February 25, 2012

Goodbye Heroin Letter

Today I was going to write about my son's "love affair" with heroin.  Then I saw this letter which was published by this girl's parents after she died, only a month after writing it.  The article about it is  here.

When Keven talks about heroin, its as if he's talking about an old friend, or a lost love that he misses.  Hearing him talk that way concerns me, but it also helps me understand a bit more of what he's fighting against. This letter says so much.  I am so sorry this young woman lost the battle.  How many more will die?  I can't stand it.  Something has to change.

Question:  Do you think if teens were to read a letter like this one that it would stop them from trying it that first time?


Goodbye Heroin, by 17-year-old Hannah Meredith.
 Dear Heroin,

I never want to touch you ever again, you've ruined my life, made me steal from my family, on probation 'cause of you, why I choose you I don't know?
You're the worst thing that ever came into my life. Yes, I did love you but now it's time to say goodbye.
I'm so ashamed of myself 'cause of you. I OD three times, you're a big risk to anyone that does it and to me.
So I'm going to be strong and stay away from you and never touch you again. My family have supported me all the way but I just kick them up the backside taking advantage of them.
Stole off my mother, granddad, Mam Iscoed. I borrowed money off her and didn't give it back. She's getting old now, and look what you've made me do, my nan — £120 stolen off her, once again 'cause of you.
I love my family from the bottom of my heart, it's not nice being called a junkie or smacked.
It feels horrible, you feel so small. Well I feel small, you made me feel like I'm worth nothing, just a dirty junkie sticking needles in my arms.
You're out of my life now, don't need you no more. Yeah, you've messed me up nearly two and a half years of my life but I've still got my whole life ahead of me and I'm going to prove to everyone that I can stay away from you, going to college, getting a job and a car.
Then get on with my life and get my family's trust back. Stop offending, that's the only reason I was doing all that 'cause of your dirty addiction. You make me sick to be honest with you.
I did love the buzz of you but you're not worth it. By losing my family, thinking about you p****s me off.
But not anymore, I'll make sure you stay away from me, and I'll stay away from you.
I was brought up by a good family not a bad one, yeah I've had a lot of problems in my life, been quite bad actually, all because of you (Heroin) (gear), (smack)!!
You're a killer, you've killed a lot of people and really they are good people. I'm lucky that you haven't put me in a box cemetery. Lost loads of my mates and it hurts me, they sometimes blank me 'cause they know I've been on you (gear) it's not nice when I've got pin holes in my arms and marks, track marks.
The illness that I go through when I use you and the after effects, cold turkey, clucking (corr), withdrawals, it's the worst feeling that you've put me through, being bad off you.
Wanted to kill myself a few times 'cause I couldn't go through it. Well guess what (heroin) I can and did do it. I can beat you anytime. I can control you, you don't control me.
I've got enough will power to get you out of my life for good. I'm strong and much stronger than you can ever be. I'm not losing anything over you. Goodbye heroin.
Never again. Family comes first.
Hannah Meredith

February 21, 2012

My New Blog


I stopped writing here  but still care and pray for all the parents and addicts who faithfully read this blog for years.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

February 16, 2012

A Little Update

Still haven't gotten around to starting a new blog, and to be honest, I think if I do it won't be about this topic.  My life has been consumed with heroin/cocaine addiction for four years, I need to resurface, the real me, before its too late.  Having only one child. no husband/SO few "in person" friends and a boring job has probably added to the fact that I am so enmeshed with my son and his addiction.

Speaking of the boy - I won't bother telling you the latest drama (its tempting because it was pretty wild), I'll just hit the bottom line:  He's at a Recovery Ranch in another county.  He was in the cardiac unit of a hospital recently and has suffered heart damage from his drug use.  Another reason to stop now - before its serious.

I will keep reading your blogs, and commenting if I have something to add, and of course praying for you and your loved ones, and for you if you are the addict - some of my favorite readers :)

I'm just wiped out.  I need me time.  I'm depressed at the moment, but hopefully will be coming out of that soon.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

February 11, 2012

I'll be back....

