How is that lucky?

(respectfully edited) I went to  a page on facebook …so much tragedy and despair. It made me cry for hours. I think unintentionally or maybe selfishly I have been moaning about J like a little baby. I realize how much worse things could be. Maybe I am lucky? Is this just how we all cope?

I remember in college there was a girl in a wheel chair in my philosophy class. We were talking about existentialism, destiny, fate and unfortunate events in life and she told us how lucky she felt. Her family had been hit by a drunk driver. She was paralyzed from the waist down and so lucky that she had her independence. Her brother had a severe head injury and would never be able to live on his own. She was happy,  independent and felt so lucky that her parents and brother survived. I was young and stupid because at the time all I could think is “How is that lucky”????

I read some of the mom’s comments on the page and see such desperation, heartache and bewilderment. They are all at different places in their journey. It is particularly painful for me to see a mom at the beginning of this hell we call addiction. She is hopeful and naive, thinking “not my kid, we are going to get him the right help, we are going to move mountains to find a cure, my kid is going to be the exception”.  She is thinking “We will be one of the lucky ones”.

Then I see a mother grieving and it pierces my heart like a knife. When my brother died, I grieved but there was also a tiny part of me that felt relief. I just thought my parent’s would no longer have to watch their son slowly kill himself with drugs and alcohol. I wouldn’t have to be so afraid all the time, and most of all my brother wouldn’t suffer anymore. Maybe we were even lucky that this nightmare had come to an end….I know that sounds terrible.

I think the epiphany I am having after reading about so many senseless deaths on that page: their is no relief. That being a mother and losing a child is very different then losing a brother or sister. For a mother there is no inkling of relief or peace, just a void that can never be filled. I can clearly remember having a mother before Steven died and having a very different mom after he died. We processed his death very differently.

My mother was just a shell of her former self. I felt tremendous guilt for being so angry at him much of the time. He took all my parents time and attention, making my mom and dad cry all the time, late night phone calls and police and lawyers and rehab and money and on and on it went. I was just SO DAMN MAD at him to the point that there was very little I liked about him. But oh how I grieved when he was gone and how MUCH I hated myself for being so mad at him.

There is no peace or relief in losing a child. How could I think that? Yes, death brings closure but it does not bring peace. I am an awful person to have thought that. I am not sure that I can look at that page for much longer. The pain is so raw, like an open wound with blood dripping from from the pages. It’s all I have thought about for days. I am them and they are me. Is there really comfort in that? I just don’t know? I am lucky my son is still alive but is he really living?

How is that lucky?


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 How is that lucky?

  1. Ron Grover says:

    It’s not called lucky it’s called hope. We can put all of our hope in our addicted child and hope that they find their way out. But that is misplaced hope.

    It takes more than wishing and hope. It takes us realizing that hope also lies in ourself. We must hope that we can get well and have the strength to do that so that if our child finds that light we are healthy enough to help the way we need to help. Not do the same thing we always did but learn that parenting sometimes is much more than just being there to smooth the road and bandage the scrapes.

    We know we cannot control their life or their addiction. All we have left is support. You must find a way to help yourself so that you are in that place to support when or if that day comes. You gotta do what works for you, meetings, counselor, therapy, WHATEVER it takes for YOU. Find what works for you and work it.

    We call it lucky when each day we don’t get that call or visit so many parents get each day that destroys life as they know it. Where there is life there is hope, look around, just as you did on The Addicts Mom, there is hope. Where there is life and there is hope. Reach out to those around you that support and love you and see that there is life so there is hope for you too.

  2. Alison says:

    I’m with you….I cannot read it much either. I have been doing this so long. . .I know you are going thru a hard time right now. I don’t comment much. My son is about a month out from a judicial system rehab. Hes 26. This has been going on since he was 19. I’m in education also. Been rocky. Thank you for writing. It helps.

  3. Syd says:

    I guess another question would be, “Are you really living?”. I hope that you are finding some way to relieve the anxiety and sadness that you write about. I agree with Ron. It’s time to do what you have to do to help yourself. Take care of yourself, please.

  4. Kiki says:

    Hi, I have been on the addicts mom site for around 14 mos now and it was a lifesaver for me.i deleted a lot of my personal posts, because my iPad was open and my heroin addicted son happened to read them and didn’t appreciate his personal business being out there,i read your entire blog and i felt like i could have written every one of them-Its uncanny how much we are all alike and how similar our addicts behavior is-don’t feel quilty for saying anything-we have all felt the way you did at one time or another-its a horrible roller coaster and we all hang on by a thin thread of sanity- my son went to a 50 day inpatient rehab, 8 months IOP meetings 5 days a week,3 AA meetings a week,private therapy sessions,you name it-we tried it-except ibogaine, we are just now researching it,it is costly, and I’m not excited about doing something illegal,but if it becomes necessary to do that someday, I would do it in a heartbeat-last january in the midst of all of these treatments, he overdosed and spent 5 days in intensive care and I thought, that would be the finale of this nightmare-nope, he used again a month later and then, this is why I want to tell you to never ever give up hope, he said, i have had enough-he quit heroin without suboxone, quit his klonopin over a 2 week period that he had been on for ocd for years,(benzos are tough to withdraw from)
    quit drinking,quit smoking pot-quit therapy,quit his meetings,got a full time job, got a girlfriend and they now have an apartment together and that this happened around 6 months ago and he seems really happy and looks so healthy-I would be lying if I told you I’m not worried about him in the future relapsing again,I am scarred for life from this experience, but I decided to just enjoy this”normal” life that I missed so much.The only advice i can give you is to go by your gut feeling about what to do, don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something your not comfortable with,everyones kid and life is unique and you are the one who has to live with your choices-stay strong, there are better days ahead.

