Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Is Support?

It is almost with a nervous anticipation I post this type of question, but I have never been shy or hesitant before.

As my son progresses in his recovery, even though it is in a highly structured environment I begin to contemplate next steps. What does support look like for an addict by their parents and loved ones? Support, enabling, love how does this all differ; and with an illness like this what really does help?

As I have struggled to accept addiction as a disease and not just a weakness of character I have wrestled with what is the role of a father or parents.

Treat me like a normal person is what I have heard from others suffering from other serious diseases. “Do for me only what I cannot do for myself.” This is what I have heard from others I have been close to suffering from diseases such as; cancer, arthritis, heart disease and other such debilitating diseases. These are probably wise words to apply to a recovering addict too, but I don’t know. This disease is not like diseases I have been exposed to in my past and certainly not something in which I have had close experience within my family.

I equate this to a homecoming, even though he will not be coming back to the family home, this seems equal to someone being released from a hospital after a long-term cancer treatment or something. Nothing is the same as before. Preparing the “home”, getting a healing attitude ingrained and preparation for caregivers. How does this work for an addict?

Guess maybe this goes to the control by dad but I seldom ever do anything without a plan. When I plan I prepare. I’m a firm believer success at anything is no accident and planning must be thorough to be successful. What stresses me is I know addicts especially those in the early stages of recovery are pretty much incapable of implementing a plan much beyond day by day. So my plan must be structured for me, but I have to recognize that the whole purpose of my plan is to provide support to one that is ill.

I’m not even sure I am asking the right questions but this is what has been weighing on my mind lately. This damn thing is awfully hard to flowchart.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The World of CAN and CAN’T

Last Friday I was discussing with my son our plans for the weekend. We were going to the lake for some rest, relaxation and boating. My son was envious. He grew up going to the lake. We have a Mastercraft Boat and he took to wakeboarding very naturally. He was good at wake-to-wake tricks and tried some inverts. However, the last time he went to the lake with us was a couple years ago. At that time we could tell the drugs had taken their toll on him and his athletic ability on the water. He didn’t have the physical strength to accomplish some of his tricks and he was completely unable to sync his coordination and timing. It was sad from my perspective to watch him but he had fun.

This discussion opened an opportunity to talk about what his life was like in comparison to a life of being clean and not in trouble with the law.

Can and Can’t sums up pretty well the differences in our life. We spoke of all the things he is not able to do now it his life. He can’t be free to go places he wants to go, even if they are good places because he is incarcerated. He can’t eat the food he wants to eat. He can’t visit or have the friends and feel free to socialize. He can’t get the medical and dental care he wants because of no money, no insurance and no freedom. He can’t watch the TV shows he wants to watch. He can’t play the games he wants to play. He can’t get the job he wants to work. He can’t go back to his schooling at this time to improve his life. He can’t go places even after he is out freely because he has to report to a PO.

Even when he was out of jail and free to do as he wished the world of can’t was unpleasant. So many of those things we took for granted he couldn’t do because he can’t get too far from his drug supply, He can’t get a decent job because of addiction and drugs tests. He can’t get his drugs so he has to commit crimes to get money to buy drugs. He can’t drive because he lost his license and we would not let him drive our vehicles.

He agreed the world of can’t is a real bitch and the root cause of all that was his addiction to the drugs.

We contrasted his world to his mothers and mine. We can work good jobs where we are respected and appreciated. We can make enough money to live in a nice home and drive nice cars and have motorcycles and boats to play. We can go visit anyone we chose when we chose. We can travel locally, nationally and internationally on vacations. We can eat what we want, when we want. We can play, watch TV, read, and call our leisure time our own. I told him all of this would disappear quickly for us if we made the decisions to use drugs and live the life he choose to live.

