Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Al called

Al called me yesterday afternoon. He was calling to tell me about his day. He does that now... calls to talk about his day. It's so nice talking to him like that... like we use to do. He was excited about a possible opportunity he's been working towards. He was telling me about his day and where he went, what he did and who he hung out with. He also told me about how was feeling... he had a rough day. He's off suboxone now, he missed his last appointment at CBI and is not able to finish the last two weeks of meds. Suboxone is used to help with heroin and opiate withdraw.

Al is feeling the symptoms of withdraw but thankfully he was at the end of the treatment and his symptoms are mild but enough to give him cravings. It's the first time he's felt this way in a while and I think it scared him. He said "If you could only hear the thoughts that where in my head you would be so disappointed with me because in my mind I kept trying to rationalize using this one time only to take away my ache". He seemed a little concerned as he was talking himself off a cliff; I was so proud of him for doing that. He said "mom my favorite meeting is about starting I have to go, I'm ok now". I told him I loved him and to stay strong as he hung up the phone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cleaning Out The Closet

We are now in the "cleaning out the closet" phase. This means digging up the past and forgiving our self for all the mistakes we made. The problem is our past is a little fractured... YES a lot of damage was done. A lot of hurt and anger to sort though. But although the past is fractured it's not broken thankfully! Somehow throughout all the mess we've manage to preserve our relationship. The second he said he was done, was the second we said we're ready!

I'm having to get to know my son all over again. We went from him disappearing for weeks to having him back and interacting with us almost daily. It's a little unsteady, we are unsure of where to tread. He's so different but yet the same in some areas. He's still that loving, caring young man we once knew, but a little rough around the edges. Al still has that familiar part of him in tack... that person who made us laugh and who loved unconditionally it helps us with the healing process to know we still have our loving boy! I think we're going to be ok... he's still my boy underneath all that junk he's trying to get rid of.

At least I know at this very moment my son is OK... he's doing good... he's still in ring fighting... he's working for his recovery... he's picking up those broken pieces and trying to glue them back together. Thank you God! Thank you so much!! I'm so so happy! I have my son back!

My struggle...

I find myself struggling with the girlfriend these days. My family and I are struggling because we are finding it very hard to understand her. She refuses to check into a treatment/sober living facility.  Al and Mia agreed to take this time to do separate recovery facility's so they can work on them self's but I feel like Mia copped out. She did manage to do the 21 days of in house treatment. But half way though it she decided she didn't want to do the second phase of treatment, she said "I can do this on my own. I can get a job by my grandmothers (in Sun City) and attend a 12 step program all on my own". She left the program right after she completed her 21 days convincing everyone she was doing the right thing! It made me mad and sick to my stomach, I was not convinced! After that I couldn't bear seeing her, I never went to visit her either I was way to angry with her and with her decision to not continue in this program, I just couldn't bring myself to accept it. Not to mention her grandmother (in Mesa) and I scraped up what money we could find to get her into this program. I felt it was completely selfish of her not to try after all we did to get her in there. She just didn't want to have to sacrifice her freedom... to do the hard work it would require of her. A recovery program is not supposed to be like a hotel or spa day. It's supposed to challenge you and make you grow as an adult and as a person. It's supposed teach you about your addiction and why you use, how to prevent relapse and show you coping skills. It's mentally draining having to revisit and relive your past... but it's necessary in order to learn from it, in order to move on. It's like cleaning out your house, you just can't sweep the dirt under the couch or around the table. You have to move the couch and get under the table to sweep the dirt out... then and only then is your house truly clean.

She's very bitter, depressed and angry STILL, she has a lot of emotional scars she not dealing with, she's only putting a band-aid over it. She's been at her grandmother's now for a month and she has not attended any AA, HA or NA meetings nor does she have a job yet. All which where apart of the after care program at the facility we got her in. I do not get along with her ANYMORE... to be honest I never did but I always thought it was due to her drug use. So I tried to over look it for the sake of seeing my son. She plays on Al's emotions even more now that he's clean and it's obvious he feels responsible maybe even obligated towards her for some reason. He takes full responsibility for their drug use. I've tried telling him he used her JUST as much as she used him. It's not one person fault more than the other. They both played equal part in this! However she refuses to admit any of her wrongs and she makes nothing but excuses for her actions and pointed fingers at everyone else. In one of our last conversations I had with her the day she was released from rehab a month ago she put me in a horrible position by confessing a secret she is hiding from Al. It's extremely personal and awful and something I think Al should know. But she says... "you can't tell anyone, not Al and not Heather... no one". It's so hard to read her let alone understand her. I hope and pray she finds the help she so desperately needs... I just hope she does it without my son. I hope and pray they go their own separate ways soon. Anyone can see they are not good for each other. I don't know?? It's not up to me... It's in Gods hands.
My prayer in this situation!