    • Mary Mac says:

      Interesting…. the first time I saw Kiki’s post I read “scared” not “scarred” for life……I suppose either could be used to describe me. I don’t think I will ever not be ‘scared’ for my son, I have read too many stories of people who have been clean for years and years only to return to the call of the drug. If he has a hard time budgeting his money,,,,,,,,, normal for many young adults,,,,, I will wonder………. If he is visiting here and taking a long shower………I will wonder……. when I do not hear from him for longer than normal…..I will wonder……….when life, as it eventually does, gives him disappointment,….. I will wonder……but I deliberately push away those thoughts. I read once “You cannot stop the birds from landing on your head but you can keep them from nesting”. So, like Kiki I am just enjoying normal….. for as long as it lasts…….. hopefully forever, if not, I am thankful for a break in the chaos. While in crisis mode I am miserable…. guilty feelings about my parenting skills, angry at my son, depressed at the state of affairs……… but, in periods of calmness, I appreciate that it has given me a broader sense of acceptance of others, I do not think I am as judgmental as I once was.
      As to Kiki’s original comment of being ‘scarred’ for life, we all carry the psyhological scars from this battle with addiction. It brought me a sadness I would never have thought to experience, my relationships with other family members and friends suffered and I have an anger and disappointment toward the medical community. True to the meaning of the word, it is the ‘mark left by a healing wound’… one must have experienced some healing. A scar is stronger than the skin it replaces, so in that way you are stronger for having gone through your experience with J’s addiction. I have several physical scars on my body, The scars themselves have faded over the years and the events that caused them also fade in my memory. I am hoping it will be the same with the psychological scarring from the fight with addiction. My hope is that someday it will just be one small part of the fabric that makes my being.
      Although difficult to do, the advice to take care of yourself is important advice for you, and your family’s future. J’s life is under his control, not yours, not a counselors, not the judicial system…. not the tea in the teacup. Do not be so hard on yourself, what ever the outcome for J you were a good parent….. sometimes that just isn’t enough. So stay strong….. attend to your other children, your husband, your job, smell the roses.
      I suspect your friend from college had the view that she was lucky in that even with her great loss, she had more than some people will ever have. Rather than to dwell on what she didn’t have have she preferred to be thankful for what she did. The events were not going to change, accepting them, and feeling lucky to have the life she had was really the best outlook for her. In my down moments I feel very depressed and definitely feel a ‘why me’ attitude. But then I shake those damn birds out of my head……… We all have to feel at least a little lucky, lucky we have had some wonderful years with our children, and the hope that we will have some wonderful years in the future…….. and these terrible middle years………. they will just fade in our memories.

  5. Annette says:

    I had to unsubscribe from the addicts mom’s page… was just too sad and fed into all of my fears. I have a friend who lost her son to his addiction *IN* rehab. He overdosed while in residential rehab in our town. When we talk she says, “Its over for me. I know where he is, I am at peace. Its you who is still in the battle.” She misses her son of course and I know she wishes it had turned out differently….but I can also understand the serenity with knowing its all done now.
    The only thing I can tell you is that my faith helps me a lot and so does my Alanon program. The principles I have learned there help me to live each day and to keep my focus on what I can manage. Those two things give me something to hang on to that stabilize me…..its when I let go of those ballasts and start doing things in my own strength, with my own best thinking, that I begin to quickly spin and lose my way. We have had a relatively peaceful week here….once my girl got caught and called out, she stopped. There have been several conversations about just doing what needs to be done. No more treatment….apply what she knows. And if she doesn’t want to do that, or isn’t ready, then this isn’t the place for her any more. We will see how it all plays out.

    • madyson007 says:

      J also seems to have turned back to Suboxone….but it’s all a game to him
      . To me it is life or death and to J it’s a game of appeasement until he is ready to use again.

      • Ron Grover says:

        See, you do get it from J’s perspective that is exactly it. Bulletproof and invincible is the mindset of anyone that age. Remember we were that age once, but we weren’t playing russian roulette with 5 shells in a 6 chamber gun.

  6. Gerry Standard says:

    The thing that helped me most is when the therapist told me to grieve her addiction like a death because the person I knew before drugs was never coming back and I have found this to be so true. Some ways she is better and some things not so good especially the memory. It really helped me to grieve and made me stronger.

  7. Liz says:

    I love and totally relate to what Mary says.. Thank you for sharing..

  8. Helga says:

    I never grieved my girl’s addiction like death. I knew she was alive and that gave me hope. This hope sustained me for 5 long years without any contact from her. I got her back now and she is better than ever. I am enjoying my grandbabies and she just got accepted into a Master’s program at a local university. Things changed for me on a dime, when I least expected it. Don’t ever give up, but also don’t give in. Stick to your principles and boundaries. Life is short, don’t sacrifice it for your son. I have learned not to take addiction personal, instead reach out for help.

    • Annette says:

      And Helga, you waited for quite a while if I am not mistaken. It wasn’t some magic cure, the perfect program, or any of that. You detached totally for a long time and stood back and let it all play itself out. That is so scary and so hard to do, especially for a mom, but for you it worked and you have your beautiful healthy girl back. I think the point I am trying to make is that it wasn’t a quick fix. It was a long time of being determined and steadfast and doing what you knew was right vs what you felt.

  9. Helga says:

    Yes, Annette. No magic at all. I lived through the addiction with her for many years, involved in her life from head to toe until I realized that whatever will be will be with or without me. I stepped back, totally detached myself and waited and lived my life the best I could. I got sporadic updates on her from my son, nothing else. Was it hard? The hardest thing I have ever done. Sometimes it felt like the big hole in my heart would never heal. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

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