January 31, 2010

So Much for my "Happy Post"

Earlier I wrote about how well the guys are doing....how Ant gave K some good advice and they were both pumped up about being clean and staying clean.

A few minutes ago K came to me and said "I hope he can make it two weeks till he gets in rehab".  Ugh.  He wants to get high. 

I understand.  I get it.  I can't relate to in on a personal level, but I hear about it all the time. 

Heroin can own your very soul.
Ant has never made it very long.
Almost dying seems to have lost its effect.

K told him if he used he could never come to our house again and he wouldn't hang out with him.  I'm proud of him for saying that.  I'm sad that he had to say it. 

I feel mad right now.  I feel angry and disappointed in him.  I probably shouldn't feel that way, but I do.  I just want to grab him and shake him and scream "DON'T F-UP YOUR LIFE!"  He's finally on the right track, clean time, not that long to go on parole, a 90 day rehab set up, a girlfriend who's crazy about him, loving people in his life, a talent he can turn into a career.  

But, he knows all that.  It doesn't matter.  He wants to get high.  I'm prepared to cut him out of my life  but I don't want to.  I love him. 

I wish he could get on methadone or suboxone.

Both Boys Here!

pic taken today, K and A

Today is good (so far).  This is the first time Ant and K have been together (other than the hospital visits) for a looooong time.  Of course they can't leave together, and they haven't suggested that they were thinking about it.  Its incredible to see them both clean, feeling good and motivating each other.

As I type this I can hear Ant playing guitar and singing, K joins in on the parts he knows.  K is home on a pass, we picked up Ant and brought him over here for breakfast/coffee and to hang out.

I overheard them talking and Ant had some very good advice for K, I was so grateful.  Its what I wanted to say (about a girl he met) but coming from your "brother" instead of your mother....well need I say more?

They talked about how good it feels to be clean, how inspired they both are to stay that way but neither of them can say "forever", it has to be one day at a time.  Ant said its the first time since he was 15 that he wasn 't living in fear of the law because his parole agent is actually happy with him.

Later Ant will leave and K and I will go have the water from his aquarium tested (one of the fish died and it doesn't look as clear as it should!) then he's going to get a haircut.

Everything feels so normal.  So peaceful.  K's not super depressed, he seems fine.  Of course his mood can change in an instant, but for this moment I am grateful to see his smile.

Song of the Day:

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 30, 2010

Hitting Bottom

Once again I am referring to someone else's blog today.  This time its Tom from Recovery Helpdesk writing about his concept of the of letting an addict hit bottom.

He has ten years experience as a drug/alcohol counselor and works mostly with opiate addicts.  I like his philosophy because it  makes sense to me. 

I realize a lot of people disagree with me, think I am wrong for my approach in dealing with  Ant and K, but its who I am. 

I know my love and support can't save anyone.  I am not naive.  I don't "need" to try and help anyone in an unhealthy co-dependent way.  I am weak, I am flawed, I make lots of mistakes, but I have to follow my instincts and right now that includes being supportive, loving and kind to my boys.  For today, I will do that. 

Anthony is on his way over here right now.  He may ask to stay here again and if so, I have to say no this time.  I wish I could say yes but the timing is not good.  He got out of detox and they still didn't have a bed for him at the rehab so he's homeless again. 

UPDATE:  Ant is staying with his grandparents!  This is a first, they believe he's serious about staying clean so are letting him stay there till a bed opens at rehab.  We had a really nice two hour conversation over coffee.  I see maturity in him.  I see hope.  

Peace, Hope and Love,

I'm going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
I'm going to pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day
And when the evening rolls around
I'll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I'll get up and do it again
Say it again

I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening
I've been aware of the time going by
They say in the end it's the wink of an eye
And when the morning light comes streaming in
You'll get up and do it again

Caught between the longing for love
And the struggle for the legal tender
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junk man pounds his fender
Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light
And the children solemnly wait
For the ice cream vendor
Out into the cool of the evening
Strolls the Pretender
He knows that all his hopes and dreams
Begin and end there

Ah the laughter of the lovers
As they run through the night
Leaving nothing for the others
But to choose off and fight
And tear at the world with all their might
While the ships bearing their dreams
Sail out of sight

I'm going to find myself a girl
Who can show me what laughter means
And we'll fill in the missing colors
In each other's paint-by-number dreams
And then we'll put out dark glasses on
And we'll make love until our strength is gone
And when the morning light comes streaming in
We'll get up and do it again
Get it up again

I'm going to be a happy idiot
And struggle for the legal tender
Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
To the heart and the soul of the spender
And believe in whatever may lie
In those things that money can buy
Thought true love could have been a contender
Are you there?
Say a prayer for the Pretender
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender

January 28, 2010

Boundaries Vs. Rules

Be sure to check out the latest post on Intervene written by Ron Grover (aka "Dad"). 

Here is a small snippet:

I have learned that there is a big difference between rules and boundaries. Rules are easy. Rules are set and everyone follows. Boundaries are not rules. Boundaries help direct  your universe when the rules do not apply or are not relevant. My lack of clear boundaries for myself gave me permission and allowed me to justify enabling my son’s drug use. This has probably prolonged his addiction. This is a regret I live with every day.
Boundaries are healthy for you and those surrounding you. I cannot change my addict’s behavior by setting rules. Any success for me in dealing with my son’s addiction is a result of setting good boundaries for myself.

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 27, 2010

Thank you!

