Quiet desperation…

Ok forgive me,  I am all over the place this week. My son disappeared on Sunday.   A normal mom wouldn’t jump to the same conclusions that I did, but I never made any claims at being normal. His phone was turned off, which immediately sets me into panic mode because I associate it with evasion, lying, using, relapse etc…  Why it can’t just mean his phone died, is beyond the scope of my emotions right now. He was suppose to meet his dad at a restaurant for a Superbowl Sunday party and he was a no show.  I felt physically ill and in a total panic.  I obsessively dialed his number with the same results for hours. It turns out his phone had died and he had car troubles. This is actually a very typical story he would tell us when he was “out doing his thing”.   Only guess what? His phone really was dead and his car really did get stuck. He finally got a hold of his dad three hours later but not before I had a complete nervous breakdown.  I hate feeling like this but it is pretty common for me lately.  Meanwhile, my son who really had done nothing wrong was upset because he knew what this would do to me.  Even when he is telling the truth I can not calm these feelings.  If you read my previous post you can see my emotions that sit simmering beneath the surface at all times, a kind of quiet desperation. When will this go away?

About madyson007

I am a mom of 4 who thought she was home free when my oldest son went off to college. My serious blunder? Genetics and being naive or maybe just plain stupid.
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14 Responses to Quiet desperation…

  1. raemelyn says:

    Hi! I, too, have a soon to be 20 y.o. who is currently actively using. Do you go to Alanon? It save my life and has allowed me to love my son, let him go, treat him with dignity, pray for him, and keeps my nose out of his business and keeps me from contributing to his disease. I understand the insanity, mothering, micromanaging, manipulating and martyrdom. Been there, did it. It took me time, patience, and lots and lots of meetings. It got better. I can love him now, freely, without wrapping up myself in his life and problems. He will be okay because I know his Higher Power isn’t me.



  2. Hi! My son will be 23 next month.

    At 19, we had to ask him to leave our home because he was abusing drugs and alcohol. He agreed to get help, and went through Teen Challenge, a faith-based rehab program.

    He will be sober for four years in June, and I have to confess that those feelings still get to me from time to time. The good news is that as you re-build relationship, you re-build trust, and it happens less and less.

    But the reality is that it may always happen. What a parent experiences when their child uses drugs is so traumatic that it is hard to shake that fear; impossible, apart from God.

    In fact, I was just talking with hubby this past week about how I feel so bad when I react to our son as he used to be, not how he is now. So you are not alone in this boat!

    What I wrote above is just a thumbnail sketch of our story. We have an older son too, 29 years old, who had drug issues. He didn’t go through rehab, but has since married and has a family of his own, and he seems to be in a much better place. Our experiences led my husband and I to co-found Glass House Ministries, a prayer and encouragement ministry for fellow parents. You can read more about that at: http://www.glasshouseministries.blogspot.com (Click on the “Freedom to Live, Nothing to Hide” picture in the top right corner).

    Praying for you,
    Cheri and Wayne

  3. Ron Grover says:

    Hello Mom,

    I wrote a comment but it seems to have dsappeared so if you get 2 with about the message please forgive me.

    First of all, welcome to our club that I bet you wish you had never joined, Parent of and Addict.

    My name is Ron and I have a 21 year old son that is an addict. Started with pot and worked his way up to injecting oxy and smoking heroin. The good news is TODAY he is clean. We all know it is day to day.

    Debby, a blogger I read and communicate with quite regularly ask me to drop by and offer my words of encouragement. Quite frankly you are doing what has helped me the most over the last year. Writing about my thoughts, fears, frustrations and heartbreaks concerning my son. The one thing I have finally gotten past is the “why” and began to accept the “is”. That is important.

    My advice is to continue writing and reading about others experience. It does seem to help. And your frustration about your son’s lying. That’s what addicts do they LIE. You just have to realize they all lie and you must protect yourself and family from the lies. The lies are so easy to believe because it is the reality we want to believe.

    I am going to refer you to some of my posts on my blog and some I have written for “The Partnership For A Drug Free America”. Read them and if you have questions do not hesitate to contact me, my e-mail is teamplayer@aol.com.

