December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ron (aka Dad)

There's a "birthday boy" among us today....if you have gained wisdom and insight from his blog and comments (and who hasn't, right?) stop by there and harass him :)

Peace, Hope and Love,
Glitter Text Generator -

Peace, Hope and Love,

A Year Ago Today (part three)

UPDATE  !!!!
They let him back in, I am going to pick him up and drop him off there....I am very, very happy that things worked out this way.  I think its what was meant to be for Kev!!

A year ago today I drove up to St. Joseph Hospital (mental health unit) and picked up my son and brought him  home.  It was nice to have him sleeping in his own bed on NY Eve and waking up to a new year with him.

My hope for today is that I drive up to the same hospital, same unit, but this time drop him off at PH and that he will start his new year off there with his PH Family.

I think it will happen.  I am in "positive mode" today and not going to think to far in the future.  One hour at a time.

Thanks for all of your encouragement!
Have a safe, fun New Year's Eve

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 30, 2009

They gave his bed away...


Thank you all for your comments.  Thank you Lou for your knowledge of the court system and how things work.  I feel better.  I got the tears out and am back "in the moment".  He is safe.  PH is working hard to get him back.  It will work out.  I spoke with him, he sounded okay.  I love that kid so much.  

I'm crying my eyes out right now.  PH had to give his bed away to the next person on the waiting list.  I understand they have to follow rules, but he will probably be out tomorrow and now he has no where to go but home or possibly back to jail to wait.  I am upset.  I just want him to go back there, it was helping him so much.  He waited 90 frigging days in jail for a bed to open there and now he's back on a waiting list.

I felt so hopeful and now I'm just scared to death of what could happen if he comes home...he won't want to leave.  He's not rational.  damn it.

December 29, 2009

Call me crazy....I don't care

I love Bruce Springsteen.

I've followed his career since the 70's, long before anyone out west really "knew" him (had a friend from Jersey who turned my sister on to his music).  

I've seen him in concert every time he's been to Southern California since 1981 (20 so far).  I admire him for many reasons, but its mostly about the music:  his passion for writing and performing meaningful songs about real life. His music has provided the sound track to my life, changing and evolving through the decades but never losing its ability to touch me in and make me feel alive.

So I decided, what the heck, I think I'll write him and inform him of the opiate/heroin epidemic that is spreading across HIS country.  His kids are teenagers, if he doesn't know about this stuff, he should.  I want to tell him about my son, and your kids.   

I want him to use his voice to bring awareness and make a difference. And, I believe he'll help, I honestly do.... if he ever gets the letter, that's just how he is.  Now I have to figure out how to get the letter to him, I guess via his manager or agent.  I will keep trying till I hear from him.

So that's my crazy thing I'm going to do.  I'll let you know when he gets back to me.

UPDATE ON K:  He's not doing so well.  They have him on some new meds, took him off all his old ones.  I want to trust that this doctor is good and that she knows what she's doing.  I am working really hard at staying in the moment and not worrying.

Peace, Hope and Love,

P.S.  Those are just a few of my ticket stubs, if you click on them check out the PRICES we used to pay for concerts.  Its outrageous what we pay now.  Never bring up "Ticketmaster" in front of me unless you want to see me get on my soapbox about the unfairness of their practices, another thing Bruce cares about and has spoken out on.

A Year Ago Today (part two)

(please excuse all the typos in this post!!!  i am leaving them to remind myself what matters in life and what's trivial.  typos are trivial.)

Before I recount what happened last year, I want to point out the positive things I am grateful for that have come about in the last 365 days:

- My son has 129 days clean, he wants recovery, he wants to be well.  Last year at this time he didn't.

- My son is in the same hospital that he's was in last year, but this time he was admitted voluntarily because he knows he needs help.  Last year he arrived in a straight jacket via ambuulance from another hospital.

- I have grown and learned a lot.  Last year I was still so naive, just coming out of denial and didn't have the support I've found through the community of bloggers I know today.

December 29, 2008.

I was feeling very happy because I had just put the finishing strokes on my first ever attempt at painting (see below).  I heard my son walk out of the bathroom and announce to his girlfriend that he had just taken 24 Trazadone and ???? (not sure what else, it was an unfamilar drug to me).  In the next moments of chaos I had called 911 and K bolted out the house running, his girlfriend trying to catch up to him.

I ran also with 911 on the phone with me.  K headed to the nearby park and within minutes the police helicopter was hovering, shining its bright light to try and locate my scared son.

Then K came running past me down the hill and at the same time the cops arrived in a patrol car.  Its hard to say how much time had passed - ten minutes?  20?  I honestly have no clue it was so surreal.

But because the drugs were starting to take affect K slowed down and the cop and I managed to reach him at the same time on the corner of our street.  His vital signs were taken, the cop was super nice (knowing it was a suicide attempt) and assured K he was not in trouble, he just wanted him to sit in the car till the EMTs arrived.

They pulled up and lots of questions were asked and answered.  K was no longer to stand up on his own so they put him on a gurney, turned on the sirens and headed for the ER.  The police talked to me for awhile and told me it would be best to wait an hour before going to visit him.

When we got there we had to wait another hour.  It was my sister, me, his gf, and his three best male friends (non-drug users, still safe and wonderful friends to this day and hopefully forever).

Finally they allowed me to see him.  He was in and our of consciousness.  He had charcoal smeared around his mouth.  He was pale and clammy.  My sis and I sat with him for over an hour, stroking his arms, his hair, telling him it would be okay...

At one point he opened his eyes and looked at me and said "Mom, is this real?"  It broke my heart.  He was a little boy in a bad dream, but it wasn't a dream and he had created the nightmare himself.

