Thursday, June 28, 2012

He Wants to Get Married. What Would You Do?

I talked with my son yesterday and he dropped a bomb on me.  He has decided that he wants to marry his girlfriend (GF). Apparently a common law marriage can take place in jail with just their signatures and a notary.  His GF was arrested with him and faces the same charges, although he’s trying to take all the blame on himself and say the drugs were his.  Anybody who knows his GF knows that she’s been using right along with him for the past year, but that's another story.  However, she will probably get a much lighter sentence than my son, because she has no prior convictions and when they were arrested they were in his car, which was also their “home.”
            Just a little of their history.  About a year ago, they both jumped into the relationship head first and became intimate right away, before really getting to know each other.  They both lost their jobs within a few weeks of getting together.  She was on disability which paid their bills and pretty much enabled them to sleep all day and party all night. When the infatuation wore off, they began arguing and my son was no longer happy in the relationship. In fact he was pretty miserable.  I know that he truly cared for her, but why stay in a relationship that is full of so much conflict?  I couldn’t figure out at the time why he stayed because I was still in denial about his drug use, but now I get it.  I think by this time meth had so completely taken control that he didn’t have the willpower to leave that lifestyle and get a job.  It’s hard to keep a job when meth is at the wheel.  They split up about a month before he was arrested. My son told me he knew that they were not right for each other and that he had made the right decision in leaving.  GF didn’t want the split and pursued him.  They got back together just days before they were arrested.
            There are so many reasons that the two of them should not get married, I can’t even begin to name them all.  Here are just a few:
  • ·      She is an addict too
  • ·      If the prison my son is sent to allows conjugal visits she could get pregnant
  • ·      She already lost custody of her son because of her drug use
  • ·      I don’t think my son is wanting to marry her out of love, but rather out of fear of being alone

            My dilemma is this, do I tell him about my doubts and feelings about this marriage? I know that I need to "accept what I cannot change," and I will if he goes through with this marriage.  However, I wonder if I will have regrets later if I don't voice my feelings.   I was so shocked when he told me his news on the phone and I didn’t know how to react.  He sounded so happy when he told me about wanting to get married, and I could tell that he really wanted me to be happy about it too.  I hate to cast a shadow on this one bright spot he has in his life right now, but I really don’t believe he’s thinking clearly.  Right now they’re just seeing each other in passing at the jail.  They’re using their own little sign language to communicate, hence the marriage proposal.  It’s easy to “love” somebody when you’re not spending any time together and living with each other’s flaws and the personality conflicts.  I think he is seeing their relationship through rose-colored glasses right now.  My biggest fear is that she would become pregnant, and then relapse.  I don’t even want to think about the nightmare that would present.
            I’m sorry for the long, detailed vent.  I know if he has made up his mind to do this, that he will do it no matter what I say.  I’ll be saying the serenity prayer…….a lot.  I’m praying for wisdom on how to handle this.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feeling of Isolation

Being the parent of an addict can be very lonely. Addiction is the only disease in which not only do the parents tend to blame themselves, but so do others who don’t know the nature of the beast. I’ve done my share of self-blame, but I’m working on it.  I could drive myself crazy with the “what ifs” and “should haves” but that wouldn’t do my son or me a bit of good.   I don’t know about the rest of you, but I just don’t talk about what is going on with my son outside of Alanon, my immediate family, and this blog.  I have found that unless a person has first-hand experience parenting an addict, they just don’t get it.  My husband is my son's step-dad, and it's so strange when I'm around his family for get- togethers lately,  everyone knows about my son's recent arrest but nobody mentions it.  I know it's because they just don't know what to say, but it's like the big elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.   Even the people who show compassion really can’t understand unless they’ve walked in our shoes.  So, I just don’t talk about it.  I want to thank the followers who take time out to read my posts because I know that most of you have been there, done that, and know how it feels.  We all share the same broken hearts.  That in itself, takes away some of my feeling of isolation. 
            I printed a copy of the following poem and took it to my son when I visited him in jail, but I also want to share it with all of you.  I reread it today and realized that not only does it apply to the addicts, but to the parents of the addicts as well.  May it bring you comfort as it did me.

