Addiction... a nasty word, never associated with anything good
that I have found in my life.
Except of course, if it is added with recovery.
On February 9th my baby boy celebrated 13 years of
sobriety from drugs and alcohol.
If you have loved someone who suffered or have been
someone who has suffered from addiction you
understand what a hard thing this is to do
and why it should be celebrated.
Our family has learned, personally that it does not
matter how many years of sobriety you may have,
you are always just one drink, one joint, one pill
from going back to the hell addiction is.
Today I want to incorporate my Motherly feelings
with my love of journaling.
I have journaled, well forever.
Without journaling, blogging, I don't know where
I would be. I always go back to a certain journal
entry I made when I thought I was going to
bury my 18 year old child from this dreaded disease.
I have read it at many motivational speeches
but I have never published it.
Today that changes as it will hopefully help someone
out there, it will show the love a Mother has for her
very sick child, and for me, it shows how far he/ I have
come from that day.
It was written before sobriety, a few weeks before
baby boy reached out for treatment:
I copy it here with all its imperfections, I would add
the tear stains on the page if I could.....
MY SON IS EXTREMELY ILL FROM DRUG ADDICTION.
WE'VE BEEN THIS ROAD BEFORE, JUST WHEN
MY HEART WANTS TO BELIEVE HE IS DOING
A LITTLE BETTER AND I CAN BREATHE AND
SLEEP AGAIN, I GET THAT PHONE CALL.
HE HAS HAD A BAD WEEKEND ON A DRUG BINGE.
A SEIZURE ON FRIDAY NIGHT FROM HIS DRUG USE.
OF COURSE I GET THE PHONE CALL ON THE SUNDAY
WHEN HE IS ALMOST SOBER AND VERY REMORSEFUL.
HE HAS NOT YET BEEN IN TROUBLE EXCEPT FOR
HIS PHYSICAL HEALTH. NO WRECKS, NO FIRING
OF HIS JOB, NO LATE PAYMENTS, NO TROUBLE WITH
THE LAW. THEREFORE, I KNOW HE PROBABLY HAS
NOT HIT HIS BOTTOM. MY FEAR IS HIS BOTTOM WILL
BE DEATH AND I AM NOT READY TO ACCEPT THAT.
I TRY SHARING WITH HIM HOW AT A LOSS I AM
TO HELP HIM AND HOW VERY WORRIED I AM.
LOTS OF TIMES THIS IS SHARED WITH TEARS.
SOME TIMES HE GETS VERY DEFENSIVE.
HE HAS BEEN SOBER NOW SINCE SUNDAY,
GOING BACK TO HIS AA MEETINGS AND
TRYING TO WORK SOME KIND OF PROGRAM
TO SOBRIETY. HE AND HIS DAD HAD AN
ARGUMENT YESTERDAY WHERE IT ENDED
WITH HANGING UP ON HIM. RONNIE'S HAVING
A ROUGH TIE AND FOR WHATEVER REASON,
HE THINKS HE CAN BULLY HIM INTO TREATMENT.
ROD'S TOO OLD FOR THAT NOW. HE IS 18
AND BECAUSE OF OUR TOUGH LOVE BELIEFS
WE HAVE HAD TO LET HIM BE ON HIS OWN...
...I KNOW RON DOES THIS BECAUSE HE TOO IS
SUFFERING, SUFFERING FROM A BROKEN HEART
AND DEALING WITH SOME QUILT ABOUT PERHAPS
GENETICALLY HAVING GIVEN THIS DISEASE TO OUR SON,
DEALING WITH NOT KNOWING WHAT HE CAN
DO TO HELP HIM.
I TRY TO EXPLAIN THIS TO RODDIE AND HE
FUSSES ME SAYING, "DAD, OF ALL PEOPLE SHOULD
UNDERSTAND, SINCE HE HAS THE SAME DISEASE."
HE IS ANGRY AND I START TO CRY AND THIS IS
ONLY MAKING HIM MORE IRRITATED,
WHEN FINALLY I ASK HIM,
"WHAT HAVE I DONE THAT MAKES YOU SO ANGRY"
FINALLY HE BREAKS DOWN LIKE MY
LITTLE BOY. WHEN HE WAS SO YOUNG,
MY SENSITIVE CHILD. I GIVE HIM TIME
AND FINALLY HE CAN CATCH HIS BREATH AND SHARE,
"DON'T YOU THINK I KNOW HOW MUCH I HAVE HURT
YOU ALL? I DON'T NEED TO BE REMINDED EVERY DAY
HOW MUCH I HAVE DISAPPOINTED YOU AND DAD
AND ESPECIALLY JESI. IT KILLS ME TO KNOW
HOW MUCH YOU ALL ARE ALL HURTING AND I AM
TRYING MY BEST TO WORK THIS OUT
AND Y'ALL REMINDING ME DOESN'T HELP."