Monday, December 22, 2014

30 Days

Tuesday December 16th was Al's 30th day clean. He asked me to come and present his 30 day chip to him at his meeting. When he asked me... I sat there beside myself staring at him in total delight. He smiles from ear to ear as he sits at a table in the court yard across from me talking about his experiences for the day. The best part was he has this new found confidence and pride. It's exudes from him, poring out as he speaks.  He knows everyone there at his sober living home, he gets pats on the back as they walk by him, saying "Hey Allen" And from the across the court yard guys who look like their in biker gangs... to guys looking like skater dudes all shout out to him "ALLEN" he just smiles real big and says "hey guys". Every single person their knows him... when he sees them walking by he calls them out by name.. "HEYYY Tj... Hey Shantee, Hey Alec!! He's become quite the social butterfly! What I found pretty cool about this place was they have such a diverse group of men there and they all get along! They treat each other with respect and kindness. Maybe it's because they all have one thing in common? 

Al got a job too! He's a busser and a food runner at a nice restaurant called "Ztejas". When I called him last night to chat he said "I'm on a happy high mom" I said "do you mean a Jesus High?". He said "YEAH!! a Jesus high!! Life feels good, I'm clean, I love this recovery program, I got a job and I'm mending relationships with my family and I'm happy". I told Al... "I've never been more prouder of you than in this moment". He said "thanks mom, I'm trying". Ahhh... did you hear that? He's trying! Praise God... I give all the glory to you Lord!

I don't know how to describe how I'm feeling. I can FEEL the happiness brewing inside me almost to the point of crying but I haven't had that moment where I burst into tears yet? You know what I'm talking about... right? That moment when all your emotions of relief and happiness burst out of you in this heart felt sob. I'm happy at this very moment and it feels strange! I want that outburst, that long awaiting release of emotion believe it or not. I freaking need it!! BUT no, not happening. For six years I've felt nothing but anguish, and now I have none... ha-ha what the heck? It's like my heart is holding back on me. Perfect... I'm still pinning up my emotions. Oh well at least I'm happy!

I'm back on the heart monitor... I need to wear it for a month. The outcome of my heart situation is still undetermined. The funny things is I'm not scared... I'm OK with it... WHATEVER. Maybe it's peace I'm feeling, whatever it's called I'm OK come what may.

Monday, December 15, 2014

It Doesn't Seem Real

Have you ever experienced a deja vu moment? I've been having alot of those lately. At times my life almost feels like I'm in a dream. Things are moving and happening so seamlessly that it doesn't seem real. I'm almost afraid to be happy... I got my son back, I've been seeing and talking to my son! IT DOESN'T SEEM REAL, he's been gone for so long. I'm so afraid to lose him again that I can feel myself stacking bricks. Putting up a wall brick by brick just in case Heroin steels him from me again. I have to remind myself it's OK to be happy! It's OK to look forward to the future. When I do that I  close my eyes and take a deep long breath and pause for a moment. I stop and take it all in. I look all around me, I look at the trees and the sky, listening to the sounds of cars passing and birds chirping, people talking or laughing. I say to myself... Thank you GOD! God, your timing is always perfect. He's going to be a masterpiece when your done.

Al has big dreams. His dreams are not your the standard 21 year old dreams. He's not asking to be rich or famous.  His dreams are to help others who are struggling with addiction someday. To start a ministry that's uplifts and helps addicts and their families.  That's all he talks about. He constantly tells me how mentoring others would make him feel better about this life.

Al's badges of accomplishments! Believe it or not these chips are priceless, worth there weight in gold! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week Two

21 days clean! I forgot his week prior to detox.
17 days in treatment!

It was such a wonderful weekend despite my medical report. Can you believe I said that? I HAD A WONDERFUL WEEKEND! From start to finish I had moments filled with love, laughter and peace. What's going on here? It takes my breath away... GOD whispered to my heart and said "the timing is finally right, you are ready; time to revel my plans for you". The thing is he wasn't just talking about me, I think he was preparing all of our hearts. Lining up things, setting the stage for us, putting all the RIGHT people in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time. When Al's addiction first started, we where empty, hurting, starving for something. We moved along our day uncontentious... BUT we didn't know it. Through Al's addiction God has opened our eyes and our minds. He was preparing our hearts for a greater calling, to be what he created all of us to be. Benevolent!

My weekend ended with us going to see Al and attend one of his meetings. He called it his "home meeting" because it's specifically for Heroin addicts, (HA) Heroin Anonymous. It was a small group of men, maybe 12 guys. Al invited us to attend this meeting so in support of his recovery we went not knowing what to expect. What I saw and heard may scare some people but not me. I saw the beauty of their hearts, the hurt and the scars of people who are fighting for their life. It was all I could do to HOLD back my tears as they spoke. I wanted to show Al I wasn't going to break down, that I was strong. Randomly they all spoke about their week and their heavy hearts. As each one told their story I wanted to jump out of my chair and just hug them!! All of a sudden I hear Al say " Hi I'm Al and I'm an addict" the room echoed as they all said WELCOME AL. He started to speak about his addiction and as I sat there watching him talk my heart started to swell with pride. He spoke looking at the ground only looking up a few time at the meeting leader. I could tell it took a lot of courage for him to do that in front of us. But he did it... he openly spoke with us there listening. I have never been prouder of my son!!!!

