December 31, 2011

Had to Call the Cops on Him

The last week has been one of the worse ever.  Without going into all the details, we let him come home for a few days after a hospital stay (he was covered in sores that were infected with staph and had to be on an IV antibiotic).  Knowing its always a bad idea to have him home, we still allowed it because he was in no condition to go back to another sleazy motel and get re-infected.

Since he's been home he's been using bath salts and acting crazy but I couldn't be sure that's what it was until this evening (his "normal" is so bizarre these days that I wasn't positive it was drugs).  Its  been unbearable but I was trying to hang on until Tuesday when he sees his PO and was hoping for a court ordered rehab just to get him off the streets because he is very susceptible to MRSA and I always fear him getting that flesh eating disease (I know...I can't help it).

This evening I knew he was shooting up in the bathroom so I told him to get out of the house and he left threatening to kill himself.  I called the cops.  They couldn't find him.  Then all of a sudden he comes walking back in the house so I called again and they came over.

He ran but the tackled him in our back yard (my mother and sister are at my brother's having a celebration so they didn't have to see this.  After the cops cuffed him one went back to search the area and found a huge butcher knife from our kitchen, showed it to Keven and told him if he had pulled this out he would have been shot dead.

Keven was so out of it and then he started faking a seizure but the cop said he wasn't born yesterday, blah blah blah.  Since he'd been injecting bath salts (which are legal!!!) they could not arrest him but he was so out of it they called the Fire Dept. and Paramedics.

One cop searched his room and the bathrooms for syringes but didn't find any.  Keven admitted he had thrown them in the sewer drain outside out house.

The Paramedics came and took him away, the cop went with him.  He said I should try and get Social Services invovled since nothing was working.  I think Keven, on top of being an addict, is mentally ill.  It may be drug induced or not and what difference does it make?  He's not normal.   Ever.  I am very scared for my boy.

I won't be going to visit him until maybe tomorrow afternoon or evening.  I'm sure he's pissed off at me but I know I did the right thing.

Tomorrow is a new year, a new beginning.

OH AND CHECK THIS OUT!  I FOUND A MEETING!  I've said in the past that I don't like Al-Anon mtgs. because I'm treated like an outsider and everyone is a snob.  Well, I went to one this morning (for parents) and I felt the LOVE!  I walked in the room and literally FELT the love.  It was awesome.  To my surprise two of my former co-workers were there, so it was a joyful reunion.  And Ant's grandma was there too, she'd been asking me to go with her for awhile so she was glad I showed up.

BTW, Ant's using again.  No surprise there, but I am sad about it.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 30, 2011

Don't Even Ask

The last few days have been awful.  What else is new right?  I can deal with this, my mother can't.  She's 87 years old and helped me raise Keven.  He's more than a grandson to her - he brought her so much joy when he was a kid, they were so close.  She'd even dress herself up on Halloween cause he got such a kick out of it (she is not the type to do such a thing - it was like he brought out a side to her none of us had ever seen before).  Now she's constantly worried and upset.  I am so mad at him for doing this.

I've been reading your blogs, just not in a commenting mood but am praying and caring.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 27, 2011

I Refuse to be a Drama Mama

Well, another Christmas has come and gone and I have to say this one was full of drug drama.  I was entangled in it for less than 24 hours and have extricated myself (is that the right word? it sounds funny).  Anyhow, Keven is in the hospital covered with infections all over his face, hands and body from his meth use, he's there to detox but they have him in isolation due to the severity of his condition.  Lovely.

Ant is - well, I don't know.  He WAS in the hospital (he didn't get arrested Christmas night, he ran and that's when he sprained his ankle - they kept him in the hospital for 24 hours).  He called me crying and begging me to let him stay here since he couldn't walk, had no where to go and needed rest.  I almost laughed, but just said "No."  (oh, and he said "I guess I shouldn't have gone to try and help Keven".  Nice excuse, make it sound like you were the hero rescuing my son who just happened to have a place for him to stay, money and DRUGS.)

Its amazing, but not surprising, how quickly addiction can take all the hard work a person has put into recovery and then flush it in the toilet after one use.  Its also amazing how a handsome young man can look like a monster after one week of using.

Today I have some plans for things I enjoy doing (its my normal day off so I had a 4 day weekend!).  And hopefully I will get to spend time with my friend Kathy.  But before any of that, I'm going to catch up on blogs and see what's going on with you guys.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 26, 2011

Meth Sucks but I'm Smiling

I'm used to seeing Keven on heroin, and have seen him on various types of speed, but meth is like nothing else - not crazy making like bath salts, but its UGLY.  The twitching, the picking, the weirdness, the non-stop pacing, etc.  Kev used to arrogantly put down "tweakers", now he is one.

I just want to clarify that I am not being sucked back into his choices, nor Anthony's.  I am going to pick him up this morning and take him to the doctor, then drive him to a detox.  I've always said I will help him only when it involves positive steps toward recovery.

