March 31, 2010

A Cup of Tea in the Garden

One of the comments left yesterday made me realize that I have not been taking care of myself (again).
I think I will take a few days off from blogging and focus on my health and well being and on taking care of my mom**.  I can't stand not knowing about you and/or your families so I will keep reading but may not comment.

This is the fishpond in my backyard.  When Keven was a toddler his grandfather (bio dad's side of the family) built a fence around it for safety.  Eventually we added a net over the top because Great Blue Herons and egrets come to our yard to go fishing.  Some of our goldfish and Koi are fairly big and are not intended as bird food!  We also have a turtle that lives in there and sits on the rock in the sun.  Her name is Buttercup.



Also, for those of you that pray - please pray for my mom.  **She's not well.  I take her in for some tests today.  She's getting old and that's hard for me to accept because she's so active and does so much (she gardens two hours a day, walks her dogs every day, cooks all the time, cleans the house, runs errands...and she's 85 years old!)

One of the main reasons I need to take care of myself is so I can do all the things my mom normally does and take care of her and she HATES that.  She says the only reason she stays young is because she keeps doing all these things, she feels "needed" and she doesn't have to rely on anyone else. 

I'll update if there is any news on Keven, Anthony, Kelly or my mom.

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 30, 2010

not mad anymore, just sad

I got really upset earlier about the injustice of how things are relating to heroin addiction:

how easy it is to get
how addictive it is
how discouraging the statistics about recovery are
how not everyone is offered the same opportunity for rehab

But what it boils down to is what my son just said to me five minutes ago:

"I still think about it all the time.  Every day its the main thought on my mind.  Its always there.  The only thing that stops me from using is thinking about the aftermath instead of the ritual and the high".

Then he told me that if he ever used again, he will purposely overdose because he rather be dead than to back to that old life.

I still think about it every day too because I know it still owns a part of him and always will.

Does this infuriate you as it does me?

First of all, thanks Ron for pointing out the Diane Sawyer report on heroin in the Suburbs. And thank you Diane for finally using your popularity to promote awareness.

BUT....isn't this a bit too little too late? That's what pissed me off. This is the kind of thing that really makes me MAD.

I have known about this problem for YEARS (even before my son started using). 

In this report they say they are shocked:

that its being done in broad daylight, in the suburbs by teens as young as Jr. High

at how addicting it is, that you can get hooked the first time you try it

that there are kids lined up for beds at treatment facilities but not enough beds to handle the number of addicts

that thousands of teens dying and thousands more are becoming addicts every day!

that only ONE out of TEN heroin addicts succeeds at rehabilitation (our kids are not numbers - but this is a scary statistic and I refused to let it define Keven, Anthony or Kelly. Although, I do believe its true).

DUH! If someone in the media would have listened to the FEW who tried to spread the word a few years ago instead of reporting on some of the ridiculous topics they choose, MAYBE something could have been done to prevent:

This is why I am doing what I can as an individual to increase awareness. I have joined a group (the name is still being agreed on) that partners with several other groups to promote CHANGE. This group was the same one that passed Prop. 36 here in California, so they know what they are doing and have the means to get laws into affect. I am honored to be involved.

Next month we are demonstrating on the court steps in one of the Biggest Cities in our State. I will be there with my sign. It will have a picture of Anthony and a picture of Keven. I am not sure what its going to say yet, but the idea is: Both of these young men deserved an equal opportunity for rehabilitation. One was pushed through the prison system, where he sits today at age 22. The other is moving forward with his life with 8 months of sobriety and a fresh start.

I don't get angry easily. I save my anger for things that matter, and this matters. 

