A Story of Addiction & Loss

Tag: love and loss

Matt’s Damn Angry Mother



Matt,   It’s been six months and I’m still trying to breathe.  I’ve been told that by now I should be angry at you.  Enough time has passed that the anger should come.  The well publicized stages of grief states that I am in the anger phase.  Well, I’m angry.  I’m damn angry.   I’m angry at the broken system that let you down.   I’m angry that the insurance industry  places more value on saving money than saving lives.   I’m angry that addiction is discriminated against by both the medical community and the Insurance Industry.  I’m angry that addiction is not treated like the disease it is.   I’m angry at the Lawmakers who turn a blind eye to this epidemic,  allowing scumbags to run sober living houses only caring about collecting rent from their tenants and not giving a damn about helping the addict.

I’m angry that lawmakers sat back and allowed relapsing addicts to be thrown into the streets or taken half unconscious to motels where they later died.   I’m angry that my handsome, funny, loving son died in a motel room because no one gave a damn.   I’m angry that the health care system continues to allows overprescribing physicians to practice.   Changing everyday people into addicts and destroying their lives.   I’m angry that addiction carries a stigma.

I’m angry that everyday I live with the crippling  pain knowing that I will never hear your voice or see your smiling face again.  I’m heartbroken knowing I will never dance at your wedding or hold your child in my arms.   I’m sick that you have been robbed of a beautiful life.    I’m broken when I see the pain on your brothers face and hear his voice crack when he says your name.   I’m angry that our lives have been demolished beyond repair.   I’m distressed that most of my friends have disappeared.  The ones that remain I can count on one hand.   I’m heartbroken that I can no longer spent time with you walking our dogs by the sea we both loved.  I’m so damn angry I want to scream..

There are days I get on my bike and ride like the wind.  Pushing myself to release the pain.  Crying, praying  and screaming as I petal  releasing this anger that everyone thinks should be directed at you.   Matt, please know I could never be angry at you.   I witnessed your struggle.  I felt your pain as we battled your demons together.   I know you fought your best fight.   I was there by your side with every relapse, every rehab, every struggle.   I know you did your best to fight your demons.   I am not angry at you my son.  I’m proud of the man you were.  Of the battle you fought and the life you tried to live.   You will always be my hero.   No anger, just overwhelming grief that your life is over.

Now my battle begins as I learn to  use my anger to fight for change. Your struggle gave me the education of a life time.   Witnessing the roadblocks and living the discrimination that you faced everyday gave me knowledge I never wanted to know.   It gave me a clear picture of the brokenness of the system in place that was not only responsible for your death, but the death of so many others.   My list is long.  I’ve got all the time in the world.  You are gone and I must find a new purpose or I will never recover.

Funny,  since you’ve been gone I’ve become absentminded.  I call myself the dumb girl.  I laugh and try to explain to strangers that once a long time ago I was a smart girl.  Then my son died.   I’m told it called grief brain and I’m a living example.  I started writing lists of every barrier we encountered during your journey.   I was cleaning out my desk and this is what fell to the floor.   My thoughts scribbled on a piece of balled up paper.   With this paper came a wave of grief.   Seeing my scribble hit me again that this is my reality.   This list of wrongs that needed to be made right.   Memories of your struggles sucked the breath out of my lungs and punched me in my gut.   A powerful grief punch whenever I relive our past.   A single sheet of balled up paper brought me to my knees.   I could feel my anger burning with each sentence I read.   So many things that could have saved your life helped end it.

My List………….

Pain clinics and the overprescribing pill pushers that run them must  be regulated and have their prescribing practices monitored  facing disciplinary action when their patients become addicted.   Charged with murder when they die.

The medical community needs to be held accountable for their treatment and perception of the addict.   Doctors must become expert in addiction and treat it as any other chronic, treatable disease.  Addiction needs to become part of the curriculum in medical schools educating new physicians in this misunderstood disease.