 MidniteFyrfly for this award!  She's become a special friend in the last few months.  I admire her for the way she lives her life, the love she has for her family, and her honesty. 

Peace, Hope and Love,


A Depressing but Real Story

I found this article linked over at Dad on Fire and read every word, the young man in the article reminds me of a combination of Anthony and Kev:  Ant the hugger, the one trying to save everyone else; Kev the giver, the one who can't pass a panhandler without giving something.  

Its a sad article but I need reality:

“He wanted to help everybody,” said his mother. “He wanted to save everybody.”
For three years after attending the wake for Brockton’s Shannah Duggan, Pacheco tried to save himself, waging a furious fight to keep the promise to his mother.

Nine times he admitted himself to a treatment facility, often spending days trying to find a bed. Once, he had himself imprisoned in a desperate attempt to break the drug’s hold.
He tried anti-addiction medications, substitutes, therapy, counseling — anything that offered a hint of hope. And he shared his pain, seeking help from family, friends, priests, workmates, strangers, counselors, judges, doctors and God.

But on Aug. 9, 2008, after staying off heroin for two years, Pacheco relapsed, overdosed and died."

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 26, 2010

I didn't want to write about this - I wanted it to just go away...

K is involved with a woman who is 26 years old and has three kids.

She was in PH with him but she got "kicked out" yesterday and is now in sober living.  I was hoping this was just a passing fancy of his - older woman liking him, etc.  But apparently she really cares for him and is not going away.  What upsets me more, that she's 8 years older has three kids or is an addict?  Number three of course.

Also, he's severely depressed to the point that today at his psychiatrist appointment the dr. was extremely concerned.  None of the meds seemed to be working.  He's still anxious and depressed and he's on three heavy meds :(

He said nothing works as good as heroin, oxy or xanax.

I just loved hearing that.

I am tried of this.  I want him to be well.  I have to wonder if he ever will be? 

What would a 26 year old woman (from a very weatlhy family) see in a 19 year old BOY?

Peace, Hope and Love?

January 25, 2010


Reading through some of the blogs out there.  Lots of heartbreak, pain, confusion, loss.  But also Hope.

If I haven't said it recently, thank you.  Thank you to everyone who reads here and cares (if you comment or not).  I am so grateful for the support and the wisdom and opinions.

Like I said to Debby in a comment, we are all unique, our stories different, but we share some common bonds.   Everyone has difficulties to deal with if its an addicted child, an elderly parent to care for, loneliness, cancer, lost pets, no job, divorce, a child with a serious illness, suicide the list goes on.  Fortunately the good is out there too...babies, recovery, dogs, love, music, kissing, nature, friendship....

We are all in this thing called life together. 
I am glad I've run across your paths. 

my happy boy

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 24, 2010

He's Out Buying Fish for His Tank

K had a pass today and chose to spend the day at home.  Its good that he can do this it  prepares us all for the transition.

For example,  he's got a few friends over (two girls, two guys) and I can hear them in his room laughing, talking.  Its weird.  In a good way.  He's looking through his plugs  because he wants to put them back in.   I don't like the look of them but that's the least of my concerns.

He seems happy today.  He's smiled a lot.  We got to hear his friends compliment his "new room".   One of them is playing "Come As You Are" by Nirvana on Ant's guitar.  Feels a lot like old times except I am not wondering if there's drugs in there....I know there's not.

We had a very positive conversation, initiated by him,  about his future, about staying clean, about how he thinks the best place to make new friends would be the local community college.  Sounds good to me.

One day at a time.  He can do this.  He wants it.  He's doing it.  I am going to have faith and be positive and hopeful, all the while knowing that he could at any time, slip backwards.

I have a lot of compassion for addicts that feel like they've failed because they "blew it".  I know that feeling too from making many poor choices in my life.  But we're all given a new start every time we decided not repeat the mistake.  Unfortunately when this involves drugs, that one time you "slip" could be your last chance.

Note to "you know who you are", PLEASE be good to yourself.

Peace, Hope and Love,

He has FRIENDS Over

K had a pass today and chose to spend the day at home. 

He's got a few friends over (two girls, two guys) and I can hear them in his room laughing, talking.  Its weird.  In a good way.

Just days ago Ant was in that room, now K is, for the day.

We had a very positive conversation earlier about his future, about staying clean, about how he thinks the best place to make new friends would be the local community college.  Sounds good to me.

One day at a time.  He can do this.  He wants it.  He's doing it.  I am going to have faith and be positive and hopeful, all the while knowing that he could at any time, slip backwards.

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 22, 2010

A Real Rehab Opportunity!

Ant is in rehab at this place.  Its the first time he's ever had a structured program with things like one on one counseling, group sessions and meetings, classes on things like finding a job, etc.  I am STOKED!  (do people still say that?  or is that a surfer saying that most people don't even use?)  Either way, i am stoked :)

His gf just called me crying (tears of joy and thankfulness).  She kept saying that my family made all the difference this last week in giving him a safe, loving place to stay, but the best part of it was that he felt WELCOMED and even wanted by my mom, sis and me.  Of course that made me feel like crying.

We both know the decision to stay clean is his and his alone, but how much BETTER are his chances in a place like this than in the last place where a guy actually tied a bandanna around his arm his first night there!

In other news:  Unfortunately K is feeling depressed and "numb", our visit last night was kind of sad.  He has another Dr. apt. Tuesday.  He's coming home on a pass Sunday.  First thing on his agenda:  a haircut and lunch at Rubios.  Sounds good to me.