Bottom line:

MAYBE IF OUR GOVERNMENT WOULD SPEND MORE TIME GETTING THE DAMN HEROIN OUT OF THE COUNTRY THERE WOULD BE NO NEED TO BUILD MORE AND MORE REHABS - BUT BECAUSE THEY KEEP LETTING IT IN TO RUIN LIVES THEN THEY BETTER START PAYING FOR US TO HAVE OUR KIDS TREATED AND RE-DESIGN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM TO GIVE ADDICTS A CHANCE INSTEAD OF TREATING THEM LIKE CRIMINALS. IF THEY THINK THE PRISONS ARE OVERFLOWING RIGHT NOW JUST WAIT AND WATCH AS MORE AND MORE TEEN ADDICTS BECOME ADULTS IN PRISON (if they live to be adults) AND AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF YOUNG ADULTS SPENDING TIME IN JAIL INSTEAD OF COLLEGE OR WORKING. IT AFFECTS EVERYTHING, BUT MOSTLY IT AFFECTS THE FAMILIES WHO LOSE THEIR CHILDREN TO THIS EVIL DRUG THAT IS ALLOWED TO BE SOLD (ILLEGALLY) IN OUR COUNTRY YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR.


Peace, Hope and Love (and sometimes anger),

Barbara

P.S. I still hear people say, "my kid will never try that stuff". FYI:
Almost ALL of us said that at one time. I hope parents of young children are thinking "how can I prevent my child from trying that stuff" instead of fooling themselves to think there kid is different.  It happens to all types of people, even kids with loving parents that have had a good upbringing. 


P.S.S.  Someone pointed out to me that my son deserves some credit for his recovery, that the court ordered program helped but that ultimately it was his choice (and continues to be each and every day).  This is very true.  I am proud of my son and tell him that often.  I guess I don't say it enough on my blog, but I am very proud of my boy.

You can't always stop them, but sure as heck can try.

March 29, 2010

On my mind this morning...

This weekend I thought about all the parents and loved ones of heroin addicts and of the addicts they love.  I prayed, cried and got angry and scared for all of us.

Life changes when someone you love becomes and addict.
You don't ask for it, you don't want it, but it happens and you're stuck dealing with it.

Same for the addict.  I don't think any of them wanted to become addicted and lose control of their life, relationships, safety, health, finances, reputation, possessions, self-worth.

Its hard for both sides to understand.  Both sides suffer.  There is usually a lot of anger and worry coming from the parents and loved ones and the addict is consumed with figuring out how to get more heroin.

Kelly's sponsor met with her parents this weekend to help them understand a bit better why she can't "just decide not to do it again."  Wouldn't it be wonderful if it were that simple? 

Keven told me last night he still misses it and thinks about it every single day.  I don't like knowing that but am glad he can talk about it (when he stops talking I will worry).  I wonder - is he done or is he just waiting to be off probation?  If so he's got another year to wait. 

I don't think Kev will throw all this away at this point in time and go back to square one.  But he could.  That's what sucks the most -  you never know.  I wrote the other day about how my high school friend is back in jail - he wrote me, it has been 15 years.  FIFTEEN YEARS?!?  WTH?

I am trying to psych myself up for the start of my new job, I leave for work in 20 minutes!


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 26, 2010

Good News / Bad News

I'll get the bad news out of the way first.


Just received a call from "Kelly", she was in the hospital as a result of an OD.  She is fine physically but in a lot of trouble legally and obviously because of her addiction.  I had distanced myself from her this week because I knew she was using and didn't want her around my home (still talked to her daily by phone).  So I can't say I was surprised.


What really looks bad for her is that she was at court this morning for a possession of paraphernalia charge (she got it with Anthony - remember back when he was chased down by a K-9 patrol dog? She was driving the car that day).  So when she goes to court for this new charge, the judge will see that immediately upon leaving the court today she went and bought and used heroin.  She will most likely face some jail time.  I kind of hope she gets some time followed by a court ordered rehab.  She may lose a job she loves (groomer at a pet store) and fall behind in college, but if that's what it takes, so be it. Nothing else has worked so far.


She was crying to me because her dad said "You don't love me!" when she called her parents.  I explained to her that if feels that way to a parent.  We had a good talk.  Of course she swears that it was the "last time".  Sigh.  Keven just shook his head and said "Mom, I really mean it when I say I am never going to use again."  Dear God, I want to believe that with all my heart - and I do.  Time will tell.