As for the other one - he is not in jail.  He's in the hospital with a broken ankle (got it running from the cops, and for once he got away).  He begged and pleaded with me to come see him last night (they kept him because of his severe dehydration).  I wouldn't talk to him, I sent him a text that said "I'm following your advice, you told me to cut all contact with Keven because he was using.  Call me when you have 6 months".

The good news is, I'm calm.  I'm not upset.  I'm having a delicious cup of coffee made by my new FREE Keurig coffee maker (also a year's worth of free coffee!).

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 25, 2011


Keven is here with me.  He came for dinner.  He looks like hell and is going to detox/rehab tomorrow.  He's not spending the night here!!!

As for right now - Anthony may be the one in jail.  Either way, I am disconnecting with Anthony as of today.  I will talk to him once to say "call me when you have 6 solid months clean".  I may never hear from him again, that's okay.

I could tell the wild, scary, stupid story of what happened tonight, but I'll spare you the drama.


Texted Keven to invite him to Christmas dinner.  He said he's going to jail right now.  I called, it went to voice mail.  I text again twice asking if he was being arrested, or what.  No response.  If so, it may be the best Christmas gift possible?  I don't know.  I just want to know what's going on.  I'm okay.  I hope he is.

With Love,

December 24, 2011


Today I was walking through a very peaceful and beautiful nature area with my sis and my friend and our dogs.  I had this overwhelming desire to call Keven, but I didn't.  I texted Anthony instead.  He told me he hasn't seen him since the other day but that he calls him several times a day and that he is really bad off, detoxing on his own, and wanting help.

So then I texted Keven, "I love you".  He wrote back saying he loved me too, that he was clean at the moment and ready to stop and trying to get help.  I wrote back that I had faith in him and knew he could do it, and he wrote back "I know I can too".  Then no more texts.

Anthony just called me again to tell me Keven wants to call me, wants me to rescue him but Ant told him all the reasons that was a bad idea.

I know this is not Anthony's problem, but he does best when he's helping other people and he wants to help Keven.  He said he seems completely lost.

So, that's the latest.  I am fighting all my urges to run and save him, in fact, they aren't as strong as I thought they would be.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, you are all precious to me.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 23, 2011

The Dam is About to Break

I can feel the tears building up pressure and don't know how much longer I can keep them at bay.  I'm afraid if I allow myself to cry I won't be able to stop.

I just read that a friend (who lost her sister to cancer two years ago) just lost her brother to a heart attack today.  I just read a message on FB by my 16 year old nephew that says he's depressed and hopeless and wants to die.  I know many of you out there are hurting.  I just want it all to stop.  Why does life have to hurt so much?

Haven't heard from Ant so I know what's he's up to and can't help but wonder if he's with Kev.  I need to return a call to Ant's grandmother but I can't bring myself to call her.

Tomorrow my friend Nuel is coming over with his big black dog and he, my sister and I are taking our three dogs for a hike nearby.  I need to be in nature.  I need to get this pressure off my chest.  I need Nuel's arms around me.  (no - nothing romantic there - just a 30 year old friendship).

Sorry this is a downer but its how I feel at the moment.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

P.S.  Just saw this on VJ's blog, its a quote from his counselor, a reminder I needed too:

"My counselor last comment was
reminding me that addiction is a
brain disease and that it is more
powerful than my son's love for
his family, more powerful than
logic and reason, more powerful
than the pain it creates in his

What Will Christmas Bring?

I thought I'd spend my morning catching up on blogs and just read a bunch, but new posts have popped up.  Is there such a thing as being "caught up" on blogs?  No :)

One blog I read got me thinking about something that is often on my mind:  The changes in my life, and in myself that are a result of Keven's addiction.  (if you go read the blog please read Annette's comment too).

I am a different person than I was - and in most ways I think I am a better person.  I've "dropped" so many things that were obstacles to my well being.  I've never been judgmental, but whatever judgementalism that was in me is long gone; I'm more patient; I am more calm; I am less reactive; I prioritize what's important in life differently; I love deeper; I hurt deeper too.  I could go on but this is personal enough, you get the idea.

On the other side of the coin, I have also lost part of myself, some of my passions have dimmed, my ability to know true peace has been obliterated, there is a hole in my heart that constantly aches, I grieve daily for the son I once knew and the future I once hoped for him.

Today marks a week of no contact from him.  I have to wonder if he will show up on Christmas?  And if he does, what will I do?  I have decided I will text him on Christmas saying "Merry Christmas, I love you".  Calling is out of the question, just typing it makes me start to cry.

Each of us is going to have our own unique holiday this year.  For some it will be joyful, for others not so much....I just want to let you know that I am thinking of each of you and hoping and praying for the best possible holiday as possible.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 21, 2011

A Lot of Hurt Out There Today

Hi Everyone, just wanted to do an update on my boys and also say that I've been catching up on blogs and see a lot of hurt, anger, anxiety, etc. out there today.  I think this time of year exacerbates all the emotions we feel all year long.  Its just part of the holidays (even for those not dealing with addiction, lots of lonely people out there or people missing loved ones that have passed away, etc.)  So lets be extra sensitive and encouraging to pull through to our new and wonderful year of 2012 (I like the sound of it, maybe cause it reminds me of the Rush album, 2112?)