Turns out he'd been "snowballing" all day (shooting coke to go up, heroin to go down).  He came home and wanted to die.  He felt like a failure, like he'd never be able to stop using.  Like he'd be better off dead.  Yet, he also admits it was a cry for help since he told us what he did immediately (thank GOD!).

The next morning I went back to visit him and stayed by his side for hours as a guard sat at the end of his bed on "suicide watch".  He was more coherent but still in and out sleep most of the day.  The nurse (big male nurse)  and I tried to get him to stand up to give a urine sample, but he was like a rag doll.  He was still so out of it.  It was determined that he needed to be in a psychiatric ward in another city, so they strapped him up in a straight jacket, loaded him on a gurney and off he went for a "5150" (72 lock down to evaluate him).

The love I had for my son that day - seeing the confused, scared look on his face as they took him away...he'd just turned 18 two weeks prior.  He was just a kid!  Off he went.

It was not the worst moment in this "adventure" of drug addiction, but its up there in the top ten :)

He was allowed to come home on New Year's Eve.  It was a fresh start, a new year. He started going to meetings and it yet in my heart I knew it was only the beginning.  I just knew it.

Part Three of this story will be told on January 6th.  As most of you know, it ususally gets much worse before it gets better.

This is the painting I drew that night, and the painting I drew a few days later.  I haven't felt like picking up a brush again, but maybe one of these days:

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 28, 2009

Deja Vu - Sort of

I don't have the energy to say too much at the moment so I'll keep it short.

He's back in the hospital, which is where he was a year ago on 12/29/08.

I want him to get on the right meds in the right doses. 

PH is going to discharge him but HOPEFULLY they have a bed open for him in a few days when he gets out.

December 27, 2009

I'm So Worried

Well, just got a call from one of K's friends.  He tried to convince her to go pick him up because he wants to leave...he's in another anxiety attack.  She talked him out of it (I hope to God) and promised not to tell me - then she called me.  I am glad she called but I feel SICK with worry.  I am suppose to pick him up at 8:30 am tomorrow for a probation visit.

Why would he be doing so good, so content and then go the extreme opposite so quickly?

I really don't know how some of you parents that have been dealing with this for years have survived.  I feel like throwing up.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 26, 2009

Suspicious Minds

K just informed me that he does not need a ride tomorrow because rather than taking a day  pass he is staying in PH and helping on a project.

My first thought:  He's lying.  He is up to no good.

My mind goes a million different directions, I am filled with fear and worry.

Then I had to calm down and tell myself two things:

1.  He may be telling the truth, he really likes PH and I can tell he feels good being part of the community, perhaps he really is going to help out on a project.

2.  Even if he is up to something, there is nothing I can do about it.  Its his choice, his life.

This is a taste of what it will be like when he comes home.  Constantly wondering if he's lying or not.  I hate that it has to be this way, but it is.  When do you regain trust in an addict?  Do you ever?

Song of the day:

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I got to visit K tonight at PH.  It was really nice and he seemed to be doing so much better than yesterday.

As I sat with my son, I thought of many of you and your families, knowing that not everyone is as fortunate as I am - to get to hug my son, know exactly where he is, knowing that he's not only safe, but in a therapeutic community that is obviously helping him.  I am so grateful.

I thought of ...
Alex and Andrew home for the holidays, clean and sober
Bryan in rehab and DD1 in sober living
Landon's Mom in jail
Ryan, B, H, J, Kelly, Chai's son and ... all in different stages of recovery. (i hope i did not forget anyone....let me know if i did)

I feel hopeful.  Its the only thing we all have the same amount of at the same time:  Hope.  Our kids may be up or down right now, but there is always hope that they will stay well or get better.

Hope all of you have a peaceful holiday.


December 23, 2009


I feel nervous for K right now.
We (the nurse at PH and I) are both concerned that his meds are off and were both thinking the same thing today:  he needs a better doctor.  We are working on that.  I just hope he's okay between now and the first of the year when he can get an apt.  I hate seeing him suffer.

Its weird - seeing him high and using I had so much anger and some compassion.  Now that he's not using and his mental health issues are so obvious, I feel only compassion.  Feeling compassionate scares me too....will I cross the line and enable?  Will I somehow mess up?

Ugh.  I hate this.  I hate worrying about how to treat my son instead of just allowing my natural instincts to guide me.  I hate not knowing what he needs.  In some ways its easier when they are using because its black and white, right now it feels so gray.

Peace, Hope and Love,

New Doctor

I am very uptight tonight.  I've seen K the last three days.   I could tell that his meds were affecting him in a weird way and it scares me that he may not be getting the right treatment.  I have wanted to get a new doctor for him for a while but this guy is so affordable.  Today after going to court with K (not for a legal issue - for a progress report, in which he recieved high praises from the judge and she said a bunch of nice things about him).  He had not reason to feel anxiety but he did...he had trouble just maintaining himself and it was a positive experience.

I decided right then to get a new doctor I don't care if I have to go into debt charging my credit cards to the max.  I honestly feel this is a life and death matter.  He is not going to stay off drugs if he is unstable, he needs help, he needs that right meds.  The longer he is clean, it becomes easier and more obvious to see his mental health issues.

Turns out I am not the only one worried this week.  I talked to the (awesome) nurse at PH and to make a long story short she is hooking us up with a doctor she recommends and would use for her own child in this case.  I am relieved.  She also tried calling K's doctor all day to leave a message asking to lower his doses but he NEVER called her back.  UGH.

I feel like crap for not doing something sooner.

Peace, Hope and Love,

One of the things that seems to be helping K at PH is being a "Motivator".  I am not even sure what that means exactly, but its probably self-explanatory.

