Saturday, May 29, 2010

Keeping it Real with my Son

 No, this is not my home! But, I wish it was!
Carmel, California

Memorial Weekend... I hope that everyone, including myself, will be flying the American flag on Monday.  My father, who has passed, served in WWII and in the Korean War for our country. He was a veteran, and not a casualty of war.  I am thinking of our fallen men and women in Afghanistan and Iran.  They deserve a moment of silence and appreciation.

After weeks of unusually cold weather and late rains, it's a beautiful day and I am off for the next three days.  I feel so blessed to have a community pool where I can swim early in the morning, and then relax in a jacuzzi.  Trust me, there is never a time that goes by that I don't stop and thank God for where I live.  Just twelve years ago, I was a divorced mom of a ten year old boy-- deep in debt, scraping by to make ends meet.  Today, I'm happily remarried to a wonderful man.  My son is almost 22 years old. He's also an addict. He will be, until the day he takes his last breath.

While I have been scarce on this blog, it's only because my son's dramas have (thankfully) come to a dull roar. Amen and thank you, God.  He is still living with us and has kept his job, at the golf course, for nine months. Considering that he was using for the first three months, that's a miracle. B is also working at the restaurant, and he likes it a lot.  Still, he doesn't make enough money to live on his own.  I've been on this blog long enough, that I'm going to reveal the general area of where I live.  I live on the Central Coast of California-- close to Big Sur, Carmel and Pebble Beach. Ever been there?  It's a very expensive to live.  My home is inland, where the real estate prices are substantially less from the million dollar-- and even multi-million dollars homes where I commute to work each workday.  To live here, one must make at least $20.00 an hour.  My son, who doesn't have a college education-- or even a trade-- makes half that.  He works six days a week...sometimes seven but still doesn't make more than $800.00 a month, after gas expenses.  I hope that he can live with us long enough to save some money.  He's been paying us "rent savings" but he's eeking by.

B's methadone is tapering down, and he's beginning to feel "off".  I'm not going to buy into the scare tactics. With all due respect to my regular blog visitor, Angelo, I'm not going to buy into the panic.  I've had people tell me that they've taken three times my son's dose and they don't understand why my son is only at 23mg per day.  I can't answer that, because I'm not a methadone expert.  I can only tell you that California has very strict guidelines...far stricter than most states.  I was told that because of my son's youth, that they don't want him to be on methadone for more than six months. 

So, while I'm feeling thankful that my son has alienated himself from the friends he once used with-- and that his work keeps him busy and distracted-- I am not feeling a sense that my son's chances of not relapsing are 100%.  I ever heard my son say that if he feels "sick" from not using methadone, that he's going back on it. He said, just today, that he doesn't want to use. 

What I see in my son is a lack of motivation.  I see him lacking any kind of organization skills. His procrastination in taking care of things is enough to frustrate me.  I don't say much. Sure, I mention things or I write things down on our family calendar. Still, he doesn't feel any sense of urgency to take care of things-- like taking care of his health or dental work he needs.  He doesn't manage his diabetes very well.  Sometimes I think he just doesn't value himself.  I take into consideration his immaturity and youth, sure. 

Just when I find myself wanting to have "the talk" with him (about my frustrations) he greets me with a warm smile and I find him to be that son that I so love and adore. 

I'm trying to keep it all real, with my son.  For the record, I do believe that addiction is a disease.  I don't think it's a choice. What I do believe is that there is a battle between Dark and Light. The darkness knows my son's weakness and wants to tempt him back into full-blow addiction. The Light-- which is God-- is my son's best and only defense against the spiritual attacks on him.  I think my son is walking in the middle-- like a tightrope.
I pray for him every single day.  I also think of my Blogger Friends, and I pray for so many of you who are going through even worse than I have. I do thank God for the reprieve we've been given. I can only pray that my son will embrace sobriety, so matter what temptations and spiritual attacks that come at him.

Thanks to Barbara, she led me to visit "Mother of a Beautiful Boy".   I understand her cry to find other Christian parents of addicts.  I've been unabashed in sharing my faith, eventhough there must be people who are non-believers who have stumbled onto my blog. No matter what, we all share the same grief. If you haven't already, please pay her a visit. She's beginning a journey that many of us know all too well...



Jan said...

Do not buy into his fears or his 'off' feelings. Maybe one day soon you will see your 22 year old off drugs completely. I wonder what that normal feels/ looks like..... Keep on keeping on. You are amazing! I am glad your blogs are slow because your son is overcoming! GIves me hope!

Tom at Recovery Helpdesk said...

Debby, I wanted to let you know that I recently completed my blog post series on 10 Things You Should Know About Methadone.

The full series can be found on my new Methadone page at:

I'd love to hear what you and your son think of it!

CC said...

Debby, thank you for visiting my blog and inviting others to do the same. And thank you for being open with your faith. I long for a community of believers that I can talk to. As well-meaning as my friends are, they just don't get it. And it takes too much energy to continually be answering their questions. Our conversations turn into me-educating-them sessions. I don't mean to sound ungrateful - many of them care deeply and pray. For that I am blessed.

I'm glad your son has a 6-mo limit on methadone. My son has been on it 2 or more years. He tapered down to 19mg but bounced around for months, stuggling to get lower. This weekend he is in rehab. Within a week he will be chemical free. I cannot wait.

I hope and pray your son will find the support he needs to go the distance in tapering off completely or transfering to suboxone/subutex and tapering off that. They say that is an easier path. My son's detox includes switching from M to S and he's been off methadone for 4 days now.

Keep sharing your faith. I need it. Others do too, I am sure. God's blessings to you, dear sister.

Barbara said...

Hi Deb,

Your B sounds a lot like my Kev in the "unmotivated" department. I hope he continues to move forward, starts to feel better physically, that could help a lot.

Anonymous said...

I hear you about how unmotivated your son can be. My daughter is the same. I find it hugely frustrating and it's really difficult to not get into an argument about what they should/need to do.
You are doing so well. And so is your son. We all need to have that hope.
Prayers and hugs

Just Be Real said...

Thank you Debby for sharing. Yes, there is a battle between dark and light. Appreciate your realness in sharing about your son. Blessings.

Cheri said...

Praying with you and for you all, especially B. Hang on to your faith and do not give in to fear. God is bigger than the devil!

Blessings, my friend,


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to read that he's doing so well. He's still living and fighting and so are you.

miss you.


CC (Mumsicles) said...

Debby, I hope you'll visit my blog MotherofaBeautifulBoy and listen to the song I posted today. I think it was written just for me. Maybe it will be an encouragement to you too.

Tori said...

I read a lot of your old blogs as my son is addicted to oxi-contin. Smokes it. He is living here and there now and begging to come home. He too has a step-father and has done the same things your son has. No jail time either but has numerous speeding tickets and would tell me how he can't believe they never found the straws and foil. I wondered why there was foil in his room once. Anyway, you are way my son has and won't go to rehab my Husband doesn't want him back home I do. What a mess. Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your blogs. I was reading back and my mouth was to the floor. Mine is "B" as well and was 10lbs 3 oz (big like yours) although he is only about 5'10 and he is 19. Very similiar story and I am so glad he is living with you and making progress. It really gives me hope.

Tori said...

Um sorry for all the typo's. I don't even know what I was saying when I wrote, "Anyway" I think what I meant to write was that your son is way ahead of mine - mine will not even go to rehab and my husband won't let him back in unless he does. Sorry about that.