Saturday, October 9, 2010

Taking responsibility...And yet...

The first act Daniel took after rehab was to turn himself into the sherrif's office for not completing diversion training for a DUI 3 years ago. Upon hearing that he's 4 months sober, has a sponsor and is living in an Oxford house, the judge let him go without bail and simply said to show up to court 3 weeks later.

3 weeks ended this Wednesday and Daniel faithfully appeared in court in his Sunday-best looking better than ever. His 3 buddies (all graduages from the same program) tagged along for moral support. Daniel was sentenced to 48 hours in jail, 2 yrs parole, and some fines, of course. He was disappointed, but the judge explained that had he resolved it within the year, he would not have been sentenced as such. But it had been over 3 yrs, so that was that.

Driving him home (48 hrs later), I heard all about how terrible jail is and of all the rules included in his parole. Rules like not setting foot in a bar, not leaving the state without permission, being subject to random drug screens, etc. After getting an earful, I asked, "Do you think any of this will help you?" To my surprise, he said, "Absolutely, I need all the accountability I can get." And he went on to say how it will be easier to tell others that he cannot go to a bar/club due to parole rather than to divulge that he's an addict. I immediately understood that there are just some people that don't need to know. I've got my own list of them.

So off we went to IOP (intensive out-patient) where I joined him for a family session. Sigh.

Yes, it's great to be in this place of recovery. I never imagined we could have come so far in 5 months. I am quick to share with my close friends the good things that are happening. And yet, deep down, I wonder if it will last. And I am deeply grieved the my son's social group consists exclusively of recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. How I wish he was shooting the breeze with college classmates. I wonder why he is so quick to identify with the criminals he met in jail. He seems fascinated with their stories; I can only take so much of them.. They are so far removed from the life we had together, it confuses me.  Outwardly, I am upbeat and positive. Inwardly, I am still so disappointed, grieved, and sad. I don't know how to explain it. Maybe I'm in some sort of denial and not wanting to face the ugly reality that my son is still an addict and will struggle with that his entire life. I'm tired trying to figure it out. Good night, everyone.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Checking in

It has been 3 weeks since my son left rehab. He has transitioned to a sober living community and is attending AA almost daily and an intensive outpatient program 3 nights a week. He is checking in with me and even brought 3 of his new buddies home for dinner last night. It was a great evening, talking openly about their recovery experience, the nicknames they've given each other, and the funny things their counselor said during treatment. I learned that I, together with two other mothers (whose sons were eating with us) have been dubbed "The Tender Trio". How funny is that? More so, it is beautiful that they have learned to see with more compassionate eyes what they have put their family through. When they left, I closed the door behind me and the first thought in my mind was, "So THIS is what it's supposed to be like!"

You see, in the past, Daniel didn't really want to socialize with me and rarely brought friends home. If we had dinner together, the conversation was shallow and just long enough till he was done with his dinner. How refreshing it was to have him back for an evening. And I actually liked his friends. Sweet boys. Young. Vulnerable. But sweet. God, I pray they make it.

Today Dan reported to the courthouse for not completing diversion training (DUI a few years ago). His 'rehab' success story helped, but he still has to spend 48 hours in jail and be on probation a couple years. After receiving this news by phone from one of his friends that went to court with him, I hung up and told myself "I'm going to live my life" and continued with my plan to shop over my lunch hour.

We have both made progress. We are both in recovery. We are both learning to live our lives differently. I am learning that I need to live my own life, regardless of the good/bad that happens in his. He is learning that being honest and responsible means facing the consequences. Good lessons. Hard lessons.

And how are all of you? I'll have to go browse your blogs...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I did it, Mom!

I picked up Daniel from rehab today.
He gave me a big hug saying "I did it, Mom" and cried.
We both did.

So begins a new chapter...for  both of us.

If anyone is looking for a fantastic but very intensive program that is designed for the addict that keeps relapsing, I suggest you consider the ExSL program at Serenity Lane in Eugene Oregon. For the person that has hit their bottom, this program yields amazing results. The amazing thing is that there is a fantastic recovery community in the town. Alumni continue their involvement with current patients and provide support and a bridge to the community after the program is over.  Daniel has developed relationships with ExSL alum who have months and years of sobriety. The counseling team is dedicated and highly-skilled. Though a great deal of therapy occurs among the patients themselves. http://www.serenitylane.org/exsl.html

I realize there are no guarentees in this journey and I may sound overly optomistic. I'm not, actually. But if you saw the before and after picture of my son, you would understand that miracles happen here.

That's all for now. Praise the Lord for new beginnings.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Season Begins

Tomorrow, my beloved son completes his 4-month stay in a wonderful rehab program. While we are very impressed with the team that surrounded him, amazed with the changes we have observed, and hopeful with the incredible recovery community he has discovered, I have also learned that his sobriety rests squarely on his shoulders. Hmmm, he has not managed it very well for the past years. Will these new tools he has gained be sufficient to guide him? Will he continue to have the drive and will to do whatever it takes? Will he be humble enough to remain accountable to his sponsor and new friends? Will he secure and be able to keep a job? Will we begin getting crisis phone calls again?
I am working hard at not future-tripping. So easy to do.
It helped that I attended an Al-Anon meeting tonight.
Here is what I heard:
  • Focus on my life: what can I do to make it a good day?
  • Decide now what I will do if my fears are realized (relapse)
  • Determine to do nothing (and give him the dignity of growing up)
The next days and weeks will be a major adjustment for both of us. He will be working to get on his feet, find a job, structure his day, follow through on his out-patient treatment. He will move into a clean-and-sober house with about 6 other young men, most of whom, have completed the same program he did. I am relieved he has a safe place to go because our home is not an option.
 
I will be working on not obsessing about the possible failures, taking care of myself, being patient, trying to sleep without worry.
That's all.
It will be a good day. A turning point. A new beginning. Please God, guide us all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You know what sucks?

Having your bosses daughter (who is the same age as my son) show up as an intern on the employee payroll
...I'm actually very happy for both of them. I have a tremendous respect for my former manager and I am glad his daughter is successful at this stage of life. It just hurts a bit because it's another reminder. I guess the trick is not dwelling on it.

Talking to your son and feeling like you're a million miles apart
...we talked this morning. It's all business. He needs more money (we are holding his savings while he's in rehab). Even though he's doing well, in a highly supervised program, I can't help but feel suspicious when he asks for money. I NEVER had this problem in the past because I always trusted him. Now I'm trying to navigate in the aftermath of lies, manipulation, and deceit. More learning is needed. God grant me the serenity...