Now for the GOOD news:


Guess who got a job today after 10 months of unemployment?  ME!  And not just any old job, a job working for a friend who I have wanted to work with for YEARS.  Its part time and I will work partly from home.  I will write more about it on my other blog if anyone is interested.  I am STOKED.   Now I can actually pay for my own lunch when I go out with my girls every Friday, I can pay my bills, I can put gas in my car!  I will still have to live very, very frugally but I've got that down to a science after the last ten months :)


I am celebrating by having a Starbucks after work with my friend Lauren, I know...pretty wild, huh?  But for me, its wild enough!  No more drama!




Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 25, 2010

NAMI Class Four

Its kind of hard to explain what we learned tonight - it was about the brain and how if functions.  It was interesting to actually see photos of what a normal brain looks like compared to a brain with schizophrenia. 

We learned about the genetic component and what the percentage risks are of inheriting the disease.

One thing I learned was that schizophrenia is not necessarily a life long disease, it can be treated and never come back after a few episodes.  Bi-polar, panic disorder, major deppresive disorder, etc. are lifelong and need to be medicated.

We learned how all the brain chemicals work and it totally made sense as to why certain meds help certain conditions.

What I personally walked away with tonight a big question:

If addiction is a disease why can't it be treated like panic disorder or bi-polar?  Why isn't there a drug to balance the chemicals in the brain of an addict?  I do believe that addiction is a disease (took me years to accept that but I finally do).  But IF its a disease then why can't it be treated like all other diseases?  Its just as serious, or more serious in many cases, than mental illnesses, where's the medication to help the alcoholic stop drinking or the heroin addict to be able to say no or the smoker to stop smoking?  So maybe its not a disease.  I am confused.  Oh well, its way too late to be thinking about this tonight.

Lets keep encouraging each other, I know a few people need some extra support right now.

P.S.  There is a new social networking site for young adults/teens with mental illness.  If you are interested let me know I will post the link.  I have not checked it out but the young woman that leads our class spoke highly of it.

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 24, 2010

Using Some of the Negative for Good

A week or so ago I had to talk with one of the coordinator's of a drug diversion program Keven attended when he was 17.  When she heard what he'd been up to since that time she asked if he'd be willing to speak to some of the groups of teens and parents.  I asked him and he said yes.  I'm not sure when it will happen.

But tonight he DID get to speak in front of a group for the first time.  One of his friends is in an out-patient program and mentioned Keven to her group leader and he had Kev come in and share his story.

Keven liked it.  I hope he keeps doing it and enjoying it, more intensive to stay away from drugs and hopefully help someone in the process.

One thing for sure - he didn't get the "public speaking" gene from me!  On my other blog last week I asked "would you rather speak in front of a group for five minutes or be stranded alone in an elevator for an hour?"  I was shocked at how few chose the elevator, I didn't have to think twice!  :)

Unfortunately I have been really nervous and worried the last few days, I have no reason to but I can't seem to help it.  He's doing good...but will it last?


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 23, 2010

Profiled by the Police?

This is odd to me, maybe one of you knows something about this cause I don't know what to make of it.


Keven was up in Newport Beach today (affluent area) parked in front of a friend's house waiting for her to come out.  He was drinking a Rockstar and texting.  A cop drove by.  A few minute later three cop cars surrounded him. 


He rolled down the window and politely asked what the problem was and the cop said "You look cracked out.  Are you on probation?"  

Keven said "yes, and I'm a registered narcotics offender".  So they searched him and the car, found nothing.  The cop wrote a note on the back of his business card stating that Keven was cooperative, polite, etc. and that his PO could call if she had any questions about the incident.


Kev says he's always profiled as a drug user.  BUT WHY?  HOW?  I ask this more out of curiosity than anything else, I don't get it.  I'm not upset that they questioned him, and he obviously handled it well, but it bothers me that he's got "that look".  He looks SO MUCH better now that he's not using, he doesn't even wear those stupid earrings anymore.  He wears nice clothes and has nice hair and a nice face and was driving a nice car.  What's the deal?


I mean basically they were right - he's a former user and they had every right in the world to search him because he's on probation, I just don't understand what they see when they look at him that lets them know?  Its weird.


