It truly takes a village…

When I first came on here more years than I care to admit, Dawn was one of the first people to reach out to me when I was at my lowest. As the years went on we became close friends. She was my number one confidante and I appreciate her more than she will ever know. She passed away about a year ago. I miss her dearly. You may remember her from her blog http://lifeafterajunkiekid.blogspot.com/2013/ she also had a blog before this but for the life of me I can not remember the name of it. She raised her addicted daughter’s children since they were very small.

Dawn’s granddaughter is struggling at the moment and this lovely young lady is looking for help. Her previous college is holding her transcripts hostage. She owes $2000. Collections says the college could pull her out of collections and apply the financial aid she has available but they refuse. She is a bright girl with a wonderful future and she needs our help. She started a GoFundMe Page and I totally support her effort. We have tried to come up with every possible way to remedy this situation. The bottom line is she owes them $2000 and they are NOT releasing her transcripts until it’s paid in full.

Please help if you can every little bit will help. I am thanking you in advance and I am sure Dawn is smiling down from heaven because she understood it takes a village to raise a family. Please be a part of Skyler’s village…..just click here!

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I can see clearly now…

I have hope….I was not sure I would ever feel that with any ease again. Hope sounds easy but as a parent of an addict who has been in this for the long haul, I can tell you with authority it is not easy…ever. Hope leads to certain future expectations no matter how hard you try not to let it. I only know all to well when I invest too much in future expectations how painful it can be when things don’t measure up. So this paragraph is a public service announcement for myself and anyone else who places to many expectations on feelings of  “hope”.

Having said all that, I can’t help it but I am mindful.  I have hope not just for the immediate “now” but for my son’s future. Things have begun to click and I can see, that he can see clearly now. This is painful for us both but there is also a lot of joy involved too. The painful part is that he can see all the opportunities that he was given and wasted but HE CAN SEE IT! I don’t think he had that ability maybe ever. Addiction narrows your vision to point where you are just existing. Recovery widens that view a little bit but the focus is still just on survival. Then there comes a point where enough recovery time passes and the clouds open up a little and you can see again!

I think my son is there…he can see.  Life has gone beyond survival and not only is he searching for a future but he is taking steps to make it happen. He is setting goals! He is planning for the future and how he fits into that. He has been looking for a career instead of a job. He has a girlfriend and I think he sees himself married to her at some point with a house, a dog and a picket fence. He purchased a very nice car, insurance and  has taken the responsibilities that come with it. The big win is he did it without one ounce of support from me. He didn’t borrow money, have me call for insurance or barter. He just came home with a car. AND HE SET UP A PAYMENT PLAN TO PAY BACK HIS COLLEGE LOAN TO FIX HIS CREDIT! If he makes 6 payments in 6 months that default on his loan will be expunged from his credit history!

Those accomplishments may seem small to some but they open windows and doors for him that will change his life. Having his own car makes him way more employable. Having good credit makes buying or rent a house in the future a real possibility. Paying his car loan, insurance, and college loan means he MUST manage his money and his savings. His father and I have made it perfectly clear that we are willing to let him lose it all, his car, his credit….his everything. We will not bail him out. This a huge accomplishment for us as well. I think that it is such a disservice to our kids even when they are at rock bottom to bail them out. It sends the message that they really aren’t good enough, that they can’t take care of themselves. I told him I won’t disrespect his accomplishments by “fixing” anything ever again. He is an adult and he is finally acting like one. Praise God!

The true test will be when he comes up against something hard, sad or bad. Will he choose to stay the course? Those of you who have blogs of your own will understand these next words. Have you ever posted about hope, joy and good things? Then shortly afterwards everything crumbles? Of course you do….well please everyone collectively pray that this upturn in my sons life is real and not an anomaly. I will walk around with an umbrella hoping to avoid the falling sky for awhile….a long, long while but please please God let this hope and joy be real.

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A decade…and I am still powerless.

I wrote the following post years ago. Looking back it might be the most profound thing I ever posted. More years have past and I realize I have been in this game for 10 years or not depending on how you look at it. It is amazing to me how much has changed but also how much remains the same. I am older and more tired than my years. I have great joy in my life and work very hard to not get sucked into anyones game. I am more often than not successful….but on occasion I fail. It’s an anniversary of sorts but I can not precede that word with happy. More than 200,000 visitors have come to this page  and the thought of that makes me weep. I hope my words were a comfort for some and maybe a place to not feel alone on your journey.

2015: I am no longer a newbie and that really sucks! When did I become an experienced mother of an addict? I am getting old…who said that was allowed to happen? I never agreed to any of this.

I have been reading some blogs with parents who are newer to the world of addiction. I can see how much they want their child to get better, to get help and be done with this world. I can also see how much they are willing to do to make this happen. I can remember when I started this blog how naive I was, but also how very desperate I was and I DO mean desperate. I was willing to sacrifice anything including myself to fix it.