God Will Take Care of You

May your troubled heart
find peace and comfort in the knowledge
that you are never alone.
May God's presence ease
your trembling spirit and give you rest.
He knows how you feel.
He is ever aware of your circumstances
and ready to be your strength,
your grace, and your peace.
He is there to cast sunlight
into all of your darkened shadows,
to send encouragement through the love
of friends and family, and
to replace your weariness with new hope.

God is your stronghold,
and with Him as your guide,
you need never be afraid.
No circumstances can block His love.
No grief is too hard for Him to bear.
No task is too difficult
for Him to complete.
When what you are feeling
is simply too deep for words
and nothing anyone does or says
can provide you with the relief you need,
God understands.
He is your provider --
today, tomorrow, and always.
And He loves you.
Cast all of your cares on Him...
  and believe.
     -- Linda E. Knight

Monday, June 25, 2012

Three Answers to Our Prayers

  I need to remember that God always answers prayers.  It might not always be on my timetable, but nonetheless, prayers are always answered.  My dad’s addiction caused him to take his own life, so when I learned that my son was drinking and using, I was terrified.  It was really my worst nightmare.  So, every day since then I’ve prayed that God would help him stop.  There have been days when I’ve felt like I must be doing something wrong, that I must not have enough faith, or God would have made him stop.  Those are the days when I’m forgetting God’s goodness.  God suffers when we suffer, but He gave us free will for a reason.  Now my prayer is that He will help us learn the lessons we are supposed to learn from this journey, for there are always lessons to be learned from suffering.  At least while my son is in jail he isn’t putting poison into his body.  That is a blessing.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

There is Somebody Looking for Our Lost Sheep

I went through some of my son’s few belongings today and packed them away.  I know in all probability the reality of his situation is that he will be in prison for at least one or two years, maybe longer.  Even though I’m coming to accept this, it still feels like a giant hand is squeezing my heart when I think about it.  Touching his things and packing them away was painful. I remembered buying some of the very clothes I was packing away so he’d have some nice shirts and pants to wear for job interviews.  Job interviews that never happened because of the stranglehold addiction had on his life.  How I detest addiction and what it does to good people’s lives.
            When I finished packing his clothes away I came in and tried to find comfort by reading the Bible.  God led me to read the parable of the lost sheep.  I found peace in the knowledge that even though my son is a lost sheep, Jesus will not stop searching for him, and will rejoice when He wins my son back from the grips of addiction.  Not only will I rejoice, but  Jesus will be rejoicing with me!  Thank you, Lord, for helping me find the comfort I needed today in Your Word.  To those of you reading this, remember He is looking for your sons, daughters, and loved ones too.

“3 Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. “
Luke 15: 3-7

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Falling Backwards into His Arms-Trust

Have you ever heard of that little game called “Do You Trust Me” where you’re supposed to fall backwards into someone’s arms and trust that he will catch you?  Well, I’ve never, not once been able to make myself do that.  Trust has never come easily for me, partly as the result of being raised with an alcoholic parent.  One thing I’m learning through this journey though is to trust God and His goodness and love. He is teaching me a valuable lesson. I trust that He will lead my son and myself out this trial, and that we will both be better because of it.  So, God, I know you’re listening…………open your arms wide because I’m ready to fall backwards into them……….I know you’ll catch me.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.”  Romans 5:1-4

