Sunday, March 13, 2016

Back in California... and the Sobriety Odometer is set back

My son returned to California a month ago, and I haven't had a chance to write an update until today. Thank you, to those of you who left encouraging prayers and messages on my blog, to my email and on my Facebook page. I do appreciate it. Here's the update:

B was lucky enough to have enough money from his tax refund to pay off the guy he owed the money to, for the heroin.  I loaned the advance to him, and we will get his refund. Did I just write those words?  My son paid off his heroin debt. Really?  Why can't I write "my son just paid off his car loan" or "my son just paid off his student loan?"  But, no. He set himself up for a relapse, and he admits it.

For an addict, isolation is a very dangerous place to be.  He didn't make a lot of friends in Texas. He, physically,  worked hard all day long. Some days he would do "side jobs" and come home very late after a 12 hour day.  Once his relationship with the person who was apprenticing him started to deteriorate, he began to feel hopeless.  He was frustrated with never having money. He was physically exhausted.  He was lonely, and missing his friends and family.

Isolation and hopelessness, are dangerous combinations for addicts.  B thought  he could make some quick money to pay off debt he owed (mostly to me).  But, it backfired.  The "deal" fell apart when the person got arrested.  B had the "stuff" on him, in his apartment, and temptation called to him. He was feeling down and thought he'd do "just a little". From there, most addicts can finish the rest of the sentence.

B admits how stupid that was.  He should have just returned that drug to the dealer and said he couldn't sell it. Then, he should have walked away and kept his sobriety. But, no.  He didn't. 

It was gone in just a few days.  My son got a case of what addicts call "the f**k it's".  Then, reality set in.  He had just blown three years of sobriety and he had to face the dealer with the fact he owed him money and he didn't have it.

He called me (read previous post) and the terror I thought I'd never have to face again, hit me...right in the heart.

So, the dealer got paid, but he wanted more-- just as I feared would happen.  He wanted "interest" for all the hassles in getting his money.  B didn't have it, and I wasn't going to give it to  him.  Every day, I lived in fear that I'd get a call that my son was found shot.  I'd fret when my son wouldn't answer his phone. It was the mom of an addict's biggest fear, come true. I feared for my son's life.

Ten days later, my son's best friend flew into Texas, they loaded up my son's few possessions and drove back to California in 21 hours.

How sad. My son had to leave Texas, and the dealer got nothing. Wait. What? The dealer got nothing. Good!  I hope he gets busted.

My son was lucky enough to get his former job back. He is currently trying to find a place to live. The cost of living, in California, is very expensive. He, and his best friend, are still trying to find a place to rent. But, without much credit (or good credit) so far, no luck. B is sleeping on the the couch at his BF's home.  We've allowed him to stay in our home, on weekends.  He's a great roommate, and I don't mind. But, my husband is right. If he was allowed to move back in with us, he wouldn't have the motivation to make finding a home, and earning more money, a priority.

B has been taking "Kratom" for the last three weeks. He says it's a botanical "suboxone".  At this time, it's legal to buy in California.  It's controversial, and I don't condone it.  But, what can I say or do?  It pains me that my son has to go through this just to clear his body of this poison.  It pains me even more than my son has to turn to a pill or herb (or alcohol) to deal with his drug addiction.  This weekend, he is staying with us to get off the kratom.  He's going cold-turkey, and so far, he says it's not nearly as bad as his suboxone detox.  Amen to that.

How I wish my son could work on his internal self. How I long for my son to discover that there are unresolved issues in his life and that he needs a spiritual rehab.  How I wish for my son to find the emotional healing that he needs, and if he could only discover how faith in Christ would give him the hope and courage that I have personally discovered.  In some of my older posts, I have shared snippets of my own past, and how my faith has helped me to get through some very painful memories and betrayals.  He needs to find a support group to help him deal with what's eating him up, inside, and how to deal with it without any kind of pill or drug.

I don't need alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to help self-medicate my pain and fears. Then again, I'm not a drug addict. I do believe that addiction is a disease and that will-power isn't going to make my son stay sober. He needs to work a program, and be around people who will be a positive influence on him.  Hanging out with people who are using, or people who aren't working some kind of sobriety program is not going to help my son.

As for non-believers (in Christ) it's hard for them to  understand the power of prayer, that I finally discovered.  I pray that for my son, and people I know and for many of you who write to me-- sharing your own pain and how addiction has affected you.

I am so grateful that God has restored my relationship with my son. It was very rocky during his middle school years. During his high school years, I felt as though we were constantly  butting heads.  His behavior was so hateful towards me, and I spent many days crying my eyes out, and feeling as though I was a failure as a mom.

Now that my son is 27 years old, he is a young man.  His brain has finally matured, and he doesn't see me as that "stupid mom" and he doesn't need to rebel against me.  He knows, now, that he's an adult and that living with us isn't the best thing for any of us.  We can have mature discussions. I can be honest with him about my fears. He seems to value my wisdom.