Waking up in the morning feeling angry about nothing
...This week has been so strange. Feeling good one minute, angry the next, and general saddness whenever I'm alone with time to think. Most evenings I go to bed sad and wake up angry. I know I'm grieving. How I wish I could press the 'fast forward' button.

Struggling with my faith in spite a long and strong walk with God
...so I'm one of those that is not supposed to struggle. I've been a leader within my Christian community for almost 3 decades. I am currently "on leave" from being the leader of a intra-campus Bible study at work. My faith has survived an abusive husband, a painful divorce, being a single parent with sole financial responsibility of my son, a demanding job, a broken engagement, depression. Somehow, I have managed to hold onto my faith though all these things. I think deep down I understood how I played a part due to poor deicions I made. But this one is different. I suppose that I believe that if I did my part God would do his. Intellectually, I understand Daniel has a will of his own that God will not violate. Yet, somehow, I feel betrayed and let down. I believe I'll live through this valley of despair, but I sure am feeling disconnected from  God right now.

OK, it doesn't all suck. A few things are pretty cool:
  • living in the northwest during a beautiful sunny day of 85 degrees
  • enjoying time alone when hubby's away on a trip (I'm an "I" in Meyer's Briggs type inventory. As an introvert, I re-charge by spending time alone)
  • being healthy enough to participate in a 50-mile bike ride (coming up in 2 weeks). It is good to have something to look forward to, and something to motivate me to workout (especially since I'm lacking in the motivation department these days).
  • having a husband that really loves me (I finally got it right - picking a good man!)
  • having a good job that supplies a regular pay check.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Biking helps

Friday we returned home from a week at the beach. Saturday my husband left on a trip and I found myself alone in a big house with way too many thoughts of my son, my life, and why I am not happy with the state of either one. I could not get myself motivated and ate more than I should have. I suppose I was wallowing.
Later that evening I learned there was an organized bike ride in our city scheduled for the next day. I decided to register.
So this morning, I ventured out alone to join a bunch of other crazy cyclists, spinning their pedals all over town. I elected the longest route (not that long, really: 35 miles). The ride ended at a big food event in downtown. So I decided to hang around and enjoy some food and chef demonstrations.
As a result of my spontaneous decisions, I had a really good day - the antithesis of Saturday!
So glad I decided to go for a ride. Hopefully, this will get my week off to a good start.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Better than expected

The 24-hour visit just ended. All in all, I have much to be thankful for, though I still find myself somewhat in limbo; cautiously hopeful and afraid to hope at the same time. 

Daniel was allowed a 24-hr pass to visit with his family. We brought him to our beach home (where we are staying for our annual summer vacation. Together with my parents and my husband, the five of us had a preciously-uneventful, playful, and relaxing time together. In the 8-weeks Daniel has been in rehab, he has learned some manners, improved his social skills, and demonstrated he can be helpful. These are dramatic improvements.

 
More specifically, he:
  • helped his grandma get in and out of the SUV
  • spent the entire time with us (not in his room)
  • helped set and clear the table (without being asked)
  • waited for Grace to be said before starting to eat (and thanked the person who said it)
  • served us dessert (and offered the last of the cheesecake to others)
  • asked if he could be excused (rather than simply disappearing)
  • played Bocce ball and went hiking with us
  • did his own laundry
  • conversed with everyone and when we were alone, asked how I was doing
  • went to bed at a reasonable time and did not sleep in
  • made his bed in the morning (without being asked)

Was he perfect? No. Was it warm and fuzzy? No. Did we have deep and meaningful conversation? Somewhat, but limited to his recovery. Did I cry when he left? Yes.
  • How did I do? Better than in the past. I:
  • didn't give him my opinion when I disagreed with something he said
  • caught myself before offering to wash his sandy clothes and offered to show him how to use the front-loader instead (which he did)
  • didn't nag him to dry his clothes, deciding that he would figure it out (and he did)
  • didn't complain that he chewed tobacco
  • didn't assume the responsibility for all the conversation and let there be silence
  • listened with genuine interest to the stories about rehab and his reflections about what he is learnng
Whew. I feel relieved that it went as well as it did and I am glad he is gone. I am both happy and sad when he is around. Now that he is gone, I can relax again. I hate to say that but it is true for now.

 
I don't know how much I should hope for. I have become fatigued with the bombs of truth that drop on a regular basis and so I really don't know what is around the corner. I know I am still coming to terms with who my son has become and I am full of saddness. I know that he will make favorable progress only if he continues to commit to recovery. And I know this is "early recovery" with a long road ahead. Indeed, I am cautious, sad, hopeful, and skeptical. And that is a good reason for treating myself to a massage!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Deep breath. It's visiting day.

It has been 60 days since my son has entered rehab and 3 weeks since my last visit.
That last one was not so fun, to put it mildly.
I always thought of visiting someone as a positive, fun thing.
Hmmm, not so much when the visiting place is a rehab center.

Today I am taking a step: visiting again.
This time, Daniel has earned a pass - a 24-hour pass - which means I can bring him to the beach. It's our annual vacation week here at our family beach home. My husband and my parents are also here. I'm hopeful this combination of loved ones will enable our visit to be light and enjoyable. I've had my fill of heavy and emotional. We are all due for some neutral, even boring, time together.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where do I go from here?

OK, I think I've climbed out of my dark hole after the ruthless encounter with the truth ("Fish bowl" letter-reading event at my son's rehab). I feel better for knowing more of the truth, for removing all lingering thoughts of denial, and for concluding I now need to take care of myself.

I have had only one phone conversation with Daniel. It was brief and I delivered the message that I'm working through my hurt and anger and need some time. I told him that while I may be distant now, I plan to re-engage with him in a healthier way in the future.

But what does that really mean? Some days I want to call him just to say "Hi". But then I'm not sure what else to say to him. How are you doing? How is rehab going? I'm not sure he will tell me the truth so how do I know what to ask? I don't want to cut him off, but I also don't know how to build this relationship either. I don't know what kind of relationship is possible given the lying, manipulation, deception, etc. He's clean and sober now, working recovery, but...?

For now, I'm taking it a day at a time. I've tried calling a couple times but with no success (he is kept very busy). I still don't feel like visiting but I think that will change in another week or two. Guess I'm feeling a little lost. I don't want to abandon him, but I don't know how to engage with him either.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Practicing Detachment

I just discovered a very helpful explanation of detachment. Here is an excerpt from a larger post titled, How can I help a drug addict?

