Tuesday, July 26, 2011

20 years ago today

It was 20 years ago today....no, not when Sargent Pepper taught the band to play,..but when I gave birth to a baby boy....a very beautiful baby.  He was planned for, prayed for,..a much wanted little blessing. He was delivered by cesarean,...even though his older siblings had been born the natural way. D had turned in the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy, and was breech, butt first...couldn't be delivered that way. In fact, we'd tried what's called a "version",..where the doctors tried to turn him around, while still within me (I wouldn't recommend this to anyone) but he'd just turn right around again...his way, or no way...not surprising once we got to know him. Although he slept through the night from 12 days old (amazing !), he made up for it with colic...screaming his little head off every evening, from about 4 to 10:30 p.m., unless I jogged around the family room with him continuously. He did that from about 1 mo. old, 'til 4 1/2 mo.s.  He had his ideas about everything he wanted and was not to be swayed on many things he wanted.  If we tried to go away, out of town, to visit Grandma or another relative....you could forget him sleeping,..he HAD to have his own crib.  He was an adorable little toddler, but always had his own ideas of how things should be, must be.  Later on,..he turned that all into a good thing...he was our little "rule follower"...yes..truly. He had to do things a certain way. In fact, he was the one who we had to work on letting know that it was OK to sometimes vary what we usually did....we didn't always have to do everything the same way each time....that he could be flexible,...that routines could actually also be flexible.

  He went to school and did everything he was supposed to do,...academically did very well, as well as behaviorally. Accolades all around. This continued on and on,....until he met up with DRUGS.  This sweet, empathetic, loving boy was changed....at first, subtly, but then dramatically,...until he became someone that we didn't recognize, nor could fathom. Pain and drama and episodes with police followed for years....repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly....despite our very best and persistent efforts.  We and others who loved him were dumbfounded.  

   After years....we now understand a lot more of those painful times, and what led up to them.  But I still don't think we'll ever totally fathom it all.  We are now grateful to be starting to get our son back.  We pray that he can continue to be all that he was always meant to be. 

   I, for one....am more than thankful to close the chapter on those teenage years for D.  So, Happy Birthday D......may your 20s be a new beginning and a return to who you really are and can be in all that's positive in life. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nature of the Beast

 I was awakened this morning by the beep of a text coming into my cell phone...which was on my nightstand. I don't normally do that anymore(have my cell in the bedroom when I sleep),..but old habits die hard I guess.  Yes, it was D...with a text.."are you awake?"  Well, I am now,...I knew something must be up, but I didn't have that old start of the heart feeling that I always used to have...yay me.   Anyway...I texted him back that I was awake and he called me. 

Last night, the guy that is part owner of the business of his sober living house, Mark, (remember me crowing about how great he's been to D ?..just recently), relapsed on crack (ugh!), and apparently, did so with $180 of D's money.  Since D had relapsed in June, he's been turning over his paycheck (once cashed) and the $ has been held in a lock box in the house, and D can only get small amounts out at a time, with consistent explanation of what it's being used for. Only Mark, or the actual house manager, Mike, have access to the lock box.    In fact, just a few days ago,.. D called us and asked if he could take all of the money he's saving and put it into his bank account (yes, he does still have one..hardly anything in it), and from there, if we could transfer most of it into our account, which is linked to it and we can access online. We were going to get that done today.  He said the money was building up(imagine that)  in cash in the house and that MARK suggested he get it out of the house and into the bank. ( Seems to me that Mark knew it was tempting him ?) During that conversation, D said that he'd feel better if we did that anyway,...because he was becoming concerned/suspicious that Mark may be using again. Well...it takes one to know one, right ? I asked why and he said that Mark was behaving a bit differently...isolating, etc.. We can all relate to watching those subtle signals, can't we ?     Anyway, he told his suspicions to Mike, who had also become concerned and then an hour after D had been into and out of the lock box with Mike and counted his money in front of Mike....Mark had gone into the box. As soon as he left the house, Mike and D counted it again,..and bingo,...D's money was missing.  : (   So, Mike called Mark...repeatedly, no answer. Then, he called Trish,(who lives in a different house) who is the main owner of their business and told her...who called Mark and got him to answer. Mark was told to not come back to the house....he told Trish that he was going to go and check himself into some place...don't know where.   Then, early this morning, Mark shows up and D heard him come in...and asked him why he was there. He acted like nothing was wrong,...as if D didn't know. So, D had to go and wake up Mike, who did get Mark to leave,...fortunately. D told me he was pretty nervous in talking to Mark at first....for he knew enough not to want to argue with a guy who may be high on crack, and is about 6 ft. 5 in. at that !   Sigh , sigh, sigh.....I am sad.    As I'd said with a previous post,...Mark did SO SO much to help D stay clean,...more than you'd expect he even would,..using his own time and at times his own money, so that D wouldn't be isolated,...would be able to do some things for fun, ..go out for pizza or a movie.  He drove D back and forth to work each day for 30 days, brought him to his dr.'s appt.s, to get his prescriptions filled,...called me to double check on D's  medicine and let me know how D was doing.  And of course,..none of that was bullshit...it was a beautiful example of an addict helping another addict.  He talked to me on the phone, telling me how he was trying to make sure D knew what his disease would do to him if D didn't fully work on his recovery, actively, every day. He stressed to D that he would indeed be homeless, without support of even his family, if he didn't give his all to his recovery.....and now look...it's Mark that's homeless,...once again.  Apparently, he's been so before, and for extended periods of time.   I just am so sad about him...although I've never even met him.

