June 29, 2010


I remember when Keven was a kid, elementary/Jr. High age, he and his buddies would bounce a basketball against the house and my mother would go out and scream for them to stop because it annoyed her.

Tonight after celebrating graduation with several of his closest friends they went outside and bounced the basketball against the house.  It was music to our ears.  It was such a normal, healthy thing to do.

His best friend could not be here but his parent's showed up with a card.  We had a really nice time (pizza, homemade chicken wings, cupcakes).  Its the kind of thing that, a few years ago, he would have refused because parties are not fun without booze or drugs.

It was great to see a bunch of nice kids in my house....haven't seen that in years!

Thanking God for another good day on the roller coaster of life :)

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Keven's Graduation:

I posted it over here if you want to see some pics.  I look hideous but always do in photos!

June 28, 2010

Controversial Statement, what do you think?

Anna did a post on this statement made by Partnership for a Drug Free America: "When Mom's Get Involved, Kids Don't. Learn How To Keep Your Kids Safe."

Several of us were put off by it because this is simply not true. "Partnership" has had ads on TV for years that imply this same thing: If parents talk to their kids about drugs, the kids won't do them.

Its a travesty that a seemingly "expert" organization is giving false hopes to parents all over America. How many of you talked to your kids about drugs? How many of you have an open line of communication with your children? Did it make a difference?

Yeah, about as big of a difference as the D.A.R.E. program and The Red Ribbon Week. I know these organizations are well meaning, but they often do more harm than good. My son became fascinated with drugs when he learned about them in one of these programs :(

Please go to Her Big Sad's blog and read what she wrote on this topic, she makes the point really well.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 27, 2010

Feeling Queasy

Anyone who knows me can tell you I am very open minded about most things.  I decided years ago that I would choose my battles with my son and that I would not interfere with his need for self expression.  I was the same way in my youth, I had to be different, unique, push the limit with my "style".  BUT - I was more of a surfer chick with a rock and roll edge, nothing I did was permanent, it was all about the hair and clothes.

Keven, on the other hand, loves piercings and tattoos.  I have accepted all his tattoos, I actually like them.

I tolerate his piercings in silence.  I don't say much but the one he just came home with makes my stomach turn.  Its a "conch piercing" in the INSIDE of his ear.  It was dripping blood...my stomach is turning.

So far he's had a tongue piercing, dermal implants in his arm (two done professionally and a whole row of them he pierced himself) two lip piercings, a labret and currently has HUGE plugs and a small black bar under his eye.  Ugh.

It makes me wonder - is this a statement of style and personality or is it self-mutilation?  My mom and sister are going to freak when they see it.  I literally feel sick.  I feel like crying but at least he's sticking needles in his ears not his arm right?

Thanks for letting me share...

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

I am taking care of me...

Syd reminds me to take care of myself all the time, and I just wanted to let  you all know that I actually have been and YES it does make a difference!

I have been very good to myself recently and as a result feel more peace and am 11 lbs. lighter!  I've been walking with my dog and eating mostly veggies, grains and beans.  And, I have socializing a tiny bit more.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 26, 2010

Something is not right

You know how you just KNOW when something is not right with your loved one(s)? I have a very strong feeling that something is up with Keven but I am not sure what it is. He's being drug tested twice a week, but sometimes he seems "off" to me. I am suspicious. I don't know what he's up to. He's doing all the things he needs to be doing, he's being very pleasant and friendly...but I just know something is not right.

There's not much I can do but let nature take its course. He will do what he's going to do. I can't stop him. Maybe he's not doing anything, maybe this is his new "normal". Its hard to know with all the med changes.

Which reminds me, we got a written diagnosis for him. Its not bipolar after all (according to the doctor who's seen him about 20 times in the last six months).  He says Keven has "Schizoaffective Disorder".  I say "no! he's not that messed up is he?" but then I read my own words here on this blog and I remember back to some of the terrifying episodes of seeing delusional and hallucinating.

I don't want to believe it.  I don't want to accept it.  I hate it.  I hate all this crap and I want to turn back the clock about five years and get a "re-do" and try to steer him in a different path.  But if it truly is a mental illness, then there would be no steering away from it.  

I feel tired right now.  And discouraged.  And confused.  Is all this real?  Does he really need meds or are they making him worse?  I feel myself sinking into denial again.  I just want to "not think about it" and maybe it will go away....

