My Young Man….

My Young Man….

Simply amazing……
Son’s strength and resolve, so inspiring!!
I love you Alex!!

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It’s Been Quite a While….

And it’s over!

My son is finally on the other side, the bright side, of his life!  He is clean for a year.  I see the boy he used to be, and the incredible man he is becoming.  He is clear eyed and kind.  And he smiles and laughs.  He makes no demands on us.  He owns his past and has made the choice to put it behind him and embrace his future.

He is grateful for a job and works his ass off- it’s very physically demanding.  He has a most lovely girlfriend who adores him.  A young brother who is so grateful to have his older brother back.  My husband and I are so delighted to have our boy in our lives and in our hearts.

I always hear that relapse is part of recovery- been there done that.  This is Son’s time to shine.  Am I worried?  No.  But I hope that if he ever struggles he knows to come to me.  I love hime so much.

My “word” for the last few years has been Hope and that word has sustained me and pushed me forward- it was essential to my survival.  Now my words are Peace and Grace- everything is in God’s hand.

And He is good.

 

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Bureaucratic Cluster….

…fuck.

That’s what it was. 

On friday, my son was to return to the jail at 4pm.  Son returned at 5:45.  He was at the employment agency filling out his paperwork and running behind.  He called the probation officer on duty (as he was instructed)  to inform them of his situation, she said she would make note on his file.  The return bus trip was long ( 2 hours), further delayed because of traffic from the Rockies game.

Well, she neglected to note the file, so when he returned he was considered an escapee.  We finally heard from our son and that is what he told us. 

And it was the truth……

not used to that….

So, he started his new job on Monday, and he sounds pleased to be out and doing something.  Ten hours a day in a cement factory, but he is a felon, and feeling lucky he has a job.

We dodged a bullett.

Thank God…really!

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Short List….

Things I am grateful for…

My healthy son.  He is so lovely and dear to me.  He makes mistakes, but I can live with them.

My husband- we are not always on the same page, but he is my forever man.

My friends- what could I do without you?  listening to me, supporting me and loving me even though you may not be able to comprehend my pain.  Always by my side- I cherish you!

My family- for loving me blindly!

The day I got to touch and see and hold my addict son for 20 minutes knowing it could always be my last.

God’s grace…..

I got to see my son that day. He looked healthier than I have seen him in years.  It was so good- I balled my eyes out just seeing him and holding him in my arms again.  That was Wednesday.

Yesterday (Friday) was horrible.  It was to be my son’s first day at work.  We received a call about 3 hours after his start time informing us he never showed up.  I threw up.  Not sure why I was so surprised- maybe not surprised, but I felt my hope crushed, pissed on, shit on….  Doesn’t matter if I suspected this might happen, but it crushed me none the less.

Several hours later we found out that they never let him out to go to work.  An investigation is pending.  He returned to the jail the night before 2 hours past checkin and he was locked down. Not sure where this will go.  Today I feel spent- emotionally, physically , spiritually.

But once again, I have to pull on my big girl pants and find my happy.

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 I love this kid, totally, completely, unconditionally.  He is my son-always.

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It Came And Went……

The day arrived- my son has been released into The Department of Corrections work release program .  Yesterday was the first day he went out on his own.  I was so excited (and anxious) at the prospect of seeing him again, but tit was not to be for me.  He has to take the bus everywhere he goes and is prohibited from getting in a car- any car even mine  He gcame to the house to get some clothes we were holding for him, he got to see the cats and Harper and meet the new pup.  He saw my younger son.  It was the first time they had seen each other since Father’s Day in 2012  Siblings of addicts have the ability to stand strong and make the choice not to participate in the addicts life.  But my youngest missed his big brother.  He has struggled to..  His brother missed his prom and high school graduation and all the ups and downs.   And Christmas and birthdays and the pleasure of conversation with his brother.  He has felt sadness and shame for the path his brother took.  But he loves him.