Practicing Detachment

One of the key principles that will help you in dealing with a struggling alcoholic or drug addict is detachment. The idea behind it is to separate yourself emotionally from the damaging effects of your relationship with the addict or alcoholic. It is not the same as complete disassociation or abandoning the relationship. The idea is to care for them while detaching emotionally. You can care for them but not feel like you are responsible for them. In other words, you are specifically trying to not get all wrapped up emotionally by an addicts destructive behaviors.

This is difficult.

Practicing detachment should make it easier over time. Here are some things that you can do in order to practice detachment with the struggling addict in your life:
-Don’t do things that they should be doing themselves.
-Don’t bend over backwards to rescue them or save them from natural consequences.
-Don’t cover up for their mistakes or embarrassing situations.
-Don’t rescue them from crisis or financial situations.
-Don’t try to fix them.
-Let go of any guilt you may have about them

Detachment is not about denying your emotions. If someone close to you dies, for example, you will probably feel sad. You can’t choose this feeling. It simply is. But we do have the power to affect the intensity of this feeling, by focusing on the positive aspects of the situation. We can also change our thinking in an attempt to eradicate irrational beliefs that might be contributing to our emotional turmoil.The goal is not to go without emotions, the goal is to achieve some level of emotional stability. We are detaching from the negative, irrational thoughts that stir up our emotions–like the guilt we might have if we think someone’s addiction is our fault.

Detachment is difficult and takes practice. I urge you to find local Al-Anon meetings and get involved with them, as those are the people who can help you the most. For some excellent follow-up reading, I highly suggest “Helping Family Members with Addiction“, which is a short but helpful article written by a doctor from Harvard.

Good luck to everyone out there and God bless.

Coming up for air

I survived another valley of grief
not that I won't be visiting again,
but, for this most recent episode, I think I hit my bottom and am coming back up for air.

Whew, that dose of truth from the Friday family 'fish bowl' sure caused me to buckle.
One benefit is I think it annihilated any remaining denial and led me to a crystal clear conclusion: it is time to get on with my life.
Maybe that is why after 8 weeks of looking into our guest bedroom (where my son was staying)
I finally had the courage today to enter it and clean up.
Yeah, I think it enabled me to face that room without any fear.

Packing his things...since he won't be returning here after rehab
(nope, it will be a sober living community for you, my Danny-boy)
Checking pockets and any potential stash places.
all I found was Viagra.
Why does a 24-year old need Viagra?
Never mind, I don't really want an answer.
It went into the garbage along with a few other items.
Washing the bedding, packing his clothes, and doing a thorough vacuuming
will make my organized-self feel good.

Thanks for the encouragement you all delivered to my blog in the past few days.
Besides a big box of kleenex during those dark times,
I really need to know someone understands.
I regret that these gut-wrenching experiences are the thing that brings us together
And yet, I must say, it is a gift.

now, about that vacuuming...

Monday, July 19, 2010

After Truth Visits Me

Crying
My new favorite activity (if frequency is the measure)
It helps sometimes
It helped me today
Like a faithful friend
Willing to accompany me into the dark and gloomy places
Places where confusion, anger, and the deepest sadness dwell
She helps me let the sadness out, and out and out
Uncontrolled, unhindered, like a bag of beans spilling onto the floor
Tears spill down my cheeks, dripping and flowing onto the floor
For me

Friends
You discover who they are
Among the many who claim to be
The genuine ones show up when others avoid or don’t know the way
Holding, allowing, granting permission to unload
Soothing, accompanying me into the darkness
Listening, thoughtfully, empathetically, compassionately
A treasure
That is what they are
A treasure undiscovered until brutality forces itself upon you
The brutality of truth

Truth
Brutal, agonizing truth
Part of me would rather be left buried
Unbothered in the sand
Leave me alone
It is warm here
But worse than truth is living in a lie
Foolishly believing the wrong reality
Foolishly anticipating the wrong future
Foolish
So hit me
Hit me with it
I will stagger, I will reel, I will wail
I will give birth to anger I never knew existed
And one day I will get past the anger
Past the grieving
One day
Not today
Surely not tomorrow
But one day
I will find my smile again
One day
After Truth visits me

So flippin' sad

no energy
fighting back tears
trying to work
not very focused

I know I'm angry but I don't know what to do
all I want to do is cry
but I don't want to spend my life crying
crying is a good way to kiss my day good-bye

I am so flippin sad
and thinking about it just makes me mad
can't wait for al-anon parent meeting tonight
it will be a safe place to unload

God, give me strength today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Used, Abused, Exhausted

I am exhausted.
The ruthless truth slapped me in the face once again.
This time, it was a series of blows that left me wondering if I have any reason to hope.

My son read a letter to Michael and me at a "fish bowl" family activity within a group-therapy setting at his extended rehab clinic. For him, it was a chance to come clean and own up to everything he has done to manipulate, lie, steal in support of his habit (summary: history of his use, how he used and abused us to fund his habit and keep us thinking that all was well so we would continue supporting him). For us, it was a brutal session of discovering that Daniel has traveled deeper into the darkness of addiction that we ever realized..

When he was done, I was so angry. He stood up and wrapped his arms around to hug me (thinking I would surely appreciate that he has finally been honest). It was all I could do to not push him away from me. I believe the only reason I didn't is that we were in the company of others and I didn't want to humiliate him. The last thing I wanted was a hug from the one who just admitted to deceiving me over the past 10 years (not 5 as I had been previously led to believe). It was the last thing I wanted to receive and the last thing I wanted to give. I just stood there, awkardly, as the attempt at affection traveled only one way.

Ten years of use and abuse (6 years under my roof) and I did not see it. Apparently, my home was also a marketplace, as users knocked on our front door during the hours I was at work, my son proudly supplying the neighborhood and his classmates with all kinds of pills and pot hidden secretly in our garage.

And I was enlighted as to the real nature of this "methadone detox". He had led us to believe that for the past two years, he was detoxing off methadone and working a recovery program. The facts: as the methadone got uncomfortably low, he started injecting it, buying additional supply off the street, and supplementing it with benzos. There we were, cheering him on and celebrating his progress, all the while he is living a lie.

Additional confessions of stealing money and prescription meds from our home, robbing others, extensive dealing, exerting violence that landed his dealer in the hospital, and dodging drug enforcement officers.

