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.