Mother's Heartbreak

A Story of Addiction & Loss

Tag: opioid addiction (page 2 of 2)

The Ugly Reality Of Rehab…

 

 

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Matt,  I remember sitting in my car watching Mike’s tail lights fade away.  I sat and let the tears flow.  I had no control, I gave up trying to pretend that things were going to be ok.  The sobs came in waves and as so many times before I felt that familiar throat tightening making me feel like your demons were slowly strangling the life out of me.  I had no idea how much time had passed.  A knock on my window startled me, bringing me back to my brutal reality.  Hey lady, are you ok?   What, what,  A security guard knocking on my window.  Am I ok, really, do I look like I’m ok.  I’m sitting in the parking lot of a psychiatric facility sobbing my brains out and this idiot wants to know if I’m ok.  Sure, I’m just peachy.  My youngest son is a patient in this wonderful place.  An addict.  His addiction is killing my family.  My oldest son just ripped him a new one and scared the hell out of the child who works here as a counselor.   Sure, I’m just great.

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I drive home in silence.  Still stunned at your behavior. I realize that you are sly, but I would hope someone who professes to be a professional in their field would see right through your facade.   Mike was right.  These so-called experts were putty in your hands.  We were so screwed.    Ray is waiting for me.  He looks at my face and doesn’t even have to ask.  I pour a glass of red and sit.  Slowly trying to calm myself as I tell the story of our first disaster  of a family meeting.  Saying it out loud, I start to hysterically laugh.  The look on the baby counselor’s face was priceless.  I have no control.  My tears have turned into gulping laughter.  Ok, my mind is thinking.  This is it, she is having her much earned nervous breakdown.  Oh God, how I would love to get my hands on the notes from this session.   Crazy, psychotic, dysfunctional family.   No wonder the younger one takes drugs.  Oh God.  I am so totally hysterically out of control.   Ray is looking at me like I’ve lost my mind.  Telling the story was such a release of pent-up emotions.  I finally calm down.  Ray and I sit in silence.  I am spent and he is thinking he’s married a nutcase.

I’m off the next day and planned on just staying put.  My eyes are showing the signs of tears and stress.  These days I don’t recognize the person staring back at me.  She is a ghost of who she was.  Addiction was a family disease.  I saw the poster but never truly understood until I lived it.   I remembered the good times.  Before your addiction made us crazy.   Happy times, God, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time.   The ringing phone brings me back.  I don’t recognize the number.  Hello.  Mom.  Matt.  Mom, I just wanted to let you know I’m getting out on Friday.  What.  Matt, you’re not ready to get out.  It’s only been ten days.  Who thinks you’re ready.  I talked with the shrink twice.  He thinks I’m ready.  WTH.  A real shrink thinks that after ten days you are ready.  I’m ready to scream.. Matt,  you are no way ready to come home and face the world.  What follow-up plans do they have for you.  Mom.  I’m leaving.  Are you picking me up or not?   I hang up.  I can’t breathe.  What the hell is going on here.  How can anyone think that ten days is enough when you’ve been an addict for years.  Stupid people, stupid system.  I talk myself down and grab my phone.  My heart is beating in my ears.   The receptionist puts me on hold.  The child counselor answers.  I try to remain calm.  I try to come across as a sane person.  I tell her I disagree with their plan.  Matt is not ready to come home.  He needs to stay in a place away from drugs.  He lies.  He knows what to say and how to say it.   How can you be so gullible.   Of course I know about the Hippa Law, I’m a nurse and I’m his mom and you are just plain stupid.

My next call is to Mike.   WTH are the first words I hear when I tell him the news.  He agrees with me.   Mike, what are we going to do? He can’t leave there.  I can’t keep running on this hamster wheel.   Running in circles and getting no where.   Mom, take a break.  I’ll get him.  I’ll talk to him.   Mike and I run different scenarios back and forth.  Both of us reeling from the news.  Both of us pissed that you have managed to get your way.  Do I let you come home.  Do I give you an ultimatum.  Stay in or stay away.  Tough love was something I read about.   Letting your kid hit rock bottom.   The streets or rehab.  Oh God.  Was I strong enough?