P.S.  I don’t think I’m quite ready to “glory in my sufferings” but I’m learning that there is good to be found in the midst of sorrow.  I’m working on it, Lord.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again - my Savior and my God!
~ Psalm 42:11,
            It is said that addiction is a family disease, and I have to agree.  It so deeply affects everyone who loves and cares about the addict.  It’s been a month since I realized that my son was addicted to meth, and I have spent much of that month in a deep pit of despair.  But, this is going to be a long journey, and I’m beginning to realize that I can’t live the rest of my life like this.  It’s not fair to the rest of the family.
            When I told my oldest daughter about her brother’s addiction, she cried and made the comment that she didn’t want him to “take the rest of the family down with him.”  She loves her brother, but was worried about the affect his addiction was having on me.
            So, I am going to make it a point to count my blessings each day and find things to be grateful for.  Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that my family and I have been richly blessed over and over again.    I know counting blessings will be easier some days than others, but I will take it one day, one hour, one moment at a time and make it through.  I look at all of the times God has helped our family through painful, difficult times and I know how much He loves us. My youngest daughter had a brain tumor when she was 7, but she defied the odds and is alive and doing well now because the good Lord led us to the right doctors.  I am blessed with a supportive husband, 2 of the sweetest daughters a mom could ask for, good health, and a career that I love.  And someday, the sweet, smart, good-hearted son I remember from before the addiction took over will emerge, because I know he’s still in there.  I will never give up hope.  I will praise God in this storm.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Letter from Your Addiction

I found this on a website and wanted to share.  It is a very powerful statement about the true nature of addiction.

the Letter From Addiction-

Dear Friend,

I have come to visit once again. I love to see you suffer mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. I want to make you restless so you cannot relax. I want to make you jumpy and nervous and anxious. I want to make you agitated and irritable so everything and everybody makes you feel uncomfortable. I want you to be so confused and depressed that you can't think clearly or positively. I want to make you hate everything and everybody, especially yourself. I want you to feel guilty and remorseful for the things you have done in the past and you'll never be able to let go of. I want to make you angry and hateful toward the world for the way it is and the way you are. I want you to feel sorry for yourself and blame everything, but me, for the way things are. I want you to be deceitful and untrustworthy, and to con and manipulate as many people as possible. I want to make you fearful and paranoid for no reason at all. I want to make you wake all hours of the night screaming for me. I'm even in your dreams. I want to be the first thing you think about every morning and the last thing you think about before you blackout.

I'd rather kill you but I'd be happy enough to put you back in the hospital, another institution, or jail. But you know I'll be here waiting on you when you get out. I love to watch you go slowly insane. I love to see all the physical damage that I am causing you. I can't help but to sneer and chuckle when you shiver and shake, when you freeze and sweat at the same time, when you wake up with your sheets and blankets soaking wet.

It's amazing to watch you ignore yourself, not eating, not sleeping, not attending your personal hygiene. Yes, it's amazing how much destruction I can be to your internal organs while at the same time working on your brain, destroying it bit by bit.

I deeply appreciate how much you are sacrificing for me. The countless jobs you have given up for me, all the friends, whom you deeply cared for, you gave up for me. And what's more the ones you turned against because of your inexcusable actions. I am eternally grateful, especially for the loved ones, family, and most important people in your world that you have turned yourself against. You even threw them away for me. I cannot express in words the gratitude I have for the loyalty you have for me. You sacrificed all these beautiful things in life just to devote yourself completely to me. But do not despair my friend, for on me you can always depend. After you have lost all these things, you can still depend on me to keep you in a living Hell, to keep your mind, body, and soul for I will not be satisfied until you are dead, my friend.