I walked away with two conclusions:
  1. My son is most certainly a drug addict, and any remaining denial has been put to death.
  2. I need to start focusing on myself and get my life back.
My life has been consumed with Daniel. I cannot even get out of bed in the morning without him being the only thing on my mind and in my prayers. I worry about him day and night. Well, the truth is, I really don't know if he is going to make it (to sobriety, that is). But my life has become hopelessly obsessed with this young man that has only used and abused me. It is time I start taking care of myself.

God, help me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Step 3: Accept Yourself!

Here is step 3 for how to practice Radical Acceptance. What do you think?

Step 3: Accept yourself. Don't listen to the little voice in your head that says you aren't good enough. Accept the way you are, right now, without judgment.

(referency my June "Radical Accepance" post for background)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Setting Boundaries ~ Looking for suggestions

We have a family session scheduled with my son and his counselor this week. I'm writing a letter to let him know how his addiction has impacted me. I am also supposed to include the boundaries I plan to put in place. This feels like an overwhelming assignment. like many of you, I suppose, I have struggled to set boundaries. And I have learned that I should not set a boundary unless I plan to keep it. Scary. Not to mention, just thinking of boundaries means I have to mentally visit all the ugliness of the past and imagine it recurring in the future (so I can figure out the boundaries I need to define). OK, enough whining. How have you set boundaries for your child? I am thinking I need to define them in these categories:
  • in the event he relapses (don't call me until you are sober and are back in a recovery program, working with your counselor or sponsor)
  • in the event he finds himself in jail (don't call me for bail or to ask me to solve your legal troubles; you need to solve them yourself)
  • in the event he wants/needs money (do not call and ask for money. Pay your own bills, we are done. ) - not sure about medical as they relate to his recovery??
  • After rehab (you cannot live with us; do not ask to come home)
  • School (do not ask us to support you returning to school until you have been sober and in recovery for one year and have demonstrated that you can hold a job, and support yourself. )
  • If you have other serious problems (do not expect us to solve it for you; we will be supportive as a Mom and Dad, but you need to solve your own problems)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Invitation Continues: Step 2

I'm relfecting on the 7 steps for applying Radical Acceptance (see my June 29th post for reference). I'm looking at each step individually to encourage myself and others to think about it, brainstorm how to apply it, and share ideas with each other. I enjoyed reading everyone's comments on Step 1, "Love and be gentle with yourself. Radical acceptance means treating yourself as you would treat someone that you truly love", but now we move onto Step 2:

Praise yourself. Tell yourself how well you are doing and stop criticizing yourself. Write down things you have done that make you feel proud and refer to it when you're experiencing feelings of self-doubt.

I don't know about you, but I am not one to praise myself. The fact is, I am very analytical and find it much easier to identify my flaws. Even when someone praises me, in my mind I might say "yeah, but what you don't know is...". So while I don't think I'm ready for the big step of praising myself my analytical bent does allow me to reflect on what I think I have done right and what I am proud of.
  • I was affectionate to my son and told him often "I love you"
  • I gave him a safe home, in a good neighborhood
  • I encouraged healthy friendships and lots of play time
  • We had countless memory-making vacations and fun weekends away from home
  • We rode bikes together, we skied, we camped, we played
  • Holidays were fun times together and with family & friends
  • I taught him financial responsibility, how to care for himself, his cat, and expected him to do regular chores
While this isn't a complete list, it's the start of a long list of things I did right and things I am proud of. God knows I did my best. I think I just need to remind myself more often. And one day, I am hoping, I will see the fruit of my efforts.

How about you?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An Invitation to Apply Step 1 of "Radical Acceptance"

Yesterday I posted a definition of Radical Acceptance and some suggested steps for how to do it. I think it would be great if we took one step at a time and shared thoughts and ideas (or examples) of how we are doing it, or trying to learn.

Here is Step 1:
Love and be gentle with yourself. Radical acceptance means treating yourself as you would treat someone that you truly love.


I, for one, really want to get these concepts into my brain. Let's get some ideas flowing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Radical Acceptance

My counselor introduced the concept of "Radical Acceptance" to me today. It was a brief reference so I came home and Googled the term. I found a practical definition and instructions on http://www.ehow.com/ . I think I'm going to post the steps in places I can see them. Here is the text with just a couple minor edits I made for myself:

Radical acceptance is the practice of accepting life on its own terms and finding effective strategies to cope with whatever is happening. It doesn't mean being passive, but accepting "what is" with the understanding that you have the power of choice. Practicing radical acceptance is a choice that can ease stress and depression and enhance your overall quality of life.
Instructions

Step 1:

Love and be gentle with yourself. Radical acceptance means treating yourself as you would treat someone that you truly love.

Step 2:

Praise yourself. Tell yourself how well you are doing and stop criticizing yourself. Write down things you have done that make you feel proud and refer to it when you're experiencing feelings of self-doubt.

Step 3

Accept yourself. Don't listen to the little voice in your head that says you aren't good enough. Accept the way you are, right now, without judgment.

Step 4
Find ways to support yourself. Practice radical acceptance by reaching out to friends and loved ones and allowing them to support you.

Step 5

Forgive yourself. Have compassion for yourself and where you are in your life. Acknowledge any real or perceived wrongs that you may have perpetrated in the past. Apologize if you have wronged others, and then let it go.

Step 6

Lend a helping hand to others. Not only will it make a difference in their lives, but you will feel better and more positive about yourself.

Step 7

Take care of your body, and accept it lovingly. Learn about exercise and nutrition and get adequate rest. Nurture yourself and allow yourself to feel good.

taken from: http://www.ehow.com/how_2078558_practice-radical-acceptance.html  

I also found a Bible reference that helps me practice acceptance: Romans 8:28. I think I'll go to bed tonight and meditate on that passage. Good night.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stuck in the Blame Game

Many many thanks to all of you for sharing your insights with me on how to overcome the guilt and blame mind-game. Clearly, I've got some learning to do, and I have a good topic for my next counseling appointment. I'm attending Al-Anon and hopefully, some of that wisdom will start sinking in too. I don't know why this is so hard. My mind understands what everyone tells me but deep inside me I am low, still grieving, and finding my confidence as a mother under severe attack. I have always been confident in myself and in my parenting. I probably just need to learn a new way of mothering. New techniques for a new season.