Discharge day.  My nerves are shot.  Mike is picking you up.  I try to eat and vomit into the trash.  The dogs follow me as I pace.  They know something is off.  I don’t have a clue of what to say to you.  In the past I always had my speech prepared.  Today I am a shaking mess.  I am at a loss for words or ideas.  I know you need intense help to beat your demons.  This is a sad joke.

The dogs run to the door letting me know you have arrived.   They greet you with happy barks and tail wagging kisses.   They have no clue as to where you have been.  They have no idea that you coming home is not a good thing.  They are just happy to see you.  For a second I want to be like them.   Just happy, greeting my pack member.  Pure blissful happiness.   Mike walks in behind you.  I give you a hug and tell you we need to talk.  A plan needs to be made.  We can’t keep riding this roller coaster.  I can’t do this anymore.  We sit. Mike and I tell you that you need to be serious about your addiction.  Mike and I talking while you shake your head and agree.   I look at you and know that your mind is not here.  You, my sly fox, are playing us like you play everyone.   Mike.  Stop.  He’s not listening.  Forget it.  You get up and go downstairs.  Mike and I sit dumfounded.   We are crazy and you are just as cool as you can be.  Mike shakes his head, I start to cry……

 

Are you Matts Mom, Oh God Do I Want To Be

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Matt, there is no sleep for me tonight.  I am physically shaking.  I want to puke until there is nothing left and I disappear into thin air.  Everything back fired in my face.  I thought I was just so cool.  Grabbing your scripts and reporting the pill pushers.  I really thought the medical community would support my whistle blowing shutting down the practice and cutting off your supply.  Never did I think you would be let in on my plan and turn against the mom who is fighting to save your life.  Ahh, what did the mad little pill pusher say to you.  Your mommy ratted me out and now I can’t poison you anymore cause she might come beat me up.  Why didn’t they just tell you that they were not the right place for you and you needed to move on.  Why bring me into it.  Just shows what true assholes they really are.  If they cared at all I would have been willing to meet with them and work out a weaning protocol, getting you safely off the poison.  But no, they just cut you lose.  WTH was I going to do now.  You and your 90 Percocet and God knows how many Methadone in you hot pissed off hands.

I blow up your voice mail with pleading message after message begging you to please come home and once again let me explain.  Your mailbox now full, I start texting.  I can’t believe this is happening.  I am slowly going out of my mind with worry.  I start calling your close friends.  Tell them there is a family emergency and I really need to talk to you.  I get in my car and drive by all your hang outs praying I will see your truck and at least know you are still alive.  I search until dark.  My phone rings, my heart jumps, oh  God please let that be Matt.  It’s Ray.  I’ve been so frantic I never looked at the time.  Where are you, he asks.  I’ll explain when I get home.  Too much to say and I am barely holding onto my sanity.

I’m shaking as Ray tells me to calm down and breathe.  I grab the letter and tell him to read.  He like me is in shock.  Seriously, they think pushing pills is ok.  I can’t believe it either.  I tell him what happened and that I’m so scared.  You have not answered my calls or texts and are no where to be found.  I imagine the worst.  I can’t stop pacing and crying.  Your phone going straight to voice mail with the message that has been playing all day.  No more space for my pleading for you to come home.

I call out for the morning.  There is no way I could keep my head clear enough to save a critical baby.  Your addiction has seeped so deeply into my life that I become crippled with hopelessness.  I replay all of it from the very beginning.  Your addiction movie etched into my brain.  Still trying to figure out the grip the demons have on your soul.  You have lost so much and yet you continue to let the drugs steal your life away and impact me to the core.  I will never understand how or why this happened to us.  I look at your smiling face and question every decision made.  I was the greatest enabler.  I loved you so much and wanted such a better life for you.  Always fixing you and saving you from yourself was taking it’s toll on me.  So here we go again.  The roller coaster ride.  I rode it up thinking I once again saved the day and now I’m stuck on the downward spiral not knowing how this will end.  God, I wish I was stronger.  I wish I was one of those moms that could just let go but every fiber of my being knew I would never give up on you.