Forever Yours,
Your Addiction

Monday, June 18, 2012

The First Jail Visit

Yesterday I was able to visit my son in jail for the first time since his arrest.  It was bittersweet.  It was good to see him again, but not so good to see him behind the big glass window of the jail.  A mother’s first instinct when one of her children is suffering is to hug him right?  I just wanted to be able to hug him, and instead we sat there talking on a crackly phone separated by that big glass window.  He seemed to be handling it ok, although he had to fight off tears a couple times.  Oh, how I wanted to hug him and make his tears go away like I used to when he was younger. 
            There was a glimmer of hope that I left with though.  He is starting to realize the extent of his addiction and knows that he needs help to beat it.  He is going to ask his attorney (if he ever gets to talk to him) if the court can order rehab as part of his sentencing.  He is renewing his relationship with Christ, and is attending the little church service they have there in the jail.  When I feel that anxiety start to build inside of me, I like to picture Jesus right beside my son and they are both surrounded in the bright white light of love.  I ask Jesus to protect him and give him strength, and that helps.  There is a new song out by Casting Crowns called “Jesus Friends of Sinners,” that really speaks to my heart right now.  It reminds me that every one of us has sinned, and made mistakes, but He loves us anyway.  I find great comfort in that.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Suicide-The High Price of Addiction

As Father's Day approaches I am filled with memories of my dad.  My dad took his own life 11 years ago as a result of his addiction to alcohol.  When he wasn't drinking he was an intelligent, compassionate, sensitive soul.  It is my belief that he suffered from untreated depression because he saw it as a weakness and wouldn't seek help.  Instead, he self-medicated with alcohol. This is the poem I wrote to be read at his funeral.   I miss you Dad.

Last Farewell

How hard it is to bid farewell
To you, my dearest Dad.
All my life you’ve been right there
If I just reached out my hand.

A strong pair of arms to help me,
When mine were just too weak.
An open door to welcome me,
When shelter I did seek.

How I wish I could have helped you
The way that you helped me,
And given you the comfort
That your troubled heart did need.

But sometimes the world is just too much
For a tender heart to bear.
You could find no respite
In your hour of dark despair.

So rest now my dear Father,
Enjoy your well-earned peace.
And know that you live on
In the memories I keep.

I will see you in each sunrise
That God paints across the sky.

I will feel you in each cooling breeze
That gently dances by.

I will hear you in the springtime songs
Birds sing to greet the day.

And I will not forget you, Dad
Or all your caring ways.

Stay safe within our Savior’s arms,
Until we meet again.

April 2001

Thursday, June 14, 2012

His Journey into Meth Addiction

June 14, 2012
            Lately I’ve been remembering my son before meth. He was my first baby, and  when I found out I was pregnant with him, I was ecstatic and did all the things I was supposed to do to have a healthy baby.  I ate healthy foods, didn’t drink or smoke, and I even stopped drinking things that contained caffeine.  I refused to have any drugs to relieve the pain during delivery, because I didn’t want any drugs entering my son’s system.  Ironic, right?  When he was born he was a beautiful, great baby.  He even won a local baby contest when he was a year old.  He wasn’t fussy and was always smiling and laughing.  He was a go-getter and learned to crawl and walk early.  I read bedtime stories to him every night.  When he had trouble sleeping, the lullabies he wanted me to sing were “You Are My Sunshine,” and “Silent Night.” Growing up he was well liked, had a good heart, and was smart and funny.  He loved watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, eating oatmeal pies, playing with his Hot Wheels, and listening to Boxcar Willie.    He did well in school and brought home good grades.  We went to church together and he and his sisters went to Sunday School.  We sat down each evening and ate dinner at the dining room table and talked about our days.  I taught him values, and the difference between right and wrong.  He wasn’t perfect of course, but for the most part he was respectful to me and followed our house rules and boundaries.  I did all the things parents are told to do to help their kids “just say no to drugs,” including regular talks about the dangers of drug use, and giving him pamphlets to read.  Even though I was doing my best to help my kids stay on track for a good life, I still blame myself, often, for my son's choices.  I do try to catch myself when I start my self-inflicted shame game, and remind myself of the 3 C's  that I learned in Alanon "didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it."
            Things gradually started to change when he was in high school.  He started to become sullen and uncommunicative.  He started pushing the limits with my curfews and skipping school.  When he was 17 he came home drunk one night, sick as a dog, and swore to me the next day that it would never happen again.  When I found a bag of marijuana in his jeans I started taking him to a counselor, who assured me after several sessions that my son was fine, and that it was just typical teenage behavior.  I started taking him for regular drug tests, and wouldn’t let him drive his car if they weren’t clean. He began to hate school, his grades started dropping and he skipped frequently.  He wouldn’t talk to me much about why he didn’t like school, but when he did he always talked about the other boys teasing him and being mean.  He started staying out later and later on weekends and defied my boundaries more and more.  I had taken away privileges, including his driving rights, but his behavior continued.  I felt him slipping away, but seemed to be helpless to stop it.  When he was 18 he met a girl and soon they were living together.  After he moved out, his visits and phone calls were infrequent and when he did call it was usually to ask for money.  He was holding down jobs, but they never seemed to last long.  He would get fired after either being late often, or just not showing up.  All the while, when I would ask him why and ask him if he was using he would look me straight in the eye and swear that he was off drugs.  I was so deep in my denial that I actually believed him.  I was the classic enabler.  I would help with rent, food, and utilities, thinking that’s what loving parents do, they help their kids when they’re down.  I couldn’t have him homeless or hungry could I?  Hindsight is 20/20, and I would have handled things differently if I could have had a crystal ball.  I wish that I had found Alanon years ago, because that would have helped me see the reality of the situation.
            This has been our journey.  I still have faith and believe with all my heart that underneath the addiction is my beautiful, smart, happy, and funny son.  He is strong and if he makes up his mind to beat it, he will.  Someday, he will break free from the ugly tentacles of addiction and live the life he was meant to live.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Roller Coaster Emotions