The time has come for me to shut down this blog and start a new one in order to protect my son's privacy.  When I started this blog several years ago he gave me his permission to write about his addiction.  He's seen how much its helped me over the years.  Now it feels way too personal.

Once I figure out a new blog, I will put the link to it here.  On the new blog, I will pick up where I left off, but Keven will be known by K from now on (dang, I wish I would have done that at the beginning but I didn't think anyone would actually read my blog).

Before I start a new blog, I am going to catch up on all yours blogs.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

February 10, 2012

You WILL Believe This

I wanted to title this:  You Won't .Believe This, but its not really all that surprising.

First, thank you for all the comments (except the one from Anonymous who loves to jump at any chance to try and make me feel bad, others may say the same but from a place of concern and experience not of judging me for being an enabler).  Anyhow, as hard as it is to hear, I do appreciate the comments.  You must feel like you're saying the same thing over and over, but I do hear it and I do get it!  I promise!

Second, I'd like to point out that I write from the heart, I am a feeler more than a thinker.  I don't plan anything that comes flying off my fingers onto the screen.  And I am not a literal person AT ALL (I used to drive my friend Lenni insane because she was so literal and if I said something like 'I've seen that movie ten times' meaning 'I don't want to see it again' she would want to know why I bothered seeing it ten times, who I went with, etc. etc.)

o when I say "I don't know what to do" I am expressing a feeling, not a thought.  I do know what to do, as little as possible (I am not at the do nothing point, but I am doing only what I feel comfortable with).I  think I've been stronger and able to let go more recently - maybe it doesn't show outwardly but I know how I feel and think inside.  I also know I am a work in PROGRESS, far from being perfect, but doing my best every day with every decision.

So - here's the latest.  I actually hope this is my last post about Keven for awhile, I'd like to write about some other things that have been on my mind.

I left him alone in the hospital yesterday for an hour or so.  When I got back he had checked himself out Against Medical Advice and had made arrangements to go to an awesome place called Woodglen (detox and recovery - free).  I'd been telling him about that place for awhile because of its great reputation, I guess he finally decided to call.

So, pissed off as I was that he checked himself out knowing  he may have a heart issue, I drove him to the detox and dropped him off.  The people I met there were so nice and they warmly welcomed him.  He gave me his cell phone and wallet and I left.

This morning I get a call at 5:30 am from the Fullerton police dept. (famous for killing that homeless man last year) and they said Keven had fallen into a steep ravine on the side of the road.  To make a long story shorter, they tried taking him back to the detox but they wouldn't let him back in.  Woodglen did talk to him and he said he'd go to the Salvation Army (yeah, right).  The police didn't want to release him on his own!  So yes, I drove up there, picked him up and headed for Salvation Army.

You know what happens next, right?  He says he rather go to Charle Street (a well known free detox for alcoholics)  I told him I had to get to work and I would drop him off wherever he wanted as long as I was not late and it was heading in the right direction of my office.

I pulled over in Costa Mesa, dropped him off with his backpack and $7.00.  He knows not to call me (but will he?)  He knows he may not make it (so do I) but of course, I hope he does.  I don't know how he was going to get to Charle Street but he has two legs and it was only about 5 - 6 miles.

One thing I find interesting is that he doesn't know WHY he left the detox.  He left wearing his t-shirt, pajama bottoms they gave him and slippers...nothing else.  He says he didn't know WHY he did that but its the second time he got up in the middle of the night and left a place that he liked.  (I had to pay for the pajama bottoms cause they were ripped to shreds from him falling - he's lucky he didn't get hurt).  I didn't mind paying $15 because they were so cool.  One of the ladies that works there gave me her mom's number and said "my mom was you, call her, she lives by you!".  So I will.

Thanks for your concern, prayers and good thoughts.  I'm stepping out of the way, again.

I still think out of state is a great idea, we'll see what happens next.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

February 9, 2012

He's in the Hospital

Well, so much for turning him away.  Last night he had nowhere to go and felt so unwanted that he tried to kill himself.

Some of you may be thinking that was just another form of manipulation to get to me, that's fine, you can think that.  He almost died.  He's currently in the cardiac unit because his heart was beating over 160 heartbeat and saw something wrong with his heart in an ultrasound so they are keeping him till they figure out what it is.

