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 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.
#2 - Be 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.