I've been pushing thoughts of Anthony and Kev using together out of my head all day.  While I was walking at lunch I got a text from Ant saying "I'm at Starbucks, Keven is meeting me here, oh here he comes now...shit!  he's so shot up looking!  Never seen him this bad".

Ok, that wasn't easy to hear, but wasn't a shock.

I said "Anthony - you're playing with fire....."

He said "No, seriously, Mom, I got this, I just want to tell him if he needs help to find a rehab I'm here."

Ok.  So hours pass and I go about my day and force out all negative thoughts.  I'm thinking the worst.  Why hasn't he called or texted me in hours (he told me he'd text me after he left Keven).

Finally a phone call, he sounded great, he had left Keven sooner than expected because he just couldn't stand to see him so bad off (see how it feels, Anthony!).  Keven lost his wallet and kicked out the girl that was keeping him company so he's alone with no money or access to money.  Things are looking brighter ever minute.

So that's where its at right now.  I hope Ant just lets Keven figure this out for himself.  I sound so callous and uncaring toward my son, but I can't allow myself to feel too much right now or I'd breakdown, so I'm doing my best to stay mad vs. concerned.  What a bitch this is to deal with.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

I Know Where He Is, Etc.

Spent some time with Anthony last night, we went to dinner and I gave him a ride home.  It was good.  He told me he found Keven, he'd been trying for days just to see how he was doing.  He's doing exactly as we expected:  he's in a motel with a girl doing drugs.  End of story.  He told Ant that "I need to figure out what I'm gonna do in the next few days".  REALLY?  How profound.

I know who he's with, a girl he met in jail (they were both in custody and at Opportunity Court together so got to "know" each other while in the cage in court).

I'm just plain angry and disappointed, but not at all surprised.

FYI, Ant has been going to meetings and talking to his sponsor.  I was right, there is something up with him and we had a good talk about it.  In a comment Bugerlugs said maybe he needs a mom and a the program, I think she's right.  I'll be honest, it makes me nervous that Kev just happens to be in a motel within walking distance of Ant's sober living, so we talked about it.  We both know Kev would love nothing more than to go on a run with his "brother" and Ant knows it. He assured me that it wouldn't happen that "he would never do that to me".  I said "wait a minute! This isn't about me it's about YOU and your recovery".  He said, "Yeah, I know, but its also about you."  I am not fooling myself by thinking it can't happen, but I sure as heck hope it doesn't.  It truly would be a devastating blow.

In other news, "Homedrugtest Kit" posted an article on a synthetic drug ban in Tennesse and what the head shop owners are doing to get around the ban.  Its sickening to me that people knowingly sell such a dangerous substance with no regard for human life - only for $$$.  You can read it here:

Head shop owners don’t care how they make their killing… even if their most popular product is a killer!
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 20, 2011

Comment Question plus Thoughts on Anthony

Good Morning Wonderful People Who Read Here!

I have a blogging question:  When you leave a comment do you go back to see if the person you left the comment for responded or not?

I've always tried to respond to the comments left me, sometimes I simply don't have to time to respond to each one individually, but each one matters to me and I like to acknowledge them (even the ones that initially upset me, I appreciate :)

I was getting ready to respond to some things that were said on my last post but wondered if the people who said them would ever notice.  So, like I often do, when someone says something that is "noteworthy" I write about it.

Got one of those noteworthy comments yesterday from Shelly and then several others added to what she had to say (have I said lately how amazingly blessed I am to have you people in my life!?  I can't say it often enough).

Shelly said something like "don't let Anthony replace Keven" and then Annette said something about a co-dependents need to be needed and a few others chimed in as well.

For the last 5 months (since he was arrested in July) I've noticed my relationship with Anthony get closer than ever.  I've pondered the whole dynamic - is this healthy, am I using him to fill the needs that Keven doesn't fill (telling me what a great mom I am, affection, appreciation, etc.)?  I know that those things make me feel so good, but is it wrong?  Is it unhealthy?  I don't know.  I do know I love the kid and can't help that.  I don't know how much of  our relationship is healthy or unhealthy or good or bad.

It scares me that he's suddenly in a vulnerable place right now (did I mention that?) and has asked to see me two days in a row.  Yesterday I said I was busy (really too tired after work) but today I will go see him.  I actually have a legit reason:  his father sent him a letter to my house from prison and I want to give it to him.

Yes, I see the unhealthiness in me needing to be needed.  But I don't really want to be needed right now.  I really don't.  I want him to be independent and happy and healthy and just to enjoy the "new Anthony".  So I guess that makes me co-dependent too.  I don't know the answers, I'm just sharing this cause I want to get it off my mind.