As the meeting closed they all huddled into this round circle putting their arms around each other including us!! It was intimate and spiritual as the all started praying the Lords payer... Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. I couldn't speak, my body was frozen and I felt a chill go though me and every hair on my body stood up... I looked up at Al and watched as he tightly squeezed his eyes shut saying this prayer with conviction, with all his heart. I teared up and in that one moment I felt the peace of God. I just stood there staring at my beautiful boy trying so hard to focus on himself and for the first time I saw him fighting for his life. I'm so happy right now!

Oh about my medical report... I got my test results on all the testing they did. They found out I have an atrial septal defect (ASD) it's a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of my heart. I've had since birth I guess. I'm in that small percentage of people that didn't heal as I grew up. It's what caused my stroke. Most likely I will have to have surgery to fix it. I see a cardiologist this week. I'm not afraid, I can handle this.

If I die today I will die happy and at peace! My friend calls this feeling "a Jesus high" I think I'll savor this moment and enjoy the high! 

Isaiah 26:3
3.You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week One

 One week truly clean and sober!

I got to visit with my son!! He's seems engaged in the program and for the first time in a long time he looks optimistic. Sunday's are family days and we are allowed to go and spend up to two hours visiting with him. This past Sunday we ate dinner with him it was so nice and the food was pretty good too. He had a meeting later on in the evening, we would have attended but it started to late and we had to work early the next day. BUT next weekend we are planning to stay after dinner because he asked us to. He wanted all of us to come back next Sunday and attend his heroin anonymous meeting with him, he said " it's to help you understand my disease, my addiction" so we of course we all said YES! He had his whole family there visiting. The night managers there kept complimenting us for coming out to support him. In my mind I'm thinking of course, we love him and we are family. But I have to remind myself not all addicts are as lucky as Al. Some of those guys don't have family or even lost their family and they have to make it on their own with no support.

It was kind of neat seeing my whole family sitting there talking, laugh and caring on like we use to do. He had his Dad and I, Jr and my brother, his wife and his three adult children and their two spouses. All 11 of us crammed into this one round table, elbow to elbow eating dinner and enjoying each others company. I kept looking around at everyone feeling so blessed!! In awe!


The facility is very clean and cozy and he feels at home there. He's doing 21 days of intense therapy and then he'll be doing 126 days of sober living. He likes it there and already has made friends and has a sponsor. He told me "mom everyone here is like me, struggling to understand and cope."He's not used to a structured regiment... up at 5am, counseling and HA classes, chores and random drug screening to AA meetings and studying the BIG BOOK. But there he is working the program all on his own. For the first time in a long time I'M feeling a little optimistic myself.

 I wish there where more places just like this one... CROSSROADS Phoenix, AZ.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Al Went To Detox

As I was driving on the freeway this morning I found myself gazing ahead at the break lights flashing on and off with the touch and go traffic I was in this morning. Getting lost in thought of all that’s has happened in the past four weeks. I’m still in shock; am I dreaming can someone pinch me please?? The radio was off and all I could hear was the tires spinning on the asphalt and the whispering sounds of cars and trucks passing me by. I felt at easy, kind of numb and for once my mind is not swimming with fears of Al sleeping in his car down a dark street somewhere or lying somewhere overdosing, even worse laying somewhere dead just another John Doe drug addict to identify. For the first time in years I knew where he was, he was somewhere safe!

Al went to detox… then checked himself into a treatment facility this past Saturday. And just like that my world changed! WHOA!!! Slow and easy Ana, just breath!

Heather has been in constant communication with Al. She gathered up her army of angels and offered to walk with him on his journey to recovery if he chooses to get help. He did, a few days later he reached out to her. Heather lived up to her promise and she walked with him every step of the way. It was a scary, heart wrenching walk but mostly filled with awe striking Godly moments in between. It amazes me how things can seem so bleak and hopeless then here comes someone who can tear down walls with their kindness and use their God given ability to impact people’s lives with their words in one a single moment. That’s kind of how it happened. The pivotal moment was when Heather gave them all their options, laid it out for them… she said “I gave them a winning lottery ticket” but they had to think about it. She then told them in a text message “Well when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired call me”… A few days later Al texted her saying “Heather I think I’m tired of being sick and tired”.

It’s rare to meet someone who can look past a person’s exterior and see them for who they really are. It’s hard to look past their pain, their addictions, and their anger and it's hard to see the human being under all that scar tissue. You could say what motivated her was our friendship but it was more than that. She saw him… she saw his heart. I remember her telling me when she first met Al... She said “he has a light in his eyes, he a good person”. Ahhh I love her!

Heather and Al ... First day out of detox!

Clean... cut!

A hug of relief from his brother!

Me hugging my son goodbye, off to treatment... relief!

Daddy walking Al in... to a new beginning!

His first coin! (Can you hear me breath?)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Back To Work

My first week back to work. I MADE IT! I'm tired and chest feels sore for some reason but all in all it was a good week. My co-workers are amazing.They all have been so caring. I forgot there was a world out there with good people in it.