When I was out of the room the Chaplain came to visit him so I eavesdropped on their conversation (I stood just outside the door).  He told the Chaplain that when he thought he was dying he was really scared but hoped that he would die, he didn't want to live.  He thinks it would be easier for me to move on with my life without him to worry about.  The chaplain asked "does your family support you?"  He said "they love me, but they don't support me anymore."  He didn't know I was listening to this.  He said that he'd tried everything in the past (and listed rehabs, etc) and nothing had worked so he feels hopeless.

Later he asked me if he could go out of state to a rehab thinking that would be better for him, its what finally worked for one of his friends.  I said I'd look into it  but HOW MUCH DO THOSE COST?  and HOW do you find a good one?

I don't feel guilty, but I feel bad.  I feel angry that no matter what I do - right or wrong, too easy or too tough, nothing changes.  WTF is going to change my son?  Where is he going to find the strength and the will to pick himself up and stop.

I know its not my fault, yet, I feared that this might happen all along, that he would not be able to handle me detaching to the point of not letting him in the house....he's told me he didn't think he could make it on his own.  I was with him yesterday afternoon.  I let him come in, eat, shower and nap then made him leave at 5 pm.  I dropped him off somewhere and he got the drugs and by 8 pm woke up on the sidewalk with a bunch of cops and Paramedics surrounding him.  A passerby had stopped and called 911 when they saw him.

He told me not to clean out his bag because there was some stuff in there that was private.  Of course I cleaned out his bag.  Two syringes.  So even lying in the hospital bed after almost dying, he's worried about losing his "gear".  I'm tired, I'm weary.  I don't know what to do.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

February 7, 2012

Just Heard of Another OD, and an Update

UPDATE:  If you read this a few minutes ago, I removed what I had talked about. I will wait awhile and see how today plays out and update later.  (I just checked online to see who's in jail - one of the guys Keven was with is in there, but not Keven.  Not sure what to make of that.)

I spoke with Kev's former attorney today (we stay in touch) and  she told me of another one of the "kids" in Recovery Court that had died recently.  I remember this kid (in his early 20's) because he started going when Keven was in custody the last time so I would sit with him and his mom (also a single mom) during court.  Then I was surprised to run into his mom at that Nar-Anon meeting I went to (I never went back, but remember her saying how good he was doing, this was in Dec.)  He accidently OD's last week.  He was her only child, so they remind me so much of Keven and me.  My heart breaks and aches for her.


THANK YOU for the comments.  I haven't been responding to each one like I prefer to, but each one is read at least twice and appreciated, no matter what it says, I can tell the ones that are said in love and concern and they keep me going.

I am reading your blogs, thinking of you (even if you don't blog) and your families.  No matter where we are on our journey today we can take comfort in knowing we are not alone.  I sure do.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

February 6, 2012


Another day of saying no, hanging up on him, turning off the phone and turning my back instead of opening my arms. Its so unnatural for a mother to do these things...but I've spent the last four years following my maternal instincts - and look where its gotten me.  This is so hard.  I'm not doing it because its what I'm suppose to, but because its what I have to do for me and for him.  I just hope he's okay.  I know he's getting high.  He better be careful.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

What Makes a Good Substance Abuse Counselor?

I was contacted by someone who is pursuing this career.  Please answer these questions if you have an opinion on this topic:

  1. What makes a good substance abuse counselor? 
  2. What qualities should they have? 
  3. What experiences with counselors have you had? 
  4. What types of counselors work? Which don't? 

My answers:

1.  First and foremost someone who accurately understands what addiction is all about.  I think this is why most of the counselors we've come across are former addicts.  I don't think you absolutely have to be in recovery to make a good counselor, but at a minimum be someone who's been affected by it first hand.

2.  Confidence in what they are doing, able to speak honestly and firmly, intuitive (not being fooled by the cunning addict!), compassion, understanding, trustworthiness, and someone addicts can relate to (as opposed to someone who seems uptight and/or inexperienced about addiction and all that is involved in the recovery process).