I believe it was sobering to him for this realization. He sat there quietly for some time. There was probably none of this he hadn’t considered individually before, but we grabbed all the pieces at once and it hit hard. A world of his choosing but also a world he can change.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Same Story

Here is the address of another parent just beginning a blog about their addicted son. The story is the same as we have all gone through. It almost seems like our kids found a book titled "Using Drugs For Dummies", and follow it step by step religiously. . They all seem to follow the very same path of use behaviors and actions. It is uncannily similar to all I read in so may blogs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Communication From Others

Since we have came out of the shadows and put our picture and e-mail on our blog we have gotten many personal e-mails from others. Most with the same heartache that we have experienced. Some of the letters were very re-assuring and some were so filled with the pain of a mother or father they are hard to read. We have cherished every e-mail and try to get back to each person very quickly. We know too well as parents that by the time you can open up to someone even a stranger that you feel as if you are drowning and going down for the third time.

As you know if you follow us, we are not experts our blog is just an accounting of our experiences and things we learn as we blindly feel our way through this experience of having an addicted child. As the old saying goes "Misery loves company." Well let me tell you we have found some wonderful company in this experience of blogging about our experience.

Last night Micheal wrote us. At the end of his long letter he gave me permission to use his letter. Parts of his letter are sad, parts are inspirational but most of all what I get is that this struggle will never be over, but it does change and there is life after active addiction. That life is whatever an addict chooses to be as they live with their disease and their struggle.

This is his letter in its entirety:

Dear “Dad and Mom,”

I stumbled upon your blog via a mutual blog-friend, Barbara (Writing From the Inside Out) and spent the last couple of hours reading over most of your posts and many of the comments. Yours is an issue that is very close to my heart, from multiple perspectives. But before I get into that, I share something else with you that is also very close to my heart: I ride a 2007 Road King and like you, I find a great deal of peace when it is just me, my machine and miles of deserted asphalt.

You remind me a lot of my own father… and mom is much like my own mother. My father is a consummate control freak and my mother exceeding codependent. My father is also an atheist to the point that he dislikes the word – it presumes there is something to argue about. My younger brother is, at 44 years-old, very much still in his active addiction. His drug of choice has varied over the years, but he seems to prefer opiates of one type or another. My parents are both are now in their seventies and both have dealt with addicted children for most of the past 25 years. My youngest sibling, my sister (42 years-old) is the only one of us who seems to have escaped the disease.

If you’ve been doing your math, then you have already figured that I am an addict, too. My story spans more than 25 years of using one drug or another; the one that finally took me down was crystal methamphetamine. It was not my “drug of choice,” that choice like many others was taken from me by the disease of addiction. It chose me. There is a great deal of accurate information in your blog and from those who have left comments, but there is also a fair amount of misinformation as well. It is not my goal to “set the record straight” per se, but rather to share my experience. It is from the sharing of experience that addicts and those we affect gain strength and perspective.

You mentioned how you had a problem with the “powerless” portion of the first step. For those who have not experienced the control addiction has over the addict, it is difficult to understand how we can continue to destroy ourselves in the name of getting “high.” Indeed, by the time addiction has set its hooks in us, there is no more getting high. The party was long over. There is a great deal of research explaining how these drugs affect the brain and, consequently, why so many addicts chase their drugs to the gates of insanity or death, but none of that is really important if a medical solution cannot be found. To date, there is none.

Every addict, like every person, is different and the depth addiction takes us can vary from illnesses to jail to death; everyone’s bottom is different. Although it is true that until the addict truly wants to stop, nothing much short of incarceration can be done to make him or her stop. This was my story. I had to be stopped – it wasn’t until I had been drug (and alcohol) free for a period of time that I could come to the conclusion that my way of life was no longer working for me. Although it was true for a very long time, it took some very real consequences before I could accept that I was indeed powerless over drugs and alcohol. Relapse was part of my story, but today I am just shy of five years clean.