Rehab facilities and detox centers must have  beds readily available.   The window of time is brief when the addict is ready to accept help.   Precious time must not be wasted.   The Insurance Industry must recognize addiction as a disease and extend the allowable time covered in rehab giving those suffering a fighting chance at recovery.

Matt, my anger will never be aimed at you.  You had a disease that should have been treatable not terminal.    Our current model of care  allows a stigma to exist against a vulnerable population of people with a horrible disease.  My anger has given me new purpose.   My anger  will help me go on without you.   My anger will allow me to step out of my comfort zone and fight for you.  I will say your name.   I will tell our story.   I will  show other mothers that there is no shame in addiction.   I will join the fight to stop this epidemic from killing the next generation of beautiful people.

My anger will fuel my purpose.   You are gone but you will live on forever through me.   As long as I have a breath it will be yours.  Forever in my heart.  Forever in my fight.   RIP my beautiful boy your angry moms got this. ❤️💔

Shattered Dreams, Broken Hearts, Altered Lives


Matt,  It felt like we sat there forever.  My body too numb to move.  I was still in shock at how ugly we became, I could hear the demons laughing as they tore us apart.   I got up but still couldn’t look at you.  I needed to feel the sea air.  I walked out the door not looking back.  I could only imagine how bad I looked.  I could feel the swelling left behind by my flood of tears.  I was back in survival mode, not interested in talking just needing the rhythmic sound of the waves to calm my battered soul.  I sat on the damp sand and relived every moment of your addiction.  The roller coaster of emotions I lived with for years.  I felt physically beat up and emotionally drained.  I knew we could not go on like this.  In the past I always had a plan B but now my mind was numb.  No plan forming in my brain.  Just a feeling of hopelessness washing over me like the waves I loved watching.  I sat until the rain started and my belly hurt from lack of food.  I looked around at the vastness of the ocean and knew Jesus was there.  I prayed for strength and asked for forgiveness.  The ugly person screaming at her son was not me, she was a byproduct of his disease.  The saying, hate the disease, love the addict kept bouncing around my brain.  God, how I hated this disease.  I would rather you had cancer than be an addict.  Cancer got treatment and sympathy.  Addiction got hate and blame and isolation.

I found you sitting on the deck, cigarette in hand.  Ok, Matt.  We have no choice.  I can’t keep living like this.  I can’t count on you, it’s not your fault.  Your disease is worse than I knew.  You can’t stay here alone.  I am calling a realtor.  I’m going to sell and try to salvage what I put into this house.  You look at me like you’ve been slapped.  Mom, I love it here.  I don’t want to leave.  Matt, I love it here too but we had a deal and I finally get that your not capable of handling your part.   We go back and forth as my heart slowly continues to break.  I want to blame you. I want to point my finger in your face and say, This Is Your Fault.  You and you’re damn addiction.  How can you keep falling back into it’s trap.  How much do you have to lose before you stop…I bite my tongue thinking of the boat that some other family was now enjoying, the jet skis, my jewelry, all the possessions lost to pay for your disease.  God, how I wanted to grab you and shake the life out of you.

I spent the next hours going through what I was taking and what could stay.  I felt like a robot, pulling pictures off walls, packing boxes, but not allowing myself to feel.  If I felt I knew I would break.  I needed to stay focused and not allow my heart to reach my brain.  You sat and looked at me with the eyes of hate.  Mom, how can you do this to me.  You’re overreacting.  Your out of control.  Really, how can I do this to you…I could feel the crazy, ugly mom coming from my soul.  Matt, don’t say another word or I will walk out and never return.  You have killed me but I’m still here.  My soul has been battered, my heart broken over and over again.  Yet, I’m still here.  If I were you I’d just shut up and start packing..It’s the least you can do.  I choked back sobs as I remembered a different time of unpacking, of hanging pictures of moving furniture and the joy of having a place by the sea.  Me, you and Natt, laughing and setting up a home with such hope and joy.  Excited for your new life and knowing that my piece heaven would be looked after with love.  Planting the garden, laying the walking path, putting up the fence while the dogs ran around with smiles coming from the beach.  Loving life as it was supposed to be.  Now this ugly reality of a disease I could not fix and you could not control was slowly destroying every bit of happiness in life.