I want to do the right thing for my boys, and myself.  I want to do the right things for all concerned.  I'm just going to keep following my instincts but monitoring my motives and listening to what everyone else has to say with an open mind, because so often others can see things in our lives that we can't see ourselves.

Speaking of my boys:  4 days and haven't heard from or attempted to contact Keven.  My mother seems a bit better today, I heard her laugh at the dog (she hadn't even smiled since I told her the news).  Time does make things easier.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 19, 2011

Misunderstanding Introverts

Back in Feb of this year I did a post on my other blog called "Misunderstanding Introverts".  That post got more hits than any post I've ever written (there were over 1700 on that blog alone).  I just ran across an article an Intro friend of mine shared on FB.  Being introverted in an etrovert world has been challenging, frustrating and sometimes even hurtful.  We tend to be misunderstood.

So if your an Intro or an Extro these 10 myths will either confirm what you already know about yourself, or help you understand those in your life that are "different" than you.  I highlighted the things that are ultra true about me!  I'm guessing quite a few of the people who read here may be introverts based on the fact that Blogging (or any type of writing) is kind of an Intro activity.

I wish I would have realized all this back in high school, people thought I was stuck up and nothing could have been further from the truth.  It still hurts me to think anyone could think that of me.

"...only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.)

So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (not taken directly from the book, but based on my own life experience):

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.  
(this explains why my sister and I can't go out shopping or to museums, etc. together)

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

“You cannot escape us, and to change us would lead to your demise.” <-- I made that up. I'm a screenwriter.

It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become "normal." Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.

Here's the article in its entirety if you're interested

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Went to a Meeting

Last night I went to a parent's Nar-Anon meeting.  It was small, ten people plus me, and I was the only newcomer.  The person in charge of newcomer packages apologized for not having one for me, then at the end of the meeting she said "you probably don't need a packet, you're an old-timer!"  That made me feel good.

I saw myself in every person that spoke - me three years ago, two years ago, last year and today.  I only shared a little bit but I kind of echoed what another mom was saying in hopes that the parents who were not ready to let go and the ones that just had, would not spend Christmas worrying that their kid is freezing and hungry on the streets of South Orange County, CA.  It just ain't gonna happen like that!  (it doesn't get that cold here for one, I think of Lou's Andrew in the snow during his using days - that's COLD).

Addicts are clever and have their own little community of fellow users.  I know Keven is not in the gutter somewhere, I am certain he's at someone's house or in a motel.  He is not hungry, he doesn't need anything.  He's doing drugs and that's all he cares about.  Hopefully he won't OD or get murdered or hurt, but other than that....what's the worst that can happen?  Odds are he will survive just like the majority of addicts who CHOOSE this lifestyle.

I read  this on Annette's blog today:

I do not want to see my child nodding off, glassy eyed, slurring her words, disheveled, skinny, rambling a mile a minute or raging.
Neither do I!  I never want to see him like that again, and I'll just add paranoid, hallucinating, with his skin broken out in scabs, bruises and track marks all over his arms/neck, ETC.  (although he's not skinny - he's actually put on weight!)

I refuse to subject myself to that ever again.  I've placed myself in the direct path of  his anger, his insane behavior, his symptoms, for too long.  I'm just done.  I want to see him clean.  I want to see him trying to get clean.  I don't want to see him like I know he is today.

I'll update you on Anthony later - please pray for him, he's struggling.  He wants me to go see him after work, he needs someone to talk to.  He didn't use but I can hear the fear in his voice.  I reminded him that he is in control right now because he's NOT HIGH so to choose to stay that way.  I'm trying so hard not to worry about him.  Much more concerned for him than the other one today.

Praying for you and your fams.  

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 17, 2011


As always, thanks for the comments on the last post.

FYI:  I am not involving Ant at all.  We talk everyday, he usually calls me but today I called him.  He offered to make some calls and I said NO!  No, no, no.  He said he was glad I said that.  He reminded me as all of you did - to not do a damn thing.  Believe me, I'm not.  I am 100% not even tempted to contact him.

Only time will tell what happens with Keven.

In the meantime, I have plenty to do in my own life.  My friend Kathy and I have plans to have FUN in 2012.  That should give me something to share on blog posts :)

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

He Took Off

Just got a call from the house manager asking me if I knew that Keven had taken off in the middle of the night with all his stuff.

I said "no, I didn't, but now I do".

All I can say is, I'm letting go.

P.S.  I am not calling him, but I did call Kelly and she called to find out he's in San Clemente somewhere with some guy he met at a mtg.  I have a call in to Anthony, I need a hug.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 16, 2011

Good Meeting

Tonight was Family Group and Keven brought along his friend "Kelly" who truly is like part of our family.  There was a panel of three women from Al-Anon.  One made no sense at all but the other two seemed to touch everyone there, including my son.  One was the mother of an opiate addicted daughter and her sharing was raw and emotional.  At the end she asked for advice from the young addicts there on communication.