I stayed on the couch that night.  I knew It would be a restless night and Ray had to work in the morning.  So as we’ve done so many nights before, the pups and I curl up and wait for a sign from you.  My phone is by my ear.  One eye opening constantly checking.  I look at all the texts I’ve sent to see if you read them  Nothing, nothing, nothing.  This is crazy I think.  I get up and grab a bottle of wine.  Hoping to calm my raw nerves.  The dogs follow sensing my stress.  Wine for me biscuits for them.  I sit in the dark and remember the conversations we’ve had about my wine and your drugs.  Hey Mom, you’re no better than me.  You drink.  Every night you have a glass of wine.  So really you’re just as bad.  Really Matt.  Let’s make a deal.  I won’t have my glass of wine if you don’t take your pills.  Well, we all know how that worked out don’t we.  I could feel the wine warming my soul and letting my beat up body and mind start to relax.  My muscles were finally unknotting and I could feel much needed sleep coming.  Please God, let him be ok was my last thought before sleep overcame my frantic mind.

The sun shining on my face and the sound of Ray in the shower wake me.  God, I was so sore but all I could think of was you.  Checking my phone again, nothing.  Ray greets me with a kiss.  His eyes showing his pity for me and what I live with because of your addiction.  He doesn’t even ask what I’m doing today he knows.  Coffee and a shower and I’m in my car again.  Repeat from last night. I Drive by every place I know you frequent and some places I just take a chance.  Still no luck.  Hours pass and I feel the dread creeping into my mind.  I keep reliving our fight.  Beating myself up for causing another rift between us.  I miss us.  I want a do over and go back before the demons came knowing what I do now.  Life the way it should be, not the way it is.  I give up and go home.  Grab the leashes and walk.  They are the only ones who listen without offering an opinion.  I can say the same things over and over and they just look at me with knowing eyes.  Constantly supporting as if to say It will be ok mom.  He will be back.

Night falls and still no sign or call.  Now I’m calling my friends in the ER.   Hey, by any chance have there been any accidents or admits for drug abuse.  I take a breath and call my friend the detective.  I tell him what’s happened.  He calms me and reassures me he will keep an eye out.   There is nothing more I can do.  I am defeated by your demons.  They won, just like the laughter I would hear in my head.  They have you and I don’t.   My phone breaks the silence and brings me back to reality.  I do not recognize the number.  Excuse me a voice I do not know says, are you Matt’s mom.  Oh God,  this is it.  The call.  My heart now beating so loud It’s the only sound I hear.  My hand is shaking.  I grab the counter.  Yes, yes, I am.  Please is he ok.  Oh God, please.  He’s with me.  He was in the parking lot of our NA meeting and he is high.  I drove him to Meadow Wood and I’m getting him admitted.  Can you come.  Oh dear God,  I’m shaking and sobbing grabbing my keys and run right into Ray as he’s walking in the door.  He grabs my keys.  Between sobs I tell him you are safe and I must go.  I’m driving.  You will get killed.  I sob all the way holding myself as the sobs of relief rack my body.  My brain screaming he is alive.  Thank you sweet Jesus.  We pull up and you are standing between two of the most beautiful men I have ever seen.  I run to you and wrap you in my arms.  All the grief and anger forgotten.  Matt, I’m so sorry.  Please forgive me.  You look at me as tears run down your face.  Sorry mom, you smile that cocky smile that I love so much.  It’s ok, Matt.  It will be ok.  You are taken back to be admitted.  I dissolve in Rays arms.  The sobs are now of relief.  Ray drives your truck and I drive mine.  No music just quiet prayer.  Thank you sweet Jesus for saving my precious child.  Please guide me in how to be an addicts mother.  I pull up behind Ray.   Your truck back in the driveway.  You in a safe place.   All is well in my world tonight.  I look at the stars and whisper a thank you……

 

 

I Spy, You Lie, I Try to Save You…

IMG_0679Matt.   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….

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