I heard today that Peace, Hope and Love,

December 22, 2009

Anxiety - Thank You - Retrospect

Saw K today and its almost unbearable to see him in the stages of anxiety.  I can see it in his eyes, his breathing, his behavior.  He was able to talk more about it today, which really helps him.  He also told me it helps to talk about his "drug stories" because it takes the edge off wanting to use (I knew this because he sometimes tells me stories I rather not hear).  He doesn't talk about drugs (specifically)  in group because it triggers people, so one guy there, that doesn't have a drug problem, offered to let K share his stories with him.  K says its been a huge help to him to get it "out of his head".

I hate that he needs to be medicated just to get through life, but what alternative is there?  Life is hard enough as it is, why do some people have so much more to deal with?  Why do some people seem to be "okay".  Is anyone really "okay"?  

Thanks for the nice comments about the interview I did with  I had never done anything like that before so it felt a bit vulnerable.  Speaking of that - I also appreciated the comments on the story I re-told about what happened last year at this time.  Its interesting to write something the day it happens, then write about it again a year later with retrospect.  I have a few more stories like that to share in the next few weeks.  Dec/Jan were like a nightmare last year.

Sometimes I feel like I should NOT be sharing all this, that its too personal, that it could possibly hurt K in some way at some time.  But when I get an email or a comment that says "thanks, what you said helped me" I know that its the right thing to do and K would agree.  Amidst all his "issues" he is very compassionate and empathetic towards others and likes knowing that some good can can come from something so dark.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 21, 2009

Interviewed at

Last week I was interviewed by  Here is the link if you'd like to read it.

Today has been draining.

Hope all of you are doing well, I'll be checking blogs later.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 19, 2009

Jackson Browne talks about Drugs, Enabling and His Regrets

Some of you may know that I have a blog about Classic Rock music.  I was recently sent an interview with Jackson Browne to link on my site but I thought I'd cut and paste part of it here, its interesting that he never became an addict but talks about being an enabler and how devastating drugs and alcohol were to some of his loved ones. I admire his honesty.

Q: For years you ran with people who abused drugs and alcohol pretty intensely—Warren Zevon, Nico, David Crosby. Yet at 61 you seem unscathed.

A: No, I wouldn't say unscathed. Anybody that has alcoholism in their family is not unscathed, believe me. It doesn't even have to be a matter of your own drug-taking, but your enabling of others. In many ways you could say I enabled Warren. I've lost people to drugs—it didn't keep me from taking drugs, either. There were occasions when I couldn't died. I played around with all the drugs.

Q: You did?

A: Oh, yeah. But everybody did. You have to understand. You were just as likely to encounter somebody with a bag of heroin as a bag full of mescaline caps. I mean, it was just sort of back and forth that way, and eventually I sort of made a choice. But I didn't ever get addicted to heroin. I just stupidly, stupidly fooled around—in a way that endangered not only myself but others. I mean, like, at one point I shot up a friend of mine—and we realized with some horror that it was too much. We spent the next several hours trying to make sure that he, you know—I'm laughing about it now just out of a sense of outrage. The outrage that passed across his face. And he's such a good friend. I think he's permitting me to laugh about it, but in fact it was a horrible thing. Another time somebody passed me something that I assumed was coke in an airport. We were on our way to a concert, and I went into the restroom and was a bit greedy and I came out and I was like, "What is this shit?" And I sort of covered my mouth. We had to leave the airport and go to a hotel. It was heroin. I thought it was coke and it was heroin. Look, I'm telling you stuff that I would tell anybody if it was important to understand that you can definitely be in over your head and not know it. I count myself lucky that I didn't grow to like heroin. It's not something that really worked for me. On the other hand, there were other drugs that did. I began thinking that cocaine was really useful, and I began using alcohol because I never understood how uncomfortable I was in groups of people that were there for me—I started drinking when I started performing. At this point I don't take any drugs, and I don't think it helps. With the exception of some psychedelic drugs—I think that's helpful information, for me. But the people I took drugs with, many of them are dead now. I miss Lowell George every day. And a lot of my friends had to get sober or die—Warren Zevon created an incredible body of work because he was sober, not because he was out of his mind and berserk.

If you're interested in the entire interview its here
Peace, Hope and Love,

December 18, 2009

A Year Ago Today (part one)

One year ago today I got my wake up call that put an end to the denial I had been clinging to for three months.

I was Christmas shopping on my lunch break and received a phone call.  I was standing in the middle of Kohl's with an armload of stuff and my knees almost buckled, I was so shocked.  It was K's school calling to say that they had him "detained" in the principals office with a police officer, and asked me to get there immediately.  I tossed the  merchandise on the nearest table (normally I would never do that!) and left the store.

When I arrived at the school everyone in the office looked up when I said I was K's mom.  The looks on their face seemed to say "your kid really messed up, we feel bad for you but wonder how things ever got to this point...what kind of mother are you?" 

I will never forget how I felt when I walked into the principal's office and saw K sitting next to his girlfriend andwith a police officer standing next to him, the principal at her desk.  I felt so sad, scared, angry, embarrassed, and very nauseous.  It seemed like a bad dream.  I'm glad I didn't know how "mild" of an incident that was compared to what we were headed for.

One look at K and I could see he was high.  He had been escorted our of class by the cop for being "under the influence".   They allowed his girlfriend to come in - I think because they knew they were in a serious relationship and wanted her there, but I am not sure what the purpose of that was.

Long story short, since K was high he freely told us all sorts of details about how he'd been shooting heroin and cocaine for weeks, etc. etc. etc.  He rolled up his sleeves and showed us.  I almost passed out.  I felt the room spinning....where had I been?  How had I NOT seen this???  I knew something was wrong with him, but I would not believe it was drugs, I honestly thought it was depression and maybe smoking more weed than usual.  Its hard to admit that now.