January 21, 2010

Your Mission, if you choose to accept it, visit this blog:

"One Mom Talking" has a really good post today.  She asks the question "what is your passion" and her words are uplifting and positive.  Visit her and let her know what your passions are :)

Peace, Hope and Love,

You Do What You Gotta Do

First I have to say - it is POURING RAIN right now!  I'm looking out my window at a sheet of water coming down. 

Update on Ant:  He is 99% sure he is going to a place tomorrow, but he has to check into the Detox area because that's the only way he's going to get his foot in the door.  So he told me he's going to drink a few beers and show up there saying he's an alcoholic and a heroin addict.  Ugh.  I don't like it, but I guess you do what you have to do to stay out of prison (and I agree, prison has done nothing for him the last 7 years so why go that route again?).

As for my own son, I hope to go see him tonight if the weather permits.  He seems to be doing well.  This week he had no appts. so I didn't spend any time with him.  I'm in the process of finalizing the "agreement" he will sign when he moves back in here.  I like to have things in writing, its just how I am.  Plus there can be NO ARGUING when you have a printed, signed document that states the rules and regulations.  He should be used to those from the last 6 months!

Personally, I've been fighting depression all week and doing a lot of introspection.  No one ever said life would be easy.  I just didn't think I'd end up doing it alone, ya know?  The girl that always had a boyfriend, that had dates galore and several long term relationships...I never dreamed I'd be alone at this age.  I think I know what went "wrong" but there's no going back. Only forward with forced optimism. 

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 20, 2010

Meet and Greet at "junkjunk!" Support Network

Time: January 21, 2010 from 9pm to 10pm
Location: EST in the chat room at junkjunk!
Event Type: meet, and, greet
Organized By: tom@recoveryhelpdesk.com

"junkjunk! is an online social support network for people who are living with and seeking to overcome opiate dependence --and their families and friends.

Opiates include heroin and pain pills like oxycontin, vicodin and percocet.

Recovery is a process. It takes place over time. It includes periods of use and non-use. It effects family and friends too.

And it sure helps to get some support and give some support along the way."
Peace, Hope and Love,

January 19, 2010

Change Happens

Some people thrive on change, other resist it.  I am somewhere in the middle, depending on what type of change we're talking about.

Anthony's plans changed today when his PO's supervisor decided that a sober living home did not have enough structure.  Now he's looking for an in-patient recovery that he can afford and get into by NOON FRIDAY.

This morning we sat at the kitchen table and talked for three hours over coffee.  He packed his stuff, ready to go, and then got the phone call.  He's pretty upset.  It led to a good conversation where we talked about all the positive tools NA provides and right now The Serenity Prayer and One Day at a Time are critical to his recovery.

He wants to move, to get away from this area.  He has not safe friends and because he's very popular and has lived here all his life, he runs into people all the time that offer him drugs.

I don't know what that's like but on a smaller scale I can remember going on a very strict diet in '08 and working in an office that was full of delicious food that was offered to me by my co-workers who KNEW I was not eating the type of food they tempted me with.  That was easy compared to heroin but its the closest I can come to understanding what its like.

Ant feels like this is it:  do it or die.  He's been doing this for 7 years and knows that he's going to lose the few people he has left in his life if he keeps using.  I told him its because its so unbelieveable painful to watch someone you love destroy their own life.  He gets that, but the hopelessness that comes with heroin addiction pulls at him - I see it in his eyes, he's scared he can't do it.

I am taking care of me in the midst of this - thanks to those of you who care.  I really am doing good right now.

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 18, 2010

I'm Gonna Miss Him

Anthony's stay here will be coming to an end tomorrow night - he found a sober living home.  I am a bit surprised that I feel sad he's leaving so soon. Its been fun having him around, he's only here in the mornings and at night so its not like he's hanging out all day.

I think I mentioned before he's the type of person that walks into a room and lights it up (when he's not high) and he's had me laughing and smiling the past 4 days.  His gf has been here a lot and she's been very mellow and sweet.  Its kind of nice to have young people around - they sure add energy (and noise) to a house.

I can only hope and pray for the best for this young man.  I admit, I am nervous.  I am fearful.  He's never made it before, but that doesn't mean he won't.

He looks SO MUCH healthier than he did the night he got here.  I hope when he visits his PO tomorrow the guy accepts his plan to go into sober living, he is not a criminal and prison has never helped him in the past.

Tonight I am grateful that I know where both my boys are:  they are safe, warm and clean.

Song of the day:

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 17, 2010


I was looking at this blog and saw that I was not using the right feature for my blog list so a bunch of people I read regulary did not show up there...I fixed that.

Also wanted to say thanks for ALL the comments on the last few posts.  They all gave me food for thought.  You know I want to hear it, even if its not easy to hear.

No new news, everything is the same but I'll keep you posted.  

I love this photo....what would be a good caption for it?

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 16, 2010

Bad Choice?

I got some comments about letting Anthony stay here and I knew a lot of people would view it as a bad choice.  I think I treat him differently because he's not my true son.  I know K has had people looking out for him his whole life and steering him in the right direction (not that it did any good). 

Anthony has had the opposite.  In fact his first arrest was at age 16 when he was pulled over in a car his father had stolen, his dad told Ant to take the blame for it so off to prison he went.  His mom almost died in a meth lab explosion, but she survived with burns to 80% of her body - only do die in a motorcycle accident a few years later.  So yeah, I feel sorry for him.  Yeah, I want to give him a chance.

