Wednesday, March 27, 2013

1000's of Words

Over the course of this blog there has been thousands of words put to screen by me, not including thousands more by commenter's. I have reached that point I am stuck. Maybe it's called writers block or something like that but it's not really like that. I know what I want to say but I cannot come up with the right string of words to convey my message. This probably won't be neat and clean and many re-writes may be required but here goes.

When Alex stopped using there was a level of fear and suspicion that I am sure all of you understand. Yea sure, a familiar phrase, I've heard this before. Days turned into weeks, weeks morphed into months and months grew to years. The memories of horror and fear will never leave me but a comfort and peace has taken over in my mind. A new mantra has entered my life, "All things are possible."

The hard part is telling someone how I feel when I see Alex in comparison to what seems to be so long ago now. A simple one line post I wrote July 12, 2010 is a benchmark from where I start, "It is not good. With what is going on it probably won't be long." At that point I was so heartbroken and despondent that I couldn't even come up with a title, the title of the post was simply, "Untitled".

Today my son is a man, a father and a person I am proud to know and call my son. Sometimes I catch myself simply staring at him, it is as if I cannot believe I have been given more time with him. He did this and allowed us to all see what he can be instead of what we feared. I wish I knew better how to say what I really feel.

I'm not a good writer, I just throw words out about how I feel and what I think. I am at that point I don't know how to string the words together that adequately describe how I feel today about my son. So I just have to leave to you all to guess and try to imagine. I know some of you are experiencing this too with your sons and daughters, clear and sober where you never truly believed it could be possible. Maybe you can send me the words or help me because I am stuck.

To those parents that are still struggling I say never give up hope but place your hope where it belongs, not on them but on yourself. Where there is life there is hope. All things are possible. My hope lies with you, your poor sick children and your loved ones.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Partnership Post

The Partnership at has published another one of my essays. Regular readers will recognize this one about Does Relapse Mean Failure that was on the blog not long ago. However, there is a very good reason you should check it out again.

As a followup to my essay the Staff at The Partnership wrote a very good piece on The Five Things You Need To Know About Relapse.

Please, take a minute to review these essays.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

All Over The World

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a parent just as I do most days. I am so glad today that I posted my e-mail on our blog long ago. I never tire of getting e-mails from parents and I answer each one in some way. That has resulted in some writing many times and we share our trials on line and even some people I have met here locally. The single common denominator is our love for our children and desperation to do something about addiction and alcoholism.

These letters come from all over the world. I have written people in South Africa, New Zealand, Europe, Pakistan, South America Australia and many, many other places.

Yesterday I received an e-mail came from a mum in Australia. She told the story of her son and their life. She gave me permission to reprint her letter and it is below. I print this because we all need to understand that in this battle none of us are alone. No matter if we are sitting next to someone at a meeting, sharing hugs with a relative, answering an anonymous e-mail or sharing with someone on the other side of the world, we are not alone in this mess.

This is an epidemic the world over.

Good Luck Julie, all my best wishes for your family and your son. Where there is life there is hope. We have shared a few e-mails, feel free to write any time.

Dear Ron

  I have come across your blog on the net and have been reading your past blogs.  
Our son, Andrew is 24years and other than me being "mum" not mom things are 
pretty much the same over here for our family in Australia. There is so little 
help over here and in our National news this week they are telling us young 
Australians are up in the biggest Drug users in the world statistics. It is so 
wonderful to read your feelings that almost mirror mine and to know I am not 
alone!  We have been struggling with Andrew's drug addiction for 7 years and I 
think if only I had written it all down...this roller coaster ride that we 
co-inhabit with our son.  he is living in our family home, on a methadone 
program and I think just maybe he has reached the stage of not enjoying the drug 
life and it does not give him any happiness anymore. He struggles with recovery 
and relapses are common.  We are a middle class family with two sons, Andrew is 
our youngest. He started with pot at 15 years and was an A grade student up 
until this time. He has also been a poly drug user and has even taken to 
misusing his methadone dose and injecting it.  There are very few rehabs in 
Queensland where we live, and almost all of them are 12 steps based. Total 
abstinence is impossible with him using the methadone and god knows if he will 
ever be able to stop. Trying to find a detox unit to coordinate with rehab is 
almost impossible. Andrew has been admitted to every private hospital in 
Brisbane and in every case has had himself excluded for misusing drugs whilst a 
patient.  He went to a rehab down the Coast and was clean for 9 months!! He 
entered their halfway house program and started using again Then he came back 
home to us and we live this never ending nightmare. Fortunately he has not been 
to jail, I think our system is somewhat different to yours.  Each court case he 
has managed to evade prison somehow and does not have a record which could be 
good if he does decide to get clean one day as he will be able to gain 
employment. However i sometimes feel it may have been better for Andrews 
recovery as so much help is given to them in jail. It is so true the 
codependency addicts families develop. My husband is the classic enabler and how 
our 32 year marriage is still intact is a wonder! All of the feelings you 
describe the hatred, the frustration, the sadness, the disappointment, the utter 
helplessness is everything that we feel.  We cannot see a way out at all and 
wonder will it ever end? Or will he end up dead our greatest fear of all!
 Anyway Ron I just wanted to say thank you to you and your wife for your blog 
as it has given me hope and I don't feel quite as alone now.. Thankyou both so 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Tomorrow is St. Patricks Day and for the second year we are going to be riding in the parade. Duane my brother-in-law once again entered his Army truck in the parade and we all get to ride in the back or walk along side.

Last year the weather was great, this year it is suppose to be cold, windy and up to 2" of snow is predicted to fall during the parade. It takes more that cold and snow to keep us down. The parade must go on!

If you are in KC and at the parade we are entry number 66. Big Army truck filled with fools. Give a shout out to us!
St. Patricks Day 2012

Monday, March 4, 2013

Speaking To Students, AGAIN

This is an open invitation to anyone in the KC area or for that matter anywhere that wishes to hear me speak with high school students I am speaking again at Basehor Linwood High School on this Thursday and Friday mornings.

A great teacher, Susan Mayberry, once again invited me to speak to her students and tell our story. If you wish to join me please contact me through a comment or e-mail. Susan and I will make the arrangements where you sit in a classroom with 30 high school students and try to show them that this monster is real and is stalking them.

If you are a teacher or administrator in a school and want me to share my story with your students please write. We CAN make this happen together. Come see what happens on Thursday or Friday.

ps.: If this week is bad I'll be at Shawnee Mission West High School on May 3rd all day, another great teacher, Mary Hedges knows what this means for her students too.

I Drugged My Dog

I made an appointment at the veterinarian on Saturday for our dog Lexi. She had been showing signs of pain in her hips and seeing that she is a Golden Retriever and they are known for bad hips we were hoping for the best.

We got the best news nothing serious other than she is carrying to much weight. Like that's a surprise living in our house. LOL The doctor said to get about 15-20 pounds off of her and she would probably be OK. However, to help with the pain he gave her a prescription of Tramadol. That would help her with the pain and make her more active to lose weight faster.

He explained to me that Tramadol is an opiate based pain reliever. Flags, bells, and whistles began going off in my mind. I must have been pretty obvious because he then explained that Tramadol can make people "somewhat goofy" but those effects are rarely seen in dogs.

When I got home I dosed Lexi as he instructed. She got sleepy and slept for 24 hours. She got up once to go out and pee and she fell over walking to the door. I OD'ED MY DOG!!!

I visited the vet this morning and he told me to cut the dosage in half.

Guess this goes to show that drugs have a linear affect in families. In reality Lexi is actually Alex's dog. We got Lexi for him on his 16th birthday. OMG!!!