Here is a brief description of S.D. from NAMI's website:

"Schizoaffective disorder is one of the more common, chronic, and disabling mental illnesses. As the name implies, it is characterized by a combination of symptoms of schizophrenia and an affective (mood) disorder.

To diagnose schizoaffective disorder, a person needs to have primary symptoms of schizophrenia (such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized behavior) along with a period of time when he or she also has symptoms of major depression or a manic episode

The most effective treatment for schizoaffective disorder is a combination of drug treatment and psychosocial interventions. The medications include antipsychotics along with antidepressants or mood stabilizers. 

There has been much less research on psychosocial treatments for schizoaffective disorder than there has been in schizophrenia or depression. However, the available evidence suggests that cognitive behavior therapy, brief psychotherapy, and social skills training are likely to have a beneficial effect. Most people with schizoaffective disorder require long-term therapy with a combination of medications and psychosocial interventions in order to avoid relapses, and maintain an appropriate level of functioning and quality of life."

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 24, 2010

Borderline Families

Kris of Borderline Families has been writing about a new book that's out:

"Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America" by Robert Whitaker.

For those of us who have loved ones who've been diagnosed with mental illness, this is a MUST READ book. Robert Whitaker's research is extensive and includes many, many case studies. The bottom line: Psychiatric Drugs are likely doing More Harm than Good, and the lifespan for a person on these meds continuously drops drastically.

I have always feared in the back of my mind that this could be the case. I've written about it here many times. I want to believe that the right combination of meds will solve all Keven's problems, but really - I don't know if they are helping or making him worse, or what...He seems better these days, but if the long term affects are a 25% shorter lifespan???

Anyhow, please read what Kris has to say. She is far more articulate than I could ever be.

Peace, Hope and Love,Barbara

June 23, 2010

Thankful Heart

I got the sweetest letter from him today. He's so appreciative of every little thing I do for him. He's being transfered to another prison, not sure why but he's excited to get the heck outta Chino.

Kelsey (now that my blog is private I can use her real name rather than calling her "Kelly") is doing well in rehab, tomorrow is her 20th birthday. Keven got her a gift today (belly button jewelery) and my mom, sis and I pitched in and got her some gift cards to Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, plus a book. Keven will deliver it all to her on Sunday.

Keven SEEMS to be doing so well. He really does. I have tears in my eyes thinking of how precarious his situation is - one day he's fine, the next he's not. A song lyric for that would be "one day is fine, the next is black" (anybody recognize that?)

Tomorrow Keven asks his PO if he can get out of court next Tuesday so he can attend his graduation ceremony. I HOPE SO! Also, he may have a new pet tomorrow. Anyone care to guess what kind of animal we will be adding to our crazy zoo?

I am thankful for so many things right now. I am not going to take any good moments for granted.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 22, 2010

Are We All Criminals?

I found this article, "I Am A Criminal And So Are You" by Michell Alexander, very interesting.

Here's an excerpt that caught my eye, fortunately Keven's felony will be dropped but Anthony will be a convicted felon for life.  Is that fair?  Should a possession of a controlled substance have the same stigma attached to it as other felonies?  (Check out this list of felony crimes.)

"In this country, we force millions of people -- who are largely black and brown -- into a permanent second-class status, simply because they once committed a crime. Once labeled a felon, you are ushered into a parallel social universe. You can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits -- forms of discrimination that we supposedly left behind.

This kind of stigma, discrimination and social exclusion may befall you for no reason other than you were once caught with drugs."

Michelle Alexander says calling herself a criminal to friends starts an interesting exchange

Many of us, even Obama, commit small crimes, but still think we're good citizens, she says

Stigma, social exclusion attach simply because you were once caught with drugs, she says

Writer: Copping to our crimes gives us more sympathy for the convicted and disenfranchised
Source:  CNN

 Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 20, 2010

I Think the Girlfriend Makes a Big Difference

For the last four years Keven has been missing at most family gatherings.  If it was a big holiday he would make an appearance and stay for as little time as possible.  Today he not only showed up but stayed for hours, socialized with everyone and seemed so happy.

I think a lot of it has to do with his girlfriend, Lauren (I can use her name now that this blog is private.  I can even post pics and not fear someone will see them that I don't want seeing them!)