ONE person in particular has shown so much kindness. Through out this scary journey of mine and out of all this sadness our friendship has blossomed. She is my angel on earth. Her name is Heather and she saved me from myself. She came to visit me everyday while I was in the hospital... she has stood by me even when I was no fun to be around. She even reached out to Al. They have built this trust between them and he responds to her text messages. She invited him to her church and he went with Mia... it was baptism day and he asked to be baptized. So she baptized him. It made me smile because he showed her a glimpse of who he really was. Not to many people can see him though the drugs though his lost eyes but she did! Now I know God is with me. He sent me help someone to make me laugh someone to help me grow in faith and someone who can keep an on eye on Al while I heal. Angels do exist they really do. They come in the form of a friend.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I'm Tired Dear Lord

I’m Tired Dear Lord
By: Rose Barbour
I can no longer carry the weight
Of such a heavy burden
I’m tired Dear Lord
And my heart is hurting.
That little child you gave to me
Who I love beyond words
Is now someone I don’t recognize
Flying higher than the birds.
He is a slave to a disease
That is devastatingly cruel
Lord, I’m trying to protect him
Isn’t that the rule?
In complete desperation
I stay up late each night
Praying for the answers
But I just can’t make it right.
Everything I’ve tried has failed
His addiction keeps on winning
I’m on a roller coaster ride
And my head is spinning.
I am exhausted, sad and
Have nothing left to give
I ask you Dear Lord
Please let my child live.
Save him from the grips
Of the demon’s hands
Please bring him back home to me
For I no longer can.
A mother’s love is a blessing
But sometimes it’s not enough
I need some help from you, Lord
This life can be so tough.
Please give me guidance
On what I’m supposed to do
Please help my heart to heal
From all it has been through.
I’ve met so many great parents
Who are living through this hell
Please open your arms to them
And heal their hearts as well.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Stroke At 43

I had a stroke one week ago today. 


I can't believe it... It came out of nowhere shut me down in the middle of my work day. I know it's because I'm stressed beyond measure. All the reports the doctors did say I'm perfectly healthy, I have good blood pressure, I don't have high cholesterol and my heart's in good physical condition but yet I had a stroke. Perhaps it's because I'm depressed... there are no words to describe how my heart feels! To say it's broken into a million pieces is putting it lightly. I don't know how to turn it off, the heartaches and the sadness... it feels like this madness will never end. I'm scared now for my own well being my health is declining and I don't know how to stop this, I don't know how to turn it off...!! (Tears flowing) How do you move on with your life when your son is broken when he keeps killing himself? That's the million dollar question! For someone on the outside looking in it's easy to say you need to let him go you need to move on and try to be happy, you need to live your life. I get that I understand that and I want to be able to get by from day to day without my fucking stupid heart hurting!!!!!!!! But when I wake up and I look at my wall of pictures I see the boy lost and I yearn for him to come back home to come back to me drug free. (Crying) 

It's never going to happen is it? I lost him to this evil world. My beautiful boy... Oh my sweet beautiful boy how I will miss you the real you!



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dear Son

Dear Son,

It's been eight days since I've heard from you. I don't know where you are, where your staying or if you have food to eat!! Are you OK? Are you taking your meds? I know your mad at us but someday your going to see that we did everything we possibly could to help you over come this addiction. We just can't have you home while your using. I don't want it in our home... I DON'T WANT IT IN YOUR LIFE! This has been the most stressful heart-aching thing to have to go through as a parent. Watching you self destruct and not being able to stop you has been madding. Your daddy and I have been searching the internet for hours at time year after years trying to find answers to it all. Out of hundreds of articles, rehab websites and blogs it all boils down to you and your free will. YOU have to choose to get well, you have to want it, it has to be your choice. My begging and pleading, my tears and worry, my demands and my pushing were never going to work. Your desire to recover has to be stronger than your desire to do drugs. And right now I don't think your ready to stop. Your desire for heroin has such a tight grip on you that it blinds you to everything your doing and everything you're losing... it's blinded you so much that you can't see me or your family anymore.

I love you so very much son. I would die for you. I'm lost without you and I miss you so much it hurts. Please stay alive... please come back to me.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Week One

As far as I know as of right now my son is homeless. He asked to move back in this week because they ran out of money and they can't pay rent, they have no place to go because no one will take them in. As hard as it was for my husband and I to hear this we HAD to say no. Why, let me explain; He's never truly hit rock bottom. He's always lucked out in one way or another. He's the luckiest boy I know. Seriously! Our hope is if we make a stand this time and we stick to it, NO MATTER what he tells us he will finally get  a real taste of what this kind of life will bring him and he will choose to get the treatment he so desperately needs. I literally can't breath when I think of him on the streets. But I'm running out of options. I've texted him twice already to check on him, my brother has texted him and so has Mia's grandmother but nothing... not a peep.  I believe we're all getting the silent treatment for saying NO. Week one no word!

Rock bottom they say is the only way to get an addict to want help. Let's hope their right! I just pray that rock bottom for MY son is us NOT having to bury him. But I'm well aware that could happen, unfortunately that's one of the side effects of rock bottom.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I Need a Break

And the anguish never ends. Al called me last night. He never calls me so I knew something was wrong. The money ran out… they will be homeless by Wednesday. They wanted to come and stay with me for two month. Apparently funds will be available by then, something about a CD?! I don’t know its probably all lies? I’m so weak; I would have let him come home, YES I sure would have. The thought of him being homeless kills me, it KILLS me. Thankfully my husband is strong and called Al to tell him no. Al is mad at us again… I’m sure in his mind we are horrible parents. Doesn’t he know how much pain we are in? Does he know that I’m dying inside? My body hurts, I have a headache, my eyes swollen from crying last night. I don’t want to be here! I truly don’t know how to live this way. I’m stumbling all over the place. I’m in a deep depression… I need a break!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I Mean Really

Life has been a constant up and down journey for the past five years. But this year we've had a lot of growth in many ways, one is in our understanding of addiction. It helps us deal with Al better, it's made us both better parents to our sons and better people in general. The blinders are off and in a way that's freeing. There's not a day that goes by he's not on our mind. I wish he knew... I mean REALLY knew how much I need him to be well. How my happiness is gone, how my hearts ache. It's the honest to Gods truth... the ache in my heart never goes away.