I took him home, he passed out in bed and I cried for hours having no idea what to do next.

He was expelled from school.  It was his senior year and he still has not received a diploma.

So much has happened since then.  I'll share more in the days to come.  December/January were "eventful" last year.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 17, 2009

Nothing stays the same for long

Just a quickie:  visited K tonight and he was down again :(

Talked to Ant today and he was a bit down too :(  And I was wrong about his age, he turned 22 the other day, not 23. 

I think I understand part of what's going on with K.  I am so not ready for him to come home in February.  It sounds too soon to me.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 16, 2009

No More Walking on Eggshells?!

Do you know  what it's like to monitor each word you say so as not to upset someone?  You make sure you phrase things just right so they won't go into a rage, become depressed, hurt themselves or others, or, the worst possible thing of all:  use their drug of choice.

I've been doing that for a long time with K.  It's one of the hardest things to stop doing because his anger or threats of self harm would be so upsetting.

Yesterday I saw him for a little while to drive him to and from an appointment.  It was AMAZING the difference in him from one week prior.  He was fun, friendly, polite, sweet and his old self (talking about all the things he wants: cars, clothes, etc.)

I didn't even think about walking on eggshells, it was just so natural to be around him.  I hope this continues.  I saw a confidence in him.  I think PH is really making a difference in his life and I think that his new meds have kicked it and are working.

I even pushed the limits with him and did something that embarrasses him to death:  "Pour Some Sugar on Me" came on the radio and I car danced :)

He didn't give  the usual "you look so dumb doing that, its so lame, its totally gay!" lecture;  he just said "ummm, Mom?  do you have to do that when I'm in the car?"  I said "why, yes, I do!" and I saw him supressing a smirk as he rolled his eyes and tried to pretend his mother was not "weird".

It was a great experience so I just wanted to remind us all:  There is HOPE. 

Peace, Hope and Love,

Song of the day:

December 15, 2009

Oxycontin Express

The video I linked yesterday is long and most people don't have time to look at it, so may not understand the point I was trying to make.  Here is an excerpt from an artilce in the New York Times called "The Alchemy of Oxycontin" has the same message I was trying to get across:  That it is becoming common in certain areas for oxy to become available to virtually anyone who wants it.  This article is about a small town in West Virginia that has been taken over by addiction:

"A few years ago, Paula says, Man was like any small town in America: you could buy a variety of illegal drugs, as long as you knew the right person to talk to. Pot was big; there was occasionally some cocaine around and a few pills for recreational use. Fads would come and go. But these days, she says, the only drug for sale in Man is OxyContin, a narcotic painkiller that users crush -- to disable its patented time-release mechanism -- and then snort or inject for a powerful and immediate opiate high. Legally, it's sold only by prescription for the treatment of chronic pain. In practice it's available just about everywhere around here, immediately, for cash. The going rate is a dollar a milligram, or $40 for a 40-milligram pill."

''There's always been a certain degree of prescription drug abuse in this area,'' says Art Van Zee, a physician in Lee County, Va., ''but there's never been anything like this. This is something that is very different and very new, and we don't understand all the reasons why. This is not just people who have long-term substance-abuse problems. In our region this is young teenagers, 13- and 14-year-olds, experimenting with recreational drug use and rapidly becoming addicted. Tens of thousands of opioid addicts are being createdout there.''
 "When I returned to the Gateway rehabilitation Center outside Pittsburgh earlier this month, I got a clearer sense of the way in which OxyContin is taking hold in urban and suburban America. I also learned about an unexpected secondary effect of OxyContin abuse: in cities like Pittsburgh, the crackdown on OxyContin is resulting in a sharp rise in heroin abuse."
 Dad on Fire had a link to this video, Oxycontin Express.  Its hard to watch if you know someone addicted to it because it will make you SO VERY ANGRY about:

- how easy it is to get
- how addicting it is
- the "doctors" who have pain clinics just to sell this stuff to whoever wants it
- how little is being done to stop it
- the amount of people, mostly young, that are dying from it (11 per day in Florida)

One thing that really got to me was when someone on the film said (paraphrased)  "If Manatees were washing up on our shores and mysteriously dying we would have no problem getting plenty of funding and support to find out why and save them.  But when it comes to PEOPLE DYING from this DRUG we have very little help, its basically ignored".

Another warming because I know some of you are sensitive to this:  It does show a guy smoking oxy, so please be aware of that.  I haven't watched the entire thing yet but saw enough to know its excellent, but heartbreaking and anger making, info.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 14, 2009

Happy (?) Birthday, Ant

He called :)
I sang him happy birthday - I can imagine him standing there blushing holding the phone.  We had a really good long talk and he shared a lot of things that have been going on in his mind.  I sensed his fear about the future but I think its good that he's nervous about the possibility of using rather than cocky about the fact that "he'll never use again".  He talked about his mom, I think it was only the second time he's brought her up to me.  We talked about how good it will be for him and K to have serious discussions while clean about all they are learning in recovery.  He told me he has to move when he gets out cause he can't be in this area any more.  I agreed, that's a very wise choice.  It was a good call.

For the second year in a row, Ant will be spending his birthday behind bars.

This year is different because:
- he has a girlfriend who loves him
- he is more determined than ever to stay clean
- he's getting a second, third, fourth....well I lose track, but he's getting ANOTHER chance at rehab/recovery
- he's got an "adopted mom" who cares about him and is saying things to him that his mom would hopefully say if she was still alive

I'm very emotional this evening.  I hope he calls tomorrow so I can wish him a happy birthday.