Here is what I hope to remember (from what you all told me):
  • Ask myself if any of the "stupid" things I had done in my life could be blamed on my own mother. The answer is "No" (thanks "Mom trying to Detach with Love")
  • "If outcomes were dependent on Dad and Mom we would all have Einstein's...learn all you can handle about this disease. You do whatever you believe is right for yourself and your son. Every single day you cheer the successes and mourn the defeats. You never give up hope for yourself or your child."  (thanks, Ron)
  • "I wasn't a perfect mom, but I was a good one. I was there, I was affectionate, I loved and adored each of my kids, I did the absolute very best that I knew how to do. " (thanks Annette)
  • "You are a wonderful mother who loves her son with all her heart. Please don't blame yourself, it was nothing you did or didn't do - I promise! " (thanks Barbara)
  • "You can blame yourself for enabling, for not seeing the signs or ignoring them, for focusing on his addiction and not your own recovery. You can blame yourself for not understanding enough, caring too much, loving without action, detaching without conviction. But NEVER for the addiction."  (thanks Jan)
  • "...blaming keeps me stuck in a bad place and it isn't helpful to anyone. The past is over, it can't be redone. What I find most helpful is to concentrate on this day and what I can do to live it well." (thanks Syd) 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Insight Please!

To those of you who have some insight on the subject of blaming yourself for your child's addiction, would you share it with me?

A brief conversation with my son's counselor today, which included the comment, "Carolyn, it sounds like you're blaming yourself" sent me off to my lunch hour with the primary aim of regaining my composure so I could return to work for the afternoon.  What I really feel like doing is going home to cry, because he is right. Somehow, I feel responsible.

When people see 'successful' children, don't they often say, "they came from a good family"?

Don't we congratulate parents when their children graduate from college "Good job, Mom & Dad!"?

We are very quick to credit parents when children are doing well. I know, I received lots of kudos as I was raising Daniel.

Intellectually, I understand that Daniel made his choices, but emotionally, I am struggling with feeling like I must have done something wrong.

I could use a little help, here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I am Learning

Yesterday was Father's Day. I entered the day oblivious to the fact that a sizable emotional trigger lay ahead.

We went to church. I assumed it would be 'safe' with the focus being towards the men. Wrong.

The curve ball came at me right at the beginning of the sermon (titled "Compassion of a Father") when Pastor Randy began by describing the fierce, intense love a mother has her her child as illustrated in Isaiah 49:
"The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me."

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?

Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
(verses 14-15)

He continued to describe how a new mother's love is absolutely locked around her baby, that she would do anything, give anything, to ensure he was protected and had what he needed to survive and thrive.

There I was, sitting in the center of the second row in the largest church in our state listening to a perfect description of my heart towards my son. I could not hold back my tears and I wanted terribly to step quietly out of my seat, exit the sanctuary, and find a quiet corner where I could sob.

But with people seated on my left and my right; I was trapped in the second row; leaving inconspicuously was as impossible as leaving quietly.

So there I sat; and fought hard to keep back my tears. And then imagined what would happen if I could get out? I would have my crying-fest and then my day would be set on a course for sadness and emotional exhaustion (I know this routine). Is that the kind of day I wanted? On Father's Day?

This was my husband's day. He is an amazing father to his two adult-children and a more-than-I-could-ever-ask-for-amazing-stepfather to my Daniel. We did not have big plans for the day, but I did not want to ruin it.

I think this was the first time that I could look beyond my emotions and decide that, while I could not fully control them, I would not be ruled by them. Church ended and I forced myself to talk about something else.  We shopped for some cycling gear and then I prepared an authentic Chinese dinner, which Michael gobbled up! The evening went so well.

I think I am learning. My life does not have to be ruled by my grief. There is a time to cry and there is a time to cease from crying. There is a time to shop, cook, eat, and a time to celebrate! Lord, thank you for leading me one step closer to serenity. And thank you for a man that can be a good father for my son.

-Carolyn


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Heartfelt "Thanks" and My Tip for the Day

Many thanks to all of you who commented on my "How do I...." post. Conceptually, I understand that there can be a difference between caring and detaching with love  but applying that in my heart is wildly difficult. Your encouragement and words of wisdom truly helped. I will be re-reading that post many times in the days ahead in hopes that the truths you all shared with me start to sink in.

My Tip for the Day:
Do something physically exhausting - it will cause you to forget your troubles, help burn extra calories (which means you can afford an ice cream cone when you're done), help with stress management, cause you to come home and crave a nice hot bath, and help you sleep all the way through the night.

I cycled 62 miles today with my husband, climbing 1200ft in the first 15 miles. I am exhausted (because I'm not anything like the thunder-leg cyclists you see at these events). I feel a great sense of accomplishment and I feel a stong desire to go run that bath right now.

Good night, friends. -Carolyn

Friday, June 18, 2010

How do I...

"You can't control his drug use"
"You need to detach from him"
"If he is bent on going to prison, you cannot stop him"
"You have to take care of yourself"
"You have to learn to emotionally detach and not take the responsibility"
"You have to let go of the guilt"

How the hell am I supposed to do that????????

How do I not care if he goes to prison?
How do I not care if he continues to use?
How do I not care if he continues to deal?
How do I not care if he maintains connections?

How do I get rid of the sinking feeling in my gut?

This is my one and only son.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Whoo Hooo for Focus!

Feeling so much better today. The recovery from this weekend's Family Communications Workshop was an event itself. Today, I am back in the gym and back to work. I was even able to focus ~ whoo hoo for focusing abilities!

Slowly, I'm learning how to take care of myself.

Another 60-mile bike ride this weekend. Time to focus on THAT!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Source of My Hope

I feel as if I am on my own path of recovery.
Recovery from deepest grief, disappointment, and the greatest sadness I have ever known

I didn't go to work today. I couldn't.
I knew if anyone simply said "hi" to me I would cry.
It was one of those days.

It is the day after Family Weekend at Daniel's rehab
I managed fine thoughout the program
Of course, there were tears at the time of reading each other letters, but I thought I managed fairly well.

Then I got home.
I could only sit
Soon,
sitting turned to crying
And crying
And crying

It seems that recovery includes learning the truth and coming to terms with it
I am learning more truth that I want to know
Daniel is doing the harder thing: facing the realities of his father
These truths are a source of great pain
When he is in pain, I am in pain

Tomorrow he ends his residential inpatient program and begins an extended program of intensive therapy.
It will be 60 days.
Results of those who have completed it are astonishing.
I am tempted to hope
and I am afraid to hope

So I am reminded of a favorite passage in the Bible; one that I found when I was so low and without hope. It was after I learned of Daniel's drug addiction. I cried not for days but for weeks. Finally, I went to the beach by myself and cried out to my God asking him to give me hope. He led me to this verse and it dried my tears. I often begin my mornings reciting it:

"My endurance has perished;

so has my hope from the LORD."