It's funny because when I get a break from the madness something else will pop up to throw me off track. I guess I'm just lucky that way. BUT there's one thing that stays consistent, .... Junior, my beautiful youngest son Junior. He's doing good in school and in life and THAT right there alone brings us so much joy and peace. It's football season!! He plays on Varsity so every week we get to sit in the stands cheering him on and for those two short hours NOTHING else matters.Thank pumpkin for taking it easy us. Thank you for being our ray of sunlight, you know one that's piercing though those dark stormy clouds... thank you!

Monday, September 29, 2014

I Tend To

It's been a while... been trying to recuperate. Each fall with Al it breaks me down. The heart wrenching, gut aching sadness creeps up on me and I tend to get a little lost.

I'm just angry right now... 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Who Am I

I decided to take a class at my friends church. It's called "Healing From The Inside Out". The first day was Monday and I can tell already this is going to be an intense class. One of the questions were "Why are you here? Why did you take this class?" There are rules to answering this question, it's not a black and white question believe it or not. This seemingly simple questions provoked me to look deeper into myself. I've come to a realization of something and to why I subconsciously signed up for this class. I'm angry at God. That scares me... how dare I say such a thing, right? When I say it I can feel the anxiety in me start to rise and I have to take a deep breath. I'm angry at him because I feel like HE has abandoned me.

On my way home that night as I was driving down the freeway my mind started to play a slide show of the last six years of my life. When things were so good and life was simple, through the progression of my sons addiction all the way up to the worst moment of my life... the day I fell into a deep pit of despair. It was the day when I found dozens and dozens of those 4x4 square sheets of burnt foil with that perfect swirl of heroin residue on it shoved in his dresser drawer like they were nothing. It was in that very moment I realize I lost him to his addiction and that he had been gone for some time now, he was 19 years old at the time. Somewhere between then and now I lost myself... and I could no longer hear God.

My therapist asked me a good question recently and it kind of goes hand and hand with this class. He said to me... your whole world revolves around your children, it's obvious that this is what motivates you in life, they are what you live for. Then he asked the question that I still have yet to answer "Who Is Ana, who are you without your sons?".... Whoa, wait... WHAT? What do you mean? Oh my gosh, wait WHO AM I? When I was asked that question I paused for a moment and said "I don't know?" I giggled nervously and said to my therapist "I really don't know who I am anymore". Maybe this is why I feel so empty.

Do you know who you are?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Heroin Holds Him Hostage

I'm in a really dark place right now. I feel anxious all the time. I'm trying to gather myself so I can go back to THIS battle again but I'm finding it harder and harder to pick myself up after each fall with Al. He just doesn't understand... there's no real happiness for me until he get's well.

I bumped up my therapy sessions and started going to a new church for a change... taking a cores called "Healing From The Inside Out", hopefully it helps. I might even go to some Al-Anon meetings if I can fit them in my day. I'm on anti-depressants, taking sleeping pills again because I can't sleep. I get by with my day to day routines, but my heart is broken and it hurts all the time. So there you have it... A day in the life of an addict's Mom. 

I love my son so much. I love him with all my heart and soul. I long for the day he get's help and recovers from his addiction. (Tears) Until then, everyday is hell. Because everyday he's using there's a chance he will die and that's the truth of it. Heroin holds him hostage!

I'm just so tiered anymore!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Really Hate Life

I'm struggling.... I really hate life. Everyday I have to fight myself to get out of bed. I'm training myself to be numb, to not care. That's the only way I'm going to get though this. That sound coming out of your mouth are just words, they don't mean anything, they are JUST words! If I can master that then I think I can manage this crappy fucked up life and get by.  When I laugh and smile, it's not real, it's just a mask I put on for everyone so they feel better. I'm so damn angry!! I have family telling me I have to move on let him go and just wait until he's ready. Blah blah blah. That's easier said than done. He's my son... my beautiful boy, how can I move on knowing he's slowly killing himself with every inhale of heroin he smokes. He could be shooting up now... it's possible, I don't know for sure? Al and Mia are back to ignoring our phone calls and text messages. DEEP BREATH! This will kill my son this will be the death of him.

You have NO IDEA how painful this is


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An The Ball Drops...

Relapse is part of recovery... so they say! WHY WHY WHY!!! I had my son within my grasp but he slipped away. It was the closest I've been to "AL" my son, the real AL in five years. I was on cloud nine for those couple of weeks he was clean. I missed him so much, I got my hopes up... (I CAN'T BREATH!) I saw him Sunday and he had that damn soot on his hands again AND no care in the world even though he doesn't have a job yet, no prospects for one he's OK, he's still taken care of. Her money came in... and now I'm back to square one. GOSH DAMN IT! My heart hurts!!! I think I'm getting an ulcer? I feel sick to my stomach today.