If something negative comes of this, you can say "I told you so" and I will humbly admit my bad choice.  But for the next few days I want him to know he's loved, he's not just another addict that screwed up his life.  I hope he makes the right choices, and I hope I made the right choice in letting him stay here.

Time will tell.

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 15, 2010


Guess who showed up at my house assuming (correctly) that I would let him stay here a few days?  Yep, ANTHONY.  I freaked when I saw him - I didn't know he was out.  He actually left 24 hours early against medical advice but is resting a lot.

He's breaking in K's new room for him, which K does not know but would not mind at all.  Right now his gf and another friend are over here and its pretty wild to hear laughter and young people's voices in the house again.  Its been 5 months since I've heard that.  Other than the "F" word flying around freely, its a good sound.  (actually, I am immune to the F word but I don't like it when people say it in front of my mom).

Speaking of my mom, she clung to Anthony and cried when she saw him.  He's got a lot of people pulling for him.

I wish I could sit here and say I have confidence in him to never use again.  I have hope.

I miss my son.  Hearing their voices and knowing he's not in there...makes me miss him even more.

P.S.  Now he got his guitar out and is playing and singing "Hotel California" (out of tune but its still cool to hear some live music).

P.S.S.  I was reading about this young man who died of a heroin overdose last week when Anthony walked in to tell me he was going to Denny's for an omelet with gf.  I showed him the pic of the young man and mother and read what the grieving mother said on her blog.  He hugged me and said "please don't read any more...I can't take it".  I just looked up and said "Reality".  My heart breaks for that mother tonight.

Peace, Hope and Love,

New Recovery Site and Antoher Installment of "A Year Ago Today"

Tom at RecoveryHelpDesk has launched a new site, I've joined and hope some of you do too.  Tom is a certified alcohol and drug counselor with many years experience.  I respect his philopsophy and have learned a lot from him.  The site he started is a place to learn and discuss, its called "junkjunk".

New Opiate Recovery Social Networking Site Launched:

junkjunk! is a new social networking site for people living with and seeking to overcome opiate dependence, their families and friends.
You can find it at junkjunk.ning.com
It’s free to join and all are welcome.

A Year Ago Today, Part Five (actually this happened a  year ago on Jan. 6)

Was he dead or alive?  It was the longest night of my life, asking this question over and over.

K had been home from the hospital (suicide attempt) for only five days and already some of his old drug friends  had come by.  This was back in the day when I still believed some of his lies and allowed him to manipulate or threaten me so he'd get his way.  Since I felt he was in a "fragile" state of mind, I allowed him to use my car at 8 pm to drive to his girlfriends to "say goodnight to her" since he hadn't seen her all day (she'd been at work).

The gf, "C" was not a drug user.  She had visited K in the hospital with me and I got to know her pretty well since we  had long drives there and back several days in a row.   So when she called me at 10 to ask if K was home, we both freaked.  He was suppose to be with her.  He lied to me.  He was out using drugs.

Long story short from 10 pm - 8 am the next morning I was either sitting in the front window hoping and praying he'd show up or driving around town with "C" on the cell phone giving me directions to every friend she knew of K's that did drugs.  I actually did catch a glimpse of my car at about 3 am but couldn't follow it so gave up and went home.

At 8 am he pulled up in front of the house.  I had his jacket in my hands and met him at my car.  "You're going to rehab right NOW!"

"I know mom, I need to."

I took him to South Coast Hospital ER, they had a drug program.  He'd been shooting coke/heroin all night and he was a mess.  They immediately gave him something to calm him down.  It was our first very expensive attempt at rehab and he lasted in there for five days.  I learned the three C's from a meeting there:  You didn't cause it, you can't control it, you can't cure it. 

It was one of the worst nights I've ever had and I will never forget wondering if he was dead or alive.  I really thought I had lost him.

January 14, 2010

Check it out HERE.

Peace, Hope and Love,

Sitting up and Talking

We both burst into tears when I walked into his room yesterday and saw him SITTING in a chair!

Had a good, emotional visit.  Learned what really happened that night (note:  Coachella "brand" heroin is bad stuff).  It was wild seeing him "back".  Of course he says he's learned his lesson and this is it, etc. etc. etc.  They always say that.  But one of these times he will have to mean it and I am going to do my part in helping him succeed this time.

No one has every really given him an opportunity other than juvenile hall, then jail, then prison - and all the cheapest, least well-run sober livings.  He's never had a true rehab experience.

I called his Parole officer last night.  Yes, I know this is something I should let him do for himself, but he can't right now, and I rather err on the side of being too helpful than letting him get lost in the prison system again and repeat this process over and over till he's dead.  I have a very small window of opportunity and am going to use it to do all I can to get him in a rehab.

Anyhow, long story short he has a new parole officer who has never even met Anthony.  I told him about him.  At the beginning of our conversation he has said he's going straight back to Chino when he's released from the hospital (for parole violation) but I said PLEASE - he needs help, he's weak, he's sick, he needs a rehab.  So the PO agreed with me and said if Ant enrolls himself in a rehab (lock-down facility) he will allow him to do that instead of Chino.

There is only one free "rehab" which is the Salvation Army and I really don't think that's the best route for him.  He needs someplace like PH.  There are no funds left in our county to help him out so I am going to call around and beg and plea.  Something I never did for K.  But there's a drastic difference between someone who's in the "system" for the first time and someone who's been in and out of it since he was a kid and still has never been treated like someone who needs help.  K was so fortunate.