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
- Lamentations 3:18-24

- Carolyn

Monday, June 14, 2010

Looking for Daddy

Tears. They stream out of me. I cannot stop the flow.
I close my eyes and feel the ache

My baby boy, my man-son. He has his own ache. The ache for a daddy.

A hero, an idol, a big strong man to throw him in the air and safely catch him
A good man to show him how a good man lives
An honorable man to teach him, love his mom, and train him

Instead: a fantasy daddy. One he could only create in his mind because his real daddy was nowhere except a voice on a random phone call. No weekend visitations. No birthday celebrations. No Christmas holidays. No weekends of fun. No.

Because a “man” cannot be a daddy when he is in prison.
He cannot be a hero when he is a drug dealer and an addict
He cannot be an honorable man when he assaults men and women who make him angry
This man cannot be a daddy.

But young boys hope, dream, and believe in daddy’s even when they are MIA
In their minds, daddy is ready to welcome his boy home and show him a good time
Young boys are confused when mommy doesn’t let them see daddy. Why?

How can mommy ever answer in a language that little boys understand?
They can’t
They try. They try hard. They try to make up for a missing daddy.
But time eventually shows that mommies cannot be daddies.

My little guy, my man-son, went in search of his daddy. How I wish he never found him.
I don’t know if I will ever know of all the realities that shattered my baby’s dream-daddy
I just now guns were involved
Domestic violence
Drugs, using and selling
And a little boy, my little guy, led astray until he became lost.
And addicted.
So lost.

So off to rehab you go.
To learn that you have lost your way. That this life you are living is a lie
And to admit you are powerless

Daddy was not the one to follow. And now you have much work to do
To find yourself
To forgive yourself
To remake yourself
God will help you, but can you trust him? Can you trust a heavenly daddy when you only have scars to show from trusting an earthly one?

My baby, this daddy is different. Please believe me.

And when you find your way
Please come home, my little guy.
I will always be here
God, how I love you. I never knew how much I could love.
So much.
My arms stretched wide “this much”
Do you remember?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Relationships in Recovery

(I decided to remove the letter to Daniel I had initially included in this post. I decided that I wanted to keep its contents just among our family.)

I want to acknowledge that I have an incredible, incredible, husband. When we married, neither of us knew of Daniel's addiction. And yet, he has come alongside me and walked with me. I am not dragging him to family weekends, Al-Anon, or counseling appointments. He earnestly desires to support me, and learn how to help Daniel. His committmend to both of us was demonstrated once again on this "Family weekend" as he also wrote a letter to Daniel. It was heartfelt. It was brutally honest. It challenged Daniel, communicated committment, and hope. I love you, Michael. You are a priceless gift to me and to Daniel. You are amazing. You are the best husband I could hope for.

Many tears were shed today. I believe they were healing tears and hopefully the beginning of relationships in recovery.

Not Sure I'm Ready for This

This is Day 2 of our second "Family Weekend" at my son's rehab. It is going to be an emotional one, as we will exchange letters (read aloud to one another) in front of a group; focus is on how his addiction has affected our relationship, what I want him to do, dont want him to do, and what I will do to support his recovery. Just writing it I cried. I don't know how I will ever get thru reading it aloud. But I'm sure I will. I'm glad to do it actually because it allows me to say some important things.

Yesterday (day 1) went well. After hearing from other families and how their son/daughter cannot wait to get out of rehab and are pressuring everyone to let them out early - Michael and I were so grateful that Daniel is a strong contrast. While he will readily admit to not wanting to be there, he is fully ready to move onto the next extended-stay program and do whatever it takes. His 'preview' of the new program was rigorous and intense (as it is designed to be),. His evaluation was "They said everything I said is bullshit....they were right. This will be so hard. I know it will be good".

We are so thankful for his willingness at this critical stage. For the first time, we think we may be seeing the fruit of leaving him so long in Virginia (2 years) to face his own consequences of his decisions and to demonstrate to us that he is serious about working a recovery program (he worked with a counselor and reduced his methadone dose from 125 to 25 mg/day), attended meetings, etc.. It was far from a perfect demonstration, but with the help of some insightful counselors, we could see he demonstrated a genuine desire to recover.

Time is short, gotta go. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Good Sign. I Think.

Daniel called me tonight.
He told me about his "evaluation" with the counselors (not knowing I had already talked with them)
He said it was grueling, much more difficult than he expected.

He went on to tell me they analyzed every word he said and told him it was all *BS*. Surprisingly, he commented, "They were right". He described himself as pretty shaken up when he left but relfected "This is going to be good".

I think this is a good sign.  I hope I am right.
Today, he is willing.
God, help us both.

I Asked

My head is spinning.
I am at work and just got off the phone with a counselor at the rehab clinic.
My son completed a behavioral assessment to determine if he's ready for an intensive long-term treatment program. I asked for an update after the assessment.
I asked.
Maybe I shouldn't have.
Nothing all too surprising, I suppose, but it still felt like a slap in the face after the conversation sunk in.
He seems to be an expert con artist, manipulator, with multiple modes of denial in full-force operation. A camelion that changes his colors depending upon who he's with. A young man that judges himself by his intentions and his own thoughts rather than his behavior. A young man with anger and rage.
I got a long list of examples but I cannot seem to remember any of them.
Hmm, my own denial must be alive and well.

Where did he learn this?

My son is broken. BROKEN. In spite of a good home. In spite of a loving mom, doing well in school, well in sports, lots of friends. In spite of all the @$%#$)*#)@$ effort I put into doing the very best I could.
How does this happen? I still don't get it. I cannot find the rationale, the reason, the explanation for how a happy, healthy boy turns into a man that cannot be trusted. My mind cannot wrap around it.
Oh God, please help me walk through this.
Help me do my job, it is so hard to focus.
Please fix him.

Back to work...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Talked About You

Step 6: Defects. This was the topic of the Al-Anon meeting (for parents) I attended last night. It goes something like Were entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character.

I listened for a long time, hearing others speak of their stumbling blocks, shortcomings, assets-taken-to-an-extreme and how they grapple with them, face them, and repeatedly attempt to overcome or replace them. All the while I am thinking "this is good information, just what my son needs to hear..." but in the back of my mind I know: this insight is for my son's mother.

