Well, I don't know how the time has gone by so fast without me blogging. I've kept up on everyone else's, but mine seems to have got away from me. So many different issues, events...where to begin ?
Back in August, we had an engagement party for our daughter and her fiance, who'd arrived from Australia the week before. It was a big deal around here and we'd done all kinds of things to prepare for it, for what felt like all summer, since there were many home projects that were in need of doing anyway. It was the first time many(almost all) of the family and friends were meeting the fiance,and getting to see our daughter who'd been away for so long. D, at that time, was still living in the sober living home in Florida, and we flew him up on Fri. night for the Sat. party,....going back on Monday. He'd relapsed in mid June, but had been clean since then, and seemed to be doing well. As it turns out, he wasn't ready to be in the presence of all of those people, all at one time. Being around everyone, with many people here, including quite a number sleeping over, just freaked him out. He (I later came to understand) still felt very shamed,...by all that's gone on the past 4 or 5 years, in the knowledge that the great majority of the people here knew it. He didn't deal with it well at all,....and behaved in a way that made it worse....go figure. He wasn't very sociable (to say the least), he took off for long periods of time, with old friends (ugh), and also spent quite a bit of his time up in the bedroom and slept during part of the day where you wouldn't think he'd be sleeping....all very addict like behavior. He did talk with some of the people here for part of the time, but also did all those other things I just mentioned. And, I'll admit....at some level, for some of it, I was embarassed,...but I did pretty quickly let it go, (the concern of being at all embarassed) for I couldn't control it (at least, not much) and didn't want to focus on that and lose my enjoyment at all that was happening for our daughter and her future husband. Although I realize that it sure does sound like it.....I truly don't think he used that weekend,...but he later told me that he came close to doing so. The bottom line is.....the shame of what's happened in the past can sure be a heavy burden to carry and deal with, even when they're doing better. As many of you know from my past posts, my mom died unexpectedly just 2 weeks after the engagement party...and by that time D was back in Florida. After all that had just happened, we didn't have him come back up to her wake and funeral in Connecticut, and that long weekend with the family. It was Labor Day weekend. D and my mom were quite close, and to think that he wasn't there for her services and tribute to her is something that is still amazing for me to think of,...but I guess, in another way, not really. Addiction does so much to the addict and those around him/her, that none of those ripples really surprise me at all anymore. He just wasn't feeling comfortable at that point in handling being all together with all of those people he's known all his life, despite that they all love him. Hopefully, he'll progress in his ability to free himself from shame, for it's not serving any good purpose.
Since then.....in early October, D moved out of the sober living house and into another place that he's renting with his now girlfriend, that he'd met in his sober living house. There were supposed to be 3 of them, but the 40 yr. old guy was taken back by his wife, so that fell through. They're still looking for someone else to share the rent with. In fact, the house they're living in is about 3 houses down the street from the sober living house, which is a pretty good thing. He'll go over there and watch a football game or hang out for awhile with the people he knows there sometimes. And yes, obviously, living with, never mind having a relationship with, another addict in early recovery is certainly not what's recommended. For that matter, the fact that he's only 20 and living with his girlfriend is something that I would have had big issues with in the past, more than I do now, after having lived through this addiction monster the past 5 years. Meaning,...it's all relative.
"Stacy"(the girlfriend) is a 20 yr. old young woman who's working very hard on her recovery and appears to take it quite seriously. She didn't go to the same rehab. that he did before the sober living house, and has "only" been to rehab. once....and (at least thus far) appears to really get it, and does what she needs to do to be better, on a daily basis. D says that she's "more of an addict than me"(yikes), and used to shoot heroin,....I'm sure did plenty of other drugs,...but that she "works harder than I do on recovery". So, as much as I'm hesitant on how this will all work out in the future, having someone he lives with and cares about that's so into recovery isn't a bad thing either. I'm hoping they do find another roommate, and that if D and Stacy break up....that he's not alone, for I don't think being isolated is a good thing for him at all. Her family is only 40 min.s away, so they even have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving this week.
