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?