Isn't he cute?  He looks younger than my K, such a baby face.  Also has a huge heart.  He's a talented artist.  He wants a good life, a "normal" life, but has never experienced that, so he has to start from scratch, with literally nothing but some clothes and a tattoo kit,  and build it for himself. He has a son that needs a dad.  I know he can do it.  I want him to for him (and also because K's chances are better too if Ant can stay clean).  I love this kid. 

He's had a very, very tough life, but he still smiles. 

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 13, 2009

Drugs in the 1970's/1980's vs. Today (my personal opinion & drug history)

I am listening to the radio show I mentioned in my last post. The guest, Bill Ford, is talking about his own drug use way back in the 70's. The host of the show made a statement that drugs are more powerful today and Bill disagreed because there were a lot of powerful drugs back then. I agree with Bill, yet I think the problem of drug addiction is more serious and prevalent today.

There were some very powerful drugs in that era, and I am not proud of this, but I tried most of them (but never heroin...that was considered hard core, bad stuff that only really messed up people tried...times have changed haven't they?)

Technically speaking, I don't know if the drugs were more or less powerful back then, but drug use was very different than from what I see today. You had to know people to get drugs, you couldn't find them so easily, prescription drugs were not used often.

I had an unusual "drug of choice",  I preferred hallucinogens (LSD, peyote, Psilocybin and PCP).  My boyfriend and I used them regularly for four years and seriously believed we were expanding our minds.  We'd plan a weekend around "tripping" and I have to admit it was interesting up until my first bad trip, never touched LSD or the hallucinogens again after that.

I also had a boyfriend who was into cocaine, so I did that for about a year.  I guess my drugs choices changed with relationships.

The "worst" drug I experimented with was PCP (aka angel dust, very, very bad stuff, don't even know if its still around today).

During all of it, I drank way too much. 

I guess I was lucky because I never became addicted. I limited my partying to the weekends and when I was about 25 I just lost interest, almost as if I outgrew it.

My point in all of this - I do think today's problems are MUCH MORE SERIOUS than the drug use I was immersed in from 1973 - 1985. (not counting alcohol - that was just as serious then as it is now).

I saw some horrible things related to drugs back then, and a few friends did become addicted, but most of us moved on seemingly unscathed. It  was something we added to our lives as opposed having it become the focus of  our lives, as it has for so many people today.  From my personal observations, in the 70's/80's it was mostly "recreational" today its  a life threatening epidemic (especially opiates).

P.S. I am not condoning, defending or glorifying my past drug use, just stating the facts.

P.S.S.  Heroin has always been a serious problem and taken the lives of some of our most talented musicians

Janis Joplin,  Jim Morrison (?), Tim Buckley, Mike Bloomfield, Pete Farndon, Hillel Slovak, Andy Wood, Mick Ronson, Shannon Hoon, Bradley Nowell, Jonathan Melvoin, Bobby Sheehan, Allen Woody, Layne Staley, Dee Dee Ramone, Sid Vicious, Robbin Crosby (you were special, I am so sorry you died alone),  and many others.


December 12, 2009

Listen to "Dad on Fire" tomorrow (12/13/09)

Sunday, Dec. 13th, @ 9PM EST (Tampa), DadOnFire is a guest on The Larry G Show talking about addiction, treatment and recovery. The perspective of a dad on fire to make a difference.  Your link: Scroll down to the 9-10PM show calledThe Prescription Addiction Radio Show.

I plan on listening.  It should speak volumes to our society that there is a need for a radio show on the specific topic of prescription drug seems to be growing rather than being eliminated. I am willing to do whatever I can to change that.

Ironically, my son is one of the few that went straight for the heroin, shooting it from the start, smoking it and shooting it as his addiction progressed and adding oxy and other rx drugs along the way.  But most begin with those innocent looking "pills".

I've seen the ugliness of full blown heroin addiction - the ugly track marks, the vacant eyes, the personality of someone that I don't even know - yet gave birth to...the thief in the night.

If we can stop the average teen from popping something found in the medicine cabinet at home, or handed to them by a good friend at a party, then hopefully that will prevent more from becoming heroin addicts.

Don't get me wrong - I am not saying that any of type of opiate addiction is worse or more serious than another - heroin addiction just has such an ugly element to it that you don't find along with those neat little  pills.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 10, 2009

I Skipped Family Group Night

My mom and sister went to Family Group Night this evening, I chose not to go.  I decided it would be good to distance myself a little bit.  He seems to be doing good at the moment.

UPDATE:  I heard it went well.  K was on a panel where the parents got to ask questions.  He was also wearing khakis and an oxford shirt because of his "job" there at PH.  I have never seen my son dressed like that!  Oh and get this!  Last night he got to go to a play and see "Scrooge".  He said he liked it.  Sounds like he's doing so much better.  I'll just keep hoping and praying.

Peace, Hope and Love,

A Memory of My Dad

I was just reading Syd's post today (a very nice tribute to his father) and it hit me that this past Sunday, Dec. 6th, was the 35th anniversary of his death.  FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 35 YEARS I DIDN'T REMEMBER WHAT DAY IT WAS!  I always think of my dad on Dec. 6th, but this year it literally slipped past me.

Then I got to thinking about all my aunts and uncles (he had a big family) and one story relates to addiction/alcoholism.  I will share it here because it reminds me of what a good person my dad was.

One of my dad's brothers was an alcoholic "Uncle Bob".  No one described him that way and I would not have known what an alcoholic was at that young age, but I knew that Uncle Bob didn't have a job and had no where to live and apparently the other siblings had passed him around for a few years.  So my dad said Uncle Bob could live with us.

We gave him my sister's bedroom and she moved in with me.  We were told never to go in Uncle Bob's room but of course we peaked in there when no one was looking to see what the big deal was.  There was nothing to see, but it smelled funny (booze).

