We’re coming up on a year of this pandemic. My daughter was really Ill last December with what she thinks was Covid.
I wrote this article last April when the pandemic was in full force. It’s meant to show the living hell a mom of a substance use disorder person lives with comparitively to Covid 19.
How do you feel when you see the empty store shelves? Or people fighting over toilet paper? Or Disneyland closing for only the 4th time in history? What comes to mind? Fear? Of your kids starving? Your family confined to your house while the virus rages outside? Your kids begging for water? For toilet paper?
All toilet paper joking aside, it’s hard to find someone that this pandemic hasn’t affected.
Whether it’s the fear & panic it creates inside us, bringing out feelings of lack of control of the situation or wondering if you will be it’s next victim- We resort to what we CAN control:
- Buying supplies for our families survival,
- Searching out the facts buried among all the hype & panic,
- & talking about it, endlessly with strangers, coworkers & family.
We Hope, that if we can connect with others in some way, it will decrease our fears of disease & the isolation from our favorite activities, not to mention the day to day life we are accustomed to.
Now, what if you had those feelings every day? Yet couldn’t really talk about it?
What if every morning you feared for your child’s life? Even if that ‘child’ is an adult. The thought of them being cold, hungry & isolated from family sends you hurriedly onto messenger to see how long ago your “child” was logged on.
This may seem ridiculous since you are technically not responsible for your adult children, but as any Mother can attest: .
YOᑌ ᗩᖇE OᑎᒪY ᗩS ᕼᗩᑭᑭY ᗩS YOᑌᖇ SᗩᗪᗪEST ᑕᕼIᒪᗪ
So, when your previously successful, talented, funny, happy, driven son takes a deep dive into the dark world of addiction, your heart is broken into pieces- over & over again.😢
That ingrained love & impulse to keep your child alive & safe does not go away when they turn 18.
Regardless of the controversy about addiction, whether someone is to be blamed for their own drastic spiral into the dark places & spaces of addiction; or whether it’s a pharmaceutical & mafia powerhouse of profits; addiction sucks the LIFE out of those around the addict.
It turns a caring loving, strong dad & husband who would do anything for anyone, into a selfish, pathetic looking & acting, powerless victim of life’s deepest darkest demons.
As their brain continues to become hijacked by the effects of the overwhelming obsessive thoughts of their drug of choice; family & friends are left in the confusion & chaos left behind because of their decisions.
To ask why someone would do these things to the detriment of their life & health, creating more & more problems for themselves & their family, has driven millions of people & psychologists to come up perplexed & mostly empty handed.
The war on drugs, rages hotter & wider as the crackdown on one drug makes other drugs spiral into illegal prevalence even among the professional & successful segments of our society.
Millions of dollars spent studying addiction, creating new addictive drugs to treat older drugs, thousands of clinics & programs, seem to go around in circles as to what the best success rate is.
But all of that doesn’t help a mother’s feelings every single day, of living in fear for her son’s safety.
Knowing no matter how many positive quotes she sends him, how much food she buys him, no matter how many times he says “I’m sorry Mom, I’m trying to get better, I’ll make you proud, I promise”; as each new day appears, nothing seems to change her deep sense of anguish & fear that is always present, churning in her gut.
As she drives down the street seeing a construction site, her eyes filling with tears, knowing her son isn’t working there doing what he loves best. As she sees a dad in a restaurant with his kids, her heart aches knowing that her grandkids still wonder where their dad is & why he isn’t eating pizza with them.
When every single ad or commercial brings up a memory or an interest of her previously full of life son, brings a lump in her throat.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a personal choice to take that first pill for back pain, or whether you catch an invisible virus that is rampant; both result in sickness & pain & worry & suffering. Both are spreading like wildfire. The difference is, the Corona virus will likely die down, toilet paper will be back on the shelves, it will be somewhat contained, controlled, forgotten. The death toll in USA will probably be a bit more than the 42 it is right now.
But addiction will go on, claiming over 130 people PER DAY. That’s over 130 weeping mothers, fatherless kids wondering every single day why they wasn’t good enough to compete with an evil drug that took over their mom or dad.
For those who haven’t died from it -yet- every day is a continued living hell for their loved ones.
It’s almost like grieving their death while they’re still alive, but over & over again every day. Never knowing if you’ll get that phone call, never knowing what devious characters they are with, when they will be arrested, if they will die from detoxing or a laced drug. Knowing that their weight & health is spiraling down as they become slaves to the lies the drug is telling them, that they don’t have to CARE about eating, or sleeping, or working, or being responsible or law- abiding anymore.
That all they have to do is feel better, to find that next feeling of numbness, to get rid of awful sickness they keep having day after day (think of the worst flu you’ve ever had in your life) knowing that one pill or hit will solve it in 2 seconds.
It becomes their life.
Their pure survival. Until they are so exhausted that death seems better.
The absolute worst part of this living nightmare is the silent suffering. The guilt & shame the addict suffers mostly in silence but moreso in the judgement they get from others.
And that of the mom & families. Not being able to talk at work, like people are now, about Corona and how crazy it is & how scary times are becoming. Can you imagine saying:
“Did you know my son is a heroin addict & I feel this imposing dreaded doom every single minute of every day?”
Can you imagine the silence that would ensue?
The judgement & stigma a associated with addicts & the subconscious blame & guilt that prevails every Mom of a substance use disorder’s thoughts; prevents them from disclosing any fears or even all their attempts at saving their child. (Because then, they are enabling.)
It’s a sad existence. Having such pain in your heart every second, all while having to maintain a job, put a smile on your face, helping others solve normal life’s problems that you would give anything to trade with them.
But, of course, you can’t say that in my line of work. Others problems are serious & important to them and your personal problems should be kept out of the workplace.
Let’s all relish in the fact that this pandomonium will soon pass, but the pain of some people’s daily lives will go on in silence, their own hell & chaos churning inside them every minute of every day.💔💕💔-please be mindful of those living in fearful and unpleasant times without a pandemic to ‘blame’.