June 8, 2012

            I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions that past few days.  Most mornings the first thought in my mind is about my son.  As I go about my day, one minute I’m fine, the next I’m close to tears, in tears, angry, or full of anxiety.  The simplest things set me off.  I see a young man that reminds me of my son, who looks healthy and happy, and I’m overcome with thoughts of what could have been.  Not that I’ve given up on the dream of him having a happy productive life, but I know that dream has to be postponed. 
            I know I’m bringing the anxiety on myself, but it’s like a runaway train sometimes that I can’t seem to stop.  Only when I stop and remind myself  to trust
God, and once again hand my son back to him, do I find peace.  Acceptance of the situation is the only path to peace for me right now.  My old habit of wanting to “fix” things keeps surfacing though, and I have to constantly be aware and resist it when I start getting those thoughts in my head.  I just feel like I should be doing something.  But what is there to do really?  I intend to write a letter of support asking for leniency to the judge when his court date is closer, but right now I don’t even know his court date, or if one has been set.  I’ll know more after I talk to him at visitation on the 17th.  I am very certain that he will serve time in prison.  How much time is the question right now.
            It’s sad that I’ll probably see my son more often now that he’s in jail, even if it’s only every other week.  I think I’ve mentioned before that he had been avoiding me and I rarely got to see him or talk to him.
            We went and got his car from impound.  I can’t describe how awful it was to go through all of his and his girlfriend’s things and clean out the car.  Pretty much all of their worldly possessions were stuffed into the back seat, along with rotting food and a trash can full of trash.  My son is 28 years old, and everything he owns fits into the back seat of his car.  The smell is still stuck in my nostrils.  I scrubbed and cleaned it as best I could, and then I came in and scrubbed myself.  I can’t imagine the power of an addiction that causes people to choose living in those conditions.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it over and over, meth is pure evil.  Satan’s candy.

