Friday, February 17, 2012

Relapse. Redemption. Hope. Pain.

He relapsed.

There. It's out in the open.

I was going to continue sharing my own testimony, but I told B that I have to share this on my blog.  I'm not sharing this for pity or sympathy. I'm sharing this so that I can keep my blog real. B says that he's okay with my sharing.

For at least a week, I've had that mother's sense that something didn't seem right.  I'm a whiz with numbers, and have the mind of an accountant.  I love checks and balances, graphs and charts.  I'm good at handling money-- but I wasn't always that way. When I continue on with my own story/testimony, you will understand how I had to learn to manage my money better.  My son was broke, and it didn't make sense.  I know how much much he earns, and I know what his fixed expenses are.  He was in the negative and when a person is a drug addict, that is not a good sign.

But, this post is about my son's addiction.  He was doing so well, which is honestly why I wasn't blogging so often.  I've always written on this blog, and kept in the back of my mind, that his sobriety could be compromised at any moment. I believe that I was trying to prepare myself for the possibility that he'd relapse. Again.

What happened?

He used oxy, again. His old "friend".  The drug that eventually led to using heroin. Same opiate family.

I asked B why?

His answer was that he was feeling depressed. For the first two weeks of January, he only got one day shift.  Business is very slow in the restaurant biz this time of year.  His X-Box is at the pawn shop, because we wouldn't buy help him to put gas into his V-8 engine Jeep.  I've heard addicts say that is' very dangerous to feel boredom.  B was broke, had no X-Box and spent day after day at home, watching television.   That's when he ran into Miss J.  That was his connection, several years ago.  He says that Miss J offered him oxy in exchange for hauling her around to do deliveries.  (Yes, it has occurred to the danger in just that-- what if they'd been pulled over. That's a felony to possess oxy.)

So why did you use?  I still wanted to try and understand what made him relapse.

His answers: I was bored. I had money. She was there. I had forgotten to take my suboxone that night before.

Could you feel the effects of the oxy?

No. Not at first.   A few times later, I started to.  But, it wasn't the same as before.

Dear God.  I hate that drug. (Are there any addictive drugs that I don't hate?)

I can't blame B's father, anymore than I can blame Bobby Brown for Whitney Houston's drug addiction.  However, B's father did exactly what I asked him not to do.  He gave my son cash.  That's when I began to get a very bad feeling.   In two week's time, B was given $240.00 in cash.  His father would say that it was for this and that.  I just knew differently. I didn't see my son producing the "items" his convinced his father that he needed the money for.

I won't get into the very long and convoluted stories that led up to my son finally coming clean with me, today.   I just knew.  When I saw that his HDTV was gone, that was all the confirmation that I needed.

How do I feel about this?  Heartbroken of course.   Yet, somehow, I knew.  Yesterday, I had an ominous feeling that came over me.  I had to urgently write my son an email and text him to read it.   I was busy at work, but I sensed that my son was despondent. The point of my message to him was to let him know that I could see that he was holding back on a secret. I could see the anxiety in his eyes.  I told him that there is a Darkness that wants to grab ahold of him and hold him back.  I reminded him that there is also a Light, and that he needed to see that path.  I was trying to tell him that I understood the grip that addiction has on him.  Today, B told me that email came at a point he was actually having suicidal thoughts.  He was despondent over what he'd done.

Thank you, God, for prompting me.

Right now, B is in his room and is detoxing. 

He's not feeling well at all, and he is angry with himself for relapsing.  He says he didn't use enough so that he's in full-blow addiction.  I don't think I'm deluding myself by saying I can believe that.  Believe me, when B was in his full-blown addiction, he was like a zombie who couldn't eat food.  Those of you who've seen this know all about the leg spasms and kicking, shivering, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, runny nose, sneezing and they look horrible.  He says that he cannot begin taking suboxone until tomorrow morning, lest he go into full-blown withdrawals. 
NOTE:  If I felt he was in full-blown withdrawals, like he was four years ago, I would check him into a hospital. He is not in that kind of condition. 

It's all so complicated, and I that's all I want to share, at this time.