Kelly shared (she has about 2 weeks clean and is using Suboxone, she lives with her parents).   Kelly basically told her not to ask her daughter details about her recovery because it was her daughter's recovery, not hers.  She said to be supportive without nagging or asking a lot of questions and to make sure she was living her own life.  I think everyone agreed, I felt proud of her for speaking up and sharing.

Afterward the woman complimented me on my "great kids".  (They do look like siblings, right down the the glasses, brown hair and height).  I told her I couldn't take credit for Kelly but agreed that she was a great kid (she's 21).

I shared in the meeting too!  I talked about what my first Al-Anon mtg. was like and everyone laughed because they could relate to my naivete way back in the early days of this mess.  All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening which included GENUINE laughter and smiles coming from my son :)   Music to my ears.

It would be wonderful if Kelly and her bf and Keven can all stay on the recovery path together.  They have plans to do normal things - movies, swap meet, hiking, the Renaissance Fair, etc.  Its dangerous for recovering addicts to hang out together, but I'm not going to worry.  I'm just going to watch from a distance and pray.

P.S.  I think I was talked into getting a smartphone by the two K's on the drive home.  I am paying $100 a month for a dumb phone so why not upgrade, right?  Anyone have a phone that they LOVE?  Not sure if I want an iPhone, was thinking more of a Droid....

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Anthony

I never imagined I'd be adopted by one of Keven's friends; and for all the trouble/heartache  he's caused me, I never imagined I'd be so happy to have Anthony in my life.  But I am.

Today he is 24  years old and on a great path of recovery and spiritualtiy.  I'm so proud of him and excited for his future.  Sure, things could crash and burn, but the changes are so evident and so real, I think he's "done" for good.

He has a four year old son that barely knows him and he is determined to be a good father to him starting now, since he messed up for the last 4 years.

(that reminds me, he found out the other day that his father is getting a life sentence, which he deserves, imo)

So happy birthday, dear Anthony.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 14, 2011

I think I mentioned this before, but when Keven was in the hospital the nurse told me about some of the patients that never "came out of" their experience with bath salts and Ecstacy and will require 24/1 care for the rest of their lives. I can't help but wonder if there was any permanent damage to Keven's brain after he went on his binge with this crap. It needs to be banned EVERYWHERE. I think I will make this my new cause since in some ways, its more dangerous than heroin because it can damage you forever. :( (some more positive news: Keven called Anthony and told him he got a sponsor. A good step in the right direction.) Thanks to Homedrugtestkit's Blog and Jeff S. for constantly sharing good articles on their site and FB food page (you should friend them on FB). Hey - how many of you are on FB that I am not friends with? Let me know if you want to connect there, its kind of fun to see what people share. Isle of Man teenager's death prompts 'legal highs' drug ban Continue reading the main story Related Stories Rise in number of 'legal highs' High, above the law The death of a teenager from the Isle of Man has prompted the banning of so-called legal high drugs by the Manx parliament. It makes a group of substances, often referred to as MDAI, a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1976. The Manx legislation, which is expected to be followed by a similar ban in the UK, takes effect on 1 January 2012. Health Minister, David Anderson said the government action sends out a serious message on the Isle of Man. "Clearly, this is a dangerous substance, which has tragically cost the life of a young girl [in April, this year]," said Mr Anderson. "The priority is the safety of our people, and I hope that in bringing this ban, we're able to send a serious message and help prevent this substance causing any ill-effect to anyone in our community. "That said, there should not be an interpretation by anyone that other 'legal highs' which are available to the public, but have not been banned, are in anyway safe to take." Education 'a must' A record number of new "legal highs" were reported across Europe in 2010, with four times as many found in the UK than any other country, figures show. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said there were 41 new substances , of which 16 were first reported in the UK. The sale of legal highs, which include substances like bath salts, fertiliser and cleaning fluid, over the internet makes their control difficult. Deputy Chief Executive of the Department of Health, Lesley Keenan said: "Banning a substance doesn't mean it just disappears, so education and awareness-raising are a must. "To that end we've asked that the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Education and Children work together via the Drug and Alcohol Steering Group on a campaign outlining the need for people to take responsibility for their own decisions in respect of drugs, regardless of whether they are legal or illegal." The UK government is expected to bring in similar legislation.

