To those wonderful commenters on addiction/or an overdose post who say no one forced people with SUD to stick a pill down their throat or use a needle, I say to you: Thank God.
Thank God, it wasn’t YOUR CHILD. Thank heavens you don’t know what it’s like to feel helpless when you find out your successful son; the hero of so many, the big hearted business owner who took his family on vacations and bought his workers new tires to get to work; is now homeless without a car or a suitcase to his name.
Thank heavens you never had to buy your son Ciggerettes because you were so relieved he wasn’t using heroin.
Oh, but about that forcing thing? Did you ever buy a lemon car? Did the salesman ever promise you that it ran great, would last you years and years, and damn, you would look great in it, very stylish and on top of the world. Then when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, listening to John Phillips Topanga Canyon:
Oh Mary, I’m in deep waters And it’s way over my head Everyone thought I was smarter Then to be misled.
And you’re cussing the salesman AND yourself for being so naive?
Well here’s proof that they (‘someone’ in pain or otherwise distressed) were swayed with misinformation (from physicians, brochures in Dr’s offices, and a huge marketing campaign) that MAY have led to their drastic downslide into addiction and some into death 😢
Whoever and whatever may have contributed to this crisis, the remnants of its hurricane-force winds go on. Not only are the grieving families still suffering the kids of their family members; but others, who have the nightmare of a child still involved, are excruciating.
It’s easy to tell someone to “let go” or ‘live your life” because you can’t control another person’s actions, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Despite, the solution, or the correct course of action, when people are suffering it’s NOT the time to tell them it’s their fault. If it’s the person suffering from substance use disorder, shaming them into recovery has never worked.
If it’s the suffering parents, saying such things as:
“You should have got them help….” Is just cruel.
I will never understand the social media comments that are so insensitive toward such a massive problem in our society, no matter what or who is the cause. It doesn’t matter how it started. What matters is how we can give suffering people hope.
Sunday: I’m at work, passing medications– the irony. The very thing that started this nightmare into hell.
10:15 text- “Hey mom, is there any way you could help me out? I don’t get paid until tomorrow and I borrowed $100 from a friend to cover rent.
10:16 “Hi son, nice to hear from you. I could buy you some food.
10:18 “I need to pay him back. Please, I haven’t asked for anything for a long time.
10:19 “I could possibly pay some on your rent.
11:20 missed call 11:22 missed call 10:39 “I’m at work I can’t talk. 10:39.5 “Sorry mom
12:30 “Mom this guy is wanting his money back faster than I can get it.
12:40 “Mom I promise I’ll pay you back tomorrow
2:30. “Mom I’m working my ass off. I just cant’ get ahead. Please? I only need $60 now. $40 for him $20 for food.
4 pm. Get home, start dinner, laundry. 6 pm relax in front of tv 8 pm get ready for bed 9 pm lie in bed grateful for no text, wondering if he’s beaten up.
10:30 text: “Mom I only need $40 now. Forget the food. I don’t need to eat. I’m begging you.
Sigh. Look over to make sure my husband is asleep.
Detach, “they” say. Don’t enable. Block him. Live your life He has to hit “Rock bottom”
Rock Bottom? The kid has lost everything. His Business, his livelihood, brand new house, all his equipment, over 20 cars, his family. His 2 precious kids. He’s practically homeless with only the clothes on his back. He’s also lost over 100 lbs. 😥 Rock bottom?
God help me I pick up my phone, I proceed to do exactly the opposite of what my daughter and I had decided in regards to texting. My son is severe ADD and admitted he only reads the first few words of any message.
Our Motto had become
sʜᴏʀᴛ ᴀɴᴅ sᴡᴇᴇᴛ
I proceeded to write out a Nar- anon friendly message about how I would love to help but I can’t, how I know he can have a better life & I’m willing to do anything to make that happen EXCEPT keeping him in that cycle of desperation. I said today’s $40 or $60 will be needed tomorrow and again and again and that he has the capability to support himself like before and as soon as he’s ready to make a change I will help him all I can….
Then I put his messages on ignore and put my phone away.
2am. I SLEPT! That long!. Looked at phone. No messages in the ignore file. Good..he didn’t even try to beg.
6 am. I SLEPT! Looked at phone. No missed calls. No new message in ignore file.
7 am. Coffee. Check Social media. Do pow wow aroebics warm up.
9 am order more addiction books off Amazon. Noon. Clean. Laundry. Rake leaves.
2 pm watch Netflix, write article for my new blog about how to deal with an addict child- ya know? Since I had this all down pat…
No messages in ignore file.
6 pm dinner. Visit with youngest child, tv, write, read. No messages in ignore file
9 pm bed. Wow this is really working. Just tell them how it is and they mind! Maybe he’ll choose recovery! Tomorrow even!
11 pm. No messages in ignore file. Realize it’s been 24 hrs since he’s been on online.