I actually liked Uncle Bob living with us (other than sharing a room with a sister who was five years younger than me!).  He was handsome and funny and liked to do stuff with us kids, like play catch in the street or fly kites in the field.

I think as time went on I figured out that Uncle Bob had a "drinking problem".  I heard my dad give him an ultimaum once.  A few days later Uncle Bob moved out.  My dad was a kind man, but I think he felt that his kids living in a non-drinking enviroment was more important than helping his brother.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 9, 2009

Long Term Withdrawl Affects

Ant called me today, hadn't talked to him in a week so it was great to hear his voice.  He shared something he learned in his drug program that be couldbe  helpful to others, he's mailing it to me I will share it here when I get it.  I always like hearing things straight from the addict vs. "research" and this was a combination of both - he said the research on this topic (long term affects) was right on, and he should know.

He wants me to give the info to K because he has all the "classic symptoms" of what happens in the third to sixth month of not using.  He thinks it will make K feel better to know its "normal" to feel some of the things he's feeling (it makes me feel better!)

He also said that he's lost track of how many drug programs, rehabs, sober living homes etc. he's been in.  It started when he was 16, he will be 23 next week.  He wants to say "this is it, the last time, but he's scared because he may fail again and he doesn't want to disappoint everyone.

That's probably a common fear - disappointing the family, the friends, the ones on the sidelines cheering you on.  I told him its not "disappointment" its more sadness.  Its not felt in a judging way, its more of a concern.  I tried to get him to understand no one is thinking "what a loser, he failed again", they are thinking "Its hard to see him go through this, he must feel awful".  Of course that was my enabling-co-dependent "make everyone feel good" self talking.  I should have just said "it doesn't matter who you disappoint, you need to do this for you".  But I didn't think of that till we hung up.  Sigh.  I'm learning.

He thanked me for a book I sent and said its taken away some fears he had about being a father and he likes the author.  I'm glad cause it was a guess, I had not read the book but I spent hours looking on line reading about books that he may like.  The book is "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers.

When I was with K yesterday I mentioned Ant and he said "Its kind of like you have two kids going through jail/rehab at the same time, huh?"   Sometimes I worry that he will be a bit jealous of Ant and the bond that's grown between us, but he's not (thank God for that).  He laughed and reminded me that I did not like or trust Ant when I first met him but was oblivious to his drug use.  True.  I was oblivious to a lot of things, its called DENIAL.

Ok, enough rambling....going to go to bed early tonight and read.  Goodnight to all of you wonderful people out there - I feel the care and concern and hope you feel it back at ya.

December 8, 2009

Quick Update on K and Ant

K:  he had another dr. apt. today and I drove him there and back.  He was calm, nice, enjoyable to be around (well, for him).  He still said some disturbing things but he also talked about the future (what car he wants someday, etc.).  It was a relief.  I hope the additional med works.

Ant:  I feel so bad, I accidentally hung up on him TWICE when he called from jail.  This is unfortunate because he thinks I may be upset with him.  I hope he calls again and I can hit the correct buttons (you have to add money to an account to be able to talk to someone calling from jail).

What scares me about both of them....they are both saying how much they are craving "it" and how hard its going to be to not do it when they are out, but how determined they are not to.  K started to give me a list of his triggers today, some things that just can't be avoided in life:

  • Shell gas stations
  • Any gas station restroom
  • Certain street names
  • Certain hotel/motel names
  • The Am/Pm Mini-mart by our house
  • Certain songs
  • Certain smells
  • Black Evos (his old car)

I'm going to catch up on your blogs now....thanks for caring.

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 7, 2009

Unhappy Birthday


Several hours have passed since I wrote the below post.  Since that time I've cried, read my comments and read an email from my best friend, she knows me and Keven really well (thank you S!)  Then I heard two songs in a row that made me think of K and of me (the one for me was Aretha's "Respect"!)

I've decided that the only gift I can give my son this year is the gift of taking care of myself.  The gift of not putting up with him treating me this way.  The gift of not enabling him or interfering with his recovery.  His life is his.  I can't change the past or the future, I can only take care of me and be present right NOW.  

I don't know what I would do without all of you who read here (and my other blogs).  I wrote about my "giving birth" experience on WFIO today just cause I felt like it.

THANK YOU ALL for caring, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Well so much for that.

K seemed  happy to see us but within 20 minutes was sullen then got mean and his departing words are to unkind and frightening to share here.

I hope he was partly putting on an act and is not as seriously depressed and full of anger as he seems.  Its so hard to tell with him.  He hinted to his PO that he was suicidal but when asked point blank he says he's not.

I don't want to lose my son. 

I feel really sick, like I could throw up.  I don't know how to deal with this anymore.  I am sinking.

(Dad,  you were right).

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 6, 2009

Rush Limbaugh talks to William Shatner about his Opiate Addiction

William Shatner has a new show called "Shatner's Raw Nerve" where he interviews various celebs and gets to the deep stuff that is often glossed over by other "talk show" hosts.

I love The Shat.  He also has every guest bring something, kind of like show and tell type thing, also kind of unique.

Bill had Rush Limbaugh on his show and asked him about his drug addiction (Oxycontin).  This is not word for word, but its very close.  I found myself respecting Rush Limbaugh for what he said (not my usual opinion of him).

I wish people would understand that if it was just a CHOICE to stop, most addicts would have quit by now.
WS:  How do you function if your using all the time?

RL:  You get to the point where your whole life  is "where do I get more?" 
With opiate addiction, you no longer use to get high, you just need it to keep yourself from getting sick (i.e. withdrawal/dope sick).

WS:  Why can't determination, or love, or will power help an opiate addict?

RL:  Because its a brain chemical disease. You need treatment.  You can do it by raw will, but the withdrawal process is like having the worst flu you can image times ten - vomiting, body aches, the whole thing.  I lived in fear of it.