    The first link is our personal blog: http://www.parentsofanaddict.blogspot.com

    This is about parenting and addict: http://intervene.drugfree.org/2009/11/7-truths-about-my-addict-that-took-5-years-to-learn/

    This is about hitting bottom, my thoughts: http://parentsofanaddict.blogspot.com/2010/01/hitting-bottom.html

    This is about the shame and embarassment of being the parent: http://intervene.drugfree.org/2010/01/help-your-child-by-overcoming-your-shame/

    Finally, this is about you, your husband and your family setting setting boundaries for yourself: http://intervene.drugfree.org/2010/01/the-key-to-dealing-with-my-son%e2%80%99s-drug-addiction-setting-boundaries-for-myself/

    Hope this helps. Feel free to visit our blog and I have a lin posted on our blog to yours.

    Good Luck, be strong

  4. there is a book by melodie beattie called ‘the language of letting go’ it is a daily meditation book, she is an amazing person who has been through a lot in her life she also authored the book ‘co-dependent no more’

    check them out start reading and looking for solutions, when you look for solutions, you may not find them but you tend to get out of the problem.

  5. Hi! I have found your blog via some very awesome parents that share in your experiences- parenting an addict. I am the in between. I am a recovered addict. I am a parent.

    I, too, started because of much needed, prescribed pain pills. The type of high that pain pills (and the cheaper street alternative heroin) causes was not conducive to raising a 4 and 6 year old as a single parent,so I turned to meth to relieve the pain and withdrawals of prescribed percocet and vicodin.

    I don’t have all the answers. In fact I am still faced with many of the same questions you are asking yourself right now. I do not want my children to become addicts (who does). They have addiction running rampant from all genetic aspects and I am actively trying to teach them coping skills, and give them decision making abilities.

    I stay active in the blogging community of parents of addicts for two main reasons- in hopes that I can possibly help you understand the mind of your addict and participate in enabling recovery, and because I need your hindsight to help me equip my own children for what I already know may be the fight of their life.

    I look forward to getting to know you, to learning from one another, and to one more link in what is a wonderfully supportive chain of wonderful people!

  6. RENEE says:

    Stay present in your mind as much as possible. All the “what ifs” will drive you crazy. Alanon meetings and private counseling has helped me so much to let go and accept what is. The three C’s of Alanon helped: “Didn’t Cause it, Can’t Control it, Can’t Cure it”. You didn’t cause your son’s addiction and nothing you think about in your head or any actions you take will control his usage or cure him of the addiction. He has to take care of that. We have to get out of their way and let them walk the path they are supposed to be walking, and we need to walk our own path as well. That takes a lot of self care and ALOT of support from others. You ask “if this will ever go away” and I presume you are talking about all the heartbreak you are experiencing and your son’s addiction. The answer is yes, no, maybe? There is no certain answer to that. But, you can seek help for YOU and learn to take care of you and your needs and step out of your son’s way lovingly. I know this doesn’t seem possible right now to you, but it is. Many of the bloggers you will meet on here can attest to that for sure. You are in my thoughts…Renee

  7. Carol says:

    Wow. Where do I even begin? I guess by saying that I hear you. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. But I’m gonna be very blunt in saying YOU GOTTA RELAX GIRL!

    I KNOW this is tough! I have a 21 year old son who is an addict as well. His drug of choice was “everything”. Anything he could get his hands on. Coke, crack, heroin, pot, meth – you name it, he did it. I think his favorite was heroin.

    Just like your son, he lied, he stole, he got arrested. He lied to us constantly. He stole from us incessantly – I think we added it all up and it was over 10k he stole from us – that was during his active heroin addiction. Anything to get that next fix.

    His credit is ruined. His future is shaky. His relationships are iffy.

    The good news is, he’s still alive! That’s all I can ask right now. He is currently incarcerated in the county jail. On September 20, he got caught stealing from cars. Undoubtedly to feed the habit.

    For years I have asked myself, “what did I do wrong? He wasn’t raised this way!” I doubted myself, my parenting abilities. You see, we’re just a regular middle-class family! A husband that I”ve been married to for almost 23 years (how many of his friends could even say they’re parents are still married? NONE.) A nice home, a decent income, 2 younger brothers – both of whom are good kids. My addict is my oldest son, just like you. And like you, there are others younger than him that have to witness this self-destruction.

    Here is what I’ve come to learn: I did NOT cause him to become an addict. HE chose. I can NOT control his addiction. HE can.