But it is a daily reprieve. I no longer obsess on drugs and it has been a very long time since I last thought about it. I buy into the notion that I will always be an addict and that I need to regularly maintain a program of recovery to keep from relapsing. I have seen too many with many years clean forget that they are still susceptible – and many never made it back. I am very active in NA – and I have far less time to devote to it now because of the success I have realized in recovery, but I make the time because it is that important. To use again would mean flushing all that success down the toilet. What success? Let me tell you…

While in a six-month residential treatment program in mid-2004, I started attending the local community college. I wanted to become a drug and alcohol counselor. I have made many attempts at higher education over the past 20 plus years, but I was rarely successful, never completing very much. This time was different. I had almost six months clean and my grades were phenomenal. At nine months I relapsed - just before the spring semester. Grades that semester? Less than phenomenal, but I passed. Then I caught a new drug charge in April and violated probation – I received 60 days in one county and 90 in another. On August 6, 2004 I reported to jail in the first county – it turned out to be my clean date. Upon release, my drug and alcohol counseling goal was out the window – my relapse had delayed that dream to the point that it was no longer feasible. I served 40 days on the 60, but only 10 on the 90 due to jail over-crowing, but I had about 60 days clean by the time I was finally released.

I could not go to back to school that September because the semester had already started… I didn’t know what I would do there anyway since I didn’t have the clean time to get an internship to get a degree in counseling… and I could not find a job. My life was crap, but at this point, my parents were standing behind me. I also had my two younger sons living with me. I wanted to get loaded almost every day, but the next step was prison and I did not want to go there. Still, there were at least two occasions where I would have used if I could have found some dope. Call it divine intervention or just good luck, but I made it through. I returned to the junior collage in the spring of 2005 and never looked back.

It turns out that in all those attempts at higher education, I had acquired some college credits and, combined with those two recent semesters at the junior college I was only five classes away from transferring as a junior to California State University, Sacramento. I was accepted and started in the fall of 2005 at almost 42 years old. I graduated Magnum Cum Laude in 2007 with a BA in government-journalism. I was one of those “smart” kids, too, but my grades, until recently, never reflected it. I am now working on a Master’s degree in communication studies and teaching at Sac State.

Although this type of “academic” success is uncommon for recovering addicts, all of my friends in the program who do the work required to stay clean would report similar success in many other areas. It is possible. But so are the not-so-pleasant realities. I am a realist – I am not stupid by any stretch of the imagination, but addiction had me doing some very stupid (and often life-threatening) things. And there are those who because of pride, ego or some other refusal to admit that they are not in control, never find recovery. I hope this is not the case for your son – I know a great many who have dug far deeper holes and are living lives free from active addiction today. And they are happy, which is all anyone really wants anyway. I don’t believe my “God” or “Higher Power” does anything for me, but from my belief I get the guidance and strength to do the things I always knew I could do, but couldn’t.

Even in the best of circumstances, it’s going to take time. There is hope, have faith, but most of all have patience. And if he starts using again, well, unfortunately, he’ll have to face that music alone. You said it in your blog - you can’t fix him. And it’s not your fault.

I want to thank you as well. Although I have made and continue to make amends to my own parents, your account gave me a deeper understanding of just how much I hurt them and how much my brother still does. Your shared experience has deepened my perspective – and that is important because my middle son is on the same path your son is – and the one I chased for too many years. I hope they both get better before they have to experience what I did.

I am signing this with my full name, but I would appreciate it that if you share it (and you have my permission to do so), please leave my last name off it. It is an anonymous program and I do not identify as an addict anywhere but in the rooms of NA. I also have a blog that I have maintained since December 2005 that is a running account of my perspective as a “non-traditional” (read, old) college student, among other things. Many of my posts are written from the perspective of an addict - without actually saying so. It’s one of those things that if you know, you know.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Walter Cronkite

A little off my normal subject.

This past weekend Walter Cronkite died. I read another bloggers post about this and it stirred some thoughts about his passing that I felt I’d like to share.

I did not know Mr. Cronkite other than seeing him on television for so many years. Forgive me but after that many years I feel that our relationship is more personal than to maintain the formality of Mr. Cronkite so I am sure he wouldn’t mind to just be Walter.

Walter was an icon. Nothing was the news unless it made Walter’s desk. Today’s information stream is a torrent. If you don’t like what someone is reporting keep looking, you will find another to tell you something else. The difference from today is that Walter was trusted. You didn’t have to look for his loyalties, you knew exactly where his loyalty rested, the truth.

With Walter you didn’t look left or right, you just listened and then you saw the picture and used your own values to decide right or wrong. To me that is the pinnacle of journalism.

