No Regrets

I hurriedly rushed through the sporting goods store looking for the items on my son’s “list” for this weeks “drop”.

  • A coffee mug
  • A hat with a flag or a CAT logo
  • A lighter
  • More protein mix and protein bars and maybe pre-workout mix
  • Head -n- Shoulders Body/ shampoo wash
  • More cigarettes
  • Magazines

This day was special. It’s the eve of 4 weeks in rehab. 4 weeks to a person with years of substance use is HUGE. This is after 5 weeks in jail. Although this amount of time is a great victory, it’s a drop in the hat compared to the amount of time using……..years.

Insurance companies, and others, might insist “Shouldn’t he be healed by now?”

Hmm, I’m not good at math but 48 months doesn’t equal 2 months. The brain is amazing but neuroplasticity takes time. Just like it took time to adjust to the drugs.

We “think” that as soon as we get them out of that cycle of chaos and get them a shower and some decent meals, they will be good-to-go. If that were true- there would be zero return to use after jail.

As it is, my son is learning how to take care of himself again. For year’s, yes years, he has been in pure survival mode. Trying to find a place to stay every night; trying to maneuver his substance use, trying to justify his substance use, trying to deny his substance use. Putting poison in his body TO SURVIVE, yes survive. Every day his body told him- SCREAMED at him in fact: “GET DOPE or DIE”. It is survival to them.

But now, his focus is back on learning his body’s other cues. Cues of revitalization. Healing. Repairing years of damage to cells. Brain and body. He has scars. He has a bullet hole. He has ingrained pathways in his brain that automatically go into the quickest way to feel better and the quickest way to obtain the resources in order to feel better. To slow the hell down, sit in class after class, face his demons, face the pain he has caused his family, and face losing his freedom, must be daunting. To refocus that energy on lifting weights, or smoking, is a dream to me.

I gladly provide any of these items for the same reason as I picked out his baby food when he was little. As mothers, we are nurturers. It doesn’t matter if they are grown, men. Everyone needs their “person”. More and more studies are showing that even having one person believe in them, makes recovery more sustainable. Plus, nothing is promised. No time, no future, no measure of success is promised, day to day, with anyone, but especially with substance use. If I can buy my grown son some protein bars, I will gladly do it. Anything to keep him learning, contemplating, hoping for a better life.

I made the drop-off time at exactly 7:22.30, which is the time my son wrote down- just to mess with them. Ever the jokester, I love having his humor back.

As I made the drop-off, I could see the group inside, sitting in their 7 pm meeting. Unbelievably, I could see my son in direct view of the window! I had vetted over 25 rehabs by the time this one was picked. It wasn’t the best, but it worked out being the one needed. I didn’t have any idea it would be within a few miles of my house, in fact straight up the street!

Call me a stalker if you’d like, but I am cherishing every second of this. I cried and prayed every day for 2 years for this. Every day, I worried about his life being taken. He just told me about a guy who hung himself at the sober living house he’s supposed to go to after this. People are so tender inside. We have zero clue of the demons they must face. What appears on the outside is not truly reflective of what’s on the inside. They struggle with what awaits them. Going from having nothing to rebuilding everything back up must be horrifying. My son has no house, car or job to go to. If I can be his “person” to help him maneuver that, I will gladly take on that role. I will cherish every second of my role as his Mother during this precious time.

I sat outside in my car after the drop off and yup, you guessed it- cried. But these were tears of joy. This was everything, I mean everything, I could have wanted to happen. Prayers answered, dreams come true.

I am truly living in the moment with zero care of what anyone thinks of what may be the right or wrong thing to do. I don’t see anyone else making any effort to save a life, and that’s fine; but what I’ve said through all of this journey, as for me:

I want ZERO regrets 

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Samantha Waters

A unique perspective on the world from a small town girl turned big city nurse. Now a grandmother to 6 gregarious, resplendent boys and 5 endearing, magical girls, she strives the make the world a more understanding, pleasant place to experience this intense thing called life.

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