To sum this up-- why don't I throw my son out?  If he had stolen from us to buy the drugs, I would. If I had found the drugs, or paraphernalia, I would have.  I think he's suffering enough as it is.

I do hope that, after a lengthy talk with his father, that W finally understands that giving an addict cash is not a smart thing to do.  I have W's promise, that if he wants to help my son with something like a car repair, new set of tires, new shoes-- things that he needs-- that he could get the money to me, and I'd make sure it gets to where it's supposed to be.   B has also agreed that he hands over his paychecks to me.  I make sure his bills are paid. He seems relieved, as he says having cash isn't a good idea.  He is very remorseful.

I reminded B that if we ever do find drugs, or he ever steals from us (which he never has) he's gone.  He looked so shaken, and I believe that he knows he's very lucky to live with us.

There is no right or wrong answer on what a parent should do, when their addict relapses.  I believe that B regrets it and wants to get back on track.  I continue to tell B that he needs a support system. He needs a sponsor. He needs to have a support group of people who have been through the same things he has, but are clean and sober. 

I'm surprisingly calm-- what good will it do for me to fret or go into a panic mode?   I reminded B that I cannot rescue him.  He is angry at himself for losing his TV and that he might not save the money quick enough to get his X-Box out of the pawn shop.  But, we both agree that they are just "things".   If he truly gets himself back on track, and stays clean, then he can afford to buy them again.

I can only watch from the outside-- because I do not know what it's like to be addicted to drugs (nor alcohol, which my son isn't).  I don't know what withdrawals feel like, but I've had enough addicts tell me that its worse than I could ever imagine. 

I feel sorrow that my son has an addiction that is so dangerous and precarious.  While people judge Whitney Houston as having been an drug addict-- she was someone's daughter, mother, friend and a famous public figure.  Only Whitney knows what was really going on with her struggle for sobriety. I'm deeply saddened that such a talented and beautiful woman, who appeared to have it all, fell victim to her addiction. 

I thank God, every day, that my son is alive and doesn't have a criminal record.  I pray that he will not test the blessings he's been given. 

I also pray that Miss J will be arrested and stopped from the years of drug dealing she has gotten away with, in our hometown.  I'm sorry, but I feel like I hate her. I've never met her, I don't know what she looks like, but I hate what she represents. Greed & Evil. 

I feel as though my post is a bit choppy, and I wanted to write something much different. Instead, I just had to write my thoughts as they come. 

I continue to live in faith that God has a plan. I thank him for his Grace and Mercy. I do not want to become frantic nor bitter about B's relapse. It is what it is.  As long as I don't enable him, I pray that this is going to be a turning point for him. 

I will pray for him, because tonight will be a rough night for him.  He is in his room, hoping to find sleep and waiting for the time when he can take a suboxone.  So, here I am, one of those mom's who is watching their child suffer from a terrible disease called Addiction.  Tomorrow, B will tell my husband the truth, and he will call his father to tell him the truth. 

I keep reminding my son that he's as sick as the secrets he keeps. Had he admitted the truth a week ago, he would not have stressed himself out by trying to hide what I already suspected.


Bristolvol said...

Debby, all I can say is that I am sorry that you have to go through this. This is why I had to seperate myself from my daughter and her addiction. I have learned that no matter what you do, you can't control relapse. It does not matter if you take his pay check, don't give him cash, etc., if he wants to he will find a way. I could not deal with the stress it was costing me anymore. Your son has his own life and he can live it however he wants to. Only he can control what he does with it. I sure wish it wasn't like this. You and your son are in my prayers.

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

Dear Bristolvol, I understand what you are saying. I do know that I cannot control his relapse. The ONLY reason I'm taking his paychecks, for now, is that he owes me money for back rent, and some car repair expenses. I want to make sure that I am paid back, first. Plus, my son asked me to. He says that, for now, he doesn't want access to a lot of money. He doesn't have a checking account, and would have to cash his checks. He says he doesn't need that kind of temptation. He was doing so well! I always told myself that he could relapse. It pains me to sit back and let him suffer the consequences. Until he is arrested, steals from us, or we find drugs, he can live with us--as long as he pays rent. Of course, this won't last forever, either! At some point, he needs to live on his own.