Friday, November 27, 2009

3760 Holes

After 48 hours I am still trying to digest my impressions. It is hard for me to leave the old world behind. Even though I hated it the old feelings try to rise to the surface. I think it is my self preservation instinct to protect us from being hurt again. Complete change is a necessity for me. I will not continue my old life whether he does or not.

Mom and I had decided we wanted his release to be a celebration. We went out to eat and visiting. I had not seen that Brooke for over a week and wanted to see her. Our daughter had said Alex was not welcome at her new home. I respect that but we called her to see if we could come by and we had Alex. They thought it over and called us back and said we could come over and bring Alex. That was the first time he had seen her house and she gave him the tour. Plus we all got to play with Brooke. She had grown so much since Alex had last saw her 6 months ago. He was playing the part of a proud Uncle. It was a nice visit.

We then went by my mom's. His incarceration had been hard on his granny. A few smiles and tears and time melted away.

We were as patient as we could be. 24 hours after his release, almost to the minute we had a talk. It was hard holding in all those things even that long but it was so good to talk and I tried to listen too. Mom and I discussed our boundaries with Alex. Tried to be clear and there was nothing directed towards him. Everything from us was about how we were to live our life going forward. We said we have not enjoyed our life for a long time and for the last 3 months we learned again what it was like to enjoy life. We released our stress of his safety and learned to live again. Our goal is not to go back to that life again, our life is too short.

He talked to us. We listened. Alex said he has learned to believe in himself. He said,"there is nothing in life mentally and physically tougher than prison, if I can do that time in there I can do whatever I really want to do and I never want go back to my old life either." He also credited me with saying something before he went that helped him through it all. He quoted back to me my talk to him about "trying vs doing" ( He said he is no longer a person that tries, he said from now on in his life he is a do'er. It's almost hard to hold back tears when I heard that. Maybe they do listen sometimes.

We both talked about how hard this was going to be for us all. All of us changing at once. We offered our help. We told him we no longer would guess at what he needs and enable his death. We said we would help when he ask, but he must ask for help now. He is no longer a child he is a man and he "man up" and fulfill the role. 

Went to the regular family Thanksgiving. Alex was welcomed with open arms and many hugs. Having such a supportive family is gold to us and I am sure for him too.

3760 holes is how many holes were in his perforated steel cell door once he was out of "the hole" due to being sick and quarantined. I don't know what you see in that useless fact but it tells me a lot about a small piece of his life for the last month.


Lou said...

Really talking and really is very hard to do. I've learned it gets easier with practice.

Alex is like my son. He will always tell me the truth. So many times my son tried to tell me his truth, but I wanted to hear what I wanted to hear.

I loved this post. You have learned so much. One thing Andrew has going for him is he has a loving, caring dad just like Alex.

Chic Mama said...

I bet you are exhausted. Thinking of you all.

Fractalmom said...

difficult post to comment on. I am reminded of my son-in-law who just got out of his fourth incarceration.

upon release from each of them, while incarcerated, he either 'found God', or 'found strength' or 'found himself'.

I was always happy.

then, after a time, he relapsed. to the old ways, to the old friends, to the old habits.

some make it, some don't. we dont' know the formula, or honestly, there would be no members in these forums.

What I have learned is that to change the circumstances, the addict has to CHANGE THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

No same friends. No same places. No same behaviors.

and, that is REALLY hard.

I think the crux is that when they face adversity, and he will, THAT will be when the truth will out.

will he run back to the known and to him safe?

or will he 'man up' as you say and walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Time will only tell.

I have great hope for him, and perhaps he is young enough that jail scared the crap out of him and he now see's his future if he continues to use.

Medically, it has been proven that the brain does NOT return to pre heroin state for at least TWO years of not using any opiates or opiate antagonists (suboxone, methadone etc).

Until the brain quits having that opiate receptor whispering in their ear how nice it would be to just 'let go and tune out', then it is a factor.

One thing I have heard, but not seen my daughter practice is to substitute a healthy addiction for an unhealthy one.

Was he ever into running? Extreme exercise? Anything at all that he was totally passionate about before heroin?

that an avenue to redirecting the dopamine and opiate receptors to feel good with a different, fanatical hobby.

Just a thought, and I will be sending prayers your way regardless.

LOL. and here I am, doing JUST what I blogged about this morning.


Madison said...

I think your self preservation instinct is a good sign for you and Mom.

Annette said...

You and Mom take good care of yourselves. I think that is going to be Alex watches you both nurture your own lives, it will send the message that you are no longer there to rescue him and he will have to live accordingly or bear the consequences.

You and Mom are amazing and I was so happy to hear of the warm welcome the rest of the family gave him. You are fortunate and blessed!

Heather's Mom said...

When I read that post all I could think was, "Praise God!" It sounds like you are on the right path :)

Anonymous said...

Much luck to you and Alex. No offense, but this sounds like a post by Debby, who catches a lot of flack for being hopeful. I agree with a previous commenter; it's different when it's our kid.

Barbara said...

I loved reading this post and I won't let go of hope for any of our kids. Alex has A LOT going for him, including two parents that love him that are doing a great job. Its interesting...what fractal mom said about opiates staying in the brain for two years...Keven told me that last night and he was using it as a "possible reason for relapse". Ugh. I honestly do have a good feeling about Alex (not that my good feelings count for much! lol)

Midnitefyrfly said...

I know that there is no possible way to predict what will happen. Even in the midst of "perfection" or "bliss" there is the unexpected and unforeseen.

You are becoming well aware of the difference between that which is your life and within your control, and that which isn't.

You still have every right to hope and to love your son for every good moment that presents itself.

I am happy for your realization of that which is good, even in small doses.


kristi said...

Hope things work out for you all.

Syd said...

It sounds as if Alex is growing up and making some important decisions. I'm glad that you laid out your boundaries.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

Keep taking care of yourselves and find strength wherever you can. You are an inspiration to many, including Alex it appears. I am happy he is home with you both and hope he lives happily within the boundaries.

onemomtalking said...

I completely relate! And my heart is with you. My son is a heroin addict. He is in jail for the second time. First time, only a week and we got him out on bond and sent him to 30-day rehab. He used the day after he got home from rehab. Now he's back in jail. He's been in 10 days so far w/ at least 2 more weeks to go, possibly much more. He's looking good, but we don't know what to expect. Anyway, just found this blog and will keep coming back.

I have a blog also ( and you can find me on twitter under the same name: onemomtalking. Thanks.