WS:  (said something to the effect that his was a disgrace to his career)

RL:  No, its the best thing that ever happened to me, I wish I would have learned all the lessons I got in recovery when I was 20 years old.

GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


I AM SO HAPPY!  We only have an hour and a half but that's way better than nothing and he sounded good!  



Peace, Hope and Love,

Happy Birthday, Dear K...PLEASE CALL ME

Do you ever think you're holding it together pretty well then break out sobbing?  That just happened to me.  I dried my eyes and decided not to wait till tomorrow (his official birthday) to write about this.

Its very painful to be separated from him on his birthday.  Its not like a "holiday" its HIS DAY.  Its the one day out of the year we celebrate HIM and we can't be together this year.  I can't even call him.  My stomach has been in knots all day and if my phone rings (its in my pocket) I grab it on the first ring hoping, hoping, hoping its him....but it hasn't been.

Will he call me tomorrow?  I HOPE SO.  I don't know what to do with the feelings I have today.  I guess just feel them and hope they settle down.

He will be 19 tomorrow.  His 18th year was for sure the worst year of my entire life....and I think he would say the same.  I told him once he never really got to experience 18 because he was either high, dope sick or incarcerated.  The dope sickness was the worst, but it always came with hope that it would be the "last time".  Sigh.

Now he's got such a great start on staying clean.  And if the other issues are addressed with the right meds, he will have an even greater chance of experiencing 19, of living again, on his terms, rather than being owned by that shit known as heroin.

I noticed I cuss a lot these days....I actually hold back here on the blog :)

Ok.  I have to go do something constructive to keep busy.


Peace, Hope and Love,

Songs of the Day:

Lose Yourself - Eminem

P.S.  I didn't know you had to belong to the site "Lala" to hear these snippets of songs.  Oh well, I will leave them anyhow.  Its a free site and I used it mostly just to embed songs.

December 4, 2009

A New Blog to Check Out...and its one of our "own" :)

I don't know about you, but I feel like the people that read here have become family.  Many of us are parents of addicts, and I know we care deeply for each others children as we follow their stories hoping, praying, believing the best for each and every one.

For example - Lou's son, Andrew, is getting out of jail tomorrow!  It seems like I know this young man and I am so hopeful and excited for him to set foot outside again and start fresh.

Many of us also follow the story of Alex, he's the Son of Mom and Dad.   Well Alex has started a blog.  I don't know how he's going to feel about all of us checking out his personal thougths, but that's what blogging is about.  I am so GRATEFUL when recovering addicts (like Josh, and now Alex) share what they are going through.  It gives me an idea of what may be going on in my son's mind, gives me more clarity into the depth of the struggle.

I've been close to three addicts (my dear Angel*, Ant and Kay) so I have had an advantage over many parents.  Its helped me so much.  Sometimes teens/young adults share much more openly with someone other than their own parent.  I know my son tells me a lot (more than I want to know) but he still doesn't express how hard this is for him, or what I can do (or not do) to support him.

I'm thankful that Alex is willing to be honest and share.  He's a very good writer.  Check out his blog, Trapped in Addiction.

*"Angel" and I had lunch today and she reminded me again that she stopped using when she was ready.  The many efforts her parents made at sending to her to rehab didn't work.  Living in her car or on the streets didn't make her want to quit.  She got to a point where she realized she needed to get her life together and stop using., and she did it because she was ready.  She's had a good job for the last few years and continues to be promoted.  She is going to school at night to complete her degree.  She is full of compassion, wisdom and grace.  Its a reminder, if she can do it, anyone who truly WANTS it, can do it.  That's the key:  wanting it bad enough.  This both encourages me and makes me nervous about K, I don't think he's completely ready yet.  I hope I'm wrong.


I got some amazing comments on my post from last night.

I learn so much from all of you.  Even things that I already "knew", become real truths when I hear them from a human being that's been there.  Ya know what I mean??

Here's hoping we all have a peaceful, non-dramatic and enjoyable weekend.

walking trail by my house

Peace, Hope and Love,

December 3, 2009

Where do I go to resign from this gig?

I'm done being a mother.  I've had it.  Went to visit him tonight and he treated me like ____ the whole time.  At one point he just got up and left the meeting, leaving me sitting there alone.  Fortunately  his counselor (a great guy) noticed and went and found him and told him to come back. I am 10% hurt and 90% angry.  He does this to me whenever we're alone (my sis did not go with me tonight).  After the meeting he said "you can go now" and I said, "see ya" but he did walk me out and we ended up talking, mostly him being negative and trying to make me feel bad.  He takes his anger and hatred out on me and I won't tolerate it any more.  Its like not even having a son.  I really thought a lot of this was a result of drug use, but obviously it goes deeper since he's clean - but still mean.

He kept saying he's going to "run" and "you have to come get me or I'll go get high".  I just looked at him and shook my head.  

I don't want this post to upset anyone, I'm just venting and being sarcastic.  Its obvious he has a lot more going on that needs to be addressed.  At this point, I don't want him back in my house if he's going to be like this.  I know I am to blame for some of his attitude of entitlement.  I need to get help for my issues too.

My fantasy:  having a husband (or any man will do) that would get in his face and say "DON'T YOU EVER DISRESPECT YOUR MOTHER LIKE THAT AGAIN!"

December 2, 2009

No news is good news...

I didn't hear a word from K today, or PH or his doctor or PO.  I guess no news is good news.  I don't know if I need to find him a new doctor or not.  I am very confused.

The innocent childhood days are gone forever.  I don't know exactly when or why things went so terribly wrong to get him where he is today.  I can't turn back the clock.  I need to stay strong and hopeful.