Designer Drugs Fry Brain Like Ecstasy

Date: 14 December 2011 Time: 10:35 AM ET
You can follow LiveScience staff writer Jennifer Welsh on Twitter @microbelover . Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience  and onFacebook .Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 13, 2011

From the Perspective of a Young Addict

The most popular post on this blog (according to the stats) is the one called "Goodbye to Heroin Letter".
Recently a young lady left a comment there and I'd like to share it here.  I thanked her for it and told her that most parents appreciate hearing what its like for the addict, and especially coming from someone who managed to walk away from it.  It gives me perspective and allows me to be more empathetic toward Keven rather than angry.  Anger has taken over lately and it serves only one purpose:  to help me say no to him, and to let him go.  But on a day to day basis anger has no place in my heart.  Anyhow, here is what she wrote:

"I was recently struggling with a heroin addiction, I am also a teen. Just 18 years old, started heroin when I was 14. This girl was a strong girl.. Us, heroin addicts, are helpless to change and in fact we try very hard, but only if I could explain how powerful addiction is.. My theory of heroin addiction is like being in a boxing ring with a lot stronger and bigger monster, the monster continues to knock us down, over and over and over again, but yet we get back up and continue the fight against it.. I am a very young girl, and the experience with heroin that I had was terrible, but its why I am who I am today. And I am greatful that I found god and he helped me through this. I pray for every addict out there to get help! In the end GOD WILL ONLY HELP ADDICTS STAY CLEAN AND SOBER.. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!"

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 12, 2011

Feeling Blah - UPDATE

I did take a walk in the rain and it was wonderful.  I feel better right now.  My son even texted me and was courteous.  Then your comments made me laugh and feel better too.   Thanks!


No date for me tonight, he cancelled at 7:30 am.  I was not surprised, I had a feeling he was going to.  I'm not disappointed, I was hoping he would.  I'm just not in the mood.  I hope that someday I am in the mood.  What would be really wonderful is to meet a guy the old fashioned way - we run into each other somewhere, there's a mutual interest, we go out on a first date.  This online dating is so annoying and impersonal.  He TEXTED me to cancel our date.  Remember the good old days where you had to get up the courage to actually call someone to cancel a date?  I've heard of some people breaking up with someone over the phone.  That's cold and takes no guts.

His Addiction:

Keven seems angry and depressed.  I'm doing my best to just not think about him, to let go, let God, etc.  But there's a place in my heart that is just for him and I can feel that place hurting.  It feels like I am waiting for disaster to strike because I'd bet money he's not done yet.  He's biding his time at rehab and then will go out and use.  BUT, hopefully I am WRONG.

Anthony continues to do well.  He called me for some advice yesterday.  He has to move out of the place he's in and is not sure where to go so ran some ideas by me.  Money is such a pain when you don't have enough to get by.  He almost had a job, but it fell through and he's looking really hard, but you know how it is these days.  Luckily he has tattooing to earn some income while he's looking.

I feel kinda blah and sad for many of us today.  I am going to take a walk, in the RAIN, with my umbrella on my lunch hour, maybe that will help me feel better.  On my walk, I'll be praying for each of us and our addicts.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 10, 2011

Another Mom...

I just read a post by Terri where she talks about running into an old friend who's son is also using.  And there was a comment left here by Debbie, another mom going through what we've all been through (and many still going through).  Debbie doesn't have a blog, but hopefully she can find some comfort and encouragment through reading some of our blogs.  I am going to share her comment here (assuming she won't mind since she left it in a public place):

This is a new experience for my family. I just learned my 19 year old son has been smoking heroin. In all honesty the signs were there I just didn't see it or maybe didn't want to acknowledge it. When we talked to my son he exploded. Later that night he overdosed on sleeping pills. Thankfully he survived that and spent the past 2 days undergoing a psch evaluation. He was just moved to a detox unit at another hospital. His attitude is good and says he really wants to get clean and to stay that way. I know he and our family have a difficult path in front of us. I don't think I have ever been as frightened as I am at this point
My thoughts for you, dear Debbie:

My heart literally hurts as I read this.  I think I can honestly say I know how you feel.  Your son reminds me a lot of my son in the details you shared.  I found out about his heroin use in December 08, he had just turned 18.  He also took a handful of sleeping pills but survived.  That was the beginning of stays in mental health units, rehabs and jail.  I HOPE THAT YOUR SON IS OPEN TO HELP NOW.  But one thing I've learned is that you can't force recovery, they have to want it.  My family has offered recovery to my son (rehabs, etc.) and so far he hasn't been ready.  Maybe he is now, maybe not.  I KNOW how disappointing and scary that is to hear.   I'll never forget my shock when we were at a family group for the first time and heard how many addicts were there for the second and third time.  I thought "wow, that's sad, I'm sure Keven will get it this first time".  Its actually funny looking back on it, but mostly sad that I was so wrong and so naive.  Try to educate yourself as much as you can about heroin.  If your son is smoking it vs. slamming it, maybe he has a better chance.  I wish I could say something really comforting like "don't worry, it gets better" or "he'll be okay" or whatever.  I honestly can't imagine a greater pain than going through this, there is no way to sugarcoat it.  But Al-Anon does help and so does sharing with others and being a part of a community (like the bloggers who have found each other through our blogs).  I don't know your son's name, and I don't need to - but I added both of you to my list of parents/addicts that I pray for daily.  One thing I can tell you is that you are NOT alone.  If you ever need to talk, email me.  Hopefully your son is one of the ones that does choose recovery sooner than later, that's my hope and prayer.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 9, 2011

Updates on Stuff

I feel sad and stressed today.  I think the sad has to do with Keven (just an overall thing - nothing specific) and the stress is because I have a DATE Monday night.  Me, a date.  I have not felt like dating for a very long time, in fact, I still don't feel like dating.  But this guy seems too good to pass up on meeting so I will do my best not to be stressed and just get it over with.  Who knows, maybe we will like each other.  It just doesn't appeal to me right now. do you reply when you get around to talking about y our kids and he says "so tell me about your son"?  I haven't dated since all this shit happened.  I had a boyfriend for the first year of it and he was supportive, but haven't felt like dating since that ended.

