Matt,  I was trained just like Pavlov’s dog.  Hearing you say Hey Mama caused such a physical reaction.  My throat tightening, heart racing, wanting to vomit reaction hit me like that wave you didn’t see knocking you to your knees.  I tried to compose myself not wanting to scream at you for your return to euphoria.   Matt, what’s going on.  What are you doing.  Relax, you tell me it’s no big deal.  I was in pain so I took some Perc’s.  I’m fine.  Matt, you’re not fine, you have a problem and you need help.  You need to find another way to manage whatever pain you have.  You keep telling me you have it all under control, that you can handle this.  You are in such denial.  You are in trouble.  Please let’s get you into rehab and finally get you to a safe place.  You pop those pills like they are candy.  You’re going to lose everything again.  Please Matt, let me help you.

Mom, all you ever do is lecture me.  Get off my back.  I’m so tired of your opinions on how I live.  I know what I’m doing and I know what I take.  I’m working, paying my bills.  Lisa doesn’t care, she understands that I need relief after working all day.  You just like to cause trouble.  Just let me be.  I’m not a little kid stop treating me like one.

You know what Matt, you’re right.  You are a grown man and if this is how you choose to live then so be it.  I’m really so tired of worrying about you every day.  Your addiction has wiped me out.  I’ve spent so much time saving you I forgot who I am.  I just really don’t get how easily you forget the nightmare we survived getting you clean.  The medical horror show as your body got rid of the poison.  How in the hell can you put that poison back into your body is beyond me.  I’m so glad Lisa understands and doesn’t mind the slurred speech and laziness that comes along with your drug use.  Maybe you two are the perfect match. 

You know what, I’m going back into my life.  I’m going to spend time with me and try to remember who I am and what I like.  I won’t be coming down this weekend.  I can’t just sit back and watch you self destruct.  It’s too painful for me when I try to help and you push me away.  You are so twisted in thinking you have control of this way of life.  Matt, you will spiral down again and maybe I won’t be there to catch you. 

I ended the conversation telling you I loved you.  I felt so defeated.  Knowing it was only a matter of time before your addiction would suck you so far away from everything you loved.  My heart was breaking not knowing what else I could or should do.  Your demons always made you a mister know it all until the shit hit the fan and you called for help.  Dear God, this is an endless battle.

The week  lasted forever.  I tried not to consume myself with worry over you.  Ray and I starting hanging out every night.  We were getting serious and it was so nice to have some normal in my life.  The weekend came and my internal struggle began.  Waking up Saturday and fighting the urge to get in my car and become the Mom police.  Breaking that pattern was difficult.  I still foolishly thought I could save you from the hell you were about to enter.  How foolish I was. 

I convinced myself that things would be ok.  I would check in with you later.  I called Ray.  I needed normal and he was just that.  We biked through the woods, enjoyed cold beers and laughed.  This is good I kept telling myself, you can do this.  You can have a life outside of Matt’s addiction.  Night fell and my panic set in.  I didn’t call, you didn’t call.  Oh God.  Did I abandon Matt.  I just need him to realize how serious his problem is.  I need him to be ok whatever that means.  I need the pills to go away.  What would happen if I pretended he wasn’t addicted.  How long would that fantasy last.  Why can’t he just stop.  Why doesn’t he see what his addiction is doing.  He lives in his chaotic, deceptive world.  I live in constant fear of what we are heading for.  On this roller coaster from hell.  Ups then downs, never knowing what ‘s coming around the next bend. 

I broke down and called.  I needed to know good or bad.  This time when you answered there was no Hey Mama. You were getting smart.  Catching on to my cues.  My checklist.  Your speech not quite clear,  just tired Mom.  Polite, too polite.  You were on guard.  Oh God,  we are going to start playing a new game.   Matt, where are you going.  I want you back.  My Matt before the pills, before the demons found your soul and starting pulling you away from me.  I just wanted to say goodnight I tell you.  I don’t let on that I know how sly your addiction has made you.  Love you Matt.  Love you, Mom.  We hang up.  Tears start falling from my eyes.  The dogs come.  We curl up and sit in the dark.  My mind wanders to happier days.  My boys playing in the surf laughing as we run down the beach together.  Matt hold on, I’m right behind you.  I can play your game.  I’m your Mom.  You’re my Matt.  I got this.  I closed my eyes.  Go to hell demons.