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.