Monday they had their second recovery class to attend. GUESS WHAT? They blew if off to go paint balling with her brother. They thought it would be therapeutic! WTF!!! HAHAHA really? (shaking my head) Obviously I was annoyed with them. When I confronted him about the soot I saw ON him this past Sunday the little 'MONSTER" once again appeared. He started screaming and yelling and once again I couldn't get a word in. Mia in the background patting him on the back "It's OK baby it's OK". I'm wrong apparently and that black soot could be from anything and could of come from anywhere don't you know! Of course... how could I be so stupid. (I CAN'T BREATH!!) I was fighting back my tears as I said if you're not going to listen to me or let me talk then I got to go, he said "THEN GO" and hung up on me.

Silence filled the room, I couldn't even move I just sat there staring at the phone. I felt numb, then I burst out sobbing uncontrollably. My husband just held me saying "don't stop praying". I buried my face into his chest and said... "BUT I had him babe, he was right there within my reach, he was right there."

I have to remind myself to breath.... deep long breaths! I wish I could just fly way far far away!

Monday, July 28, 2014

I Think It Changed Us All

I've been sitting here lost in thought. So much has happened, I'm feeling so many different emotions. Al and Mia agreed to attend a recovery class today. As I type those words and say them out loud I have to remind myself to breath. I've waited for so long for this... is it real? Will he follow though? I don't know but I'm hopeful because for the first time in years I can see my son wanting to change. I can feel it in my soul.

We spent Saturday morning helping my friends organization called "Team Hope" pass-out blessing bags to the homeless. I could see it in their eyes, the fear of ending up that way as some of the homeless passing though where young men and woman obviously suffering from addiction. It broke their heart... it broke my heart. I think it changed us all.

God... thank you for showing me your love, thank you for bringing me an angel to help me with my son and for helping Mia. I can feel the ache in my heart lift just a little.

Al praying over the homeless 7/26/14 (In the black shorts)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Under His Wings

Have you ever felt like God was placing all the right people and opportunities across your path at a very pivotal moment in your life. It's something you've been praying about relentlessly. You know why this is happening but it's still not clear what your suppose to do about it or how you should handle it. All the signs are pointing towards something, it's change but there are things you need to address and deal with in order to move forward with this change. The timing has to be perfect when it comes to dealing with Al's heartaches, and all his obstetrical big and small. I'm trying not to over think things but for some reason things are moving and happening now. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. But the good news is we finally got a break from the storm. I just need to tread lightly with this situation but I need to move fast at the same time. I just pray God keeps guiding my steps and helps me to clear my mind from all the distractions swarming around me so I can hear him when the time comes to mooove.

I just got off the phone with Al.... TODAY Al and Mia have been 10 days sober! He sounds good and clear minded. He sounds alert and focused unlike before. We decided that every month they keep clean we would go out and find a new and different restaurant AND celebrate. I'm choosing to believe and hope because GOD is working here. He's showing me, he's REALLY showing me. 

Thank you GOD for loving me and giving my heart a break from the pain.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Day At a Time

The cool wind from the ceiling fan relaxed me as I lay nuzzled in my bed with my blankets bundled around me. I squirm around stretching my arms and legs outward, and then I give a good yawn its 1am, 2am, 3am. I’m unable to sleep tonight. My mind is racing with all that has happened in the last 6 days. As I lay there half asleep my alarm goes off its 4:30am now, time to get up. I peel open my eyes reach over and hit snooze. Instantly as I wake up DAY 5 pops up in my head! I can feel my heart start to pound as if I just ran a mile; my adrenalin starts to pump… I sit up at the edge of my bed and I think to myself… Its day five, Al and Mia are 5 days clean now. I have to remind myself to take deep breaths to help control my anxiety. Today his girlfriend Mia also gets part of her funds so I wonder will they be able to resist the temptation.

I’ve see and talked to Al every day now since his psychiatrist appointment last week on Thursday. The last day they both used was Saturday because they ran out of money and have sold everything worth of value they owned so they are literally broke, zip… zero with nothing. On Sunday as I sat in my car with Al talking to him about his appointment with his psychiatrist Al said to me as he was looking down at his hands “Mom I’m a drug addict and I’m scared”…. I sat there in shock for a few seconds. Then I looked up at him and said “Al, look at me, look in my eyes and say that again” he did and said a little bit louder “MOM I’M A DRUG ADDICT” he begun to sob and I just wrapped my arms around him sobbing too. I said to him “do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you admit that?” He just shook his head and said I’m so sorry mom.