I LIKE Lauren a lot.  She has some serious issues of her own, but for the most part she is super sweet, fun, and stands up to Keven.  She also cooks for him and does nice things for him that no former gf's have done.  They are constantly laughing, goofing off and spend most of their time together.

When she's not around he seems more sullen and usually just stays in his room by himself watching TV.

ALSO - my ENTIRE family was together which is pretty rare since three of them live in Germany (Jason is in the Army and they are stationed there but Danielle and Wyatt are here all summer!).

In the front my Aunt Mary and My Mom
Back: Dave (nephew), David (brother), Ryan (nephew), Me, Therese (sister), Keven, Danielle (niece), Wyatt (great-nephew), Jason (niece's husband)

Beautiful Blogger Award

Thank you, Kris, (Borderline Families) for passing this on to me!  She has been a HUGE inspiration to me recently and I am learning so much from her.  

A Beautiful Blogger is someone who blogs with truth, honesty and integrity. They blog from their heart, sharing their story, humor, and life with others. They go out of their way to support others, giving of themselves to provide encouragement and brighten someone’s day. They glow with a beauty that comes from within, and it shows in what they write and how they interact with others.

The description for this award fits SO MANY PEOPLE that read here!  I really can't pick a group because I want to pass it on to everyone.  

Since it's Father's Day and Ron, An Addict in Our Son's Bedroom, has a very personal, open post today, I will pass it on to him specifically and to each of you who share your lives on your blogs.

June 18, 2010

Invite Only

Hello Everyone,

I decided to make my blog invite only.  Even though Keven knows about it and has no problem with it, I felt it was time to protect his privacy.

I don't mean to exclude anyone so if please let me know if you hear of anyone I missed!  There have been times when others went private and accidentally left someone out and that person felt hurt.  I tried to think of every person that reads here, and may have added a few people more than once.

In other news:  Keven will have to spend a night in jail but he says he's fine with it and seems not to be bothered.  Even though he spent a total of 6 months there last year it bothers me to think of him back in an orange jump suit in a cell  :(

Oh well.  Consequences!!!

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Interesting Development....

In my last post I wasn't sure what to do about my concern that Keven was out using last night and did not come home or call.  I decided not to do anything and as it turns out - the incident took care of itself.

His PO showed up here this morning because she got a call from the Sheriff's Dept. saying Keven was not home last night.  How the heck they know that - I have no idea - but they knew.  His car was out front and he was in my car, but maybe they think my car belongs to him and alerted her that the car was not home.  But that doesn't make sense...you can't assume the person is not home just because the car is not in front of the house.

Anyhow, he admitted to her that he was not home, he was at his girlfriend's two streets away.  She said he might have to spend the night in jail for violating a term of his probation.  We'll see what happens.

The good news is, he did not use.  At least I assume he didn't because she probably would have noticed by looking at him.

So that's the latest.

I want to be done with all this and have a simple life again!

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara


He did not come home last night.
I am not sure if he used or not, but am assuming he did.
I will drive his car to work and try to put this out of my mind for the day.

Questions on my mind:

Should I call his PO and tell her he's been using?
If he's using, then how are his meds suppose to help?  But if his meds were helping, would he be using?
He didn't use for 9 months...why now?
Does his gf know?  Has she started using it too?
Should I inform her parents that Kev is using or stay out of it?
Maybe he's not using.
I get paid today, top of my shopping list:  drug tests

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 17, 2010

tell tale signs...

Sometimes I forget that just because he appears to be in a good mood, it doesn't mean he'd doing well.  Tonight he told me he was having a really hard time and had been "manic" all day.  He said he needed a meeting and asked to borrow my car because he had a feeling if he got in his car something bad would happen (this is a common paranoia).

I gave him my keys.

Then...he went into the garage.  THAT is a bad sign.  Whenever he goes out in the garage I get nervous.  I followed him out there and asked what he was doing.  He said looking for a shirt.  I asked him if he was going to use he promised he wasn't.  Well, we all know that promises are nothing.

His girlfriend was on the computer looking up meetings.  Maybe they really are going to a meeting.  Last Thursday night, he used.  Last Thursday night he borrowed my car.  Last Thursday night he went in the garage.

I'll let  you know tomorrow.  If he does use, something drastic has to happen.  Once was a relapse, twice was a huge red flag and three times will mean he needs to get back in rehab.

