Monday, January 31, 2011

getting better all the time.....

I've been busy and haven't posted recently, but each day, D sounds better than the last one. He's connected with people in his new half way house, and has actually been having some fun. He's gone bowling, to a huge recovery get together/dinner, ....some other things too. He sounds more and more thoughtful and mature (!) in each conversation we have with him,'s quite remarkable. I don't know any other way to put it. He is patient, accepting, forward thinking, considerate, follows through,....he's even reading novels as well as non fiction books ! I can't tell you how major that is....but then again, those of you that read these blogs most likely really get that. : ) His current daily challenge is securing a job...still. He thinks he may have one at a local Pet Boys where he is (perfect, his first word was car)...and he's hoping that will happen within the next few days. ...I'll keep you posted,...but we are currently THANKFUL ! What is working for him SO much is he's really into NA, and for him, that is what works so well. He just also began individual therapy and hopefully that will progress well....we'll see. Now we look forward to him coming back here on the 25th for court, but are holding our breath on that one. With him doing so very well.....we hope that goes well too. It would totally stink if he was convicted and put into jail at this point, but I can't control that , obviously. As we all know, one day at a time.....
Thinking of all of you and praying for all that suffer....addicts and those who love them.
Peace to you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good Guidance

D called tonight,....happy to share his news....he got a sponsor today ! He was very happy about it, and obviously, that was nice to hear. Now, if he will do what this guy suggests, that would be great. He was told to call him every day, and says that is what he's planning to do. That is all for now here.
Meanwhile, I've been checking out other blogs and am praying for all of us that are affected by the darkness of addiction. Hope you all have a good week.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

the right direction

I don't have much in the way of news or drama....isn't that a great thing?? I remember, not so long ago,....and for sooooo long before that, thinking how we couldn't go more than a couple of days without some type of D drama or negative event,...that's not at all an exaggeration. I just heard from him this morning via phone, as I do usually once per day, and he was just saying hi, up early (another amazing miracle), having just done some laundry. He did ask when his next spending $ was coming, and that he'd lent his last $20 to another guy at the house, for gas to get to a meeting. So, yes, we are currently still supporting him with money, since he doesn't have a job yet,...although he is making a big effort on that front daily. I also think it's poor judgment to have loaned $20 to someone when D himself would then have none....why not just $10 ? He agreed with me (again,wow) that wasn't what he should have done...$10 would have been better, and that he needs to be more careful and thoughtful on how he handles money. But, compared to the life he was leading before,....well, you know, steps.
D continues to move in the right direction, goes to meetings every day, sometimes 2 per day,...and is really into them, not because he has to. He still is trying to get a sponsor, and was just told no by one guy he asked the other day, which was a disappointment, but according to the guy, he doesn't sponsor people anymore after a couple of guys relapsed that he was sponsoring. The main thing that is so very different, besides ALL of the other good differences, is D's level of's a wonderful thing to witness as his mother. I think that he's just so thrilled that he can feel proud of himself after so long of feeling the opposite. He is much happier in the halfway house he's now moved into,...feels connected to some people there, and also just has some day to day things that are working much better, such as some help with transportation vs. only the bicycle...he's now also closer to the bus line.
He'll be coming back here for court on Feb. 25th, so that's a huge hurdle that could go either way. With how well he's doing, it sure would be awful if he got convicted and went to jail and stopped his current positive progression,...never mind getting a felony. But as I have said before, I'm not going to let the positive feeling about what he's doing so well NOW be overtaken with worry or negative feelings about what "could" or "could NOT" happen later on.....which isn't even here yet. I can't let that rob the positive gratitude I have for what is now good,....nor my own ability to have peace and happiness in my life, despite the darkness of addiction. It's SO much more peaceful here at home now,.....we just don't have any drama or arguments with the 3 of us husband, me, and our older son. In fact, our oldest son is about to move out on his own in 2 or 3 months, which will make us empty nesters after 26 1/2 yr.s (our oldest daughter is 26 ),...something that's even hard to imagine.
Hope you're all off to a good start on the weekend and that we're all moving forward on increasing peace in our lives, despite what addiction does to undermine it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

