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Shared Hells

A father drives five hours to see if his son is still alive.  He’s on Heroin and off the grid. “I think I’ll go tomorrow,” the dad says.  “I’d rather deal with this in the light of day.”  He can’t wait.  He leaves in an hour.

Four days later mom has joined and together they’ve spent hours and hours trying to find detox and treatment for their son who sort of wants it.  It’s a gamble they’re willing to take even though they’ve been in this place before.  They talk to me from a hotel where their son needed to “take a break” from the negotiations and leave the room.  They are frustrated, afraid and uncertain and long to hear a treatment facility say, “Yes, we have an open bed right now — bring him over.”                            …

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Give an Addict Three Wishes

I am not an addict but I’ve mothered one.  Our son has been in three states and not in the Midwest. He’s been in the state of pre-addiction where he most likely had the addictive predisposition personality but was busy with Power Rangers and banana popsicles.  He has been in the addicted state for, well, who knows when that kicked in after his first marijuana cigarette in sixth grade. Now he is in a state of recovery – pMagic Aladdins Genie lampost addiction you could say, where I pray he will remain forever and ever.

He is fully himself without drugs, with all the goodness I knew was in there. We parents of addicted children always say that,. “He/she really is a sensitive, sweet, funny and caring child. He/she is very smart. He used to play varsity tennis. She used to be on the pom squad.” We feel the need to convince you that …

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Off and Out

You can’t think of a way things will get better.  Well, you can, but so far none of those 1,762 occurrences have panned out. He’ll meet some better friends at camp.  We’ll switch schools and start over.  That last punishment will jar him into a new resolve. His most recent tearful, remorseful silence means he’s done with all this.  But then there’s the next thing, and the next thing and more things until the only thing that can possibly change anything is a sheer act of God. And God hasn’t acted.  Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

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Know Regrets, No Regrets

I read a great article today, Parenting is prevention: raising resilient, drug-free children.  You should read it. It’s excellent, and it ruined my day.  It says things I already know like “parental involvement can deter alcohol, drug and tobacco use.”  My middle son is a recovering alcoholic, drug addict and just recently gave up smoking.  I thought I was a parent who was involved.  What gives?             Dollarphotoclub_76690257

“In fact,” this article you should read continues, “in 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University concluded that parents were the most important influence on a child’s decision to smoke, drink, or use drugs.” Ouch.               

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Be All Done

Little boy Teddy was frantic.  He had something in his eye.  At the emergency room they had him on his back while they flushed hosed water over his open eye.  “Be all done!” he shouted over and over again.  “Be all done!”    Stop man

Years later, Ted at age 20 had flunked out of college for the second time, was living in a room off campus without a job, friends or money.  He was doing drugs and drinking alcohol 22 hours of every day.  “Be all done,” I thought constantly.  “Be all done.”

When I traveled the hour to meet him at the coffeeshop I didn’t know why he seldom left his basement apartment, so depressed. I felt sick when he asked me to buy him another sandwich for later.  I hated not giving him money.  He looked pale and was silent. Be all done. …

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