This is K with Bella as a kitten.  She was dropped off at my aunt's back porch by her mother (a stray).  We brought her home and she immediately chose K as her favorite person. 

Every night she walks across the hall to see if he's in his room, then she walks back in my room.  I think I heard her sigh tonight.  She misses him too.  He'll be home soon (Feb 19).

Peace, Hope and Love,
If I can diagnose him, why can't anyone else?  What's it going to take?  How many times does he have to go to jail or the psych ward?  I am getting him yet another new doctor that will take his illness seriously and give him a chance to survive life outside in the normal world.

The attack he had last night was so bad that they thought he was having an epileptic seizure.  No - that's what my son goes through, that's his panic attack.  He lives in fear of them and discovered that the only cure is being high on some form of opiate or benzos.

My personal conclusion is (and no, I am not putting all the blame on doctors but it does diappoint me that I have been pursuing mental health for him for over half his life and yet no one has been able to help us .... yet)

he became addicted to the drugs he uses because he had to self-medicate   None of the psychiatrists he's seen since age 9 has properly diagnosed this issue so he when he discovered something that worked,  Oxy, Xanax, Heroin....he kept using till he got addicted and now he's a felon .  My hope is that he lives to see his 19th birthday which is MONDAY.

This is all from a long article, the whole thing is HERE.   I'm frustrated, angry and feel helpless.

Studies find that people with constant levels of high anxiety stay on guard and “wired” for possible threats in their environment or in a situation, even when told or they know that the situation is non-threatening. A person with anxiety is always on edge, tense, and has a hard time calming their inner self. So while they may appear calm on the outside, on the inside they remain a bundle of nerves, easily set off, scared or startled.

Panic Disorder:

According to the American Psychological Association, each panic attack peaks within about 10 minutes. Sometimes attacks repeat in clusters for up to an hour after the initial attack, with associated fear over the possibility of another attack. Subsequent attacks may occur days and even weeks later.
This element of fearfulness is called anticipatory anxiety. People fear having another attack while performing the same activity or being in the same situation as when a previous attack occurred. Anticipatory anxiety can be so extreme that people turn away from the outside world for fear that another attack will be set off.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), panic disorder can also happen with other disorders. Depression and substance abuse commonly occur simultaneously with panic disorder.
About 30 percent of people with panic disorder abuse alcohol and 17 percent abuse drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana. This drug abuse can be attributed to unsuccessful attempts by a person with panic disorder to alleviate the anguish and distress caused by his condition.

Symptoms of Panic Disorder

If not recognized and treated, panic disorder can be devastating because it can interfere with relationships, schoolwork, employment and normal development. It is not uncommon for a person with panic disorder to experience an anxious feeling even between attacks. People with panic disorder will begin to avoid situations where they fear an attack may occur or situations where help might not be available. This happens with both adults and children with panic disorder.

  1. Are you troubled by repeated and unexpected “attacks” of intense fear or discomfort for no apparent reason? YES
  2. During such attacks, do you experience at least four of the following symptoms? YES to  ALL

    • pounding heart
    • sweating
    • trembling or shaking
    • shortness of breath
    • choking
    • chest pain
    • nausea or abdominal discomfort
    • “jelly” legs
    • dizziness
    • a feeling of unreality or being detached from yourself
    • fear of losing control
    • going crazy
    • fear of dying
    • numbness or tingling sensations or chills or hot flashes

  3. Do you have a fear of places or situations where escape or getting help might be difficult, such as a crowded room or traffic jam?YES
  4. Do you have a fear of being unable to travel without a companion?  No
  5. For at least one month following an attack, have you felt persistent:YES (always)

    • concern about having another attack?
    • worry about going crazy?
    • need to change your behavior to accommodate the attack?

In summary, panic disorder results from having panic attacks. Panic attacks are episodes that come “out of the blue.” They peak within a few minutes and cause feelings of terror and alarming physical symptoms.

People often are convinced during the attack that they are dying and describe a panic attack as the most distressing experience that they have ever had. As a natural response, people dread the next attack and often avoid places or situations where they have had panic attacks.**

**Or start using drugs to avoid them.  If a doctor would give him something to help maybe he could stay away from the illegal, addictive shit and have a chance at life.  :(

this is all I have, but its enough, right? will someone please say "right!"

How Much to Tell About this Awful Night?

Well.  I don't feel comfortable saying too much.  Its 1:00 am and I just got home from taking k to the hospital and then back to PH.  I got an emergency call from them around 7 pm.  He's fine for the night.  One day at a time...I don't know what tomorrow will bring.

The bottom line is:  I need to take care of myself.  It always felt a bit selfish saying that but I totally get it now.  I can spend my life worrying or trying to "fix" things OR I can accept the reality that my son may never be "better". 

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December 1, 2009

Why Are They Addicts in the First Place?

Seeing K today was nothing like I expected.  He did not ask to come home.  He was very concerned about getting back in time.  We hit traffic (road work) and were running late and it was very upsetting to him.

We went to his doctor, who is also my doctor, and he went in without me.  I take him back in two weeks to see how the new meds work.  Please pray that they work well.

I don't even want to talk about my time with him.  Too personal.  But I will say I am very concerned about his well being and have more compassion for him than ever.

Why do people start using drugs in the first place?  I know there are many reasons but for some, and I believe this to be true of my son, part of it was to cover up the emotional pain.

We did have some good moments.  Driving back he seemed more hopeful and we talked about cars (one of his fave topics).  I have to stay positive.  I have to.

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7 Quotes to Motivate You

You see things and say ‘Why?’ but I dream things and say ‘Why not?’”
- George Bernard Shaw “The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
- Mark Twain
“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.”
- Abraham Lincoln
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in that gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
- Winston Churchill
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
- Thomas Edison
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