I have to wonder - why did they treat K so differently?  I don't know.  Maybe cause they could see he had a loving family and support from home etc so his chances were better.  They look at Ant and see a kid with  no family, who's dad's rap sheet fills pages, and think "he's just a low-life that is never going to change".

I am reading blogs but not commenting.  I am sorry for the sadness hardships I see some of you going through. 

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 13, 2010


Today is Lou's son, Andrew's, birthday.  I share that here because I feel like I know him and watching 

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 12, 2010


Guess who unexpectedly started breathing on his own this evening!!!

I am still jumping for joy.  They were able to remove the ventilator and he's TALKING!

I can't wait to see him tomorrow!  He still has a lot of recovering to do, but this is HUGE.  I swear, I really thought we might lose him on Saturday, it looked so bleak.

Thank you all so much for caring!  I may print out some of the comments left here and show them to him - to remind him that we are all in this thing (life) together, its not a solo journey, its about reaching out.  I want him to kick this addiction once and for all because he has so much to offer the world, and now he has a "miracle story" of how he almost died but didn't.

Also, if you know Tall Kay, please stop and pray for, she lost her father, he died this morning.  He'd been ill but seemed to be doing better.  When I think of someone who is in recovery and gives back - I think of her.  She is an amazing gal.

Peace, Hope and Love,

P.S. I am mad

Just read a blog that reminded me that not all "criminals" are treated equally.  I am very grateful that the "system" recognized right away that my son is an addict that needs rehabilitaion and has been given a chance to have the felonies removed from his record (after 18 months of the program he's in, if he meets all the criteria).

Ant, on the other hand, is much deeper into addiction than K and he has always been seen as a criminal because of his very first arrest.  This kid has been to juvenile hall and jail countless times and to state prison twice.  He's never been offered anything "good" like K has.  They always throw him the crumbs...the bottom of the barrel programs. 

I'm not blaming the system.  I know its HIS CHOICE to keep using.  I'm just saying that I hope now someone (who? his parole officer?) will evaluate the situation looking at him as a whole person, not just a junkie with a long criminal record.  I think he'd do so great in PH and he tried hard to get in (writing letters etc) but to no avail.

His mom was an addict (she died 7 years ago), his dad a life-long criminal (grand theft, etc).  Is it any surprise at all that his life is the way it is?  His first arrest was at age 16 when he got pulled over in a stolen car - that his father stole, not him, but who's gonna believe that?  Shortly after that he got into drugs. 

Now he's lying there on life support, no medical insurance, no home, no car, no job, no rehab to go back to.  I hope someone notices this and sees that he is a valuable human being that deserves another opportunity to get better.  If not, the future looks pretty crappy for him.

Peace, Hope and Love,

Tuesday Update on A and K

 This morning I took K to court and got to listen to him read an essay on why he believes he should be promoted to the next phase in his program.  The judge agreed and said some really encouraging things to him about his essay.

Then I got to meet his new probation officer - I like her even better than the other one (and he was cool).  She told K that she lives in our area so to expect to see her around often :)  She told me (in front of him) to call her anytime he was "one minute or more late for curfew" (10:00 pm).  She was not joking - but she was, if you know what I mean.  K likes her a lot (thankfully!)

Then we drove to the hospital to visit Anthony.  Unfortunately he is still not ready to breathe on his own, but they are trying to wean him off the sedative so he can be awake more.  The problem with that is that he's trying to pull the tubes out so they may have to restrain him again.  Its one thing to be restrained when you are unconscious, but to be alert, in pain and strapped to a bed sounds horrible.

It was so cool to be able to communicate with him.  He got very emotional when he saw Keven (I don't think he realizes he was there Sunday - he probably has no sense of time whatsoever).  It was hard to see him trying to reach out to K and talk, but I think his eyes said it all.  K gave him a kiss on the head and said "bro, you mean the world to me, I'm praying for you and your gonna be okay."

I had about 15 minutes alone with him, which was very special to me.  I could "read him" and sat next to him and quietly responded to what I think was going through his mind.  I told him not to use his energy being mad at himself, etc. etc. etc.  He had time for that later, now he has to focus on getting better.

We only stayed for a little while because he gets too stimulated by having visitors, he needs to rest.  Right before I left he coughed and tried to roll over and pulled his tube part of the way out!!!  I had to run out of the room and tell them and they came running.  It was not a fun thing to be a part of but I am glad I was there.  He really needs to be watched constantly.

I'm working hard to keep a healthy balance and am glad to be home early this evening.  I am just going to chill out tonight and go to bed early.

Oh yeah - all of his belongings are now in my garage (he doesn't own much).  A project I have been looking forward to is helping him put his portfolio together and now that I have access to all his drawings, maybe I will surprise him by having it started when he gets out.  I need a fun enjoyable project.

He's still got a long road ahead of him.  One day at a time.

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 11, 2010

Bad Heart

Spent about five hours with him today.  He has such a baby face, its hard to see him lying there like that, he looks like a little kid in a man's body.

The bad news first:  his heart is very damaged.  I am angry at the nurse for telling his gf that he has "the heart of a 75 year old and will need to be on medication the rest of his life".  She did not take that very well, and I don't think he should be telling a 19 year old girl all these details.  Aren't there HIPPA laws?  My sister works in healthcare and she freaked out when I told her all the info they are giving to the gf and me.  I appreciate the info but now on top of everything else I feel like I need to protect the gf because they are treating her more like his wife and she is just a kid herself (and not exactly mature, she's very defensive and angry at all forms of authority...ugh).