Thinking of some of the events that came to us via Walter. The Viet Nam War and the peace demonstrations, the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. The riots and burning of our cities, the moon landing. These are events that shaped generational thinking. Without journalists, without Walter, these are the pages of our history that many would like buried. We would be a lesser nation without men and women the caliber of Walter Cronkite that pulled back the covers of truth and exposed us to sometimes the horror of ourselves and the best of ourselves. This is a debt we owe these men.

We saw journalists like Walter in the middle of the action and fire during WW2. He used his journalistic position to relay the words and action during a very turbulent time, Viet Nam. In one segment, showing our brave men fighting and dying in the jungles and in the very next segment, showing another group of brave men and women demonstrating and demanding the war and killing to end. He pulled back the covers to expose the racism and violence during the civil rights era, how many in power do you believe wanted what they were doing to people demanding equal rights not covered by the news? Assassinations of leaders that changed history, and you know those deaths affected him as it did us, but he was our rock and our truth teller.

Thank you Walter. As you rest we need to remember that the icons of a generation are our men and women of honor that become the conscience of America, not the entertainers and athletes as we have seen lately.

Rest in Peace, Walter

Resting Easy......

As a parent of an addict I should know better that to even think about the words "resting easy" that's sure to jinx it. But luck and superstitions aside, hope is our drug of choice.

Alex is doing well. He is working hard and using his money to pay down his fines. He is stressed about his court appearances the next few weeks but he is hoping that if he pays on his fines and shows that he is working 2 jobs and putting all his money into what he owes, and he ask his PO to write him a note of recommendation, (he agreed) the judge's will let him continue this path.

Mom and I are feeling good and in a good place. I think it is because of two things. First, Alex is doing well and in a structured place that keeps him from using and getting into trouble. Plus he is working and seeing a reward for his effort. That is satisfying for him and us. Second, we are in a place that we understand he needs help from others. No matter how much we love him we have realized he needs more than us. That is now, that is OK.

Mom and I discussed this last weekend that he will need support from good friends and family. We know it will be hard for some to come around, all we can do is give them time too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Sense of Accomplishment

I took Alex to pay fines in 2 places yesterday, plus he mailed off other fines. He started with $700 in his bank account from his paycheck, he now has $5 and says he feels good about it.

In the past I had talked to him about setting and accomplishing goals. He told me yesterday after he got done paying he really felt good and that I was right when something good gets done you feel a sense of pride. He said he was proud of himself.

He still owes a lot more money and he is figuring that at least 2 more checks are already gone. But if the money goes to pay his fines it cannot go anywhere else.

It is easy for me to feel good today. But I know, I know. But hey, isn't it one day at a time?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Courtroom Roller Coaster

Tomorrow I have to miss some work to take my son to pay some of his fines. He is already stressing about it. Some of the places he has to go to pay fines he has outstanding warrants. He is hoping that they just take his money and he gets to go, I don't know, it is his issue. Next week he has a court date on revoking his probation for not paying his fines in one jurisdiction. He is hoping that by paying tomorrow they will not revoke his probation.

I can see the stress he has when I talk to him about these things. Before he would have been using due to the stress. In the environment he is in now I hope the intense structure helps him not to use.

My only advice to him was that he legitimately has these fines and he did commit the acts that got him to this point. It is no use in beating yourself up over this, can't change the past, you just take what happens, make the best of it and live it one day at a time. You don't like all of this then don't do the things that put you in these positions again. Try learning from your mistakes instead of repeating them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Always Worrying About Something

 Anyone that "really" knows me, knows that I am a worrier. That's jut how I am. Worry and fret. I worry about lots of things. Worry about an old friend that no longer wants to be my friend, worrying about if I don't do something my elderly father wants help with, something will happen and I will regret it, worrying I'll disclose the truth on a lie that someone told, fearing I will spill the beans with the truth and always worrying about my son.

Since he's been in The Center I've not worried so much about him. He is safe, has shelter over his head, food to eat and people making sure he stays clean. Sounds good doesn't it, so what is there to worry about?