No More Secrets

June 5, 2012
            My son’s arrest was in the paper today along with  all of the gruesome details. The words “active meth lab” are never words that a parent wants associated with their child.  Part of the reason addiction is called a “family disease” is because it affects the whole family. Part of the sickness is the secrecy and the sense of shame.  My father was an alcoholic, and even though I don’t remember ever being told not to talk about his drinking, it was an unspoken rule.  Somehow I just knew that it wasn’t normal, and that I didn’t want my friends to know about it.  To get away from Dad’s  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality I learned to spend as much time away from home as possible and spent lots of weekends at my best friend’s house. Even my best friend didn’t know about Dad’s drinking.   I didn’t ask friend’s to stay at my house because I was never sure what type of mood Dad would be in, and it seemed our lives revolved around the moods.  I became an expert at reading non-verbal body language so I would know if he was in a good mood or a sour mood.  If he was in a sour mood, my time was spent in my bedroom listening to music to drown out mom and dad’s arguments.  I pretty much lived in my bedroom when I was home.  Somehow I always felt to blame for their problems, because a lot of their arguments were about the “kids” or money.  Hence the shame.  I have carried that sense of guilt and shame into my adult years, and in particular with my son’s addiction.  So I have kept his addiction a well-guarded secret from everyone, even my mom didn’t know.  To be honest I didn’t even know the extent of my son’s addiction until about a month ago, so deep was my denial.  But now, the cat is out of the bag in a very public way.  No more secrets.  Anyone who reads the paper knows now, and I’m sure will pass the news on to others. 
            I’m so glad I found Alanon.  I feel so connected to the friends I’ve made there, and have learned that there really is no profile of a certain type of family or upbringing that leads our kids to addiction.  I have questioned myself so many times about the decisions I made as I raised my son.  His dad and I divorced when he was 4 and I’ve often wondered if things would have been different if we had somehow found a way to stay together, even though he was abusive and rarely home.  But I listen to other parents of addicts share their stories and I learn that most of them were good parents who raised their kids in a stable home, and did their best to teach them values, and the difference between right and wrong.  So, maybe it wouldn’t have made any difference at all.

The Phone Call-Jail

June 4, 2012

            I got a phone call last night from my son.  The phone call I knew would eventually come if he didn’t get help.  He was arrested for manufacturing meth.  His car was parked out in the country and somebody thought it was abandoned and called the police.  When the police came they found a meth lab in his car.  He faces a minimum sentence of 7 years in prison.   Even though I was somewhat prepared, the intensity of the pain is so great  that I feel as if I might break into a million pieces if one more thing happens.  It is a physical pain in my heart, as if a giant hand is squeezing so hard that I can barely breathe.  I read a book called “Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You,” and in it the author spoke of that physical pain as being a warning that something needs to change.  I know I have to completely rewrite the script I had written about how my son’s life would turn out, and realize that I am not in charge here.  The addiction completely took over my son’s life, and I can’t change that.  The only thing I can change is my reaction to all of this.        
            I’m not sure how I will deal with the events as they unfold.  All I know is addiction is powerful, but God is more powerful.  I know He will help my son, and me, through this.  I pray that He will help both my son and myself learn the lessons we are supposed to learn from this, and that they will forever change us and mold us into the people He meant for us to be.  I will keep working my Alanon program, and reaching out to people.  One thing I have learned through everything that has happened, is that trying to deal with a meth addicted child by myself just isn’t going to work.  It’s too much for anyone to bear alone.  With God’s help I will continue to count my many blessings and find things to be grateful for every day.  As I look back over my life, I see God’s hand all along the way.  I see the times He walked beside my children and me, and the times He carried us.  We have been through many trials, and have come through stronger on the other side.  We will make it through this one too.


June 1, 2012

            My son sent me a message around 2:00 in the morning.  He was letting me know he was ok, and that he wanted to go to a 12 step meeting with me.  He said he’d be in contact with me.  Last night I went to the meeting alone.  He didn’t contact me, nor have I heard from him since.  I know that God is speaking to him, and that somewhere underneath the addiction is my son.  The son who knows what he is doing is wrong, and will either land him in jail, a hospital, or dead.  Addiction is pure evil.  It takes over a person’s life to the point that nothing else matters, not family, not jobs, not even life.  I read a comment in  one of the addiction blogs I follow advising the parent to give up and go on with her own life.  I may not be able to offer my son a place to live anymore, but I will never give up hope.  With my last breath, if he is still using,  I will be praying that he finds his way back to the Lord and gets clean.  I cling to hope like a life preserver in a sea of addiction.  It’s all I have.

