qualify for Medi-Cal, because he is 21. If he had a disability, was under 21 or was homeless, he would. Hello?

The good thing is that my son keeps a positive attitude, despite his troubles. . He says that in the last six months (I can't believe how fast it's gone) of having to leave out house-- he thinks it was a good thing. He says he appreciates what he had, and he doesn't blame me for making him leave. We are closer than ever.

I am seeing my son take baby steps forward. He still gives up far too easily. He is afraid to deal with collection letters or being declined benefits. I keep telling him to fight it -- appeal them. Don't give up, because that's what insurance companies expect! 

Today, my son was bummed. He said that "A's" job hasn't' paid him back rent. The company that recently hired him hasn't paid anyone.A's family is beginning to call him a "loser".  I'm sorry for how that must hurt A, but he is so lost. B has tried to get him into treatment, but A isn't ready. 

I said to B that I see him as not wanting to kick out his "friend". Only A isn't his friend right now-- he's not A.  He's a drug addict spiraling out of control. I reminded him that this is exactly what I had to do to B last year. B was quiet...

So, I went on to say-- "You are keeping A from reaching his bottom." You are hoping for a drug addict, in denial, to miraculously come up with rent money. It's not gonna happen. He'll buy drugs before he'll pay you."

"You're right", my son said.

B says he knows someone who is clean  and says he would be his  roommate.

Give the apartment house a 30-day notice to move into a 2-bedroom and make it happen, I suggested. Give up on A. He needs help!

I feel bad for my son, but he needs to take action. My son has six months left on this lease. Sure, he could break it and ruin his credit for many years-- they could sue him for $2000.00 to break the lease....

My son cannot come home to live with us. We said to even consider it, he needs one year of sobriety-- and, his energy is so strong and overpowering (as in he's a chatterbox) that I hate to give up the peace and quiet my husband and I have come to know.

So many sad stories have come my way, via my job and my church youth group. I have so much wisdom I hope to share with people who read my blog. I don't want to post drama anymore. I hope that this blog will evolve to be a place where parents can feel that there is some wisdom and encouragement to be found here.

I hope to have more time to do that. Please don't give up on reading me. Subscribe to me, if you wish.

I am not abandoning this blog. For now, I'm feeling gratitude that my son's mind isn't feigning for drugs. I have my son back, and I pray that he will never go back to that dark world.

Even my own son says he is disgusted with A, and that seeing A's life in such a mess reminds him of where he came from-- and he doesn't want to go there.

Happy Friday. I'm going to make h'ors doevres and a cold glass of beer when I get home. It's been a stressful work week-- and I'm sick of hearing budget cuts and potential job cuts in the school districts. I don't want to lose my job, but I'm not going to collapse in fear.

God has a plan. I will wait and trust.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Prayer for Help and Gratitude from B's Mom

Heavenly Father,

I thank you, every day, that my son is alive. Thank you, God, that despite my son's drug addiction and his troubles that you have helped us to grow closer. I lift up my son, in prayer, because he life is still filled with turmoil. My heart is heavy that B is still unable to get health insurance. Father, I pray you will move in the hearts of people who can fix the medical insurance problem. I pray that my son will get Medi-Cal, so that he can have care of his diabetes, his addiction and to help with his dental work. I pray for my son's physical pain in his tooth. Father, I pray that you will give my son the confidence to listen to my advice. You know what it is. 

I also pray for my son's living situation. I pray that his friend "A" will come to admit that he is so heavily addicted to heroin, that he will want to be set free. Lord,I pray for A to get the help that he needs. I pray that you will shake his world in such a way, that his family and girlfriend will no longer enable his addiction. Show them the truth, Father.  Yet, I thank you for showing my son a mirror image of what his behavior was--not that long ago. I pray that my son will continue to be repulsed and angry with A's out of control drug use.

I pray that you will help my son to know what he needs to do. Please, Father, give him the courage to make a change. Set him free of that lease and I pray you will find a place where he can live. 

I also pray that my son will find a better job. I pray for his boss, that my son will not become bitter against the way he is being treated. 

I pray that B's car can be fixed. He is feeling such despair at this.

Above all, Father, I pray that you will fill my son's heart with your presence. He feels so frustrated, and so discouraged. I pray that my son will put his trust in you, and not be in bondage to fear and worry. My son is under spiritual attack. I pray for your blessings to come into his life, and that he will find hope.

Thank you, God, that my son is not using drugs. I continue to place my hope and trust in you. I pray that you will give me a sense of calm, that my stress will no longer manifest in severe headaches.
I am under my own stress, but I continue to cry out to you to be my rock.
I pray that you will help me to become a Godly mother of courage. 

I pray for those families who are feeling so helpless. I pray for addicts who feel hopeless.

You are our God of Hope. Thank you for your grace and mercy on my son, on me and in my marriage.
I pray for peace and clarity, in Jesus Name.