I UNDERSTAND, I THINK, WHAT HE IS TRYING
TO SAY: BEGGING HIM TO CHANGE HIS LIFE,
PLEADING WITH HIM TO FIGHT AND LIVE IS
NO BETTER FOR HIM THAN RONNIE'S THREATS.
I TRY TO EXPLAIN THAT WE WISH WE COULD HELP
BUT HE IS STILL CRYING SO MUCH THAT I CAN'T
MAKE OUT WHAT HE IS SAYING.
FINALLY HE GETS IT OUT,
"DON'T YOU KNOW THAT I DON'T DESERVE
PARENTS LIKE YOU ALL???"
OH MY! I ASK FORGIVENESS FOR PUTTING
MORE PRESSURE ON HIM AND REASSURE HIM
THAT HE DOES DESERVE US, THAT I AM HIS
MOTHER, WE ARE HIS FAMILY AND ALTHOUGH
I CAN'T AND WON'T MAKE IT EASIER FOR HIM,
THERE IS NOTHING HE WILL EVER DO THAT WILL
CAUSE ME TO TURN MY BACK ON HIM.
WHAT I HAVE FOR HIM IS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE CHANGED
BY ANGER, FEAR, OR ILLNESS.
WE ARE FINALLY ABLE TO HANG UP.
.... AND I CRY, I CRY MY HEART OUT.
I CRY FOR THE LITTLE BOY WHO WAS SUCH A
MODEL CHILD UNTIL THE DEVIL OF ADDICTION
TOOK HIM FROM ME.
THE THREE YEAR OLD WHO SAID TO ME SO OFTEN,
"I NEED SOME LOVING"
WHICH MEANT HE NEEDED HUGGING AND KISSES.
THE BOY WHO CALLED HIS DAD "DEDA" UNTIL
HE STARTED SCHOOL AND FOUND OUT THAT
JUST WASN'T COOL. THE BOY WHO COULD ALWAYS
MAKE US LAUGH, THE BOY WHO CRIED FOR
MONTHS, THEN YEARS AFTER HIS FAVORITE
UNCLE DIED AND STILL HAS HIS PICTURE AT HIS
BEDSIDE TODAY. THE TEENAGER WHO ALWAYS
WOULD TAKE TIME TO ACKNOWLEDGE
HIS YOUNGER SISTER, COUSINS, EVEN PLAYING WITH THEM.
THE BOY WHO WROTE A LOVE LETTER TO THE
NEIGHBORHOOD YOUNG ADULT AFTER HIS
DEATH AND CRIED IN MY ARMS FOR
HOURS, FOR THE COMFORT THESE ARMS
COULD PROVIDE HIM THEN.
I WISH I COULD LET GO AND LET GOD. I WISH
I COULD STOP ALL THESE TEARS FROM FLOWING.
I WISH JESI DIDN'T HAVE TO SEE HOW SAD I
AM AND THAT A PART OF ME IS DYING,
THAT SHE DID NOT HAVE TO LOOSE HER BROTHER
AND HER MOTHER ALL AT ONCE.
I WANT TO STOP THIS...
BUT ALL THESE MEMORIES ARE LIKE A MOVIE
CAMERA IN MY MIND AND MY HEART AND THEY
COME BACK TO ME, ROD'S GROWING UP YEARS.
IT STARTS WHEN I LEAST EXPECT THEM AND
I CAN'T STOP THIS OVERWHELMING SINCE OF LOSS
FOR WHAT HE MAY NEVER BE AGAIN AND THE
FEAR THAT ENVELOPES ME AT TIMES WHEN
I THINK I'LL BE OKAY.
THE NIGHTMARES THAT CROWD MY SLEEP,
THAT WAKE ME UP TO REMIND ME HE
HASN'T DIED YET, HE IS STILL ALIVE,
VERY ILL BUT ALIVE....
Phew, long and exhausting.
Tears always, each time I read this.
Yet, if one person, from watching my son
and his sobriety over the last 13 years can
be helped, if one Mother, father, loved one
can read this and shake their head in awe,
"Yes, that is exactly how I feel"
then the sharing of this very old journal entry is worth it
Congrats Roddie, Baby boy, on all you have accomplished
through the life of sobriety.
Always, always proud to be your Mommy
"I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER,
I'LL LIKE YOU FOR ALWAYS,
AS LONG AS I'M LIVING
MY BABY YOU'LL BE!"
siblings forever, Jesi and Rod
BB wedding day
all grown up and sober!
Engagement pic, katie, the love of his life...
My three year old, BB, Sealy still exists...
closest siblings back in the day....