3.  As the parent of an addict I have met several counselors that were assigned to my son at various rehabs.  The one that comes to mind was a woman named Catherine.  She was about 30, a former addict, she was intelligent, fun, and knew her stuff.  She had the ability to "read" the addicts she worked with.  What I liked most was that she brought up the tough topics that often people prefer to avoid.  She was firm and persistent but also compassionate.  Everyone loved her, they would joke and tease with her but also had a high level of respect for her and knew you could not fool her or get away with anything if she was your counselor.

4.  I think my answers above explain which types work.  The type that don't work are the know-it all type that come off as arrogant, those that are in it for any reason other than a passion for recovery and helping others in their journey, and those that are hard for an addict to relate to (this has nothing to do with age, gender, etc., its more about approachability and respect.  If a counselor is not aware of what life is like for an addict, or if they are clueless about current trends young people are into, they may not be taken as seriously.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

February 4, 2012

So far, so good

Things are going pretty good for me.  Haven't had contact with Kev except for a couple of "I love you" texts, one initiated by him, one by me.  He also said he's "doing good, not using".  Let's hope so.  I'm enjoying my weekend.

I love my son more than anything.  All these years of his life, I knew he had special struggles in certain areas, but I always assumed they would work themselves out and he would grow up, go to college, get a job, get married, have kids and above all, have a life he felt good about whatever it was.

I know that may not be how his life turns out.  I've accepted that, and grieved over the loss of what I wanted for his life (don't most of us want that for our kids?).  

Now, I just want him to live.  To choose sobriety.  To find some peace.  Nothing else really matters.

I got my tickets to Bruce - my sister is paying for them and we aren't telling anyone how much they cost, I have the most wonderful sister in the world.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

PS Clyde - if you are reading this, you may end up with two free tickets to Bruce again!  ( in the Concourse section, if I can't sell them!)

February 2, 2012

He's Not Even Close to Being "Done"

I didn't even want to write about this but why hold back now?  So he lasted four days in the sober living and then he used.  This doesn't surprise me, but I will always be a bit amazed by the actions of an addict...they have no limits to what they will do, or how far they will go to get their high.

He was with me all day Tuesday.  I took him to the dr. and got Suboxone for him.  I dropped him back off at the SL house.  Apparently he left there and got high and then went back.  The other guys in the house suspected he was high so told the house manager who tested him.  Dirty for opiates.

He tried really hard to get me to go pick him up but I said we (our family) were setting a boundary and asked him not to call us, to figure things out on his own.  I almost had a breakdown this morning - feeling weak, etc., but I got some strength from some other moms out there (thank you).

So I haven't taken his calls but I did get a text and he's with Anthony.  So that says it all.

Not going to worry about him.  Just going about my business and will see how things unfold.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

TOMORROW is the big day to purchase the Bruce tickets.  Wish me luck.  I will let you know what happens :)

February 1, 2012

Favor to Ask...

Hi Everybody,

First of all thank you to everyone who used my site to enter Amazon for their purchases over the last few months. I made almost $100!  Unfortunately they will not give me any of the money in my account until I reach $100.

So, if you remember, please stop by here before your next Amazon purchase and enter through my site.  That's all you have to do, nothing else required.  If you can't see the Amazon ads here on the right, you will need to unblock ads for my blog.

Keven Update:  He seems to have settled down  into the new place and has been going to meetings every day.  I casually asked him if he'd been to any and he said "every day, but their all the same".  At least he's getting out and around other people.  One day at a time.

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

I  agree about aging rock stars.  I wonder if DLR has aged as well as Bruce.  He's a lot younger but does he still look good?  Can he still sing as good?  Can he perform the same moves?  Bruce looks great, sounds great and can still bend over backwards at the mic and put on three hour shows...but he hasn't been jumping on top of the piano for about 15 years :)
OH - and did I ever tell you I saw DLR in his prime?  And I mean PRIME :)  My sis and I were FRONT ROW for Van Halen - can't remember which tour, we saw them so many times.  I'll pass on seeing them now and savor the memories of being that close to a guitar god and a youthful DLR.
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