We just went down last weekend to see D and Stacy and spend some time there, check out where he's living etc. He's working (still at Chik Fila) but we are helping him with some money for rent too. He is now working harder on his recovery than when he made the statement about his effort compared to Stacy's. Per usual, when he gets forgetful (which is quite normal for him : ( ) and gets spotty about taking his medicine (an antidepressant and Abilify), he starts to get down and anxious and negative again....and not working on recovery in the way he needs to. I "think" he finally finally gets how important it is to not skip his medicine, for it makes a huge difference for him. And with D, he never was against taking it....just didn't get some type of reminder system set up to take it daily....sigh.
So....they're living in a small ranch house in a nice neighborhood , which is fairly close to where they both work. Another blessing is that they both work at places just across the parking lot from each other, which is a huge help for D, because he currently doesn't have a license. It was revoked here in Virginia due to a drug paraphernalia conviction in June. Stacy drives them both around and I don't know what would have happened if he wasn't with Stacy. D is supposed to get his license back after Dec. 3rd, IF all of his community service hours are done that he was assigned to do from his court case back in JUNE. He ONLY was given 25 hours...and here he is, finishing them at Goodwill, down to the wire, in the last week.....ugh. It drives me completely nuts.....but that's something else I have no control over, obviously. In comparison to the other past things he's done that bothered me,....well, there's no comparison. However, IF he didn't complete them....1 yr. in jail ! Wouldn't ya think he'd have done them before now ? I will say, he had to get all kinds of proof (with a court document w/raised seal) for Goodwill to even let him do the hours there, to prove he wasn't convicted of any type of violent crime...but still...he should have begun the entire process MUCH earlier.
We had a good time with them....went to dinner a couple of times,...brought D to the store and helped him get some things needed for the house. Who'd think that I'd be at the store with D looking for mixing bowls and a whisk ? LOL Obviously, Stacy let him know about the need for that one. In fact, Stacy has him eating fish and vegetables and wearing shirts with collars....quite a force ,Stacy is. What also made me smile was seeing D with a drum set to play again. (His own here in Va. was pawned : ( ) He has drums borrowed from someone else in NA that needed somewhere to store them, so it's really nice that he can play again. I'd love to see him get into some type of "clean band"...is there such a thing ? They go to meetings together every day....and that's been the miracle, NA. I'm very very thankful that D totally embraces NA and all that it has to offer,...it's saving his life. It's been slow, but he's making some friends,...other guy friends, that he can hang out with, apart from Stacy, so that's very good for him too. He's planning to begin college at the community college there in January, but hasn't registered yet....so we'll see how that goes. His plan is to do that after finishing his comm. svc. hours. Hopefully, he will.
We've seen some bad days too, ...don't get me wrong. D having urges to use, and crying, and saying that he's scared and doesn't want to go back to that again, but sometimes feels that it's inevitable that he will. : ( Again, that usually also happens if he's been inconsistent with his medicine. I'm hoping that those times come fewer and farther between. Time will tell on all of this, as you all know so well. I'm aware that this all could change on a dime, for the worse, but surely pray it won't. He has a great sponsor, and he's been so helpful for D. I'd hug him if I could.
I sure do miss D and wish that he was just away at college like our other 2 older kids were.....even though they were hours away, they'd drive home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and other times and in the summer. But he's 4 states away, and I know that's where he has to be,....at least for now, and most likely for a long time in the future. I still have hope that he can someday liver closer to us, but I know that his recovery is what's most important. With the daughter in Australia, (at least for 3 more years),....the middle son will have to be the only one we see regularly, ..he lives about 10 mi. away,..he's 25.
But as you may imagine, after all of the darkness and horrific times addiction has put us all through for years on end....right now, all I can feel is thankful. So Happy Thanksgiving to you all. You'll never know how much your blogs and this community of people have meant to me. Well,...actually, maybe you do, for I know that you have all hung on to each other's support too. As one of the bloggers just said so well today, no one really does understand all of this and what it's like unless you've gone through it. Again....THANK YOU all for teaching me so much about how to deal with addiction and for being so caring.