I am watching a film on the life of John Lennon and crying - I will never forget Dec. 8, 1980.  

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 16, 2010

Updates on the addicts I love:

Anthony:  Got a letter from him.  He's back in the central area of the prison because they found out he has a warrant.  He asked me to find out what it was for by calling the public defender, etc.  I made a few calls and wrote him back telling him what he needs to do (submit a form requesting a court date).  The warrant is for possession of a controlled substance, but I think that's what he's in there for (well technically for parole violation but that's how he violated....who knows).  He's not happy about being back in maximum after being in minimum security for a few months.  Bummer, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Kelly:  She called today and LOVE'S the rehab she's in!  Its a woman's facility and has 16 residents.  She sounded really positive.  I will go visit her as soon as I can.

Keven:  He forgot to bring one of his court cards yesterday so once again did not get promoted to Phase 3.  He was sick yesterday, which of course made me suspicious, but he seems better today.  He took out the trash, ran an errand for me, went to the gym and now is at a meeting.  Good stuff.  He SEEMS ok, but its so hard to tell.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 14, 2010

A Poke in The Eye

All day at work I wondered what Kev was up to, what state of mind he was in, etc.

When I got home I could tell that he was in a good mood! But, he was wearing his sunglasses in the house (WHY?).

So I asked in a teasing way "so are you so cool now that you have to wear your shades all the time?"

He said "No, I'm high".

I could tell he was kidding so I grabbed his sunglasses and in the process accidentally poked him in the eye. Fortunately he laughed. Then I laughed. It was a relief.

And - he's so darn cute when he SMILES and has normal sized pupils!

In other news: Kelly finally got into a rehab, a bed opened today. I hope this his girl can stay strong!!!

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Update on Ant

I am suppose o be getting a letter from Anthony this week.  I heard he was "rolled back" to Central which means he did something wrong and got caught.  Not sure what.

"Kelly" got into a rehab today it takes so long for a bed to open, she said she'd been white-knuckling it and had five days clean, used then got another five days.  I HOPE this helps her.  Her birthday will be next week and I want to get her something she will like...

Its tragic to see all these young lives put on hold indefinitely to deal with this "monster".

June 13, 2010

Analyzing Every Action, Word and Mood

How do you stop putting everything they say and do under a microscope to see what is really there hidden in the meaning?

He was in a good mood:  WHY?

He dug out his old rock collection out from under my bed (not music, actual rocks)and showed it to his gf. WHY?

He text'd me that he loved me for no reason.  WHY?

He used my bathroom instead of the one he usually uses.  WHY?

He seems to be cleaning his room.  WHY?

He hasn't shaved in two days.  WHY?

I'm sure not all parents question every move their kid makes, but I am so programmed to be suspicious I can't seem to help myself.

Just relax.  If something is "up" you will find out soon enough.  Ok.  I feel better now that I wrote about it.

UPDATE:  He just asked for $5 to get a Dairy Queen for his gf and then KISSED me and my sister goodbye.  This is sooooooo not normal!  WHY????

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 11, 2010

Always Be Prepared for Things to Not Go As Planned


So as not to alarm anyone with the photo - Keven is fine but we had a horrible experience this afternoon.

Today went nothing like planned that's for sure.

Keven saw his doctor at 2 pm as planned.  They talked for almost an hour and Dr. H gave him one dose of Zyprexa Zydis (a sublingual form of Zyprexa).  He said he wanted to see how he reacted to it and he also increases his dose of Abilify.  The plan was to watch Keven over the weekend and decide on Monday if he needed hospitalization.  Keven assured me that if Dr. H said he did, he would go without putting up a fight.

On the way home Keven started nodding out and by the time we got home he was completely incoherent!  He would respond if I shook him but he could not stay conscious for more than a second or two at a time.  Then he threw up.

We called 911 and he was taken to the ER.  We had the nicest doctor I've ever met in my life.  You could tell he cared and he gave Keven a good "talk" about his relapse last night.  He was so kind and encouraging.

After all the usual tests and a few bags of IV fluids (which seemed to really help him feel better) they released him.

I called Dr. H to tell him Kev was in ER and he said "that shouldn't have happened".  Well no kidding!  What if he would have been alone and passed out while driving!!!!!

