Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I was just thinking about how 2014 has been for me, my husband, marriage, job-- and not least of all, my son. I am filled with so much gratitude for so many things. This blog is really all about my son, and his drug addiction, so that's what I'll update about. I have no idea if anyone is still following my blog, because I've been so scarce. But, here goes:
"B" is almost three years completely clean, and over one year of no methadone and no suboxone. He is organically clean, and I'm ecstatic about that. Ironically, it's Obama Care that made my son make the decision to get off suboxone. His Obama Care insurance wouldn't pay for it, and he couldn't afford it-- and we weren't going to pay for it.
B went through the detox, under the care of a physician-- who specializes in addiction. Obama Care did pay for that, amen. It's been a while, and my son isn't around to ask-- but, as I recall, it took a couple of weeks and a LOT of cigarettes (and I am not a smoker at all). B was amazed at how good he began to feel, and he says he was 100% ready to not rely on prescriptions to help control his cravings. He made it!
Fast forward to right here and now. I have my son back. He has matured into a 26 year old adult male, who is very respectful to me and his step dad. He is still living at home, but he is paying us rent. He never complains, and never misses rent. He is cheerful, helpful and he makes me laugh. He is my world, and I love him so very much.
I am so thankful to have my son back. Our relationship has been completely restored. B talks less and less about drugs... not even joking about it as much as he used to. In other words, he has stopped glorifying his drug dealing/drug using "hey day" stories that I got tired of hearing.
B also has an entirely different group of friends. His new best friend doesn't smoke or drink. He's a nice guy, and very responsible. B is still into online gaming, but that's toned down quite a bit. I'm happy to see him going out, at night, to hang out and watch football with his friends, or going to the movie theater. At last, he has a normal social life.
He's pretty much quite smoking cigarettes. He's got one of those e-Cigarette "vape" gadgets. He's down to almost no nicotine. I'm still not thrilled, but it beats finding a coffee can of overflowing cigarette butts in our backyard. I continue to pray that he will completely quit smoking.
My son has been offered an opportunity to move to Texas to apprentice as an electrician. He doesn't have a wife or girlfriend. He's been at the same job for 3 years, that doesn't offer any kind of benefits. So, I said "go for it"! Learning a trade like that would be wonderful for him. He has never been outside of California (save for a 5 day trip where we flew to Phoenix for a golf camp...when he was 12). If he doesn't like Texas, he can always come home. So, he is talking about leaving in February. Already, I'm feeling a sense of panic of letting my son go. I have grown to love his company, and he's a perfect roommate. But, I know it's time to let my bird fly away.
What give gives me added comfort is that he can move without trying to find out where the closest methadone clinic is. He doesn't have to find a doctor to keep prescribing suboxone.... my son is free!
Emails still trickle in to me, from heart-broken parents and families of addicts. They ask me what they can do-- and it makes me sad to respond "you can't do anything to make them change their addict behavior". I continue to tell them to educate themselves about addiction. Find a good support group. Learn about manipulation, because that's what addicts are so good at.
My son made the decision to get clean, when he hit HIS rock bottom. He had sold everything he owned (including hsi good clothes) to support his heroin habit. He said he was sick to his stomach trying to keep up with his lies-- and knowing I was growing less and less able to be manipulated.
In keeping things real, I remind myself that my son will always be an addict. There always remains that possibility that months, years or decades from now, that he might succumb into using again. But, I remain hopeful that my son remembers the misery that his addiction put him through. He admits, now, how his addiction robbed him of any kind of joy or peace in his life. He swears he has no desire to use, nor has any cravings at all. Amen to that!
My heart goes out to those who are still struggling with addiction. I especially think about, and pray for, those families who are feeling that sense of helplessness and worry. Just recently, my son made me aware that our neighbors (across the street) had a son who was using. B said he could hear horrible family fights, late at night. He said that "sketchy" cars were arriving late at night (his bedroom window faces the street), and he told me that he was 100% positive drug deals were going on. The parents are still in total denial. It's such a long story, but one day, one of our neighbors called the sheriff because she got tired of all the strange comings and goings from people who didn't live in the house. The sheriff found a young man with heroin on him, INSIDE the house. (NOTE: why in the world would the parents allow their drug addict son to have his friend staying at their home?) The son was on probation, and also had drugs on him. They were arrested, and I have no idea what's happened. Peace has once again, descended on our block (and we live in a quiet, gated community).
I was very tempted to go over and talk to the parents, who are so obviously co-dependent and in denial. Then, I thought better of it. I don't think they wanted to hear my story. Maybe. One day.
So, that brings me back to why I keep this blog online-- though I don't post every often, anymore.
If my story can help just ONE person to have an epiphany-- by reading my own journey, from scared and ignorant mom of a drug addict... to woeful and frightened mom...to educated mom... to "Tough Love" mom... and to know that it is possible for an addict to become clean... if I can lift just ONE person's hope, then this is all worth it.
It is my sincerest prayer that 2015 will be a year for renewed hope in each and every one of your lives. While Christianity is under attack now, more than ever, I still remain a firm and sincere believer in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I believe that my faith and trust in God held me up through those very painful chapters in my life. I give God 100% of all the glory that my son is clean and sober, and doesn't have a criminal record. That, in and of itself, is a miracle.