People, Places, and Things

Well,...what do you know ? D did make it happen....he changed his living situation, went to a new half way house today. He continued to be concerned about those around him, where he lived, that were obviously using. Even though one guy was kicked out of the house on Fri.night, there were a number of them there that were still actively using, ...although the director of the house wasn't aware of it. D didn't at all feel comfortable in telling the director, because of what backlash was possible, ...due to the consequences of homelessness for those guys if the director of the house found out, and the guys thought it had been him who told him. So....D has been talking the past few days to the director of another house, who was also a counselor at the treatment center he was in recently, and was able to get a spot at this other house, about 20 mi. away from where he was. The director of the first place didn't take it very well,...and even called me to find out if I knew he was changing his location, which I assured him I did. It was a bit weird because neither D nor I were actually telling him the real reason,...and I'm not sure that I feel o.k. about that either. But I also think that D isn't exaggerating the threat to him if he "rats out" the other guys....ugh.
Anyway, the bottom line is that what I see the most of with D now is the priority of recovery for him....what a beautiful thing ! And also, no money was lost either,...for him changing locations, because the first place is refunding the 2nd 2 weeks payment that was already paid. He'll also have some help with transportation in the new place, to find or get to a job,...go to a counseling appt., etc..

Believe me, I am a realist,....and if you'd been on this 4 yr.s plus journey with D, you would be too,...but I'm also remaining hopeful right now.....and that's o.k.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Oh Happy Day

It's sooo nice to post something good on here. First of all, D continues to sound better and better every day. He's clear spoken...which of course he should be by now,..but still...very appreciated ! He is (from what I can tell over the phone) productive, motivated, hopeful, pleasant to talk to, reasonable, etc. etc. etc. It's again, quite amazing to hear....even if I'm not seeing it with my own eyes. He "thinks" he may have a job at Mc Donald's, going to see the hiring manager that's one hopeful option. Even just Mc Donald's ...a job is a job is a job....and mind you, he does have experience,...used to work at our local one here. The more he has to do during the day...or evening,..the better it is. He needs to occupy his time. His attitude remains positive, despite the fact that he's quite disappointed at the fact that a number of(majority of) the residents of his halfway house seem to be using. : ( No one has told him that overtly, nor shown him what they have,....but he's seen all the signs with most of them,...besides what happened the other night, and ya know, it takes one to know one. As they can't bullshit a bullshitter, true. He wants to get out of there, and is in the process of talking to one of the directors of one of the other local halfway house in the city he's in. If he stays another week where he is, they will refund the last 2 weeks of the first month's payment.

The really big "happy day" thing is that our daughter (never much mention her in this blog about addiction) got engaged today ! She's currently living in Australia,...back story there,...and her Aussie boyfriend called us this morning at 6 A.M. before we went to work, let us know that he was going to propose....kind of get our blessing ahead of time....very sweet. That phone ringing at 6 a.m. with him on the line (it was Fri.night there already/15 hr.s time difference) couldn't have been more surprising. We are very happy for them....he's a wonderful, hardworking, guy of integrity that adores our daughter. Other than their location on the globe and our wish to see them more.....who doesn't like that for their daughter ?
Meanwhile, D has gone on a phone call campaign through the extended family.....has been "reconnecting" with the relatives,...both sides of grandparents, uncles, one aunt, his brother and sister etc.,...he says it "feels good to be back in the family". That really surprised me....and I wonder if he really "gets" that whether or not he hears it or sees it, the family members may be hesitant and skeptical, as much as he is currently doing well legitimately. It will take TIME to not be concerned about how much better he'll "keep on" doing.
oh yeah....our older son, D's older brother even got "employee of the month" at his office, as I said....a happy day. : ) One day at a day at a day at a time....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Living in the danger zone

Well, crap,....D just called me briefly,...outside of a meeting, about to go in. He rode in a car on the way to a meeting with some guys that live in his halfway house. However, on the way to the meeting....the car stopped at a housing project area, where the driver and one of the other guys in the car went into the building,...not for too long, and came back to the car. : ( Apparently, D and the other 2 guys left in the car just sat and waited, no one saying anything about the "purpose" of the short stop. He said, Mom,...I came here to get better, not to be around this....I need to go to a different halfway house. I agree. He's only been there 2 days.....ugh.