I know my son is a social butterfly always has been. He loves people. He loves having friends. Losing his so called "friends" from his drug days won't be easy for him. He needs to never contact them. Otherwise it will only trigger the bad habits and need for drugs. I know that he was in contact with a couple of these so called friends this week, through the internet. So, it worries me. He has come so far from the dark side. He's got two jobs, beginning to pay off his fines, he's taking care of business and clean for a few months, now. So, why would the first chance he gets would he contact them?

He and I have discussed this issue before. That he will need to lose all contact with these so called friends and get new friends. It was obvious, after this week that he isn't ready to do that. Why did he contact them? I know that he has made friendships with some of the guys at The Center and I know that he has made new friendships at his jobs. He has mentioned how excited he is about these new friendships. So, I am not sure why he felt the need to contact these old friends.

Dad says if he gets back with associating with these bad friends, there is nothing we can do about it. It is what it is! We have done our part. It is up to our son to stay clean do the right things. I know that Dad is right, and only time will tell how this all turns out.  My hope is that our son will start relying on his new friendships and let the past bad friendships, be just that, in the past. And I need to try and not to worry so much . . . 


Friday, July 10, 2009

A Bank Account

What so special about a bank account? It is that place that charges you more money if you run out of or have no money, right? Everybody has one.

What is so special is that yesterday my son opened a bank account. It is part of the requirements of his life at The Center. This way I will set him up for direct deposit of his paycheck and he can begin paying off his fines and clear his warrants.

Sometimes the only steps you can look for and appreciate are the baby steps. I'll take whatever I can get. Dad is happy and proud, I hope this is a start. (again)

Almost Move-In Time

First of all:

More Resources

This blog has been listed on a site: “Top 100 Overcoming Addiction Blogs”

There are other resources on there if you want to check it out.

The Kitchen

As many of you know that have been following this blog for a while one of my welcome distractions from addiction insanity has been working on my daughter's first house that they just bought. It was in quite poor condition when we started and my main job was the kitchen. The kitchen was a wreck. The cabinets had 4 coats of paint and finish, the floor was literally coming apart, none of the appliances were salvageable and the counters, (I wouldn't let my dog eat off them). It is getting close to being done and I promised you a few pictures of some of my work. As you know I like doing woodworking. So here comes a little distraction from the normal.

This is the island top with a new range. The butcher block was salvaged from the old counter top and I took about 1/4 inch off the top and added the walnut edging then turned it into the island top and installed the range top. It is edge glued oak with walnut trim, finished with high gloss polyurethane.

This the island from the other end. Shows the end detail. Didn't want square edges so I ovaled the end to keep from banging your hip on a corner and extended over the edge of the island for a stool for my granddaughter.

I had enough butcher block left to use it here to create a pastry station. It has the same edge detail as the island but it has been sanded smooth and finished with food grade mineral oil. Food prep can be done directly on the board along with any chopping. If it gets cut up a little sandpaper and mineral oil and it is good as new. The sides are oak and the wall behind is finished oak.

I'm a bad photographer. The white on the drawer is just a sack I didn't tuck in before taking picture.

The pantry. All of the cabinet doors were trashed. The frames were in decent shape so I stripped and sanded all the frames but the doors were beyond hope so I made all new doors and drawers, 31 doors and 12 drawers in all. The stain color was picked by my daughter and the finish is a very strong durable varnish used in new kitchens today.

We haven't cleaned up for final move so you can see the construction dust some but this is the new floor. It is a walnut floor. That is why I used the walnut edging on the butcher block island and pastry board, to tie it all together. Directly behind me from where I am taking the picture is a large picture window and I made the window seat to match the same oak with walnut edging.

Here is a nice picture of the overall of that wall. The wet wall is not complete yet with the sink. Granite is the counter top on that side and we do not have the plumbing quite finished. I'll get pictures of that when it is done. Of course all new paint in there too.

Monday, July 6, 2009

CAUTION: Truths Ahead (enter at own risk)

Maybe I should also qualify this with: As I See It

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately. I particularly feel very empathetic towards those parents just beginning their journey down this terrible path or those facing the turmoil of a next step; rehab, incarceration, dislodging the addict from the family home. These are open and fresh wounds for Mom and I. The pain is just below the surface and it never goes away no matter how well our son is doing today. We know all it takes is one trigger and we are plummeting down the drop not knowing where the bottom is when just a day ago we were sitting on top of the world.