Their plan was to buy Suboxone once she got her money to help them get off heroin. Suboxone helps reduce the painful side effects and withdrawals. But they ended up having to quit the hard way due to no funds. Al told me yesterday that although detoxing this way was brutal and not how they had planned to get off it they were happy to have had the head start and are starting to feel a little better and hopeful. I asked him “are you guys going to continue to stay clean? It will be harder now that she gets her money, you do realize that right?” His response was… “HELL ya mom, that’s the plan to stay clean, we don’t want this kind of life anymore, we are done and we are doing it together... we want jobs, school and a life!” I of course did my best not to lecture his ear off. He tends to shut down when I do that. I told him “OK GOOD, take it ONE DAY AT A TIME son”. He’s only been on his bipolar meds since Sunday due to insurance issues. I’m hoping once he gets stable with his meds he will be able to handle hard conversations and situations much better. Once Mia fills out her state assistance medical application I got her I’m taking her to set up an appointment and hopefully get her assessed by a doctor because I think she suffers from depression. I promised her I would go with her for support. Please say a prayer for me… to give me guidance and strength, to know my limits and to be my sons supporter and NEVER his enabler. I’m walking a fine line here and I know every move I make from this point on is vital for their recovery.

… One day at a time!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mom, He Believes I'm Bipolar

Guess what? Al went to see the Psychiatrist!!!!! (SIGHING and a little misty eyed) He actually went. The night before his appointment I couldn't sleep and woke up with a headache. I knew this was an important appointment and I was praying he would go, that he would want to go. This was a pivotal moment for my son for many reasons. This would be the FIRST time he asked for help and followed though. And this would be the first time he wanted to talk to a professional about his issues all on his own. THANK YOU GOD!

Al came out of the appointment eager to talk to me about it. I was at work, Jr took Al to his appointment. So I was on pins and needles waiting for him to call me. His appointment went 45 minutes over so you can imagine my anxiety. He called... he told me how he really liked the psychiatrist and he felt like he could relate to him. Then he paused and said.... "Mom, he believes I'm bipolar, he took this test on me and it all points to bipolar" and I could hear the relief in his voice. I asked Al "how do you feel about that?" he said "well at least I know I'm not going crazy mom, and it make sense, all the symptoms are me". I've had some time to think about this, and thinking about it... Al first started displaying unstable behavior at the end of his freshman year. Th extreme mood swings I thought where hormonal changes from being a teenager.

So here's what I know about Bipolar Disorder... and the systems DO describe my son to the T, every single one of them!

Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. It usually starts between ages 15 and 25. The exact cause is not known. But it occurs more often in relatives of people with bipolar disorder. In most people with bipolar disorder, there is no clear cause for the periods (episodes) of extreme happiness and high activity or energy (mania) or depression and low activity or energy (depression).

The following may trigger a manic episode:

* Childbirth
* Medicines such as antidepressants or steroids
* Periods of not being able to sleep (insomnia)
* Drug use


The manic phase may last from days to months. It can include these symptoms:

* Easily distracted
* Little need for sleep
* Poor judgment
* Poor temper control
* Reckless behavior and lack of self control such as drinking, drug use, sex with many partners, spending sprees
* Very irritable mood, such as racing thoughts, talking a lot, false beliefs about self or abilities
* Very involved in activities

The depressive episode may include these symptoms:

* Daily low mood or sadness
* Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
* Eating problems such as loss of appetite and weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
* Fatigue or lack of energy
* Feeling worthless, hopeless, or guilty
* Loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed
* Loss of self-esteem
* Thoughts of death or suicide
* Trouble getting to sleep or sleeping too much
* Pulling away from friends or activities that were once enjoyed

So there we have it... a diagnosis, 4 YEARS and 10 MONTHS later I finally got him to see someone who could help him. Now to get him off smoking heroin. (Another BIG sigh)

BUT THIS IS ONE WIN in a long battle. I'll take it!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Although It’s Peaceful Up There...

Last week we took a little vacation up north and rented a cabin. It’s the same area were we have camped for years with our boys since they were little. It holds so many good memories for me of our family camping. All the fishing, camp fires and smores, chopping wood, nature hikes, star gazing and sleeping in our pop up tent with flashlights because it was pitch dark at night. It was the ideal vacation spot for rambunctious boys who loved the good old outdoors.   

Although it’s peaceful up there with nothing to do but take in the beautiful weather and picture perfect scenery. Time slows down up there and for most people that’s a welcomed change of pace, but for me that’s a dangerous thing. The problem is all that idle time you get to “rest and relax” leaves a lot of time for thinking. And we all know there’s only one thing I think about these days and that’s my addicted son. By the third day I could feel my depression rising, I tried so hard to clear my mind but nothing worked because of the condition he’s in right now has me worried not to mention everything about that place reminded of him. By the time we got home at the end of the week I was holding back my tears and I was extremely agitated. Ha… there’s no getting away from it for me. My heart always aches with worry for Al. There’s no getting around it.

I feel guilty for not being able to enjoy our vacation to the fullest. I just don't know how to move on in this life knowing he's in this condition. How do you do it? Is that even possible or am I just a basket case? What's wrong with me? Although I see a glimpse of hope, I still don't see the ending. I think that's what bugs me the most.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Conversation... This Is A Good One!