I remained calm through the whole ordeal and we had some good conversations.  He told me he regretted doing the H yesterday more than anything he'd ever done and swore he never wanted to do it again, but just had to have a release from all he was going through.  I choose to believe that.

We are going to start writing in a journal each day tracking exactly how he feels, what's going on with him mentally, emotionally and physically and exactly what meds he takes each day.  He said he will go to the "psych ward" if he has to.  He promised he would not fight it.  I choose to believe that too.

At this moment, I feel an immense amount of love and closeness with my son.  I see on a daily basis what he goes through - and then to have this random thing happen to him on top of all that.  I think maybe its a good thing we are getting a new doctor because as much as I like Dr. H it scares me to death to think that Keven would have passed out while driving if he had been alone.

I am sooooooooooo ready for bed.

Thanks for all the comments, care, concern (the three C's!)

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

No More Putting off the Inevitable _UPDATE

Things are not going well.
I talked to the hospital and his doctor and the plan was in motion until he woke up and said he refuses to go.  He begged me to wait until Monday and see if he was "better".  That would be funny if it weren't so sad.  So as of right now we will go to Dr. H at 2 pm as planned and take it from there.  I don't want to call the cops to get him to the hospital...I don't think I can stand seeing that happen again.  I've done it before and I will again if I have to.  I feel sick and numb at the same time.

In the meantime his Probation Officer showed up here unexpectedly!  She was here to check his meds.  She didn't seem to notice that he had been high last night, and I didn't tell her.  She'll test him Monday.  If she would have brought a drug test he'd be on his way to jail right now.  Jail is not the solution for him.

I guess today it's "one minute at a time".  I don't know what to do with myself.  I feel very helpless, afraid and confused.


Hello dear blog family....I'm very tired.  Up most of the night.  Will spare you the details and give you the facts:

- he smoked heroin yesterday
- he said it was either that or suicide
- I said, then you need to be hospitalized
- he said "okay"

He didn't want to go right then, and I didn't push it, but of course my concern is that he will change his mind.

First we are going to his last psychiatrist appointment.  He had planned to go alone, but I am not leaving his side for one second today.  I will let him talk privately but I want to let Dr. H know our plans and hopefully he will agree.   I am surprised he hasn't suggested it before.

My fear is, nothing will help him.  This will be the pattern for his life.  Six months of meds have not helped so far, and then he had to open the door to heroin again!!!  So now he's fighting that demon and the ones that he sees.  PLEASE LET THERE BE A COMPETENT DOCTOR EVALUATING HIM AND HELPING HIM!

I know its silly to worry about money at a time like this, but its a constant stress for me and there are still over $1,000 of bills from last time he went in.  They are in his name but I signed the "responsible party" agreement so eventually all this will catch up to me.  Thank God his dad has insurance for him because I don't even have any for myself.  I will "let it go" and deal with it later.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 10, 2010


Guess who just called because he got pulled over and wanted to know where the registration and insurance for my car was?  And he was not driving, his girlfriend was.  They were pulled over for speeding.  They were off the 5 Fwy.  I WANT TO KNOW WHERE THEY WERE GOING AND WHAT THEY WERE DOING THERE BECAUSE THAT IS THE DIRECTION OF DRUGS.

This is his 5th police contact since he was put on probation.

I am so pissed off and scared.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara


I had a good phone call with his psychiatrist today.  He's been talking to Kev's new doctor about his case and the new doctor thinks he may have OCD and PSTD.

Who knows what to think with the long list of possibilities?

He DID experience some trauma that he SAYS never bothered him - but maybe that's the problem, maybe if he would have freaked out when it happened he would have dealt with it then.  Maybe its come back to haunt him now in the form of these hallucinations...

Maybe this, maybe that.  Ugh.  I'll keep you posted.  Am making the rounds reading your blogs. 

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 9, 2010

Urgent.... Updated

Thanks for all the comments...Waking up to them was like getting a warm hug from all of you.  I know Keven's pattern and he's always better in the morning....its like a cycle.  But it will escalate throughout the day.  I stayed in his room last night so he could sleep and now he's going to Probation.  When he gets home I will talk to him about what we need to do...since nothing is helping him so far.  I mentioned the hospital last night and he said he might need to go, but then he seemed to calm down, so I dropped it.

He thinks it could be a spiritual thing since the meds don't work and he feels that the hallucinations are evil and trying to get him.