  Meanwhile....you all are probably thinking what hit me pretty readily about this happening.  Well D,...now you know what it feels like to have someone steal from you to get drugs....not fun, is it ?  I hadn't said anything yet about that, and D said..."I am not happy he did this,obviously, and hate what he's doing to himself,...but I really can't be angry at him,...after how many times I've done the same thing....mainly to you and dad."  That's for sure !  Try going through this for YEARS.  It still hurts,...although I really try to release it...holding onto resentment isn't good for any of us...and I do see it as a symptom of his disease. I don't excuse his behavior of stealing...but his disease does certainly help explain it.   I'll even admit....I'm surely not glad that this happened...especially for Mark himself,..but there was a small part of me that took pleasure (and felt bad about doing so) that D was experiencing how it felt to be stolen from.  As I said...I'm not proud of feeling that,..but I am human,...not Jesus.  

   So, as much as Mark "seemed" to be doing the right things....his demon of addiction was lying in wait within him.  : (    I asked D why he thought this happened,...and he said, "As soon as he started having those thoughts....he didn't tell someone,...he kept it to himself,..but he needed to tell someone/ie. his sponsor and reach out."     I just hope that D uses this (and others living in his house as well) to cement in his brain that he must be vigilant and remain proactive about his recovery. 

    Praying for Mark, D and your addicts as well.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fighting the Demon

Although I've been keeping up on reading others' blogs,...for some reason, I've let mine lapse for awhile.  Currently, D is clean (over 30 days now) since his relapse in June, and living in the sober living home he moved into after being kicked out of the last one when he relapsed.  Fortunately, where he is now is just a much better place overall,...so as bad as it is that he relapsed, the fact that it also resulted in him moving into where he is now is a good thing.   Since he relapsed and was homeless that one weekend from Thurs. night to Monday, he was then on restriction, and couldn't go anywhere without someone from the house with him, and wasn't able to drive his own car anymore either, not even to work. He was driven back and forth from work daily by the very devoted house manager, Mark. Mark has been quite an amazing blessing to D, and has spent much more time and effort to support D's recovery than would be typical of a sober living house manager.  D agreed to all of it, despite his not liking the restrictions or not having his car to use.  Additionally, he gives his paycheck to the house manager (with the stub) and gets any money he needs in small amounts only, ...showing what he's using it on.   In fact, the woman who runs the business but doesn't live in the house, even called me....to check in and touch base with us on how D was doing.  I was pretty amazed at that too.  She gave me the house manager's phone number and said we could call him if we'd like to.  I did, and had a good conversation with him....really can't thank him enough for all that he's been doing for D.    He told me (that was a month ago now) that they were leading D by the hand, one day at a time......to help keep him clean, at that point.   He also said a lot of nice things about D that were very encouraging to hear,....how D had a lot more maturity and willingness to get it and be in recovery than he's seen in most young guys his age (19, almost 20),...how D is such a great kid, and obviously really wants recovery, despite his recent relapse at that point,...that he's got a good attitude, is usually easy to get along with, etc..  The one thing he said that was most encouraging was that he has a lot of hope for D....that he really sees him continuing on in his recovery and being o.k.,....and how he really often doesn't see that this young for  many of the guys he works with.  