Today is going to be a good day!!! Do you wanna know why? I'll tell ya.... I'm so happy right now! AL called me last night just to talk. He said he just wanted to hear my voice. We talked for 55 minutes!! Our conversation was filled with many different topics. We talked about his addiction, about addiction in general and the effects of opiants/heroin and other drugs. For the first time EVER we had a conversation about "IT" without getting emotional or angry. Then our conversation turned into how people lack understanding and compassion for addicts and homeless people. He said to me "Mom having been on the other side and STILL struggling though it; I get it! I completely get it" and then he said to me "It makes me want to help those people." (I have to remind myself to breath)

Now as you can imagine my heart was filling up with nothing but complete joy and pride. This was my son talking to me, not the addict. MY SON! (Taking beep breaths right now, whew.) By the end of our conversation we had decided to do something positive about this revaluation we had. So on August 1st we are going to make a bunch of blessing bags filled with snacks and condiments and other items including prayer cards and a personal note of encouragement and distribute them to homeless people in downtown Phoenix. He said, "let's start a movement mom, maybe our random act of giving will inspire others to do the same?" WHOA, I'm beside myself today. Last night was huge, a breakthrough in my opinion. I finally got to talk to my son, Oooooh how I missed him so much! I cried happy tears for once. (My heart is pounding right now) He said "Let's make this a long term goal to start a non-profit to give to these people a little bit of kindness in a bag and maybe JUST MAYBE a little hope.

The best part of it all was my youngest son JR was sitting right there next to me listening to it all. He sat there with a smile on his face (You know the kind of smile that lights up a room, yea that's the one!) and I knew his heart was filling up with joy and pride at that very moment too.

Thank you God for giving us this one moment of happiness and hope. We so desperately needed it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

What happened to my friend

I lived in San Francisco for short period in 1991. I was about 20 years old at the time. I was so young and naive and in a bad relationship. Needing to break away from this toxic relationship I got a job on base when I met a new friend named Maryann. She was this beautiful half Japanese half caucasian girl I met while working for the commissary at  Moffett Field Naval base in California. Her dad was a Navel Officer and they just got stationed there. We became instant friends and where inseparable. We where like peas in a pod. She was dear to my heart. When I left California I can remember thinking how much I loved her and how I was going to miss her so much.

We lost touch as the years rolled by. But then recently I googled her name and a phone number popped up. And just like that I found her. I called her and we chatted for a few minutes on the phone. She was very vague and unengaged it seemed, she didn't ask much about my life or how I've been all these years which I found strange. She seemed more focused on where I lived and on starting up some internet sweepstakes thing here in Arizona??? I was baffled. apparently she was doing this "internet sweepstake" thing  in Bakersfield where she's currently living. And according to her the police shut it down? That should have been my first clue, right?! I blew it off and decided maybe we just have grown into different people and I decided to walk away from it and let it go. She never text back after that day, and just like that she was gone again. Two weeks later out of nowhere I get a random text message from her saying she was sorry for not texting but she's coming into town in a couple of days and she was hoping I could make time to see her. It was kind of strange and unexpected but I said OK and was excited to see her again. Well I saw her this past Saturday and as she pulled up I walked out side to greet her. She looked at me and I put my hands over my mouth and teared up. My Maryann, I waited 20 years to see her. She teared up too and we hugged. I noticed right away that she didn't look right. Something seemed off?? When she talked I noticed she had missing rotted teeth, her hair was kind of greasy like she hadn't taken a bath and she was with some shady looking people. I instantly got a bad vibe. And to be honest it scared me. She came inside to chat and all she wanted to talk about was her internet "business" oh and her crazy mom. Once again she didn't ask me one question about my life or about my family. NOTHING!  She was talking a mile a minute and at that point I just wanted her to leave. It was depressing and it was obvious she was on something. Her friends too... the guy she was with kept falling asleep on my living room chair. This guy had never met me before and my husband was in the garage and he kept nodding off?? I'm in shock and and utterly disappointed. I can't believe it... what happened to my friend? Dear God what happened to her?
Dear People of the world... drugs don't care about what color you are or how old are, whether your rich or poor. It will destroy your life.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Good Will It Do

I sit conflicted… unsure of what to do. No matter which way I turn it's going to hurt. There's good and bad! The good is we have been seeing our son a little more often these days. Being able to see him kind of puts our mind at ease knowing he’s visibly ok and alive. Our relationship seems to be mending a little bit too… I think? There’s always that fear of saying the wrong thing, afraid he’ll get upset and run away from me again and I’m back to square one because at least for now he’s talking to me and listening a little. In one of our conversations he did agree to see a Physiatrist on 7/10. He admitted to me he feels depressed all the time. He said he thinks he’s felt this way for a long time, since high school. It makes sense to me, that explains the self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. The appointment was made and he said he was going…. So I wait and do my best to not rock the boat and say something wrong, which brings me to the bad part. The bad part is seeing him like this kind of kills us inside too. He still looks disheveled, doesn’t brush his hair or his teeth it’s like he’s just existing like he's given up and it HURTS my heart to see him this way. I just want to shake him and say wake up!! Stop this, it's time to make a change. But I don't.... I can't, not right now. It makes me sad and it makes my husband mad and frustrated. I try NOT to talk about it because I can’t and my husband has to talk about it because he needs to. We try so hard to be there for each other.

So here I am… sitting on my feelings once again. What good will it do if I say something to Al? Should I wait until after his appointment? Here comes my anxiety again.

Please GOD help him find his way though this.