Monday, January 10, 2011

need to be taking care of own, not his

Ugh....I'm really not as capable of this as I'd hoped I'd be. D is now in the halfway house, got settled yesterday. He's there with his bike...his only mode of transportation, to find or get to any type of job. When he first got there, he called (first time to have a cell phone again) and was negative, said he didn't like it there at all, way too many rules and regulations they hadn't told him wouldn't be helpful for his sobriety, etc. I must admit, although I didn't act that way to him, and said reasonable and positive things to him on the phone....internally, I freaked out a bit. ("oh no, what if he won't stay there now...what if he gets into an argument with someone that lives there, what if he takes off....what will happen if the court here in VA. then finds out....what if he gets all pissed off and takes off and then wants to get high".....what if, what if, what if) was lame.....of me, I mean. About an hr. and 1/2 later, he called back....said that he'd thought about it, realized that the strictest rules were only for the first 30 days, and was thankful to just have his cell phone back and also have a new bike. (He'd also taken his medicine in the meantime,....once again, major help there.) Then, later on, ..since he doesn't have a computer to use in the house he's in....can only go to the library to use one, and needs 2 forms of I.D.,...for the moment, he only has 1,....I was looking up places for him to apply for jobs from here at home, then texting him the addresses and phone numbers, how far they were from where he's living, etc.. I mean, geez....I was texting him this stuff during my precious minutes of planning time at work/school today. Any of you that may be a teacher out know how more ridiculous that is. Then, I was worrying will he find a job if he can only have jobs he can get to on a bicycle? I thought this place also at times helps with transportation...that's what the info. said before he moved in there, etc.. D texted me....".Mom, how about I just work on my recovery, and you work on your co-dependency ?" Well,...those drugs didn't take away all of his previous smart thinking, now did they ? What is wrong with me ? I really need to make some more major adjustments in my thinking and behavior. As much as I've dreamed of him working on his recovery.....I hadn't realized how much I'd have to adjust to even get used to him actually following through on things he needs to imagine him being responsible and productive he once was so long ago. And yes, yes, I know....even if he's NOT doing all of those just work on taking care of my own business, not his.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

...and now the reality begins, phase one

D is leaving the rehab tomorrow, and will be living in a halfway house about 40 mi. from where he was in rehab.. We're still here at home and he's getting a ride to his next residence from someone there at the rehab.. He's actually stopping at Walmart along the way and buying a bicycle,which he'll be using for transportation. Yes, we financed the bicycle purchase, because he has no money of his own yet. The halfway house appears to be a very structured place, and he's required to be out during the day,from 9 to 5, either working, looking for work, or volunteering in some way. Of course, the economy isn't good, but I am hoping he finds something pretty quickly. The halfway house people that are there also will help with some transportation, so that's a great thing. He's planning to see one of the therapists from the rehab. weekly for continuing counseling, although I don't know how he'll make that work when she's 40 min.s away and he only has a bicycle. I mean, does that strike you as problematic ?Of course, he thinks it will work out.,...I'm not getting involved with that,..although he is under our insurance to pay for it. At the halfway house, about 1/2(no pun intended) of the residents are ex-convicts, so that gave me pause,...although really, that's a bit hypocritical, since if D's convicted of his current pending charge (court's in late Feb.), he'd also be a convict. Just another facet of the addiction journey.
One thing I haven't mentioned is that while I was away in CT. over Christmas time, I learned of a tragedy resulting from addiction, another heroin overdose. He was the nephew of a guy I grew up with, his brother's 21 yr. old son. The young man, Chris, had just returned from a 1/2 way house in Florida, after having been there for the previous 3 months. He came back home for Christmas, and to get his car to drive back down to Florida after the holiday. He was home and saw his parents for only an hour, then went out to see some old friends. His mom found him dead the next morning, on Dec. 24th. How horrific is that ? Obviously, he relapsed the first night he was back in town. I opened my hometown newspaper and saw his obituary and gasped....just seeing his handsome photo and the name,....while my own son was also in treatment in Florida right at that time. I admired his parents strength in asking for donations to the Help An Addict organization in lieu of flowers. I just again wish that everyone reading it could think about what happened to Chris in the way people think about those young people lost to other horrible diseases, instead of judging him and his parents....or speculating about what they must have done wrong in raising him.
Of course, I pray that my son won't do the same thing. Again, that's what I'll do along with my hope, keep on praying for all of our kids.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Looking forward/ looking back