I am going to list some very hard lessons we have learned and maybe some short explanations. All of this we denied in the beginning. Mom and I fought with ourselves and with each other about these things. It didn't matter who was telling us the truth, we knew better, after all he was our son. We have now accepted these truths and it is now so much easier to actually deal with the heartache and be more effective helpers for our addict.

1. Parents Are Enablers

We love our sons and daughters. We would do anything to remove the pain. Take away the addiction. Smooth the road. We'd give our life if it would help. I once wrote a letter to my son about these drugs. I used the analogy of him standing on the railroad tracks and a train (drugs) is blasting down the tracks and blaring its horn but he hears nothing. I told him it was my job to knock him out of the way and take the hit, that is what fathers do. I understand now, I was wrong. All that would do would leave me dead and he would be standing on another set of tracks the next day. We raised our children the best way we knew how. At some point they made decisions that set them down this path. We can only support them and provide them opportunities to make another decision. This is a hard one. That is why at times sponsors, recovering addicts, police officers, probation officers, corrections officers, pastors, counselors can all do a better job than we can in showing our addict the correct path. That is difficult because no one loves our addict like we do but we cannot do what they need when they need it.

2. I Cannot Fix This

Goes a lot to what was said above. This is a problem only our addict can fix. Very hard for me to accept because I try to fix everything. No one is allowed in our addicts mind except them. They are the only ones that can decide to do something about this. This will not end until they decide to end it. Parents trying to make that decision for them only results in failure and frustration.

3. My Addict Is A Liar

Addicts will say anything to hide their addiction and the actions it takes to mask the problem. I honestly believe at the time they do not even realize they are lying, they just say whatever they believe you want to hear. I believe they have motives in this to seek approval and to give us pride. I believe addicts do not like themselves or what they are doing but at some point they can see no door out. Their only mechanism for survival is to seek some kind of approval through lying, even if they know they will be busted. But it goes to the instant gratification thing that drugs provide, I think even a smile of approval from a loved one shoots off those chemicals in the brain that gives them a different high, even if it lasts only a couple seconds. When my addict tells me he is not using I really don't hear it. I tell him often "My eyes can hear much better than my ears." Just as we seek evidence of their using, we must seek evidence of their NOT using, not just faith that they are not using.

4. My Addict Is A Criminal

That is why he is incarcerated. Face up to it Dad and Mom, he has done things wrong and he must pay the price, as they say, his debt to society. It does no good to bad mouth the police, the judge, the jail, the lawyers they did not put him there. He put himself there. When we see others on TV and in jail we think about how much they deserve to be there but our babies aren't like them. We can justify and separate the wrongs by misdemeanor and felony but those are legal terms. The long and short of it my addict has did things that got himself put in there and he must pay.

5. Others Don't Want Them Around

That is OK. He has wronged many people. We are the parents, it's called unconditional love. It is not wrong for friends, brothers, sisters, grandparents, relatives to have their own feelings and pain about this situation. Some families have great support and no one abandons anyone, some people decide they do not want the trouble of an addict in their life. That is OK. We all get to make the choice and there is no wrong choice, it is just a choice by those people.

6. Life Will Not Be The Same

At 5 years old my son thought he was Michelangelo, of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Running around the house with an orange bandanna tied around his head brandishing plastic weapons fighting evil and the bad guys. When we look at our addicts we see that 5 year old and mourn the loss and try anything we can to get them back. My addict is a 21 year old man. He is every bit an adult with at times a child's maturity. But our world recognizes chronological ages, not maturity levels, parents must do that too. I believe Michelangelo is lost inside of him. Those that are lost sometimes find their way back, but some do not. I can grieve that loss but it will not help him or us to move forward. An addict does not live in the past or the future. An addict lives in the here and now, if you want to help your addict you must live in the same world they do.