He did not mention wanting a clean needle today - which is what I was hoping.  Of course that doesn't mean he won't use.  There is nothing I can do about it if he does.

Tomorrow is his last appointment with his wonderful psychiatrist (he's retiring, good for him, bad for us).   I have to work so I can't go but I emailed him my concerns.  One problem is that his current doctor, Dr. H believes he has BP and his new doctor that has only seen him once thinks he as OCD.  I think Dr. H would know since he's seen him weekly or bi-weekly since January.

I hate this.  I hate when he seems okay only to find out he's not okay at all, just trying to protect me from how bad it is so that my life is affected.   I love him so much.

P.S.  Currently he's on:
Trazadone (for sleep)


He's seeing things again, really bad things.  He's freaking out.  I am going to stay up with him tonight.  He wants to use tomorrow.


Why can't he get a diagnosis?  He thinks he has Bipolar 1 with psychotic features, if he can figure that out why can't the dr?  Why aren't the meds working?


What am I suppose to do?  Sit by and watch him suffer and want to either use or kill himself to escape the demons (literally - that's what he sees) that are plaguing him?

He starts the day out manic and then cycles into this really freaky hallucinatory state.  I am afraid that if I take him to the hospital and they lock him up he will have an even worse breakdown...but I may not have a choice.

damn it....why do I ever think things are better?  they never are!

Hallucinations are most often associated with the mental illness schizophrenia. However, hallucinations may also occur for those with bipolar disorder when either depression or mania has psychotic features. Hallucinations are one possible characteristic specifically of Bipolar I Disorder; other less severe types of manic depression (Bipolar II and Cyclothymia, for example) by definition exclude the presence of hallucinations.

:Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality, typically including delusions (false ideas about what is taking place or who one is), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things which aren't there), and disorganized thinking.
Psychosis is associated with the manic phase of bipolar I disorderschizophrenia, andschizoaffective disorder. Other conditions where psychosis may be present includepostpartum psychosis, dementia, depressive episodes, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. The use of certain illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, can bring on psychotic episodes.
source:  About.com

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Dad on Fire

I have a ton of respect and appreciation for Bill Ford of Dad on Fire.  He knows addiction from all angles.  He is a recovered addict, he is a parent to addicts.  Bill is also a strong voice for change in drug policy and  educating people about addiction.

He is featured in Intervene, please stop by and check it out.

Each and every one of you is in my thoughts and prayers every single day.

I miss Lou from Subdural Flow :(

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 7, 2010

Quote for the Day:

By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive and by accepting reality: taking things as they are and not as I wanted them to be; by doing this, unusual knowledge has come to me, and unusual powers as well, such as I could never have imagined before. I have always thought that when we accepted things, they overpowered us in some way or other. This turns out not to be true at all, and it is only by accepting them that one can assume an attitude towards them. 

So now I intend to play the game of life being receptive to whatever comes to me: good and bad, sun and shadow, that are forever alternating; and in this way also accepting my own nature with its positive and negative sides. Thus everything becomes more alive to me. What a fool I was; how I tried to force everything to go according to the way I thought it ought to go.

-Carl Gustav Jung

Kelly Update

I wasn't going to write today, I want to spend my time on-line getting caught up with each of you.  Even if I don't comment, I am reading!  I'm just super tired today.

Yet, I am writing because Keven just told me the latest.  Keep in mind that Kelly's parents have kept her with them for days without letting her out of site.  The goal was to keep her clean until her court date (tomorrow) then ask the court to put her in rehab.

Last night they left her alone to attend a very important event in her younger brother's life (I feel sorry for the siblings of addicts).  She somehow convinced her parents that there was an NA meeting at the local church and had them drop her off there, so they felt that she would be okay for a few hours.

Sigh.  Long story short - she called Keven in hysterics cause she used with a girl and the girl passed out and she was alone and afraid.  Keven was at an NA meeting but left to pick her up, then brought her back to the meeting with him and about ten people talked with her.  From there he brought her home to her parents.

It never ends does it?  She was not dope sick, she just wanted to get high and the second the opportunity presented itself, she did.  This is not shocking this is normal addict behavior, but its still baffles my mind.

I'll call her mom later to see what's going on.

Does it ever stop hurting to see these young people ruining their lives?

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 6, 2010

Cautiously Hoping the Meds are Working....