    This is HIS reality, not mine.

    I could have bailed him out of jail. But, I told him that once he was an adult, if he got busted again, DO NOT call me – I will not come and get him. And I meant it. And I still mean it. He’s been there almost 5 months at this point. NOT MY PROBLEM!

    Don’t get me wrong – I love love love my son with all my heart and soul. I want nothing more than for him to be better. This whole addiction thing is not for the faint of heart – its gut-wrenching! The pain we feel as their parents, watching our babies go through this is the worst kind of hell there is.

    But, this is HIS reality. Not yours. My son’s reality is that he now has yet another felony charge on his record. Add it to all the others over the last 5 years, and its going to take a very long time before he is looked upon as a potentially productive member of society by anyone.

    The BEST thing I ever did for him was leaving him there in jail. He’s been clean now for almost 5 months. He’s fed 3 times a day and has a bed to sleep in. But better than that, he’s had an awful lot of time to think. There’s not a whole lot else to do in there.

    He SAYS he never wants to do this again. He SAYS he is done. Only time will tell. At this moment, we are waiting for the decision from the first county where most of his arrests were (the last arrest was out of a different county because he had moved out) to decide if they will allow him into the state run drug program, or send him to prison. They’re kinda pissed at him, so it could go either way. You see, its all a snowball effect – you do drugs, you get arrested the first time. They say, “Its your first offense” and slap you on the wrist and put you on probation. While on probation you are expected to submit to random drug urinalysis. You fail because you are still using. They revoke your probation. Then you get arrested again. They slap you on the wrist again, and continue on a new probation for a longer period. Again, you fail the drug tests (or simply refuse to take it because you know you will fail) and you start all over. Eventually, they made him do 15 days in jail for failing the drug tests. After that 15 days, he declared, “That sucked and I’m never doing that again!” But he did. Obviously 15 days was not long enough.

    Which brings us to now. He got arrested yet again, and I decided it was time to hit him over the head with a REALLY BIG BRICK. By not bailing him out.

    This is called tough love – and it sucks! Its easily THE hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But again, this is HIS reality.

    My only prayer all along was that he would someday come back to us. And that he wouldn’t kill himself with these drugs before he figured out how. But only HE can figure out how. I can’t do it for him.

    When I say YOU GOTTA RELAX GIRL, I say it with a loving heart for you. Just keep telling yourself, “This is HIS reality.” It is NOT yours. EVERY THING he screws up will become his problem, not yours. I understand that when he hurts, you hurt. You are his mom. So am I my addict’s mom. But you have to choose to allow him his own path in this recovery. You have to give your energy to YOU. As well as to your other children, and your husband. You can spend ALL your energy on him, and guess what? It isn’t gonna make a damned bit of difference. It is HIS reality.

    I submitted my email. Please feel free to use it if you want to keep in touch further.

    God bless. You are in my prayers.

  8. HerBigSad says:

    Wow. I just finished reading Carol’s comment above and she said everything I was going to say, and then some! So much truth there….

    I have a feeling you are going to be hearing from a lot of us! Please please know, you are NOT alone. You are in my prayers and I will be back to read and comment more.

    Please try to take some small portions of time to take care of you. It’s essential. If you don’t take care of you, you certainly won’t have anything in the way of stamina or reserves to take care of your younger children. I remember one of the first things we were told in our first rehab experience, on a lovely color chart that was held up in front of us….. all the multitudes of illnesses that are MARKEDLY increased in the immediate families of addicts. It is so true. I thought they were kidding….

    I’ll shush now and come back when my thoughts are a bit more organized. In a nutshell: know that we care, a LOT of us! know that you did not cause this, can’t control it, can’t cure it. know that no matter how much you want recovery for him, it just doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, unless HE wants recovery for himself (not for his brokenhearted mom….for himself!) know that we are praying and thinking of you.

  9. Barbara says:

    You got some really helpful comments here, I hope you have a sense of comfort from them. You are not alone and you will have people (us) to talk to and share with. Writing has helped me a lot because it allowed me to get my fears, my anger, my crazy thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I am in the minority because I don’t attend Al-Anon meetings and have slightly different views on some things. Each of our situations are unique and I think its important to take that into consideration. This is the hardest thing a parent can go through. Be good to yourself.