I would read the comments left on some of my earlier posts and think: “That parent doesn’t understand, she must not love her child as much as I do”.  God….I was such a fool, please forgive me! Now I want to be the person to comfort that new parent, but also the parent to say STOP! You can not fix your child’s addiction! You can not drag her to meetings or a therapist or even rehab. STOP! Get off the crazy train! Don’t waste your money forcing solutions on your child but most of all don’t sacrifice your physical and mental health for the health of your child. Learn by my mistakes and know that it will not work. YOUR CHILD WILL NOT GET BETTER UNTIL SHE IS READY! So you spending thousands and thousands of dollars on therapy, on rehab, a new school, guitar lessons, trips to get away etc…will not make your child well. Nothing will make your child lose interest in their drug of choice, until they are ready. Screaming, bribing, making deals and contracts until you make yourself throw up, changes nothing except your own well-being. Negotiating with God…nope not working. I think I finally realize it’s not my deal to make. How’s that for an epiphany?

I was a healthy and happy mom of four when this journey started. Now almost 5 years later….I have high blood pressure, had my gall bladder out, lost, gained and lost a large amount of weight and recently had a colectomy. It may sound like I am in my 70’s but I’m not even close. I made myself sick….I truly believe I sacrificed my health in my quest to make my son well.  No more….I will not do that anymore. I need to be there for my husband and all of my children.

My other little golden nugget of information to pass on to a new parent: Relapse should not be taken as a personal insult. I recently had a screaming match with my husband. He was shouting to anyone who was listening: “How can he do this again? Doesn’t he understand he is screwing up everyone’s life not just his own? How can he do this after all the money we have spent on school, lawyers and doctors? How can he do this to ME!!!!!!!” My response: What makes you think this has anything to do with you? Do you think he is relapsing because he wants to piss you off? Do you think if he loved you more he wouldn’t do this? Do you think if you loved him more he would stop? I don’t think I truly understood the meaning of the FIRST STEP until this moment.

I really am powerless over my sons addiction….I love him but I can not control him or his addiction.

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Stormy dark clouds…

They seem to follow me every where. As soon as life seems to be firmly on course some atomic bomb comes calling. The silver lining to this is…J seems to really be getting his life together. Bought himself a car, insured it, opened up a checking account and got a credit card all to start building his credit. He works hard and I am proud that he has set sail on a new course. I am fiercely praying it brings him happiness…living a life with purpose really is transforming him.

The stormy dark clouds are not of my making and I resent it terribly. Once again I get to be a passenger on this merry-go-round that I never signed up for. I am not sure I will be able to get through this with out my spirit being irrevocably damaged. Pray for me…that God has a plan and it really is going to be okay because right now it is so hard to see that. This blog has brought me great solace. So here I am again…I am searching for peace and some solace but it is just so very dark. These are my words screaming out loud.

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Kratom…the new “Ibogaine”?

I was just introduced to this today. I know NOTHING about it and really have no opinion yet. Anyone know about this new buzz word in opiate addiction? Scares the bejeezus out of me…easy access and absolutely no regulation? Recovery or just a new high? Anyone have any experience good or bad with this?

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What is it about holidays?

Addicts seem to often fall apart this time of year…..why is that?  J has fallen many times this past year but has still been able to maintain long periods of sobriety. I am waiting. I feel the anxiety creeping in for not just myself but J and my other kids as well. It’s like this feeling of doom that inches a little closer each time I move the candy cane in my advent calendar. Every year I ask God for the same thing: “Please God let me have just a little bit of peace and happiness right now.” I want my other children and my beautiful granddaughter to experience a joyful Christmas. I don’t want them to worry about their brother spoiling it or their mother crying or being so stressed she snaps at everybody and everything. Is that too much to ask?

Apparently for J it is because the slippery slope has begun. It’s a festive time of year….why not indulge a little. I worked hard all year just a little something to treat myself. What harm would it do? I’ll stop. I just want to feel good. It’s Christmas. It’s the weekend. It’s New Year’s…I will definitely stop after that. Only guess what? You’re an addict and your brain won’t let you stop. SO WHY ON EARTH DO YOU DO IT EVERY FREAKING YEAR? I have managed to untangle myself from J’s addiction for the most part…kind of. I know longer invest in his sobriety nor do I lose my heart when he relapses…EXCEPT this time of year.

It just feels so damn personal….like a slap in the face. I want to SCREAM “Damn it J, just once can we all have a nice peaceful Christmas filled with joy and happiness? Why can’t you JUST ONCE let us have that”. I AM ENTITLED TO PEACE ONCE A YEAR! I don’t care that you are trying and I don’t believe you didn’t mean for it to happen. You are selfish. I KNOW one thing for sure: If you knew what my heart and soul feels like each time you relapse….you would be cured.

I am not sure anyone really reads my blog anymore but I am wishing you all peace and joy. To my old friends, Merry Christmas and may we all find peace.

 

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Love is not magic…

Addiction sucks. It sucks for the addict and for anyone who loves them. The experience is so profound It changes who we are. We all know that only our children can save themselves but we are more than willing to suspend reality and fight for our kids even when they won’t. Ot maybe It’s their inability to fight for themselves that compel us to try even when it seems futile. I don’t care how highly evolved you are on the 12 Step Chain…you can only do what you can do. Sometimes that means turning our backs on our addicts and hoping they figure it out or embracing them even at the worst of times. We are human and I just can’t help but think we need to forgive ourselves for decisions we make because they all come from the best place in our hearts. Love is a powerful emotion but love is not magic. We can not wave our wands and love our children back to health.

All is well in my world, not perfect but I am okay and so is J. I continue to hurt for the many who still struggle and are not okay. I wish peace for us all with a good amount of happiness thrown in even during the darkest times.

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