Again, I am not trying to say this should not have happened, but it does bother me a bit.

Oh, and it was not the car, the car is one he has never been pulled over in and has no "record" attached to it.


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 21, 2010

Things Have Not Always Been This Calm

Someone that is newer to reading here left a comment that reminded me of how calm things have been (well, relatively speaking) in the last 6 months.  No, they were not always that way.  I'd say from mid 2006 up until his 3 month jail stay in August 2009 followed by 3 months in rehab, things were usually anything but calm.


Some memories:


- the first time I picked up the phone and heard someone say "This is Officer ______ from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, we have your son detained...."  He was 15 at the time, got a ticket for public intoxication when a group of teens were caught smoking weed and drinking at the local park.  Get this (this is funny in a sad way) I believed him when he said it was the first time he'd ever done those things.  I.  Believed. Him.  Dang, was I naive.  That episode sent us to a diversion program which required both of us to attend a classes for several months.  The classes had no affect on him whatsoever but it opened my eyes to what was going on in today's teen drug world.


- there were several other calls from the Sheriff but the worst was the time I called them to come to my home and arrest my son.  I will never forget the anger and hate in his eyes as he mouthed the words "f___ y___ b____" from the backseat of the patrol car as they drove him away.


- there were quite a few times he would go into rages for up to an hour or more at a time.  Those were the hardest to deal with.  I felt helpless, scared but mostly just in shock at the "monster" living in my son's body.  My sweet, loving boy was gone (thankfully he's back!) and this anger filled crazed maniac had taken over.


- of course there were the "I'm in jail" phone calls followed by many calls from jail telling me tales of his gang member cellmates who were in for charges like murder and armed robbery.


- one of the worst calls I got was after his friend had OD's and he'd kept him alive with CPR as he called 911.  He was too shaken up to drive home after that incident.  The officers told him he saved Jon's life, but Kev knew the truth:  he almost killed Jon.


There are lots more stories like these, and of finding drugs in his room, watching him in withdrawls, seeing his track marks for the first time, hearing him cry in pain while dope sick, and on and on it goes.


Today I am grateful that he's in the next room, doing homework, in for the night and back to being sweet, considerate and thankful.  I see him struggling, I hear the deep sighs and watch the other signs of anxiety in his expressions and actions.


Right under the surface of my joy at having my son back is a deep dark fear that he will relapse.  I try not to go there, but even if I don't think about it, I feel it in my chest weighing on my heart.


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 19, 2010

I Hate Heroin

UPDATE:  Kelly was over till 1:00 am hanging out and talking.  She has a meeting with her unofficial NA sponsor this morning and is going to ask her to officially be her sponsor.   Luckily she loves her job and has lots of hours to keep her busy.  She's a very lonely girl.  I wish she had some good, clean friends.  Well, I guess she does - Keven - but, you know what I mean. 


I mentioned "Kelly" in my last post.  I haven't written about her a lot, I think I was trying to keep her life private from my blog, but I am upset.  I need to write about this.  She and Anthony are inseparable when he's not in jail and even when he is, she's over here almost every day to visit me and/or Keven.  She feels at home here with my family.

Well, she called me today and confessed that she had driven herself up to Santa Ana, bought some H and used it.

I really thought that heroin was behind me.  That it was no longer going to cause this fear, this hate, this anger.  This ongoing concern.

Part of me wants to turn her away, turn Ant away and say "leave me alone, I am done with this "shit"!  (do people still call heroin "shit"?)
But I can't do that.  I just can't.  I have to let her come over, hold her skinny little self and let her cry and talk.  Its who I am.  I can't turn away a hurting person.   I don't want to.  She won't talk to her parents but I keep encouraging her to.  She lives with her parents, goes to college full time and works 30 hours a week.  She's a nice girl, responsible, smart, sweet.  She is so afraid that her parents will kick her out she doesn't want to risk that.

The good news is that she has a court date next week and will most likely get put on PC 1000 or Prop. 36 (court appointed drug out patient programs).  She does really well when she knows she will be tested.  This time Anthony will be gone for 6 months or longer...this is what they both need.