In other news:

Anthony got pulled over and harassed yesterday.  The cops in our city know him and pulled him over (he was not driving, a female friend was and they pulled her over for not having a front licence plate - that's BS, I didn't have one for 11 years and never got pulled over).  When they stopped her, they went to the passenger side, guns drawn and made Anthony get out of the car, and put him in the back of their call and called a bunch of back-up.  He told them he was sober now but they proceeded to rip this poor girl's car apart and found nothing.  He thinks they are mad because they had been searching for him for a month when he had a warrant, but Huntington Beach made the arrest.  In any case, he said it was the first time he sat in a cop car with a smile on his face knowing there was NOTHING that could happen to him.

Keven.  Ugh.  I don't know.  I like the place he's at, they called me today about something and said he was doing good, but he tried to get away with something already.  Part of me wonders why we even gave him this chance?  He was just such a mess after all that bath salt crap.

Kelly (Keven's good friend) called me today to tell me her parents took her to the Dr. to get on Suboxone and she's going to clean up.  We had a nice talk.  I can tell she's still hurt that I am close to Anthony because she doesn't believe he's changed.  I hope she does well, she's such an amazing young lady (but aren't most addicts?  they are our children, neighbors, friends....some of them ARE US, good people with a bad disease).

I'm kinda feeling down.  It must be the date thing, right?  I will tell you all details after it happens.  I don't even want to talk about it yet.  I'm hoping he cancels.  What is WRONG with me?  I guess I just don't have the confidence I used to.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 8, 2011

John Lennon

I was, and still am, a huge fan:

Remember John Today (from my music blog)

My tribute to him:

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Son

First of all I'd like to wish my son a Happy 21st Birthday.  As some of you may know, Keven was not "planned".  I got together with an ex bf ONE TIME and he was conceived.  At the time I was 29 and was moving my way up in a very successful company.  I wasn't sure if I ever wanted children, but I definitely didn't want one then.  After several months of crying I finally started to accept that motherhood was happening if I liked it or not and the next thing I knew, I was in love with my unborn baby :)  I never found out if he was a boy or girl but I had hoped for a boy because I didn't think I could handle a girl (based on my own relationship with my mother).

So out of "an accident" came the most wonderful, life-changing, me-changing thing that's ever happened to me.  I flourished being a new mom ... I had never known such joy.  I changed my life around so that I could be home with him as much as possible.  I discovered depths of love I had never known were possible.

Keven is a good person.  He's compassionate, kind, generous, authentic, honest, fun.  He's also depressed, has serious anxiety issues and low self esteem.  Its sad to see someone that is so likable feel so unworthy.  Of course when he's high/using, another person comes to the surface and he's someone I don't like much at all.  What keeps me going, hoping and supporting is the fact that I KNOW that Keven underneath it all is a valuable, lovable, and someone I am PROUD to call my son.

My hope for him today is that as he enters this new rehab, this one last chance (lets see I think this is the 10th "one last chance" he's had), is the turning point of his life.  I also hope his selfish, arrogant, stupid father calls him today even though he doesn't even know how old he's going to be.  (he's an alcoholic - do you think that is one of the reasons Keven's an addict, he has the gene?).  On his 18th birthday his dad got him shitfaced drunk and then let him drive himself home...which he was incapable of so his gf had to drive his car even though she barely knew how to drive.

Ok.  So I got that out of my system.

Happy Birthday, Keven....I love you with all my heart.  I will never give up hope.

December 6, 2011


Thank you to everyone who's entered Amazon through this page to make their purchases!  I just checked my account and I've made a little money (less than $20, but I'm still excited!).

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

I Still Miss Him

36 years ago today I lost my father to cancer.  I was 15 at the time, my brother 12 and my sister 10.  I had to grow up fast after that.  We still refer to him as "Daddy" because we never stopped calling him that.

His last months were very sad and traumatic.  They did things a lot differently back then.  He had several very invasive surgery's removing a lung, a kidney....I don't like to think about it.

He was a good father.  He was a blue collar worker that worked 60 hours a week to support us.  Every summer he'd take two weeks off and we'd have a family vacation - often driving to Minnesota, South Dakota, Maine - and once to the very tip of Mexico.