   Meanwhile, D continues to work and go to meetings each night, and even has had a bunch of fun times with some people he knows in recovery there and a new friend ( a girl) he works with,....just a friend, which is good.  I love hearing about him being able to do some social things with other young people where he has some fun, for I know that whole social thing is important for him, especially at his age.  He's gone to a picnic, out to a restaurant to watch the world cup, to see a movie, etc..  I think it's s great for him to keep experiencing these fun times where he enjoys himself in a social setting where no one is drinking or getting high, especially with other people around his age. He isn't doing those things that much, but it seems it's enough to keep  him motivated.  

   Just the night before last, he did have a tough time again, with cravings...and it hasn't been the first time that it's happened, since his relapse. No surprise there.  He now (just since last Saturday) has his car back, and was driving a couple of guys from his house to a meeting. One was a brand new guy who started to talk about cocaine, and also say...."Let's just ditch this meeting and go find something fun to do."  He said that the guy wasn't saying to go and get high,...just not go to the meeting.  They did however, go to the meeting.  That was enough though,...that thread of conversation in the car, to start the whole using/craving thought process in D's head...and it really really bothered him, throughout the meeting and  continued afterward that night.  In fact, he said that at the end of the meeting, when they ask if anyone has a burning desire...he spoke and said yes, he had a burning desire (need to speak) and that it was to say that he really felt like getting high.  : (     That prompted a number of people to come over and talk to him personally at the end of the meeting, offering support, etc..  Afterward, he had the guy with the cocaine talk ride back to their house in someone else's car and called his sponsor and then went out to McDonald's with a couple of people he's friendly with in recovery, which also helped him feel better, he said.    So, ....what a difference....he still was having the thoughts/urges....but this time, was reacting by DOING THE RIGHT THING.....trying to get away from what was prompting him, ...and most importantly, calling his sponsor immediately.

His sponsor now....that's a whole other story....this guy is another Godsend....what a wonderful blessing for D he is.  D has been working on steps with him and he said when he did the first step with him, it was the most intense first step experience he's ever had, ...he cried, laughed,..you name it. But I digress.

   Then, last night he calls us,...spoke with his dad, and asked if we'd be willing to help him change his phone number on his cell phone.  Yes,...we currently pay his cell phone w/ Verizon. He said that because of his relapse in Florida, there's now a coke dealer there who has his number...and another guy also, who was the one that helped him find the coke dealer and used with him.  He said that guy is now supposedly clean, but that he really doesn't know if he can trust that anyway, nor whether or not he'll stay clean in the future, so he doesn't want him to have his number anymore. He was someone who D originally met in his former sober living home.....and is now working on his recovery again, and is asking D if he may want to be roommates with him in an apartment in the future, after D is no longer in the sober living house where he now lives.  D said that he just doesn't want him having his number anymore....as well as for sure not wanting the coke dealer to text him about having some "great stuff"....prompting a craving.  

    The main thing I'm seeing is D thinking of different situations and worrying.....HIM initiating trying to avoid those things,...being proactive in trying to not be in any contact with whatever could prompt him to use again....not me or his dad or his sponsor saying those things, but HIM, big and important difference.  In fact, he said that after the cocaine talk the other night on the way to the meeting....he felt scared and awfully anxious and nauseous.....in reaction to having the cravings thoughts.  When he told me that, I thought,...."Good, that makes me feel sick too."    He did finally start taking the Naltrexone....takes a daily pill, and said at first that he thought it was helping him not to have as many cravings....but he wasn't sure. I guess that is a very hard thing to know,....unless he goes off it and starts having more...or goes off it and it's the same. Fortunately, he hasn't had any side effects at all since starting to take it.  Anyway, if it can help him at all, I figure....try it and use it for awhile, at least,...especially with no other side effects and that it is covered by insurance.

     That's all that's happening currently.   Sometimes it's discouraging to think how hard he has to fight this daily....but that type of thought is fleeting to me.  For I am much more focused on how grateful I am for how hard he is fighting and that he's currently clean....and YES,...free of any legal charges now.  That is also a recent happening (since June 7th) that I am in awe of, after so much time (years) of dealing with that.  One day at a time....and on this day, I am GRATEFUL.       Still praying for yours and you as I pray for mine.