But me- I was longing to hold my son again.  The only times I’ve seen him is through a video monitor or in court where he is shackled.  But I missed seeing him.  I have a job.  Gone are the days where I would drop everything to run an help him.  

But this morning I sit here wondering if I will ever see him again.  Life is so fragile for the addict- he could start using again and next week may never come. I feel a hug hole inside of me.

So much can change in a week……

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I’m Told I Wear My Heart On My Sleeve…..

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And here you have it.  I have so many feelings and thoughts inside, I want to wear them outside….it’s my story.

I started this work in progress about 2 years ago.  Getting tattoos is a big decision – one that came pretty easy to me- I have an artist’s heart.  Too many people think that tattoos are only worn by “certain people”; bikers/losers/jailbirds/thief’s/thugs/junkies/stupid/low-class people.  I’m hear to dispel that myth.  I’m a wife/mother/educated/moderately affluent/middle-aged (53) woman. All walks of people may have tattoos. The reason for each person is different.  

NEVER judge a book by it’s cover!

Let me tell you about some of mine, if you are interested.

The word Hope: worn inside my wrist to always remind me. 

Flowers to remind me that there is beauty all around me, and I should never forget to keep looking for that beauty in everything.  There are thorns with blood drops that represent the pain and loss I have felt. 

Sugar Skull: to celebrate those that have passed from my mother to my puppy Scout.

Butterflies to represent transformation, vulnerability, the willingness to accept the changes in our lives,  profound changes in the soul…. it represents so much.

Kanji characters that represent Love, Hope and Truth.

And there is more, but that’s it for now.

Looking at these tattoos remind me of the challenges and delight I have had in my life.

It’s a work in progress.

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And The Honeymoon Is Over……

My son has been in jail for almost 6 months….only the parent of an addict can understand.  With my son in jail, I have been able to sleep, since I know where he is every night.  I don’t lie awake at night wondering if he is safe, or hungry, or cold/hot, or even if he is alive.  I know he is eating.  He has a roof over his head. A bandaid if he has a cut, or aspirin if he has a headache. And he has been clean for almost 6 months.

Sober for 6 months.

Here is where the honeymoon ends….

His sentencing is complete.  Son has been sentenced to 18 months in Community Corrections; he can work/school/out patient during the day and returned to a DOC facility at night.  That will be a jail or halfway house (run by the DOC). He is anxious and has grand plans to work, save money, start a business, go to school, get an apartment at the end of his sentence and maybe move to a different state.  Unfortunately none of it involves any kind of rehabilitation for drug use.

Therein lies the greatest problem.  He thinks he can stay clean on his own. What he is not addressing is the fact that he has been in a controlled environment.  Once he hits the streets, I’m afraid he won’t have the tools to succeed.  Life “outside” is just as he left it, with all the shit and problems and people that brings him down every time.  Every. Time.  He has been in rehab more times than I can think of, never completing even one program.  And we know where that story goes.  Right back to the fucking beginning.

I always have hope, but my optimism is very guarded.  Too much hope or optimism can result in my devastation.  That nasty cycle:  use, abuse and then my complete grief.  And when that grieving starts, I die a little each time.

But, I really need to clear up a wide held misconception:

I did not raise my child to become a drug addict- no of us do.  Do you really think any parent strives for this nightmare?  Do you really think loving my child made him an addict?  People, don’t be assholes.

I have changed as a person, for the better.  I have found strength and conviction I never knew I had.  I have a more realistic view of the world we live in.  I have become tolerant of the comments from people who just don’t understand.  And I never judge anyone.  Ever. That is the greatest gift I have received from this journey.  I feel compassion for people in a way I never knew possible. So many people, so many stories- so many of us suffering loss and challenges that make us unique.  And vulnerable.  I would never be so arrogant to tell someone what they should do, or not do.  Or what they could do better.  I can only tell people what I have done, and how I have survived.

Most important, life is YOUR journey and you must follow YOUR heart.

 

 

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