I know some of you are probably thinking I am nuts.  Maybe I am.  She'll be here in an hour.  

Keven and I have talked about all this.  He is not going to use and doubts she would suggest it because she knows he will say no. He is very determined and set in his mind.  He said he's been craving cocaine lately more than heroin....I won't even get into that right now.  But at least he's talking to me about it, that's good right?  I think it is.

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 18, 2010

NAMI Class Three and Learning More About My Son

Tonight for the last half of our three hour meeting we went around the room and shared about our loved one and their diagnosis.  It was heart wrenching.  Several tears were shed.  I think in many ways its hardest for a spouse who's husband or wife becomes mentally ill in the middle of what was once a great marriage.  One woman shared that her 18 year old son has already determined that he will never have children in fear that he will pass his dad's bi-polar along to his own children, and he also lives in fear of it himself.

People throw around the term "bi-polar" likes its not that big of a deal, but for someone who has it or is living with someone who has it, its horrible.  I don't even want to list the things Kev has been diagnosed with.  Its funny, I have no problem sharing about his drug use, but still have a hard time even using the term "mental illness". 

When it was my turn to share I started with his mention of suicide at age 6.  My first warning sign.  I  also shared the worst night of my life (well one of them) which involved Keven in a wild and violent frame of mind, high on who-knows-what - I thought one of us was going to die that night.  I thought it would be him.  By some miracle, I talked him down and a few days later he was in rehab (the first of three times, the third time was Phoenix House and I am so THANKFUL for that place, I highly recommend it to anyone with addiction or dual diagnosis.)

Forgive the rambling way this post is written, I know its not composed very well but I just need to get it all out so I can sleep.

The very final person to share tonight was the man who leads our class.  I think quite a few of us cried during what he shared.  I'll just say this:  there is so much hope for people with mental illness that get help and keep taking their meds.  Some people have lived through nightmares are are living fulfilling lives today.

Lastly I will share something Keven said to me tonight.  He's been spending a lot of time with "Kelly", Anthony's girlfriend.  They have been close friends for years.  They went to an NA mtg. last night which brought up a lot of bad memories for him.  He told me about how he and Kelly would stay up all night shooting cocaine and how he'd come home to go to bed and lie in his bed and cry because his arms hurt so much and he felt so damn helpless like he would never be able to get off the coke and/or the heroin.  I can't tell you how grateful I am today to hear him talk about this stuff rather than live it...and I also ask myself "why didn't you do something sooner?  how could you be so blind?  what were you thinking?"

I'm still scared every day that he may break down and use.  I am not fooling myself that he's "better" but he has made tremendous strides and I am so proud of him.  I love him so much.  I am such an emotional wreck after hearing all those stories tonight....

I've been reading your blogs - the mix of good and bad news.  I'm so glad I have all of you to share with.  I know we've come to care a lot about each other and our children...and I am thankful for the people who read here just to be supportive, and those that are fighting addiction this very moment, or who have overcome it.  We're all in this world together and we need each other.  

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 17, 2010

Airing on TV Tonight

I am watching this show and its depressing the hell out of me.  
They really need to put a warning on these shows for addicts trying to recover NOT to watch.  I know it would make most heroin addicts crave - especially when they show them shooting up.  I don't think they should do that...its very upsetting for me, I can't imagine how Keven would feel seeing it.  He's not home, if he comes home I am turning it off.

Do shows like this do more harm than good?  I think it gives a better understanding into addiction (obviously) but is it going to make anyone choose not to start using?  Even knowing what I know, part of me is curious...just what is it about heroin that makes it better than sex, better than love, better than any other high?  Maybe I should try it just once to find out...I'm not like the people on that show.  I won't get addicted...not me!

(for anyone who thinks I am serious, don't worry I am just being facetious, but in my teens/twenties that is exactly what I would be thinking)

Some of us have been talking about this show that will be on tonight, it looks very interesting:



Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

6 Months to a Year

Got my first letter from Anthony for this prison stay.  Sounds like it will be a long one, with no chance of reduced time (they are letting a lot of inmates out half time here cause of the crowded conditions but that does not apply to him).