He was a WWII Vet and was a Paratrooper Medic at the Battle of Bastogne (I have the plaque they gave him).  He LOVED his mother, his wife, his children.  We had a very special bond - he had hoped for a daughter as his first born and got me :)

My love for music is because of my dad.  Our weekly ritual was to watch the Ed Sullivan Show together and I can remember seeing the first performance by The Beatles and even at the tender age of four, I was hooked!

I still miss him.  I wonder how my life would have been different if he had lived longer.  Would I have been the promiscuous party girl I was in my teens/early 20's?  I think having him around would have made me more stable, but I could be wrong.  Would I have met and married a nice man and had several kids?  Would I have gone to college?  What would Keven be like if he had Grandpa Gerald in his life?  Can the presence of a loving father/grandfather really make a difference?

At the time of his death I shut down emotionally.  I refused to grieve.  I had a traumatic incident happen the day of his funeral that still hurts me to this day (although I've forgiven the people involved).  I chose to stay stoned (smoked pot) every day for at least a year after he died.  So I do understand why some addicts use, it does ease the pain.  But luckily I got sick of it and just quit one day.

I do remember having one breakdown shortly after his death.  I was in Health Class and my teacher was Coach H., a popular football coach who had a daughter my age that also went to my HS.  I'm not sure what he said in class but it touched me and opened a wound and after the bell rang and the classroom emptied, I was still sitting stuck in my chair unable to move.  He asked if I was okay and I broke down crying.  I'll never forget the look on his face, he didn't know what to do.  I think he wanted to hug me but knew he couldn't.  He may have patted my shoulder.  I was crying because I wanted a father, I wanted my father but since he was gone, I wanted Coach H to be my father.  Weird, huh?  It was very embarrassing for both of us so I pulled it together and left.

I don't have a lot of pictures of my dad, he was always behind the camera.  I look like him, like his side of the family, and I think Keven does too.  This is the last pic we have of him with us kids:

Thanks for letting me share!

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 4, 2011

Message from Anthony

He sent me a text this morning with this picture and one word, "Serenity".

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 3, 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I am trying to be in the Christmas spirit this year.  The last few years we didn't even do gifts but this year my mom, sis and I are picked names so we will each get something.  I'm not sure what to get Keven, but will figure that out later.

I never in a million years would have believed I'd be the type of person to dress up a dog - or even own a small dog!  But I am :)

Saw Keven again last night.  I can see in his eyes that he's scared, plus he told me he was.  He said he never wants to go through this again.  His foray into Bath Salts really did a number on him.  He told me that he'd hallucinated on drugs before but he was always aware that he was high and that it would wear off.  But with Bath Salts he was convinced everything around him was really happening and he didn't know how to escape, other than calling 911 on himself.

Today is the first day since Monday that he's felt "normal" (i.e. he's not sleeping all day, he can think clearly).  He wants help.  He wants to make it.

Now of course I've heard this all before and believed it a few times...but I seriously think that this experience shook him up bad enough to POSSIBLY cause him to take recovery seriously.  My mom, sis and I have decided that we will pay for another residential treatment (out of the four he's been in we've only paid for one, 2 were county beds and 1 was a scholarship).  Luckily we found one that his insurance covers at 80% so our amount will be $1000 each.  I don't have $1000 but am working on selling a few gold $20 coins that are worth about 1,500 each.  Its worth it to me.  Gold coins are nothing, my son is everything.

He told me where he had some drugs hidden in his room from his last visit here so I flushed it last night.  He said there is nothing else in the house.  (side note - the other day Anthony told me that he had gear stashed all over the county in different places so that if he scored some dope he'd be prepared.  Is that common?)

I searched my soul about this and think its the right thing to do for Keven.  One last chance for him to make it happen for himself.  Please don't tell me its the wrong thing to do, I don't want to throw him in the streets right now.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

December 1, 2011

I Saw Him Last Night

He asked me to come to visiting hour because he wanted to see me.  I thought hard about it and chose to go.  He looked awful.  I have never seen my handsome son looking so bad, you could tell he'd been using meth (he admitted to me that he had).  Why meth?  Maybe he couldn't get heroin?  Who knows - who really cares.

He was so doped up on whatever they are giving him that he could barely keep his eyes open.  The gist of our conversation was "I don't want to live like this anymore, I don't want to go on another run".

I listened and said I was glad he felt that way but that I'd heard it too many times to take it seriously, I needed to see it to believe it.

He asked me to get him a list of programs, inpatient, outpatient, sober living etc. since he has no access to a computer.  I will do that for him.

I asked the nurse how they were going to diagnose him if he was so out of it and she said that the drugs were to keep him mellow and help him sleep (he sleeps 80% of his time there)  and that as his brain chemicals got balanced he would be more and more coherent.

He's still hallucinating.

I hope I don't get a lot of comments that this was the wrong thing to do.  I really contemplated not doing it, but my stand is that I will help him in the right direction and that's what he was asking for.  He may not even remember me being there :(

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara
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