When I got there his fever was 102, he's fighting an infection and has pneumonia because of the damage to his lungs.  The fever went down to 98, they are still waiting for results of what the infection is but they found some staph infection for sure.

He kept waking up today which is not good, he is suppose to stay still.  So they gave him morphine in addition to the Propofol because Propofol is high fat and his triglycerides were way too high and that's bad for the liver.

BUT the good news - he will recover...at least they are giving us that impression today.

His heart has damage from years of drug abuse - a 22 year old heart!  His lungs are damaged, his liver is damaged.  What are these kids doing to themselves?  Do they even understand the damage going on inside of them in addition to the obvious outside damage to their lives?

Today was draining.  When I first got there his grandma and girlfriend were both there.  So picture three generations of women sitting and watching him sleep.  His gf kept touching him and talking to him which caused him to struggle to try to wake up, the nurse asked her to not be so touchy feely.  They finally left and I agreed to stay with him till the gf got off work.  He got some good rest while she was gone.  I know she loves him and is anxious to talk to him, but hope she can let him rest tonight (she's spending the night there).

I feel like the moderator between the grandma and the girlfriend - when one leaves the room they talk about the other and I try to help them each see things from the other perspective.  There is no way the gf can relate to what a parent feels, and this grandma has pretty much raised Ant and his brother since his mother chose drugs over her kids. 

At least we know his brain is good:  When he woke up he responded to everything we said and when his grandpa came in and spoke tho him he had a huge reaction (kind of like a spasm and he tried to talk) and the grandpa had to leave the room cause he started crying.  The whole thing is very surreal at times.

I know it sounds like I am taking on everyone else's problems.  I am actually not a wreck or anything.  I am okay.  I am just tired.  Above all of this is my concern for my own son and today, he is doing well.  Tomorrow is a new day.

I love Anthony very much.  Its hard to know that all of his problems are self-inflicted.  That he had a choice and he chose to risk his life to get high.  Addicts are not rational.  But there is hope ... right? 

I WANT TO END ON A POSITIVE NOTE!  One thing I am grateful for is the large chunks of quiet time I have had the last three days sitting at Ant's bedside.  It gave me time to think and mostly to pray for all of the people I know that are affected by addiction and prayed especially hard for a few today that stood out in heart and mind. 

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 10, 2010

Expert Advice on Heroin OD?

I want to get this out there in hopes that one of you can give me some concrete answers.  Up until a few hours ago the "how" of Anthony's OD was secondary to me, now that he seems stable I am searching for the truth.

I heard two stories of what happened that night.  I am trying to take my personal feelings and emotional attachments out of this and state the facts only:

Story one:  Ant and his gf Kay were together for two hours Friday night.  She brought him back to Lighthouse (sober living home he's been at for ten days) and his final words were "I'll call you in 20 minutes to say goodnight".  He never called.  She got worried.  A few hours later she gets a call from Lighthouse saying Ant had been rushed to the hospital after they found him unconscious on the bathroom floor.

Facts:  Someone did find him (or was with him) and put him in the tub filled with ice believing that's what you do for a heroin OD.  911 was called and I am unclear if he received CPR while waiting for them to arrive.

Story two:  Kay drops off Ant at sober living and someone notices he is "high".  A while later they find him passed out on the floor of the bathroom, try to revive him by putting him in the tub and calling 911.

So you can see the conflict.  If story one is true, Anthony was not high when Kay dropped him off, he was offered drugs when he got there.  According to Lighthouse all the residents were tested after he incident and they all came up clean but they did admit to me that they do sometimes allow someone that tests dirty a second chance.

If story two is true, it means that Ant was using with Kay.  It means that he did not OD on the first use that night, that she did not OD, but that when he came in the house he must have had more and OD's on that.  Is that possible that he did some with Kay then came home and did more and the second time he OD'd?

So Someone is not telling the truth.  I see Kay several times a week and she is very into her program and sobriety, LOVES NA and even goes to their events.  But she's been away from Ant all this time, no one to use with....He's back and maybe they used together.

I want to believe Kay.  I know there are drugs at Lighthouse.  Ant told me his first night there some guy tied a bandanna around his arm and said "let me hit ya up" but he didn't.

I guess it was a matter of time.  Or did he talk to her and they decided if one was going down the other would to?  I don't want to believe this but addicts do lie to hide their using.

Does anyone see something here that is blatantly obvious that I may be missing?  I am going to write the Sober Living House to express my concern that they have misinformation about how to treat a heroin OD that could potentially be life threatening,  The doctors were appalled by this - they tried to tell me it must have been a suicide attemtp and I said NO WAY, not this kid.  They didn't understand why they put him on ice.

Peace, Hope and Love,

Sunday Update on My Boys

Today was so much different than yesterday.  I feel hopefull for Anthony and less stressed about K's reaction to this, he handled it well.

- No news about Ant's progress but I am waiting for an update.  The plan is to very slowly allow him to (hopefully) start relying less on the ventilator and start breathing on his own.    This will be over the next few days.  He is not "out of the woods" but we can see a light shining through the leaves :)

This is the big issue:  can his lungs regain their ability to work?  I believe they will based on his age, that they are not damaged and because I can't bear the other alternative.

- Can't remember if I mentioned he has some sort of "infection" they discovered in a blood test.  It will take a few days to determine what it is.  I hope its not serious and or something like HIV.