So, there we have it. B's experience in Texas was not a waste of time  He learned that he loves the idea of becoming an electrician.   He learned how to survive on his own, and I think he has a heightened appreciation that his hometown is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's a place where people, from all over the world, come to vacation.

My son dodged a bullet. Literally.

Last night, I watched ABC's TV Show "20/20", that I recorded on March 11th.  If you can find this show, online, watch it.  It's about the heroin epidemic in New Hampshire.  At first, I didn't want to watch it.  But, I did.  I cried, and the stories broke my heart.

At the end of the show, I felt such gratitude to God. While my son is a recovering heroin addict, I thank God with every fiber of my soul, that he is not strung out, shooting that poison into his veins.  I thank God that my son relapsed for only a few days, and is now beginning a new countdown to his sobriety. He regrets it, and doesn't want to use drugs any more.

I continue to pray for his sobriety, and that he will find the career and financial means to live out his life free from that poison.  I pray that for so many of you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

...and, he took the bait

It happened.

He relapsed.

That moment that strikes terror into any parent's heart.

I don't know many details right now.  I woke up to a text from B, asking me to "pray for him full force".

As any mother would do, I felt adrenaline rushing through my entire body.   Did he get fired? Did he overdraw his bank account?

It just never occurred to me that drugs would be involved.  Well, maybe a little. But, no. He's been clean for three years now.  He's doing great in new state of Texas.  Sure, he's living at poverty level, but I'm helping him to buy groceries and clothes.

So, I sat and prayed that God would give Brian strength and courage for whatever he is facing. That God would give me the wisdom I need to know what to do-- and what not to do.

I picked up the phone and dialed my son, and he answered.  He was talking fast, because he was at work-- and he shouldn't be on the phone. It all came spilling out so fast, that I couldn't wrap my head around the sentences he was saying.

"Mom, I'm in big trouble".  I wanted to make some fast money, to pay off some debt. I bought the stuff while I was in California.  The guy who was going to buy it flaked. I took the stuff back to Texas. I owe a guy $1500 and I can' t pay him.

All of this dialogue at a rapid pace.

I'm sure my face turned white.  (Breathe...breathe).

I calmly ask him where the stuff was.

"I used it".

And there we have it.

"So, temptation came your way, and you took the bait".

My head is spinning.

It's bad, mom. The guy is pissed and wants his money. He's part of the Mexican cartel.

Oh dear, God. 

The first instinct I have is to transfer the money to him. I have it.

But, then, all that I was told from our drug addiction classes is that I shouldn't do it.

I can't believe he used $1500 worth of heroin in five days. 

"So, are you addicted again? I ask.

(What a stupid question.)  Of course. He's an addict.

He replies that it's been a week since he last used, and he's okay now.

This is the part where my heart breaks all over again.  Heroin isn't that forgiving.  Heroin is like a cancer.  It doesn't let go. It goes into remission, but it lurks and waits... and he took the bait.

I honestly don't know what to do.  The first thing I did was to call his father to tell him that our son is in trouble.  I don't know what his dad can do, and I don't even know why I called him. Was I subconsciously wanting his dad to bail B out of his trouble? He's done it many times, before.

As a mother, the thought of someone hurting my son scares me to death.  With heroin, comes some very dark people who will hurt anyone. They have guns and knives. They have no qualms about killing someone.  I know this sounds melodramatic, but it's true.

All I can do, right now, is pray. I do, every day. I always pray for my son. I always pray that God will protect my son from the darkness that wants him back again.  God gives us free will.  My son made a choice, and he was weak.

It is said in NA meetings that conquering addiction isn't a matter of will.  It's not as simple as saying "I won't do it".  Addiction is a powerful force, and it is something I've always know that my son would have to fight against for the rest of his life. I see in him a spiritual void. I see in my son that he is always looking for a quick fix-- he can't sleep, take a pill. He's stressed, take a pill.  He's had a hard day, have a beer.

I'm most disappointed that his excuse for his decision was to make some quick money to get out of debt.  Tell John DeLorean that.

It has been 45 minutes since I heard my son's boss yelling at him to get off the phone.  So, here I sit, on my drug blog that I've neglected for so long-- because I was so happy that my son was set free from heroin.

I cannot collapse around this.  I freely and trustingly am giving this God-- asking Him for courage, strength and wisdom in this.  I pray that my son's life is not in danger, and that he will find a way out.  He has a tax return he's going to try and cash in.  If all goes well, then that money will cover his debt.

I just emailed my husband.  I didn't want to tell him, but he's my best friend. I told him. He can't talk much, since he's at work.  I could hear the sadness in his voice.

The rain is falling down, hard, and our dry California land desperately needs it. Normally, I would be enjoying the rain, while sipping my coffee and recovering from a bad cold.

But, now, my thoughts are with my son.  I am deeply disappointed in his choice he made. Now, it's backfired.

Dear Father in Heaven. Please, help my son to find a way out. Please, help my son to see the error of his ways and that he would be set free, once again, of his addiction to heroin.  Be his hope, be his strength, and please protect his life.

In Jesus Name. Amen.