I looked for an opening; and near the end of the meeting I tentatively stepped up to meet the momentary silence:

"My name is Carolyn"

(hi Carolyn)

"My defect stands 6 foot 1 inches tall. He is 24 years old. He is handsome and charming and I love him with all that is in me" (unplanned cracking in my voice works its way inbetween my words)...

"I have turned him over to a higher power: he is in Rehab" (tears now leak into the scene).

I go on to explain how thankful I am that I am not chronically depressed, but have many good days, even feel happy and energetic at times. But then there are other days when my emotions drop so low, I "fall off the charts".

But I want to share something; I have made a breakthrough. I continued...

It was on one such day (when my son returned home from 2-years living in another state and we discovered that he was in a much worse state that we expected). I went online desperate for some help or encouragement.

I googled "mothers of addicts" and I found an incredible community: YOU. Within moments and within days I would find other moms that understand my pain. I didn't have to pretend "everything's fine" like I do in the rest of my life; wondering in whom can I confide? In this community of grieving mamas, the understanding, the encouragement, the wisdom, was tangible. I could be anonymous and yet connect on a deeper level more than I could with my closest friends. I called it "magic".

There is a similar magic in Al-Anon. I am discovering that nuggets of truth and wisdom can be found there. In a parent-focused meeting, it is especially rich.

So to you, my new online comrades,
....to all the mothers who take time to pour your heart out though a keyboard
....to the fathers who register their experiences and insights

Thank you. You have made a significant difference in this mama's journey through the wilderness.

-Carolyn (CC is a nickname)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Visiting Day

The doors swing open today for family and friends of patients at my son's rehab center. Why is it that I don't want to go? Is it because my parents are visiting and that helps me feel off the hook? Is it because the drive is 2-hours one way?

Part of me wants to see him. And part of me is still angry. And part of me fears getting too hopeful. And then there is the sad thruth that I just don't enjoy his company right now.

Am I withholding support by not going? Am I sending him a negative message? Will he think I don't care? I really don't know. What I do know is that I don't feel like going. And I am glad that when I saw him last, he told me I don't have to come (since Grams and Gramps were coming).

Still, I feel sorta bad for not going. I feel bad that I don't want to go. I feel bad that I longed for two years for my son to move back to his home state/town and now that he has, I'm so shocked and grieved to see his life up close.

Intuitively, I think I'm on course for this "new normal". I think other moms will understand.

I hope one day it will be different. In the meantime, part of me looks forward to next weekend when I see him during the second Family Weekend. Strange - all these conflicting feelings. I'm not even trying to sort them all out anymore.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Learning to Live

After 1.5 weeks in rehab, Daniel is doing as expected. Maybe better.

A couple days ago he called from the clinic and declaired "I think I know what my problem is", to which I replied "Really?"

He went on to say that he realizes that he thought he could control his use of drugs (as he did in the beginning) but now he knows he cannot. And he realizes that while he has made other attempts to get sober, he has never worked a 12-step program. I asked "Are you ready now?", to which he replied, "Yes - my way doesn't work."

I hope he means it. I think, for today, he does. So I am cautiously encouraged. But I am learning that his words are not always trustworthy - not that I don't believe he is sincere - but that beating this addiction is going to take more than words. But I am happy that he is starting to recognize his powerlessness and considers the 12-step progam the path he needs to take. This is progress.

Meanwhile, Michael and I are learning to live our lives. Tomorrow we are going cycling on our new road bikes. In preparation for an upcoming 60-mile ride, we're going to cycle around Hagg Lake; a mere 10-miles, but some good rolling hills on which we will test our legs (and endurance).  Forecast is low-70s so it should be a fun and beautiful day. I'm finding more and more that physical exertion is highly theraputic for this mom who is otherwise, still too preoccupied with her beautiful boy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Song for my Friends

I found this song by Josh Wilson a few weeks ago and I cannot stop playing it. Even the album title, "Life is not a snapshot" is something we would do well to ponder awhile.

I hope it will be an encouragement, especially to my Jesus-loving friends.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfWAG-bnttQ

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Good Read: Twilight

Loved the "Twilight" post by There is No Hero in Heroin" and would encourage others to read it too.
http://thereisnoheroinheroin.blogspot.com/2010/06/twilight.html

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Mumsicles"



I recently added "Mumsicles" to my "CC" profilename /identity. For those who may be scratching their head over that one, it's one of the many nicknames my son has given me (Mumsicles I suppose is a play on 'Popsicles').

Since he learned to speak, he has given me various nicknames. They are ever-changing and one of the things I will always treasure between us. As a single mom, I raised Daniel alone. I guess this is evidence of the closeness we developed. Here are some of my other nicknames:

Bee-sa-goo (my first nickname. don't ask me what it means; he called me that for years starting a two yrs old)
My Sweetness
Co-Co Puffs
Mom-bone
Mims
Mims-a-monster
Bops
Mimzies
Mimmo
Mimose
Madre
Hey!
Mum
Mums
Mumsicles

I'm including a photo of a time I foldly remember. We were both much younger :)

What precious memory do you hold of your son/daughter from their childhood?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Learnings & Victories

Sunday night and it’s time to go home - home after a 2-day “family weekend” at rehab.
Daniel looks OK. More importantly, he is happy to be there and even excited to enter the extended program (after completing a 28-day inpatient program). It’s designed for addicts prone to relapse: high-accountability with intensive therapy designed to address some of the underlying issues that contribute towards his addiction. Recovery success rates double for participants that complete it. Yes, we are happy that he is willing, and happier still, that he is excited.

It was a long weekend of lectures; the content was excellent, delivery – a little boring due to the lack of interaction. But worth it.

What did we learn? (I’m including my husband’s responses here too – good discussion for the 2-hour drive home)

• We learned about “Family systems” and the roles of: scapegoat, mascot, hero, and the lost child
o I am the hero in my family of origin (responsible, achiever, successful, perfectionist)
o My husband: scapegoat (the one to take the blame) and lost child (overlooked)
o My son: scapegoat and mascot (clown, joker)
o Our other children: hero and scapegoat

• We learned the 7 characteristics of addiction:
1. A lot of time spent supporting the addictive behavior
2. Increasing tolerance
3. Experience withdrawal symptoms
4. Unsuccessful attempts to cut-down or stop using
5. Isolation
6. Loss of control
7. Keeps using in spite of negative consequences
Conclusion: Michael is addicted to caffeine

• We learned that healthy families are characterized by some of these traits: Roles are flexible; Sibling loyalty versus rivalry; Outsiders are welcome into the home; Fun; Individuality supported and growth is celebrated; Ok to talk about feelings; Relaxed atmosphere
o Michael and I are creating a healthy family home – we have most of these traits (whoo hoo for second chances!!!)