- I will save the story of what happened that night for when I have the energy, what little I know for sure.  Not all Sober Living homes have drug problems, but this one does and they lied to me today and yesterday so I am thinking writing a letter to the head of the place.  My main concern is that they are MIS-INFORMED on how to handle an OD which is unacceptable to me on behalf of not only Anthony but everyone else they have through their program.

- I went to tell K in person.  Naturally he saw me and said "what happened?"  I immediately told him so he would not have a chance to imagine anything (like his grandma or aunt died).  He was upset, but not surprised.  He expressed himself really well when the counselor asked how he felt and why he wanted to go visit him in the hospital.  I kept quiet most of the time and let him talk, he said some awesome things that made me believe he's very serious and determined to stay clean.  I will share one:  "I know now for sure that I can't hang out with him anymore, ever."  Its a heartbreaking truth.  When (not if) Ant gets better he will not be able to maintain a friendship with K.  He can stay close to me, I will always have him in my life if he wants me, he can come for holidays like any relative, but he can't hang out with K as a friend.  Hearing that from K made me feel relieved.

- I wrote some stuff on my other blog today about things I learned this week.  One I already knew but was reminded;

I have met the most amazing, caring, REAL people via blogging.  I am blown away with gratitude for the prayers that are happening.  I can't even express how much it means.  I am going to try desperately to get caught up with blogs right now - I may not have time to comment but I will be reading !!!!

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 9, 2010

Better News!

His grandmother just called me and they did a CT scan of his lungs and it came out "good"!  That is such great news.

He's going to be okay, he has to be okay.

I am so glad I can tell K that he has a "good chance" of recovering instead of a "not so good chance" which is what I was hearing up till now.  THANK YOU, GOD!

Peace, Hope and Love,

Latest Update on Anthony - UPDATED

I came home after his grandparents and brother arrived.

I have so many thoughts going through my mind, I have to empty them here.  But first I want to thank all of you.  I FEEL your thoughts and prayers, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Still no change.  He's on life support.  He has 0% lung function.

More later, gotta go, phone call from Keven's counselor - he does not know yet.

I still can't believe this is happening.   There are some suspicious circumstances that lead me to wonder which party is telling the truth:  his girlfriend or the sober living house.  I want to know the details.  I heard that they found him unconscious in the bathroom, called 911 and then put him in the tub full of ice...that is not right!?  Is it?  That seems dangerous to me.  How long was he unconcious?  Did he shoot it or smoke it?  How long till they called 911?  How long till they arrived?  So many questions...

but the bottom line, he's clinging to life.  THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!

And, to be honest, I am very very very concerned about telling Keven.  I did not tell him today in hopes of some improvement, but it looks like there may be no improvement!!!

So I am going to PH tomorrow to tell him in person.  His counselor is awesome and has been talking to me on and off all day.  I don't know how K will take this.  I think he will want to see him.  How do you react to seeing your best friend on life support????

I am going to try hard to sleep so I can be strong tomorrow.  I have a killer headache. 

Thanks to all of you.  Will keep you posted.

Peace, Hope and Love,

He' on Life Support

I am home from the hospital long enough to eat, recharge my cell and take a quick shower so this will be a fast note:

It does not "look good" according to the doctor.  But, the doc also said he's seen young men Anthony's age recover.

He is sedated and will be for at least the next two days.

The problem is his lungs - they are not working, he most likely asphixiated his stomach contents. 

I am sort of in a state of shock.  We (counselors had a meeting) are not telling Keven yet, we are waiting to hear if he will make it or not. 

I can not bear the thought of it.  I just can't go there.

I've been sitting alone in the ICU talking to him all this time.  I don't know if he can hear me or not but it can't hurt. 

I hate drugs.  I hate sober living homes that permit drug use (they KNEW people were using there and didn't kick them out).

He's hands are cold and his fingers are still kind of blue.

Peace, Hope and Love,


just got call, Ant OD'd
in hospital
I'm on my way up there

Peace, Hope and Love,


just got call, Ant OD'd
in hospital
I'm on my way up there

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 7, 2010

Tonight at PH Family Group we learned about family roles.  I am a "Placater/People Pleaser".  No surprise there. K is the "Acting Out Child".  Its about your original family of origin but often you keep that same set of traits, which I have. 

Its also called Co-Dependent - big time.

Found out he's going to be released to come home Feb. 17.
After 6 months of having him gone - he will be back.

I have mixed feelings.  I want him to succeed.  I want him to be himself again.  The meds he's on are strong and the look in his eyes tonight was dull.  I guess that's an improvement over "anxious".

Here is a PDF of what we talked about tonight, maybe you can recognize your family role:

Family Roles by Claudia Black

Peace, Hope and Love,

Update on "My Other Son"

I haven't mentioned Ant lately and the old adage is true "no news is good news!"

I talk to him once a week, at least, and he sounds positive, determined, excited, thankful.  He's been out of jail and into rehab for the last nine days and will be done at the end of the month. 

That's what concerns me - he has nowhere to go, no place to live, no job, money or car.  But he says "it will work out" and has some good plans so far on steps to take to find a job and housing.  I am proud of him.  I am not going to worry or enable.  I am just going to watch and love and pray.

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 6, 2010

Another Loved One Addicted

One of my closet friends just let me know that she has been using drugs (again) for the last year.  Good old prescription opiates.  She lives in another country where she can buy them without a prescription.  She's here for a few weeks and is going through withdrawals.  I am so glad she told me.  I am trying to "coach" her sister through how to help her physically get through the next few days of hell.