I have seen Keven smile more in the last few days than I have in  months.  It would be nice to enjoy this, to feel good about it, but it could be nothing.  It could go away.  I like to think that the new meds are working (Abilify and Depakote).  I am afraid to see how much Abilify is going to cost, there is no generic for it and so far he's been using samples.

He is still sleeping with the lights on, which is not a good sign, but one thing at a time.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara
his week he is having some tattoo work done and has to drive all the way out to the desert to the guy's house.  Unbeknown to Keven, when he got his second tattoo (age 17 with a fake ID) he just happened to get this guy named Gus who just happens to be one of the best tattoo artists in Southern California.  This sounds like a good thing, but because of this Gus travels around most of the time now and does shows and workshops, etc. He started a huge piece on Keven's arm months ago and has been too booked up to finish it.  FINALLY he has time, but he quit working at the local tattoo shop and is now only doing some clients out of his home in the DESERT.  Since this is such an intricate piece it has to be done by the same artist...Gus designed it and has the other design "in his head" so no one can even copy it.  I am not thrilled about him having to drive two hours, sit for four hours then drive three or more hours home (traffic hour).  BUT....I do agree that it has to be done by Gus.  Its something that will adorn his body forever so quality is important.  We won't even talk about the cost of it or where he got the money but he will be paying someone back for a long time (if he ever gets a job or SSDI)Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 4, 2010

Hitting Bottom is Death for Some Addicts...

Today was the second day in a row that I witnessed Keven smile and laugh and did not see the "dark side".  He's at a meeting right now (they meet at picnic tables on the beach....nice!)

I am not thinking about what tomorrow may bring, I am just thankful that this ONE DAY was good.  As was yesterday.  That makes two days in a row...but the point is you can get caught up in the numbers and lose site of rejoicing in the ONE DAY.

In other news:  Kelly was over here last night, her mom dropped her off so she could visit me.  It was very sad.  She was so despondent, feeling so defeated, so mad at herself.  Her parents wanted to send her to Salvation Army but I think they are going to wait to see what happens in court and hope and pray for a drug ordered court program, hopefully PHOENIX HOUSE!

I told her it would be worth it to wait in jail for a bed to open and I think she would be willing to do that.  She is as thin as a rail when she's not using...yesterday I hugged her and wanted to cry.  She's also so beautiful (aren't they all?  youth is beautiful when its not tainted with drugs).

She said she wished there was some place on earth that she could go that there was no access to drugs.  But that place doesn't exist.  Its in jail and rehabs, small towns, suburbs, big cities, out in the boondocks.

My heart hurts for her because she's been doing this back and forth thing for years.  She had all my empathy until she started making excuses for WHY she started using again, she was lonely, she missed Ant.  Then I find out (from her) that Ant started using it in prison when he heard she was out here using it.  GEEZ!  I know how hard it is to stop when its calling your name night and day, but sometimes I think they look for reasons .... or am I just being really callous today?

I guess I wanted her to say "I need help, I surrender, I can't do it on my own, I've tried."

It seems like there are different types of addicts:  those who sincerely want to stop, those who sincerely wish they wanted to stop, and those who know they do not want to stop.

I think I am finally able to tell the difference when an addict really  wants sobriety and when they say they do but have no real intention of quitting.

I think I can finally recognize pure bullshit even when said with a straight face, perhaps even a few tears.  You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice:

in denial

The thing is, they flop back and forth so easily.

I think I've become less empathetic recently.  Kind of like I am worn out from it all.  I have to pick and choose who to invest my emotions in.  Its horrible to say this, but I have least hope for Anthony.  He's been doing this for seven years now and those of you who have read here for five months or more know he was "this close" to death in January.  I guess technically he was dead because a machine was keeping him alive.  That didn't phase him.

Neither did losing his mother when he was 14.

Anthony's mother died because of meth.  She chose that life.  She was never able to stop.  Having her two sons taken from her, having 80% of her body burned in a meth lab explosion, living on the street - NONE OF THAT was her "bottom".  Her bottom was death.  I have to face the fact sometimes that's how the story ends.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 3, 2010

Calm but Tired

I am soooooo tired today.  Worked from home and was on the phone most of the morning...non-stop.  I think that wears me out.  In the midst of the work related calls I also talked to Anthony twice, his grandmother three times and his girlfriend twice.