• We learned that we are codependent
o Codependents (that’s us) are also addicted – to the addict, that is. Obsessively focused on the addict’s out-of-control life (to the extent of neglecting our own needs) in an attempt to control him
o Codependents are prone to “relapse” (extreme anger, bailing addict out, policing, obsessing over and trying to control the addict)

• We learned that – like it or not – relapse is a very real possibility

• We learned that the 12-Step program works.

• We learned that recovery happens, primarily for those who commit to the recovery process every day

As for our victory (drum roll, please…): Both Saturday and Sunday nights, following the program, Michael and I successfully “let go”, enjoyed dinner out, and being together. I even beat him at a game of pool, which won me an ice cream sundae. As for the anticipated foot rub (anticipated Saturday night), I had to get a rain-check, since Michael was, once again, snoring way ahead of me….well, uhhh, maybe that was my fault – for blogging too late.

Not to worry, foot rubs are redeemable on Sunday nights!
:D

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Future-tripping and Foot Rubs

Went to bed tired. And yet, in spite of the lights out and rolling over to find my usual ready-for-sleep position, my mind turns on as quick as the lights turned off. Two minutes later I hear snoring from the 'other side' where my wonderful husband slips into the night. Hmmm, benefit of being the stepparent. Meanwhile, on my side, I can think of only one thing: Daniel.

How will the weekend turn out ("family weekend" at the rehab center)? What are the chances of him beating this addiction beast? Will he need 28 days? The extended program? Who will he marry? I hope he doesn't meet anyone at rehab and get distracted. What if they both relapse? They are not ready to be parents! Will he go back to school? Will he relapse? What will I do?

I am reminded of a new term (lots of new terms I'm learning): "future-tripping" and I realize I'm petty good at it long before I new it existed. Why don't I think of the future in positive terms? Meeting a wonderful girl that makes him want to a man? Becoming responsible and getting a job? Graduating from college? Aren't these also possible? Regardless of what's possible, I think I need to get out of predicting the future and live today. I think that is what I'm supposed to do. But my mind is not so quick to obey, try as I might.
Awareness isn't enough.

3am, I am awake again. Wide awake. Thinking again.
I can't seem to let go.
A problem I cannot solve.
A problem that torments me.
I almost got out of bed to check my new blog site and see what treasures awaited discovery. I think this is my new obsession. At least, I think it is leading me in a positive direction - getting educated, encouraged, and comforted. Learning how to live a more healthy and independent life; letting Daniel own his recovery. Sharing with and hearing from a community of understanding moms and dads of addicts.

Tonight, I'll ask for a foot rub.
Maybe that will increase my chances of being the first to snore.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Where are you - Christian parents of addicts?

I am a devout Christian and while this horror may shake my faith, I will not lose it. My God is a Living God. He is not dead. He has ears that hear, eyes that see, and hands that help and comfort. I just cannot see him very well these days. Is anyone out there also struggling with their faith? What scriptures do you hold onto? What prayers do you pray?

I love this scripture from Isaiah 49. What can be more of a tyrant than addiction? It gives me hope.

24Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?
25For thus says the LORD: "Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
that I am the LORD your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

So thankful for my new online friends

Many, many, many thanks to those of you who have commented on my posts. This blogging is new to me and I had no idea how much it would help to find other moms (and dads) with hearts that ache over their addicted sons and daughters. I am glad to find you and call you my new friends.

My sister checked in with me today. The fact is, I have many friends and family that are trying to offer support and encouragement. I am thankful for them too. This is what I told her:

The truth is, I am going one day at a time. Thankfully, I am not in depressed state constantly. I have times of high energy and happiness. But my thoughts are extremely preoccupied with my Danny-boy and the crisis we are in. My emotions are up and then crash down, sometime very low. Yesterday I had a great day. Then I had a short call from him and it triggered all kinds of fear. Fortunately, Michael (my husband and Daniel's stepfather) was there and we talked and I cried. It brought us closer. He is really walking with me through this hell, and I cannot imagine doing it alone.

So, some days I am great. And then I have moments (or days) when I'm not sure I want to live. Don't worry. I am not suicidal. I just don't want to live this life that has been forced upon me. I don't know what I am doing here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back to work today and feeling well.
Amazing how much a workout helps my mental state.
I was breathless in spin class since I had missed a week, but definitely worth it.
I'm also enjoying that my son (now in rehab) is someone else's priority. I don't have to worry when the phone rings. Knowing he's in a controlled environment is peaceful. But I read the blogs of other mom's of addicts and my heart is fearful of hoping this will work.
How do I balance my faith and hope with the reality of the statistics that seem to scream at me?
I don’t know how to pray any more.
My quiet time is quiet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This is my first blog. Not sure what I am doing

Numb
Angry
Bewildered
How did this happen to me?
To my beautiful boy?
Where did he go? I look at him and he appears to be there. Tall, so handsome. Beautiful smile. Charming. But it’s all a fa├žade he is not really there. Somehow, God I don’t know how, but somehow he was overtaken by this person who lies, deceives, gets high just to make it through the day. I don’t know him. Where are you? How am I to live without you? I can’t trust you. I don’t know you. Where are you?
I cry
It doesn’t help
I try to keep going. It requires pretending that everything is fine. That I am ok when I am really dying inside. Do you hear me? I am dying inside? You don’t even know. You’re clueless, wrapped up in you own selfish desires and warped reality.
Am I supposed to feel sorry for you? Because you’re a helpless little thing caught in a trap and can’t free yourself? But do you get it? You’re the one that walked into it. I tried to warn you. God, didn’t I warn you? Why did you have to do it? Why did you have to?
Now I am wrecked. I can hardly work. I look at my projects and I don’t have the energy to face them. But I have to keep pretending “everything’s fine”
So now I’m the one with a ‘disease’. It’s called codependency. I call it a broken heart. It’s broken badly. It hurts worse than getting a divorce, worse than anything. If you choose to live this way I don’t want to live any more. The pain is too much for me. I wish you could hear me.