Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. Every year this is a day that hope and promise seems to fill us all. Even for parents of addicts still trapped in that vicious circle of a lost child.

Last night Darlene and I went to bed after toasting the new year, tired and sore, with our kids still playing board games on the dining room table. Whispering our hopes for the new year, not even mentioning anything about drugs, addiction, rehab or jail.

I can still vividly remember when our wishes included things like we hoped this would not be the year Alex died. How at times we couldn't even think about recovery, we simply were focused on his survival. Eventually we would fall asleep with no peace. We just knew we had to rest so we could survive another day. No one knew what horror was in store the next hour, day or week.

Last year a few days after the new year a dear friend called saying her son was found dead from an overdose of heroin. The monster is real, it feeds on our children and it is stalking our loved ones every day.

It saddens me that as we enter 2014 there is still no cure for addiction and nothing seems to stop desire and the flow of drugs to our children. However, there are many people doing good work to help us. There are chemical based treatments that help many. The new "evidence based therapies" show great promise with you people that do not find what they need in 12 step programs. 12 step meetings comprised of younger people that can relate to each other and know how to face and help them in their special lives.

Although it has been a few years since the monster has left our family it is not so long ago that we have forgotten the horror and terror we felt. In fact it hasn't even been too long to forget what it was like when the monster first entered our family. I believe that I'll never in my life forget those times.

My new years message to those parents just entering this world is to listen, learn and never ever forgot that you are not alone. We are not alone in this no matter if you are just discovering the terrible truth or have know for years. The monster will feed on your silence and fear. There are people that understand and can help, seek them out. If one person doesn't understand then find someone else. You don't have to suffer privately. Accept the truths of this life and survive.

And, as always to those parents that have endured this for years and years. Where there is life there is hope, just be cautious and do not misplace your hope. Many of you long time readers know how bad it got for us and Alex before he sought recovery in July, 2010.

None of our children are unlovable. It just takes special people to see past the addiction and to know there is still a person inside there. Work to find the answer that works for YOU. You can't fix them so it makes no sense to have two broken people because of the drugs. Work on yourself and when the time is right you will be healthy enough to do what is needed for your child.

I'll end with one question that I have ask many people that are struggling to fix and help their child. Every single day in this world thousands of people stop using and enter recovery that lasts the rest of their lives............If your child walked in the door today and today was the day for your child, do you know what to do and are you healthy enough to help them do what they need to do?


Tori said...

Great post Ron. Even though B is sober this moment for the last 15 or so months the chronic relapses well they can just tear you down.

I don't think any POA ever forgets the hell addiction brings regardless of how long their child has been sober.

Anna said...

Happy New Year to you and ours. My girl is still in the thick of it. It seems I am the only blogger left from when I started that still has an adult child using. There must be hope as all of you have found it.

Annette said...

Excellent post Ron. Thanks for being here with all of the parents who are still afraid for their kids lives, who are just starting out on this journey.

Sarah Flandro said...

Happy New Year! I'm glad that things are still going well with your family. This is my third New Year that I've been clean and sober. I haven't touched heroin. Every New Year I pray that this year is another drug free year. You can never get too comfortable when you are a recovering addict...things can change in the blink of an eye. Hope your year is filled with joy and happiness! :)

xo, Sarah
Hustla, baby.

beachteacher said...

Happy New Year Ron & other bloggers who I've read for years. Ron -- yours is where I began, I know others also did. The name of your blog so perfectly described my son -- in his bedroom. That was right in the thick of our very hellish journey. I'm VERY happy to say that today he's 16 mo.s clean from cocaine & crack - sometimes I can't believe we made it through that drama & pain. Your& the other bloggers kept me stepping forward -- even if, at times, just barely. It really was about a 7 yr. nightmare. I am amazed at how much better he is today. Thank you for all you've done for me personally -- as well as so many others too. Let this be a wonderful new year for you & our beloved addicts -- whether already in recovery or not there yet.

Dawn McCoy said...

Anna, mine is still using. Poly abusing now. sigh. my new blog is over at

Ron. No. If she walked through the door today completely sober and not using anything, I would not have the energy. not anymore. after a 15 year journey, nope.

it seems like the last 15 years have somehow eclipsed the totally awesome life I had before my daughter stuck the first needle in her arm. I'm lost. Don't know how to find my way back and can't afford counseling to help.

Such is life. Damage done.

Kathy Kalayci said...

After close to TWENTY, yes 20, years of substance abuse I am SO thankful that my mother never gave up on me!! She did finally play the tough love card, and that is what saved this horrible spoiled only child. But I was able to hold my mothers hand, and be with her while she passed away. I was sober and sane when we talked about what she wanted at the end stages of her life. And as we laughed and cried about the past- and the future. Now I am coping with 2 of my own children's addictions. Is it easier because of my own- maybe. Although it may be much harder because I realize first hand, day after day the exact pain and heartache that I put my own dear mother through, the fear, the worry- the sheer torment of not knowing if there ever will be another tomorrow for my child. The lies, the theft, the empty promises, the hope against hope that one day something would have to work.. and ONE day something DID work- what, I really don't day I just got sick and tired of living in hopelessness and being sick of being alive and not being able to DIE! So I figured if I couldn't die, I had better find a way to learn how to live a little bit better than I was living! Don't give up on your daughter- PLEASE- and don't let your daughters way of living ROB your life either. HER addiction has turned into TWO addictions!! get to a support group meeting or if you don't have one in your area go to an open AA meeting and share ask for help, By living in the shadow of addiction you are living in addiction too. My heart goes out to you, prayer's and love!!

Cathy | Treatment Talk said...

Happy New Year to you Ron. I enjoyed this post. My daughter is doing well at this moment as well, and when you have gone through addiction with your child, you count every day that goes by without the destruction of substance abuse as a blessing. The experience definitely changes your entire family. Here is to a bright and healthy 2014. All the best!

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Bobbie Babble said...

I had commented on a post earlier. our daughter was in a 30 day rehab. she came out on her pink cloud and crashed 6 weeks later. Somedays I just want to run away or I want her to run away. I don't want to watch or participate anymore. We go to a once a month support group where we hear the same stories different names. We are told not to enable, kick them out, let them go. I am all for it, I really am, but when your daughter pleads for a place to stay because it's 10 degrees out, what kind of parent would say no. What kind of parent can deny your child a hot meal.

I feel like the only way I will ever be able to detach is to say, don't come around...I don't want to see this addiction anymore.

Thanks for listening and burdening you, I just don't know what the rules are to this ugly game.

Addiction-A Mothers Perspective said...

Thanks for the post, Ron. Your story gives hope to POAs. I loved this part; "None of our children are unlovable. It just takes special people to see past the addiction and to know there is still a person inside there." Our children are still worthy of our love, no matter what is going on in their lives. People love to judge, but there is still good inside if we can see beyond the addiction. It is evil and insidious. But, good trumps evil, and eventually good will win.

Anonymous said...

After several years of addiction my son is now 1 month sober. I don't know if he is out of the woods yet but I will keep on urging him to keep on trying. Its an illness. Except for us they have no one else. They have to believe that someone believes in them.

Syd said...

A great message, Ron. You won't forget those times of drug addiction and fear, but I'm glad that your family is moving in a different direction now. And that is a great way to start 2014.