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.