During the past few days, D has been working on finding a 1/2 way house to go to next week. He's being released from the treatment center on Sunday, and it's been a search for where to go next, based upon recommendations from the counselor where he is and what's available as well, whether nearby where he is or otherwise. His main concern was that he not come back I've said before, the first time he's really been aware of how dangerous it is for him near triggers and people, places and things that he used with here. That is good to see,..that he(not us) is so aware of/even afraid of going back to using. He's found a place near where he is, and he interviewed there and was accepted,...had dinner over there last night, which surprised me. He is very motivated to go there and excited about looking forward to what recovery can be for him now...hoping to get a job, even start community college, although that probably won't happen until the summer. He sounds happier than I can remember hearing him for soooo long. Of course, he does have to come back to go to court on Feb. 25th, but he will deal with that then....he can still do something positive for now where he is. Of course, that could require that he stay here and go to jail, but I'm praying that doesn't happen and he can go back to where he'll be living. Time will tell, of course.
Meanwhile, he called a little while ago and started to cry, but it was because he was happy. He'd shared some things in his group tonight that he "broke through" to say that he'd not ever told anyone before, and it was a huge relief for him and he was very proud of himself and emotional about. He apologized to me again and also said that he knew that he wasn't really the bad person that he'd felt about himself for so long, and just wanted to deal with the "horrible bitch" of addiction that's hurt him and us so much. Our whole conversation was very moving, and I'm not really articulating it well enough here.
Of course, he'll continue to deal with his addiction and it will continue to be a challenging road for him. I don't think that he's "taken care of " things that he'd needed to do and all is well now. But I do think that as many others have said, each attempt at recovery can push the addict more forward on a positive path, and D has started on that path at the moment. I am grateful for that, and looking for more light out of the darkness that's been the status quo for a very long time.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Addiction's affect upon relationships

I was just about to e-mail someone in my extended family, and thought about how our son's addiction has affected my relationship with that person. Although this family member very much loves D and us, over the past year's of D's addiction and what we've all gone through, our relationship has changed, ..more recently, into a more shallow one, I'd say. This person has been consistently supportive and has prayed for D and us throughout this painful journey. However, as with many people that aren't the addict's parents, or the ones "on site" and seeing the addict regularly, there's so much that's not apparent or known by them, that is to me, too much to necessarily explain, detail wise,...event wise, ..that changes the understanding of it all. After all, they're hearing what's happening from me, colored by my emotions and not necessarily often seeing the addict,...if they don't live locally, as with my family member. As much as my husband and I have so often been very angry, resentful, and fed up, even detached from our son due to his behavior and choices from his addiction, .....I can also feel frustrated by others that are close to me that don't understand it all better, especially from some aspects that I've shared with them. I guess I'd like them to also know how much D was predisposed to this from the get go, he's always been more affected biologically than my other kids,....that he'd never thought he would end up this way and has great shame about it. I KNOW he made numerous wrong choices....I KNOW that he's been selfish and a liar and hurtful and all the other negative things that addicts do, but I also know that it's not black and white and that D himself isn't like others who also experimented with marijuana and drinking as teenagers, including myself. It affected him differently from the beginning. This family member and I had a tough conversation when he kept suggesting that D go to Teen Challenge, a wonderful program,...which I'd have loved that D go to. But at that time, was extremely iffy that D would go to any treatment program,...never mind commit to a program that's over 1 yr. long. My relative got angry on the phone, and since then, doesn't mention D at all, and if I mention him, he quickly talks about something else. He knows that he's out of state in treatment right now. I just realize that it's another facet of addiction,...for those that love them.....there are so many things that are affected by it. However, it does hurt and I am working on having better perspective on it. I know my relationships with others have been affected too,...friends I haven't seen or talked to for a long time, that I'd normally have been in touch with, etc., but I'd let D's addiction shut them out as I tried to cope with it. I look forward to working more on having those relationships come back in touch again this year, whether or not D is in recovery,...for I certainly don't know what will happen in the future. I'm thinking that my experience is pretty common and really, I wish that society in general understood more about addiction and how it happens. I hope that more and more is made clear in the future in our country and others.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Out with the old, in with the new !