7. Homeless May Be The Path He Chooses

Mom works in downtown KC. When you drive down there you see the homeless with signs and people living under the bridges. They are dirty and hungry. They very likely are addicts, alcoholics or have mental illnesses. The one common denominator for all of these men and women living alone and homeless is that at some point in their life they had people that loved them. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends to someone. That doesn't change their situation. They made choices that helped them to this point. They can make other choices, and there are people and organizations to help them change. The key is, they must make the decisions. If our addict makes the decision to live this way, it will hurt me but he will do this until it is time for him to change, I cannot change him or those circumstances. It will not help him for me to give him a bed in my home if he continues to live the lifestyle.

Why is all this important?

We struggled mightily against these truths, fought with every ounce of strength. We lost our fight. We have accepted what we wished was not true. My learning's are; until you understand the truths you cannot find peace within yourself or be really able to help your addict. Accepting these truths is what enabled me to do what had to be done, call the sheriff on my own son and have him arrested. Accepting these truths is also what gave me the courage to go to the sheriff and probation officer to ask for help after he was arrested. Accepting these truths is what allows me to sleep at night while he is in jail.

I do not hate my son for using drugs and putting all of us through this pain. I hate the things he does. I hate the lying, the stealing, the using. I love my son very much, I hate his ways. It is perfectly OK to separate the two.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

So Far, So Good

It has been almost a week since I last posted. It has been a busy week and a good week.

We are getting my daughters house ready, it has to be in "move in" condition according to the appraiser. I don't see the problem. It is in a condition that I bet is better than 95% of all houses out there people are living in today. Well we will see what he says, it is nice and I'd live in it just fine. It is in better condition than either of the 2 houses I have owned when I moved in and one of them was a new house. I would wager that if the mortage industry had been perform this type of due diligence in the mortages of the last 10 years we wouldn't be in this deep of a housing crisis now.

My son is still working. He is doing just fine working here with me and at the Sonic. He says he is tired but that is good for him in my way of thinking. I was discussing his financial issues with him and we figured up he owes about $3K in fines and costs to date, to live at the center. I told him if all he has to do is work he should work every hour he can get and pay every penny he can. Spend nothing and pay everything ASAP. He suddenly realized that 3K could buy him a decent starter car but he doesn't even get that from his work. That really knocked him over when he realized he could have a car but NO he is paying for past sins.

The center is a tough road but he seems to be making it work for now. When it was 100 degrees I offered to take drive him about 3/4 mile to where they pick him up and let him sit in the air conditioned truck while waiting but he said he was not allowed to do that so he refused.

I do have some mixed feelings about some of the ways they do things. It is a part of department of corrections but they charge the inmates a daily charge to be in there and it is high. Plus the classes they are required to attend they charge a fee, for instance, yesterday he started a drug class and he is required to attend it and he has to pay $1100 to attend the class. I told him he didn't need a drug class he already knows how to use them all. ;-) But the issue I have is that by the time they are released they are usually several thousand dollars in debt and if a person is truly trying to start over that makes the hole so much deeper. And if the person isn't trying to get well then they don't care anyway. I am torn, if 6 months and this experience enables him to decide to fix his problem it is a fairly cheap "rehab", if it is the same old stuff then back to using it is money down the toilet and he is in a hole that I don't believe in which he can crawl out.

Others In Turmoil

Reading some of the other blogs of parents with addicted children and it seems to have been a fairly harsh couple weeks for them. Please keep other parents in your thoughts, holidays are tough without your child to share in the fun, and from our past experiences with our son it is even tougher if they are with you. Our son always seemed to ruin holiday celebrations because of his using and him getting high and making a mess of things. It is bittersweet having him away, but he is in a safe place. I hope all the parents suffering the same fate can find that it is bittersweet and enjoy the 4th of July celebration.

And for those of you, and I am thinking of a few of families in particular, you know who you are, I read your blogs and read your comments, who's children are in rehab or just incarcerated my advice to you is to try what has worked for Dad & Mom:

It is a time to rest, they are in a safe place, maybe not a pleasant place, but safer than the street. Go home cry a little, laugh a little, hold each other close for a long time. Re-gain your strength, refresh, they will be out soon and you will need to be there for them again in some fashion. Take a couple weeks and plan your life, learned from hard lessons, it does no good to plan their life.