  10. Syd says:

    I came by to join your blog. I would say that it has helped me to realize that all my worrying about my wife, who is an alcoholic, never did any good. She finally quit drinking and went to AA. I have learned to let go and give those people I love up to God. I can’t control them, cure them, but I can contribute to their misery.

  11. DAWN M MCCOY says:

    Okay. I’m the harsh one. My daughter has been an addict through 11 years and three kids, two of whom I have custody of. I have five children, she is the only addict. We too were middle class.

    the FIRST thing is you have to separate the whole “mom” thing.

    Mom’s by our very nature, are fixers. We fix boo-boo’s, we fix nasty, mean teachers, we fix fights.

    we cannot fix addiction.

    The second thing you have to do is quit engaging yourself into his life.

    don’t ask where he’s been. don’t have him in your house. (absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it calms the nerves and allows us to live normal??? lives with our other family members…)

    when he calls, talk about anything except his addiction. Don’t preach to him, don’t beg him and don’t accept any of his lies or excuses. Simply hang up the phone when he starts. It does work, eventually. They get the picture that those subjects are off limits.

    don’t beat yourself up anymore. Why should you have believed him the other night? he certainly has lied to you numerous times hasn’t he?

    join a group. Al-Anon, a church support group, something. See a counselor.

    Get books on enabling. It’s the hardest thing to learn to stop doing. READ, READ, READ !!

    Also, understand that no matter how much money you throw into rehabs, rent, food, etc., NONE of it will work until and unless your son wants to be clean, and if HE wants to be clean, he won’t NEED any of the money for rehab, there are thousands of programs out there that are free.

    You have to take care of yourself mentally and physically, for your self,and for the other children. If you fall apart, so will your family. Do NOT let drugs ruin your family any further.

    That’s about all I can contribute. We have all been there. some of us have children who have gone straight and stayed straight. A couple of us have lost children who overdosed and are now dead. Most of us live in limbo permanently now while our children continue to use.

    We do understand. We will pray.

  12. Sheila says:

    Hi there, Mom. I just found your blog and read through your posts (skipped most of the comments though, so forgive me if I’m repeating what others have written).

    I am in a similar situation. My daughter has alcohol and drug abuse issues, along with mental illness. I couldn’t sleep, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, having panic attacks. Barely functioning at a job that I loved, arguing with my husband all the time, angry and resentful towards my daughter.

    Two things saved me – finding a really good therapist, and going to Alanon. I’m sure it’s hard to make the time in your busy life, but it is important for you to heal yourself. You need healing every bit as much as your son does, so that you can go on with your life and care for your family.

    It’s hard, as moms we are expected to help our kids, but once they get to this age, help generally turns into enabling. Alanon has helped me learn the difference, and learn how to detach with love. Some days are still really hard, but I’m having fewer and fewer bad days. I am enjoying my own life again and my marriage is getting better, and those things no longer depend on how my daughter is doing at the time.

    Hugs to you,

  13. Ron Grover says:

    test post, i seem to having difficulties

  14. Ron Grover says:


    I will try posting my orginal message again and hope it goes through this time.

    First I want to welcome you to this unfortuate club called, Parent of an Addict. I wish you were not a member.

    You are doing what has helped me the most, writing. Plus hearing and listening to the counsel of some very wise people that comment to my blog has helped more than I could have dreamed. Continue to write and read it helps you understand you are not alone and there are people like you that are hacking and chopping their way through the jungle of addiction too.

    The lying, addicts lie. They lie all the time. I have some therories about it but I’m not a psychologist, just a dad. Get use to the lies and protect yourself and your family from the lies by recognizing that is a big part of the disease.

    I see you have found our personal blog. I would also like to refer you to a couple of articles I have written for The Partnership For A Drug Free America.

    One about the reality of being a parent of an addict:

    Another about setting boundaries for yourself, your husband and your family: http://intervene.drugfree.org/2010/01/the-key-to-dealing-with-my-son%e2%80%99s-drug-addiction-setting-boundaries-for-myself/

    And finally about opening up for help about this issue:http://intervene.drugfree.org/2010/01/help-your-child-by-overcoming-your-shame/

    Know that you are not alone in this. There are a bunch of us out there behind shiny little screens there for you whenever you need us. Be strong, be brave.

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