He said he was sorry, his spirit and heart are broken.  He told Keven to stay strong and not use because just one time will "re-awaken the dragon".

I got choked up reading the letter out loud (it was to me and Kev).  I was so mad at him I wrote him a scathing  letter full of anger.  I tore it up.  I will respond to this one.  At least I don't have to worry about him being a negative influence on Keven.  By the time he gets out Keven will have a year to 18 months of clean time (thinking positive).

I'm going to make the rounds and check all your blogs now. 





Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 15, 2010

I love my son so much

I love hearing his voice in the house
I love hearing him laugh
I love that he's made good choices so far

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 14, 2010

A Tale of Two Boys - What Makes the Difference?


I was just thinking that at this moment in time I am experiencing both sides of the addiction coin:  

Keven has 7 months sobriety.  We're both hopeful.  I'm cautiously optimistic.  I still have twinges of fear and moments of concern, but most of the time I feel calm and grateful.


Anthony has ? days sobriety.  It looks hopeless.  I feel discouraged.  This has been going on since he was 14 (8 years).  In and out of juvie/jail/prison, on and off drugs, well actually the only off time has been when he was incarcerated. 


My gut instincts tell me that Keven is going to succeed (I felt that about Bryan, Lisa's son too, as I read her post last night).  I feel so arrogant making that statement, but that's my inner self talking.  My brain of course is logical and knows not only is it arrogant to think that way, its stupid.  No one knows.  There is no guarantee.  Even after years of being clean a heroin addict can choose to use again.


And it can't be about hitting bottom because so many bottoms have been hit for so many of our loved ones. 


With Anthony, losing his mom to drugs didn't stop him.  Shooting up his best friend and watching him die from an OD didn't stop him.  Being kept alive by life support after his own OD, didn't stop him.  Living in the streets, stealing to survive, losing everything - none of that was "hitting bottom"?   Death is the next "bottom" and when you hit that one, its obviously too late.

These things don't matter to a heroin addict.  But how come some can stop and some can't?  What's the difference?  Determination?  Desire?  Commitment?  Having something to live for?  Hope? Fear? Help in the form of methadone/Suboxone?  "Hitting Bottom" obviously is not the determining factor. 

Some would say the difference is working a program - but that goes back to the question, why do some choose to work a program and stick with it and some don't?  Anthony went to NA meetings in jail 6 days a week.  The letters he wrote me were about working the program.  He sounded so positive and determined, but three days out and - he was using.  

Keven's program is court ordered, not by choice.  He has to go to 4 self-help meetings a week and he goes to two "Dual Diagnosis" meetings and to be honest I'm not sure if he's going to the other meetings or not, I don't ask, that's not my job his PO asks him about it.


I'm just thinking out loud.  I am frustrated.  I want there to be a formula:  "do this and you will have the desired result".  

But no, its so messy, so complicated, so heartbreaking.  We can't really understand it unless we were an addict ourselves.   Very few things in life are simple and heroin addiction seems to be close to the top of the chart of complex issues.

I feel numb today.  Not good or bad, just here.  I'm thinking of the people that read here.  Those that love addicts, are addicts and those that are probably thankful they can't relate to any of this.  You all give me support and courage.  Thank you.


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 13, 2010

Guess Who's In Jail? (updated!)

I'll give you two guesses, but I think if you read here you will guess right the first time.

His name starts with an "A".

Charge:  Loitering

Details later, it just happened.  His gf is here crying on our shoulders.  She agrees with me, he got what he asked for.  I have zero sympathy for him this time.

You know how they have those jokes "You know you're a _______ when...."   (redneck, californian, whatever).  Well lets start one of our own:

"You know you're involved with a drug addict when..."

- You have the county jail "inmate search" saved on your toolbar
- You hide money, keys and valuables
-  You catch yourself daydreaming about what the funeral will be like
- You are relieved to hear the word "arrest" when you are expecting to hear "O.D."