Answered Prayer

May 26th, 2012
            My prayers were answered yesterday and I heard from my son.  In desperation, I had sent a text to his ex-girlfriend asking if she had seen or heard from him.  I was astonished to get a reply from my son saying that he is ok and that they are staying with friends.  I was so relieved just to know he’s safe. 
            All of my anxiety and worries caused me to realize though, that I’m far from perfect in working the Alanon slogan of  ”let go and let God.”  Just when I think I’m doing a pretty good job of trusting God, my mind takes over and I just about drive myself crazy with worry.  Somehow, I must find a way to stop doing this to myself.  I know it’s taking a toll on my health, and is robbing me of what should be a relaxed, joyful time of year, summer vacation.  I realize I have nobody to blame but myself.  My son’s circumstances are not doing this to me.    It’s my reaction to the circumstances that is causing me pain.   As I processed all of this with my husband yesterday, I came to realize that part of the reason I let myself obsess about my son’s choices, is that I feel guilty for asking him to leave.  I’ve never had to do that in the past.  I’ve never had to give him an ultimatum-get help or leave, and had to stick to it.  I know, rationally, it was the only choice I could make, but it just feels so wrong in my heart.  I’ve always let him know that he has a place to stay, and I’ve always known that he at least has a roof over his head and food to eat.  He crossed the line though when he used drugs in our house.  That was when I knew in my heart, that the addiction had taken control.   So, until he gets help and gets clean, I can no longer have an open door policy.   I know to change my mind on that decision would be to lose any credibility I have established with him about “meaning business.”  I am trying my best to save his life.
            I will continue to pray, to find reasons to be grateful, and to work on turning things over to God.  As much as I love my son, I know He loves him even more.
 God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  

Fear of the Unknown

May 25, 2012

            I haven’t seen or heard from my son for almost two weeks now.  With each day that passes my fears increase.  I have contacted the few close friends he has left, asking them if they know his whereabouts.  They aren’t answering me.  I know through Facebook though that they haven’t heard from him or seen him either.  I guess that’s what worries me most.  It’s not unusual for him to fail to contact me for long periods of time, but when he doesn’t contact his friends, there is cause for concern.  I’m trying to decide whether to file a missing persons report, knowing full well that if I do he may be found with drugs in his possession.  This is terrible to think, but at least if he were in jail I would know where he is.  My mind is a mess, and I don’t know if I’m thinking clearly.  I pray a lot, and I’m trying so hard to “let go and let God,” and I know that only through trusting Him will I find peace……..yet still, my mind is a war zone right now.  Jesus, please take the wheel.

Learning to Live with Uncertainty

May 23, 2012
            Yesterday as I read our local paper  the headline of an article caught my eye and reminded me how close to the surface my anxieties are right now.  The article stated that the body of an adult male had been found in a nearby strip pit.  Since I haven’t heard from or seen my son for over a week, I felt an instant rush of adrenaline and felt my blood turn to ice.  I skimmed the article quickly to find the details of the body that was found.  I was relieved when I read that it was a 55 year old man and  realized it was not my son.  I’ve been working so hard at “letting go and letting God,” and felt that I was handling my son’s homelessness pretty well until my reaction to the article made me realize that I haven’t really let go as much as I wish. 
            I’m trying to come to terms with living with uncertainty.  I don’t do well with uncertainty, especially when it comes to my family.  I will continue to do my best to trust God and the love I know He has not only for me, but for my son.  I read somewhere that thanking God for our troubles helps remove their negative power over our lives.  So, I thank Him for the suffering, mine and my son’s, and ask that He help each of us have the wisdom to learn the lessons we are supposed to learn from this.  I have a feeling one of the lessons I’m supposed to be learning is trust.  If I want to keep any kind of sanity or find serenity through all of this, I am going to have to learn to trust God with my loved ones.  I’m getting better at it, but I have a long way to go still.
            There is a slogan in Alanon that says “Progress, not perfection.”  I will hold on to the progress I’m making and not demand perfection of myself or others.