She didn't want to tell me and add burden to what I am going through with K, but because of him I feel like I can support her through it better.  I have studied it, witnessed it, I have learned so much.  I don't know how it feels, but I've been around it enough to understand what she's going through, what's she's up against.

She was with me when I gave birth to K, they were very close when he was a kid, we'd go to her house to swim all the time, went to Catalina with her several times, even went to London with her once.

I am wondering if it would be helpful for both of them if he talked to her, kind of like a peer, someone who can relate.

CLARIFICATION:  What I meant by that sentence above (that I can see came out all wrong), is:  

I know K can't HELP her, I just kind of picture him hugging her and KNOWING what she's going through and that in some sad way it renews the bond that they used to have years ago before he turned into a teen and she moved so far away.  I guess I should have been  more clear.  I picture him more being empathetic since he knows what it feels like to withdraw, etc.

I feel horrible for my friend and I am here for her.  Never a dull moment around here. 

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 5, 2010

If Talking Made a Difference, Would Your Kid Be Drug Free?

I am all for educating parents as much as possible and think that "The Partnership for a Drug Free America" does a good job of that.  BUT what irritates me is that they insinuate on their TV ads and on-line that talking to your kids makes a difference.

I talked to K about drugs for years before he actually tried them.  We discussed everything from drugs to sex to ______  stuff I can't even say here cause its personal between him and me.  My point is, we have always had open communication, a close relationship and he loves and respects me.

So to me, this sort of campaign gives false hope to parents who think their kids are going to be safeguarded against drug use if they talk openly about it.

Kids are taught that drugs are  "bad" as early as the fourth grade in our school district.  In fact all the grades are involved in "Drug Use is Life Abuse" week every year.

I don't think knowledge is the answer, and I know that open communication and a good parent/child relationship is not the answer.

Peace, Hope and Love,

p.s.  I have to wonder if we over-educate our kids about drugs, I swear K sounds like a pharmacist when he talks about drugs and he learned it all either in school or on the streets and by using.

January 3, 2010

I did good today...

Thanks to all the words of wisdom and insight and experienced voices, I am learning a lot these last few weeks.  THANK YOU ALL.

Today K came home with a friend on a day pass.  He took the bus down here then my sister picked them up and spent most of the day with them on a project (setting up a tropical fish aquarium, something they'd been planning for months).

I am driving them back up.  When?  I don't know.  I didn't ask, he can tell me when he's ready.  Normally I would have asked.

How is he doing?  He seems okay but other than saying "how are you doing?" one time, I didn't pry or ask about his meds, what was new, how he was sleeping, etc. etc. etc.   I let it go.

I basically stayed out of his way and let him have his space.  He's been polite and cordial all day with one exception.

The ex. gf texted  him so I didn't have to spend time the other night worrying about how to handle it (lesson learned).

The one exception of him being rude was when an old friend of mine (male) stopped by for a few minutes and K was rude to him.  I know why - he is protective of me and he has treated all men in my life rude with the exception of one.  Normally I would lecture him and tell him how embarrassed I was that he acted like that, but this time I reminded myself that he's 19 and if people see him as rude, its not about me anymore.  Yes, I did feel embarrassed because he is normally Mr. Manners, and I don't like anyone to think I didn't raise him that way, but...I just have to let this one go.

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 2, 2010

I Need Input

K's ex girlfriend just texted me to say she missed him, is thinking about him a lot lately and wants to talk to him.

Do I tell him this or not?

I hate to keep things from him but in his current state of mind, would it be wise?  She has a boyfriend.  Not sure why she suddenly wants to talk to him.  Part of me is suspicious...why now after all these months?

They dated for a year.  She stood by him for the first few months of his drug use but when he got really bad, she left him.  I was proud of her but sad to see her go, she was a nice girl.

I know I can't protect him forever.  He has to learn to face the realities of life.  I just know he still has feelings for this girl and am not sure if it would be good for him to have one more thing to deal with right now.

I'd just like to hear some of your thoughts to give me perspective.  This doesn't seem black and white like most issues....or maybe I am just making too much of it.  I know when her name is mentioned he gets kind of uptight...like he misses her and regrets what he put her through.  

Peace, Hope and Love,

January 1, 2010

A Good Beginning

The new year started off very peacefully.

This morning I took a walk at the harbor with a good friend, her dog and Jade (my bro's dog).  It was nice.

Came home and my entire family was here for the day to play games, hang out, etc.  My great-nephew, Wyatt, wanted me all to himself today so rather than playing cards or Rock Hero, I played Legos and watched "Animal Face-Off Videos". 

At one point while lying on my bed we both fell asleep and it reminded me of the first five years of his life when we spent every Wednesday evening together from the time he was a newborn.  I've always considered him the second most special kid in the world and love him as if he were a grandson....he sort of is.  When he moved to Germany last year I was devastated.  On top of all the troubles with K, I no longer had my Wyatt around.

He's been home for a month but next week he goes back to Germany (he lives on the Army base there, his dad is in Afghanistan, his mom is my niece).  My heart breaks at having to say goodbye for another year.  He looked at me today and said in total seriousness "Bar, you're my best friend".  I will never forget that moment. 

Also got a positive sounding text from K today about his plans for Sunday.  He has a day pass and he and a friend are coming here to start on a project (more on that later).  I just hope being at home does not trigger a panic attack.  (they can't leave on a day pass unless they bring another resident with him, for accountability)

Good start to the new year.  One day at a time... 

Ant is out of jail and into a rehab as of yesterday!!!!!

Peace, Hope and Love,
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