I could go on but my attempt at humor is not funny at all

UPDATE:
I am so pissed off.  I truly am a bit surprised at how angry I am at Anthony for this latest "choice".  He will be heading back to Chino State Prison on Monday.  No county jail for him, he's got too long of a record, he's "hardcore" and he's scared to death of that place.  Last time he was there he felt safe cause it was on "lock-down" due to some riots (in which guards and inmates were killed).  But this time he's going to have to be a big boy and go out in the yard, a minority (in there), young and fearful.  Not good.

So here is what happened.  He was going to see his son today, a good thing right?  His son is two and Ant rarely sees him.  So one of his friends hears he's heading out to Riverside and offers to pay him for a ride (Ants gf was driving her car).  Obviously Ant knows this guy is a drug user/dealer.  He picked him up in Santa Ana.  Some undercover cops saw three white young people in a known drug infested area so decide to pull them over.  As they are pulling him over the friend starts shoving balloons down his throat.  The cops tried to get him to spit them out but he wouldn't so they had him taken to the ER.

In the meantime they find out Ant is on parole and his gf is on probation.  Thank God they did NOT arrest her.  She's trying so hard - her one big fault is him.  They questioned her and the fact that she is a full time college student with a full time job and a nice clean cut looking young lady with no track marks is probably what saved her.

I am mostly angry at him for jeopardizing her.  I am glad he got caught and I hope he stays in there for a long time, away from my son, away from this girl.  BTW, this girl is one of Keven's good friends and she spends a lot of time here.  I just told Keven what I thought of Ant and gave him the "lecture" I plan to give him in a letter and he said it was good and that I should keep telling the gf that she needs to leave him and protect her own life.

I'm proud of my son.  He said "I'm so glad I'm not using, I would have been with them and I'd be in jail right now".  He'd disappointed in his friend and after all these years of looking up to Ant, he's lost all respect for him.  He also said "See, Mom, I told you almost dying wouldn't phase him".  He was right.

Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

Dad and Mom's Son

Their son, who was doing so well, had a relapse.  I'm sharing this but most of you who know them have probably already been to their blog and seen the sad news.


It can happen at any time for any of our loved one's.  Its not even my son and I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach when I hear that kind of news.


Why?  Why does it have to be this way?  Why do so many turn to drugs in the first place?  What is the answer?  How do we change things?


And what do you say?  What words can we possibly use to express to Dad and Mom how sorry we are to hear this news (all the while secretly being thankful it was not our child but knowing it very well could be at any time). 




Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 11, 2010

Finishing the Tattoo

Anthony is over here finishing up a tattoo he started on Keven over a year ago.  Before he got here Kev said if he showed up high he was going to ask him to leave and even rehearsed two "speeches" to give him if needed.  He didn't show up high.  He has one week to find another rehab or its "hello Chino state prison" (a very nasty, violent place he never wants to experience again).

I feel that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach about him.  He took a shower here (first in a few days) and he just left without starting the tattoo.  Is he coming back?  Did Keven give him money?  Is Keven that stupid to fall for the lies of an addict?????  If so I will just shake my head and say "now you know how it feels".

More later...



Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 9, 2010

Latest News on The Boys:

Keven is doing good, the judge not only granted him back his license but wrote in the Minute Order that in her opinion they (the other judge/DA) were "in error" by taking it away in the first place or the charge (vandalism).  So, as soon as I have time to get him to the DMV he will be driving again.  I work my "temp job" tomorrow.

Wish I had good news on Ant.  He got kicked out of rehab.  Don't know what to say so I won't say anything except:  I fear for his life and am sad at his choices, but at least it was "only" weed (looking at the bright side).

As for me, I learn the hard way every time I have a life lesson.  Every time.  With men, with parenting, with everything.

March 6, 2010

My Other Blog...

I have too many blogs.


I started this one over a year ago when Keven's addiction took over my life and therefore my blogging.  I did a poll on my "main blog" and asked my readers (there were quite a few) if they preferred me to continue writing about "it" or start a new blog on the topic of drug addiction.

The majority of them said "start a new blog".  I think it was uncomfortable, maybe boring (?) for them to read about heroin addiction in my teenage son.  Many of them had known him since I started blogging in 2005.

