Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three Years Later...

April Fool’s Day, 2008:  My husband and I drove my son for a two-hour trip to a Medical Treatment Facility.  My son was strung out on drugs.  At the time, I thought it was Oxy-Contin.  Later, I was to find out that my son’s drug addiction had progressed to free-basing black tar heroin.  

I started my blog on April 13, 2008--  within days of my son’s beginning journey into detox.  Never, did I imagine that I would connect with so many other parents who share my story.  I don’t know what I would have done without all of you.  I desperately needed to find someone who could help me make sense of my son’s dilemma.  I tried going to Al-Anon meetings.  I recall sitting there, like a zombie, so dazed and confused.  How could I relate to people talking about alcohol, while my son was puking and shaking in a hospital room because he body was filled with opiod poison?

It took WEEKS before I finally connected to someone who had a blog.  From there, I was plugged into to many other blogger who shared my story.  I had finally found a resource where I could cry, vent and share my (short-lived) joy in believing that my son was cured.

How na├»ve I was…

In looking back at the first year of my blog, I had so many ups and downs. It shows  in the ways that I wrote.  I have entries where I’m angry. I have entries where I’m hopeful.  I shared stories of my son’s deceits.  I was broken-hearted, and then I’d turn around and feel as though my son was going to be okay.  I notice that I would write posts that had a LOT of supports and comments from so many of you. Thank you.

But, I also see that I began to write posts that I knew would receive a lot of sympathy.  I wanted sympathy... I wanted attention... I was so confused! There’s nothing wrong with that, but in retrospect, I think I became a “victim” far too many times.  The reason I pulled back from blogging as much as I once did, is that I no longer wanted to post when I was in that drama mode.  I didn’t want to become the drama queen.   I also decided to focus more of my time on my marriage and career.  I began to disconnect from all the drama, and I’ve felt much better about it, ever since.

It’s a roller-coaster ride.   There’s so much drama, living with an addict!   
So, where is my son today?

       He is living at home with us.
       I can’t tell you if he’s clean or not.  I’ve stopped asking him, and I’ve accepted that answer is between B and God.  
       What I can tell you is that he look 110% better.  He looks “normal”. 
       His “gangsta” street lingo is gone. 
       His “homies” are out of his life—some are in jail, or have died of an overdose. 
       He is respectful to me and to his stepfather. 
       He has kept his job for almost a year—having lost another job that he kept for almost two years.
       He’s still on methadone, but his dose is slowly coming down.  He wants to be off it, and I wish him well.  It’s not easy.  I have mixed feelings about methadone.  Personally, I think it’s trading one illegal addiction for a legal one.  ‘Nuff said.
       My son, I am thankful to say, is not a thief. Nothing has gone missing from our home.  I can leave my wallet around, and all the cash will still be in there.  Amen.
       My son still lies very easily.  He lies when he has forgotten to take care of something, because he doesn’t want me to be upset.  That’s very much addict behavior, and he admits that lying is something that they do very well.

What have I learned in the last three years?

I’ve learn to let go of putting my own expectations on my son, regarding how he should be living his life.  I’ve had 30 plus years of life experiences, and that’s called maturity.  My son is only 22 years old, and I have to let him make his own mistakes.  That was a huge learning curve for me. It has brought peace into our relationship.  Do I still get frustrated over his lack of motivation of follow-through? Yes.  I have to keep saying to myself "let go".  It's hard, but I think it's the right thing to do. 

My son has a strict set of boundaries in his living with us.  He has a chore list, that he does.   He pays rent.  A portion of that rent goes into a savings account.  That money will be used to pay rent for wherever he moves.  When my son will move out is uncertain—it depends on us not finding drugs (which we haven’t) and whether or not he goes back to college; he’s been talking about that.  I just know he won't live here forever... hopefully no more than a few more months. We shall see.

What happens next?

Being a mom, it’s in my DNA to worry about my son.  When I catch myself going down that train of thought, I say out loud “Let Go, Let God”.  I thank God every single day, for his Grace and Mercy on my son.  It’s is truly a miracle that my son never got arrested and that he’s alive.  He’s shared enough horror stories with me, that I know God was watching over him.

My son has a very long road ahead of him.  I know, that at any time, he could go back to using drugs again.  I can’t bubble wrap him, and I can only pray that my son will work hard to remain sober.  I give him  kudos that he is either at work or playing on his X-Box.  I’m not thrilled about it, but then again—what are the other alternatives?  B says that his gaming keeps his mind occupied, and he doesn’t think about using.  I wish he could channel his time and energy into other things…but then, it’s his life.  He doesn't really have any friends to hang out with, and I wish he could have a fun social life. But, he knows that the friends he hung out with need to be kept very far away from him.

My marriage is doing very well.  My son and my husband have found a relationship that is beginning to blossom into C being a male role model for my son.  I am a very lucky wife to have such a kind and compassionate husband.  I’m very lucky that my husband has not left me, or forced me to choose between my son or him.  I can tell that B truly likes, and respects, my husband.  

I look forward to the day, when my son can pack his bags and move into his own place.  I want this, most, for my son.  He needs to learn how take care of himself, and to become a man who has a job and will take care of responsibilities.  I hope that he will meet a good woman—but, more than anything, I pray that he will find a good friendship with someone who is not an addict…and who would be a friend of integrity.

Once my son moves out, I will miss him very much. I do love having him at home. He’s really not a problem.   Even my husband says so.

But, our children must leave the nest and learn how to spread their wings and fly.

I pray that the bonds of addiction will be broken, so that he can soar high and that he will experience true freedom and joy.

Thank you, everyone, for your friendship and support.

Thank you, God, for being my Abba Father.  I praise your Holy Name and give you all the Glory for where we are today.