All the latest:

I sent money via Western Union to pay off Ant's debt to two dudes he owes.  His grandma paid the money, she finally decided that even if he was lying about getting beat up if he did not pay back, it was worth her own peace of mind to send the money he owed.

Anthony was relieved but is obviously concerned about what is going on out here with his girlfriend.

"Kelly" is considering a 6 month in patient treatment.  I asked her to please, please do it.  We'll see if she does.

Kev seems to be having a good day (knock on wood!)  He is going to go to a therapist I visited once to see if he likes her.  I am not sure if it will be a good fit but its a place to start.

Catching up on all your blogs....sometimes it amazes me what we all endure!  All those who miss having a boring simple life raise their hands.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 2, 2010

More drama UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so happy to report that the Keven related drama is over...the people involved (the accusers) dropped their claim against Keven's girlfriend's family because -it was a frigging lie and they knew it!  Keven was implicated by association - they didn't even know his name.  The sad thing is it was the principal of a school that made the false accusations...who can we trust these days?

BUT there is new drama related to Anthony and his gf, "Kelly".  This is sad.  Ant called me wondering if I knew where Kelly was.  I had a gut feeling that she was out using again yesterday because she was suppose to come see me and made up a stupid excuse.  So Ant asked me to look up and see if she was in jail.  I did, she wasn't.  Then he asked me to send him $200 so he won't get beat up for owing money (gave me a BS story that I KNOW means he used drugs in there).  I said SORRY, but I can't.

Ten minutes later I get a call from Kelly.  She was with her parents, they had just picked her up from JAIL.  She was arrested yesterday for being under the influence.  

Then the phone rings and Ant's dear grandmother asked me if I would take $200 to Western Union so Ant doesn't get beat up.  She is not able to drive herself.  I said sure.  I am doing it for her.

I feel embarrassed even writing all this down and looking at it...how did this become my life?

This is what happens to nice normal people who's kids get messed up with drugs.  Its never ending drama.  I hate it and won't participate any further other than doing what I feel is right to help Keven.  

From earlier:
I can't even discuss on here what the latest is because there are legal implications.  I am remaining calm because its so ridiculous but its still causing stress.

Also found out that Keven's dr. is retiring in July.  This is not good news.  He loves his dr. and so do I.  I've heard horror stories about psychiatrists that just dole out meds and meet with their patients for a few minutes at a time.  This guy talks to Keven for a half hour or MORE each visit.  Yesterday he talked to him for an hour an a half (no extra charge).

Why do good things come to an end and bad things keep happening?  (that's a rhetorical question!)

Today Keven seems to be having a good day....even with this latest drama.  I am just NOT going to allow myself to worry.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

June 1, 2010

New Meds

His dr. added Abilify and Depakote to the Risperdal, Neurontin and Welbutrin (plus Trazadone to sleep).  Are these drugs making him better or worse?

I was thinking about his future and then read Kris's post about her daugther.  I could relate so much.  I am still confused:  is it addiction?  is it mental illness?  I think its both.  All I know is he's paranoid and came home and checked every room in the house to make sure no one was here to get him, then sat down and wrote three poems to get the "demons off his back" for awhile.  The poems were about suicide.  One was about how he wish he had a gun because it would be so much easier than a knife.

Here is part of the comment I left for Kris, its how I feel:

As mothers we want our children to grow up and raise families of their own, or find a career or passion that fulfills them or all these things.  But with mental illness there is less chance of that happening than with a physical disability.  People have learned to do amazing things without limbs or site or the ability to hear - but without a stable mind its a battle to get through each day.

Not many people understand.  I made the mistake of telling some friends about his relapse and they both reminded me that he's had me wrapped around his little finger all his life and that this is a game to get attention and have his way.  Maybe part of that is true...but if this is a game then he is not a winner, there is no winner when you feel like death is the only way out.  He already has attention, support and pretty much everything else.  I don't see what he is gaining from this.

I have to go to work tomorrow.  Today I could barely move.  I was exhausted.  I managed to do a few things but am ready for bed (its 5:30 pm, a bit early)

P.S.  Anthony is doing well in prison.  I think he may have used a few times in there.  He didn't tell me that but his girlfriend said he's "doing pretty good" at avoiding drugs.  To me "pretty good" means, he slipped up a few times.  Does anyone else see it that way?

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara
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