So, I started a blog called "Needle and the Damage Done".  Some of you remember it.  I changed the blog name and template to "Recovery Happens" at the point that I decided to focus on the positive, that yes indeed, it can happen, it does happen, its happening.

Some of my long time, wonderful, faithful, loving supportive blog friends read both blogs (thank you for caring!).  I lost a lot of readers on the other blog, and my classic rock blog literally died until I invited some co-authors.  A guy named Dan brought it back to life for me (thanks, Dan!)


Anyhow, my point is, sometimes I can't keep up with these two blogs, plus my blog about rape (updated sporadically).  So I am going to be doing more cross-posting.  And when I do you can just click on this pic in the post and go read it at the other place.


I hope this is as clear as mud.  If not, just ask :)

P.S.  I am very disappointed in Blogger lately, they won't let me move gadgets (someone told me why but I forgot) or let me put my link list on my other blog.  I am not made enough to switch to Wordpress cause I am not up for learning anything new at the moment even though WP blogs look so much nicer (usually).


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 4, 2010

1st Family to Family Meeting

Just got home from the NAMI meeting I wrote about yesterday.

Lots of hurting and confused families.  There were 25 people there representing about 12 different loved ones.  Most of the participants were there for their children (Keven being the youngest represented and the oldest being 58!  This very elderly lady was there to learn more about her 58 year old daughter's illness.)

I walked away with several things but I'll share the overwhelming feeling I have right now:

Gratefulness.

I am so thankful:

- that Keven wants to be well and willingly takes his meds (so far)
- for the Recovery Court program that recognized he deserved a chance and was a valuable human being rather than a criminal (all drug offenders deserve this!)
- that he has such a damn good psychiatrist that actually TALKS to him for a half hour each visit and has put him on the right meds
- that this meeting is one mile from my house!  Some people drove a long distance to get there, I lucked out

Two other things I learned: 

1)  Lithium works well for a lot of people but if you stop taking it and start again it loses its efficacy.   

2) It was easy to see who was angry, in denial, sad, frustrated and desperate, etc.  I guess I would fall into the category of being worried but hopeful.


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

March 3, 2010

NAMI Family to Family Course

update:  
Please read the comments on this post, especially the one by Her Big Sad, it explains so much about why some people just can't stay off their drug of choice and end up in life cycle of misery.




Starting tomorrow night I will be participating in this 12 week course.  It was highly recommended to me by Kev's probation officer.  I'll be honest - coming to terms with his mental illness is in many ways harder than his drug addiction.  I get drug addiction.  But mental illness?  My kid?  Yet, it is what it is, I want to learn as much as I can. 

Here's the link for details if anyone is interested in learning more about it.

What does the course include?




  • Current information about schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and co-occurring brain disorders and addictive disorders
  • Up-to-date information about medications, side effects, and strategies for medication adherence
  • Current research related to the biology of brain disorders and the evidence-based, most effective treatments to promote recovery
  • Gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness
  • Learning in special workshops for problem solving, listening, and communication techniques
  • Acquiring strategies for handling crises and relapse
  • Focusing on care for the caregiver: coping with worry, stress, and emotional overload
  • Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community
  • Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services

How can I find a course in my area?
Family-to-Family classes are offered in hundreds of communities across the country, in two Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

March 2, 2010

Thinking of all of you....

Well, I'm off to Santa Ana.  I will sit in Starbucks and use my laptop while Keven is at a meeting in Phoenix House.  I seriously think my car knows the way there by itself and really don't think I should have to go.  But I will. 

Hope to read blogs tonight.  I left a comment on one today and now feel stupid about it.

Oh well.  LOL.  I never have been good at thinking before I speak.

I am going to post something funny I found but I just ran out of time...will get to it in a bit.


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara

Deleting a blog

Do you ever feel like deleting a blog?  Just hitting that button that makes the whole thing disappear?  I did that once or twice after blogging consistently for years.  Lots of thoughts and conversations gone with the push of a button (this was before the days when you could export them).

I feel like that sometimes. Like I just want to start over, walk away,  not look back.  I don't think I could do that now.  I 


Peace, Hope and Love,
Barbara
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