The realtor arrived, papers were signed, the For Sale sign in place and all I could do was cry.   Neighbors coming shocked as they realize that we are leaving.  I try to make up another lie, I’ve become such a great liar.  Yes, Matt has a great opportunity up north.  No, I won’t be able to get here enough.  Oh dear God, leave me alone.  My son is an addict, I lost the house, happy now…My mind is getting ugly I want to scream, to punch and throw a tantrum at life.  Instead I walk to the sea.  I sit and release the sobs.  I am alone and so broken.  Dear God, do you not listen when I pray.  Where are you, why are you allowing this to happen.  I look at the vastness of the sea you created and cry until there are no more tears.

My car is packed with boxes full of broken dreams.  The house is as clean as I can get it for now.  You are standing in the doorway.  I can not look at you.  I can’t let you see my face. I can no longer control my emotions.  I’ve left you enough food for the week knowing that your unemployment check will most likely be used for smokes and the white demons.   Mom,  you don’t need to do this, this is crazy.  No Matt, what is crazy is that I’m killing myself for nothing.  I trusted you that’s crazy, trusting an addict.  Yup Matt, I’m not killing myself pulling extra shifts while you sit back and live in lala land.  No more I’m done.  My heart just can’t take this anymore.  I’m picking me.  I’m saving me.  Don’t say another word.  I will be back with a U Haul Saturday.  I better walk into boxes and a clean house.  Pick the furniture you want.  I will store it and pray that someday you will use it again.  Got it Matt, yeah, sure mom…..

I remember driving home in silence.  No radio, no me, myself and I trying to come up with plans to get Matt out of whatever mess his addiction created.  Just silence and tears and prayers.  Ok God, now that I’ve lost everything I love whats next.  Are you going to take my marriage too.  How do I tell my husband of less than a year that my adult, addict son must come home.  Home is with me.  I’ve told so many stories, so many lies right to his face trying to protect Matt. Now what.  Just walk in and say hey, look who I found wondering around homeless.  Oh by the way, I’m selling the beach house cause Matt didn’t pay the mortgage he bought pills and told lies.   Oh did I forget to mention he’s an addict and now I’m bringing the demons to our home.  You’re ok with that right…. Holy Crap, Matt, what are you doing to me.

I pull up to a quiet house.  The dogs out back.  Ray on the deck.  Hey, welcome home I say without letting him see my face.  Swollen eyes will give me away.  Hey, whats wrong.  Ray grabs my arm as I try to walk past.  Hey, you’ve been crying. Talk to me.  Oh God, I have something to tell you.  Something I’ve been hiding for years.  I can’t do this anymore, live with this lie.  We sit.  You are silent as my dirty little secret flows from my mouth as the tears flow from my eyes.  I am a mess.  I can’t look at you.  I’m too ashamed and afraid of your reaction.  I stare into space and tell you it’s ok to leave.  I will understand.  I laugh and say I would leave if I could but he is my son and he is sick.  I could not live with myself if I abandoned him.  He makes me crazy and ugly at times but I love him.  There is no choice.  I close my eyes and feel the sun on my swollen face.  You get up and I’m bracing myself for goodbye when I feel your arms around me.  Do what you have to do, I know you will fight forever I would be shocked if you didn’t.  I am sobbing again.  You let me cry.  We unload my car together, the boxes of broken dreams now with me.  Life now uncertain.  The addict son coming home.  I pray for help, I pray for guidance, I pray that Ray will stay.   Addiction robs everyone of everything until there is nothing left to take but your soul……..



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