No More Denial-My Son's Meth Addiction

May 21, 2012     

            Two weeks ago I did the unthinkable.  I told my beloved son that he had to leave my home.  The same son that I held in my arms for the first time 28 years ago who gave new meaning to my life, whom I felt such love for I felt my heart would burst.  And now, I’m telling that same son that he has to leave, knowing that he has no place to go, no money, no job. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  I found a meth lab in my son’s car.  When I found it, all of the missing puzzle pieces started to fall into place.  The open pocketknife I found in our bathroom, and the next day in our garage.  The many times I had tried to call him or talk to him only to be told he was sleeping in the middle of the afternoon.  The fact that he’s been jobless for over a year and was being supported by his girlfriend.  His weight loss, the grayish color to his skin, the dark circles under his eyes.  When I think about all of these warning signs, I wonder how I could have been so blind.  How could my denial be so strong?  After all, I go to Alanon and know the reality of relapses.  Two years ago he was in jail in Texas for possession, and swore when he got out that he would never use again.  The letters that he wrote from jail were full of remorse and a renewed faith in God.  I so wanted to believe that he had finally hit bottom, and that he would never go back.
            I guess God knew that I would need to be slapped in the face with evidence that was beyond dispute before I would believe that my son was using again.  That’s what he gave me.  For that, I am thankful.  We offered my son detox and rehab and told him we would drive him the two hours to get there.  He flatly refused and insisted all he needed was a job to get his life back on track.  So he left.  I hugged him, we both cried, and I watched him walk out the door, and my heart broke.  My husband gave him $20 for food, which he promptly spent on a bottle of whiskey.  He parked his car in front of our house a couple of days later and left a note saying that he had gone job-hunting with a friend.  He came in later in the afternoon and got something to eat.  At least for that one day, I knew he was ok and had food in his stomach.  He told me was staying with a friend in a nearby town, so I felt better knowing he had a roof over his head.  That lasted one night.  He parked his car in front of our house again the next day and left another note saying he was job hunting and would be back later in the day to get his car.  His car sat in front of our house for 3 days.  I contacted one of the few friends he has who has a phone. The friend told me that my son had hooked up with his ex-girlfriend, who also uses, and that they were in her car.  Saturday morning I found evidence in our shed that my son and his girlfriend had slept in our there, but they were gone by the time I found it.  On Sunday, Mother’s Day, we awoke to find his girlfriend’s car sitting in our driveway, fully loaded with their belongings, with a sunshield in the front window and an inflated air mattress on top of the car.  They were asleep inside.  He stopped in when they woke up around noon to tell me happy mother’s day and promised he would come by to eat dinner at our get-together in a couple hours.  He never came back.  I haven’t seen or heard from him since.
            It is agony to not know where he is, or even how to get in touch with him.  If I allow my thoughts to take over, I could go insane.  I eat, and I wonder if he’s eaten that day, I sleep and I wonder where he’s sleeping, I laugh and I wonder when he will find joy in his life.
            I work in the school systems, and now that I am out of school until August I have lots of free time to think about all of this.  I have a tendency to obsess, and that will be my downfall if I’m not careful.  Right now, I’m praying a lot and finding comfort in the support of my husband, my daughters, and my Alanon group.  I try to  catch negative thoughts when they enter my mind and replace them with positive thoughts.  God helps me with that.  I think of my husband, who has been a saint through all of this mess, especially considering he is the step-dad.  I think of my daughters who have beautiful hearts and souls and who I am so proud of.  I remember my beautiful son, who also had a kind heart, before meth took over his thoughts and actions.  I hold onto the person he was, and who I know he will be again, in God’s perfect timing.  I will never give up hoping for his recovery.  Meth is powerful, but my God is more powerful.  In the Lord I put my trust.