I've been away and busy with visiting family etc. so haven't posted since my last frustrated and angry post when D had a big fit on the phone with me, from where he is in treatment. Meanwhile, I'm very glad to say that he's been doing better and better.....each day he sounds more hopeful, happy, and committed to his recovery than the previous day. He did tell me on the phone today that last night was hard for him, as he could see others partying....drinking from a big beer bong, etc.. Geez, how close together is the treatment center from another house where the people are partying ? He said that it wasn't hard in the respect that they were "partying" on New Year's eve and that he couldn't,....just that he wasn't "normal" as other people are that are able to drink alcohol at some level without being extreme and self destructive.
Meanwhile, we learned that he must already leave the rehab. on Jan. 10th, after only 21 days...ugh. Even though we were told that at the end of the first 3 weeks he'd be evaluated for need of continuing treatment, with insurance continuing to pay,...and again at the end of 60 days, up to, we were just told that no, some insurances do that, but not ours. They knew exactly what insurance we had, and I asked multiple times to confirm that they'd pay, before he even first went there. Oh well,...I'm actually just grateful that D went there, of his own free will,...and that our insurance is paying for the 3 weeks in full...that's wonderful. He's now been researching places to go for "transitional living" aka half way houses,..and is set to interview on Monday for one not far from where he's currently in treatment in Florida. He is strongly set against coming back home here to VA., and for once, KNOWS that it's way too slippery for him here....too may triggers for him to prompt a relapse. He says that he doesn't plan to come back here for a very long time. Of course, I'd love him to be where we could see him (especially in recovery !), but if he's not using and needs to be away to have that happen...then I would much rather he stay away. We can go down and visit when we can. He wants to get a job, at least part time, and begin comm. college ,...not sure when on that. The place he's interviewing for also has a Christian theme and that makes me very very happy, so we'll see. However, he still has his court date/trial hanging over his head on Feb. 25th, here at home. Unless it's again continued to a later date, he'll be coming back for that, and of course, we don't know how it will go. In fact, he's first (this coming week) finding out whether or not it's allowed by his pre trial supervision people here, or the judge,..that he move out of treatment into the transitional living place instead of coming back here when he leaves treatment on Jan. 10th. I'm thinking they'll let him...but as you know, you never can tell.
I am a teacher and tend to think of the new year beginning in Sept. vs. now,...that's just when it all begins fresh for me each year. However, this New Year's day, this year,....I'm thinking of it as a real new year beginning....for D to recover and become who he really is, without using, and for us to begin to live a MUCH more peaceful and pleasant life without him nearby, steeped in his addiction. 2010 was very tough in many ways, as D was arrested twice this year,....was using, in recovery for over 3 mo.s, then went back to using and continued to get worse and worse. I am looking SO forward to a far improved 2011 for all of us. May we all work on our own progress and I'd love to go forward to see us all blogging about something other than addiction ! However,...what I want to say most today is THANK YOU,...all of you other parents of addicts who blog and share,...for holding me up and really really understanding through this past year and a half. It has been crucial to me to be able to keep going forward and coping and I am so grateful ! Happy new Year to all of you and may all of our loved ones find recovery and peace.