12 pm. Realize that he didn’t even read my long message! He’s been offline now for 25 hours,! Omg. What if that guy came RIGHT AFTER he sent that last pleading message & threatened him to pay $$ or pay with his life!
Suddenly I get the impression to call the hospital. I’ve never actually done that before. This must be a revelation that he’s there! I call the hospital and ask if they have anyone in there without ID who’s beaten up or overdosed. Secretary says “We have 2 without ID. Let me transfer you to the Emergency room answering machine”.
2? A fight? He got In a fight with the dealer/ friend/ rent borrower! I give my description of him to the ER answering machine. I turn my phone volume all the way up. Roll over.
1 pm: Check phone. Nothing. Roll over.
1:15 :Check phone.
1:30: check phone. Missed Call!!! I check my voicemail. A nice asian lady reports that no one fitting that description is there- goodbye.
My heart sinks. It’s been 26 1/2 hours since he’s been online. I break down and check the booking reports. No arrest.
2:30 am.Roll over. Try to sleep. Hear a sound. Get up. it’s my daughter going to work. Back to bed.
3:30 Hear another sound. Omg. What if they dropped his body off here since my address is listed as his and they wanted to show me a lesson.
6 pm awake! I slept! But with actual visions of him in a room in a chair with his hands tied behind his back.
8:30 am send text to son: I’m so sorry – I didn’t know your life was in danger.
Please! please! Someone😭 save my son! Followed by 5 texts begging him to be ok.
9:30 am Him: “Omg I don’t have a phone off of wifi and that message u sent did it. Try starting from nothing with no help. I should have known better than to ask anyone for help as far as everything else. I’m not going to be reachable anymore because they have now waved my right to a trial so with an attorney I would have no fellonyz now I’m a 6 time convicted felon on the run with a mandatory 5 years- I’m screwed”
Me : Thank God you’re alive.
Him. Omg that’s absolutely crazy why would I not be alive? Stop watching so many movies”
9:38 am: I collapse on the couch feeling the fullness of my tears well up behind my eyeballs in a raging flurry of sadness mixed with relief that today isn’t MY DAY for THE phone call. I hear a deep exhausting gutterall cry coming from a body that thought it knew how to handle this stress by now. The realization that I just spent another night in worry and fear ( for nothing! Which I’m,? Glad buttt….and it sounds like there’s more ahead.
Knowing that today will now be a wash with my emotions completing thrashed, the tears spill out over my flustered angry relieved face. I cover myself with my weighted blanket, feeling not only the tiny beads of lead on me, but the entire weight of the world.
I realize I have to go to work for 8 hrs tonight. I immediately send out a text to 18 people to see if they’ll cover me so I can drown in my own misery of torture.
One by one the refusals came pouring in. They need to car pool kids, their husbands are working. I want to scream: “GO AHEAD live your normal lives! My son was just dead, for 30 hours, tortured in a room or laying in a hospital bed as a John Doe, in jail on one of his warrants. But it’s ok. I’ll go to work and pretend that I have a normal life with normal problems and a son who’s happy and healthy taking care of his obligations making me proud again.
Damn whoever else I can blame.
Yes my son too Damn you. Come back. Bring my real son back 😭💔😭
But today. It doesn’t matter. My son is lost in the chaotic world of addiction. He’s in pure survival mode.
And so am I.
The middle of the night awakenings are wearing on me…. Checking my phone for “the call”.
Apparently its called “anticipatory grief”
I don’t care what its called. I hate it.
I sink back into bed glad for one more day of hope.
Hope that a miracle will happen. That he will have a spiritual awakening. A moment of clarity. That he will suddenly devote his life to recovery as hard as he has devoted to his addiction.
My heart sinks a million feet when I get a glimpse of his pictures.
That boy. That all american boy that I’m just supposed to not talk about.
Detach they say.
Let him go. Let him hit rock bottom.
That phrase makes me laugh. Not a laugh of joy. Of sheer terror. Rock bottom? Losing a million dollar business, 1/2 million dollar house- hand built by my talented driven son; 2 beautiful babies who don’t know their daddy. His dignity, his respect. His livelihood, his honor, his dreams, his reputation, his honor.
A disease so powerful that it can make a man not care anymore. A drug so damn strong- thanks purdue- that it makes him lose 100 lbs in 6 months because food is an inconvenience compared to it’s euphoria.
But it’s not even euphoria anymore. It’s chasing the dragon….
Just trying to keep from getting sick every day.
And I chase my own dragon.
The dragon of despair….. Then a rush of relief….a glimmer of hope…..dashed with a sickening wave of disappointment.
But despite all this. I hold on. Because as long as I’m the mother of an addict, there’s the teeny tiny sliver of 🌠ⱧØ₱Ɇ🌠that I could soon be the mother of a recovered addict.