Matt. This is exactly what I meant by riding the roller coaster of your addiction. Here I am thinking we are on the upswing of life. You are working, being productive and I am out with friends celebrating my birthday. I promised no Matt talk tonight as I come to realize your addiction monopolizes all my conversations. My friends actually made me promise No Matt Talk tonight knowing how your addiction has overtaken my life. We are happy, celebrating life between close friends when my cell rings. I look and see it is you. My friends send warning signs with their eyes. Don’t they tell me, just this once don’t. I can’t help myself. They have no idea what it’s like to have an addicted son. One phone call can be the difference between life and crisis. I smile and grab my phone apologizing as I walk outside. Matt, what’s up. I’m out for my birthday. Mom, oh God, I hear it in your voice. My throat automatically tightens as I listen to the sadness in your voice. Mom, I lost my job. I hear your brokenness and the tears form in my eyes. I turn away from the window hiding my grief from the group that moments ago was full of laughter. What happened. I don’t know. I thought I was doing good. My boss came to me when I was leaving and told me not to come back. He said he was sorry but they have to let me go. Oh Matt, I’m so sorry. It will be ok. We will figure something out. I will be home soon.
I return to the table. I try to pretend things are fine. My eyes tell a different story. I can’t stop the tears. My friends try to be supportive but are upset that once again you have interfered with my happiness. The party is over. Like someone threw a bucket of water on the bride. I try to say I’m sorry. I can feel the atmosphere change. The roller coaster now on it’s downward spiral with me trapped in a seat. I can’t stop my reaction as I cry all the way home. Ray is quiet. I can hear his thoughts. We told you not to answer. What were you thinking. Every call from Matt was usually a problem dumped in your lap. Just once we wanted a normal night. Just once.
We are greeted by your glassy eyes. Sorry Mom, didn’t mean to wreck your birthday. You hand me a card and give me a hug. My heart breaks for you. We both had such high hopes. Dreaming of you having your own place, meeting someone nice, a normal life. Now the crash of reality hit again. We are both reeling from the news. We sit. I notice your thoughts are slow, your words carefully chosen. I observe your addiction and wonder if this was how you presented at work. Matt, what happened. I don’t know Mom. Matt what did you take. Nothing. you have my f***ing pills. You haven’t been to happy about passing them out. WTH Mom, why do you always start about the pills. Hey Matt, go look in the mirror. See what I see. Hear what I hear. For God sakes couldn’t you stay clean for eight hours. WTH is wrong with you. Hey, Screw you Mom. You slam out of the room and go downstairs. Well, my brain says. Happy F***ing birthday to you….
I wake the next day. You won’t talk to me. Ok buddy, I’m done asking you. I grab my keys and leave. I have your pills in my pocket. I’m not trusting you alone in an empty house with a bottle of pills. I drive very carefully. All I need is to get pulled over with a bottle of drugs, label ripped off. Bye, bye nursing license.
I pull in the parking lot of your now X employer. I walk to the customer service desk and ring the bell. A kid looking like he just got out of diapers answers my call. Is this who you are replaced with my mind is saying as I try to keep my thought from flying out of my mouth. Hi. I’m looking for Matt. He was so great in helping me last week I wanted to tell him in person. Oh, the stoned guy. What, what do you mean. Lady, he would come in stoned. Customers complained everyday. He had trouble working the computer and would disappear. You must have caught him on a good day. He laughed and I muffled a scream. I will kill you. Where are you getting the drugs. I was pissed beyond belief. In my mind I was strangling you. Hey Lady. His voice brought me back to reality. He got fired.
I drive home in a fury. Trying to remember the pills in my pocket. Hell officer arrest me. Going to jail would be better than living my life. I’m almost home when I see you drive past me. You are looking straight ahead. You look right past me. Well I’ll be damn. I turn my car around and start to follow. I grab a ball cap from my back seat and pull my hair up. I stay two cars behind. I scoot down so if by any chance you look you will not see me. I’m a mom on a mission. A spy guy. I’ve watched enough TV to know how to follow somebody. I am laughing to myself. Dear God, this is what my life has come to, spying on my adult addict.
You turn into a small parking lot. I go straight. I give you time to go wherever you are going before I pounce. I find your truck and park in the next lot. Cute little townhouses. The Perfect hiding place for pill pushers. I pull my hat down and start looking at the brightly colored doors. Ahhh, I think I found a winner. Delaware Pain Management right there on the sweet little door. My heart is pounding. My brain is screaming. It’s now or never. I open the door. I am greeted by glassy eyes. All shapes and sizes. All waiting for their fix. Holy sh** my heart is so loud I can count my pulse in my ears. I grab an empty seat and sit. Trying to slow my breathing, stop the squeezing in my throat and the pounding of my broken heart. This room is full of you. Addicts. All waiting for their monthly supply of demons. How can this be. Pill pushers in white coats making a living off people in pain. I try not to look suspicious. I’m the only one in the room not slouched in my seat. I observe their behavior and try to fit in. The woman next to me gives me a broken tooth smile. Honey, what ya here for. I hurt my back and these docs make me feel wonderful. I come as soon as my welfare check comes. She leans on me and tells me a secret. Cash only she says. I am trying to swallow the bile that is building in my throat. My plan was to confront you but now I need to get out to get air. I’m so lost in my own sorrow I don’t hear the door open. You are standing there staring at me with such disbelief, such hate that I want to dissolve into the air. You run out the door. I see the scripts. I follow you. We struggle. I’m jumping in the air trying to get those scripts away from you. I want names and drug amounts. I will fight you to the death. I punch you in the face. I grab the scripts and run to my car. I’m breathless, sweating and ready to puke. My doors lock as I peel out of the lot. You give me the finger as I speed by. I roll down my window. I Love you Matt.
I’m driving and sobbing and laughing all at once. Holy sh**, Here we were two adults duking it out in the parking lot of drug pushing doctors. Dear God, don’t let me show up on Action News or in a U Tube video. What a mother will do to save her son. I can’t stop the hysterical laughter. I am out of control. Grief, stress, anger and frustration all wrapped up in loud uncontrolled sobs. I love you Matt. I will fight you to save you. I will never give up the fight. You can hate me forever as long as you live.
I get home. You aren’t here. I run upstairs and copy your scripts. Names and prescriber numbers. Drugs and doses. Everything I need to report the devils who dole out the demons. I feel like the cat who stole the canary. I was the coolest chick. The slick mom, the sleuth. I was so busy thinking about how smart I was that I forgot how smart you were. I didn’t allow myself to hear the laughter. Good try Mom. You won this time but he is ours. We will be back and you will be beat. The sun went down, the room grew dark, my laughing turned to sobbing….