66 Days

My son is home now.  I went and picked him up yesterday.  So, my son was in jail for various stupid reasons, but ultimately, he was there because of his lifestyle choices.  He is a heroin addict and sometimes in the middle of your addiction, reason doesn’t win out.  Actually, reason doesn’t show up.

66 days he was incarcerated.  Some of those days, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  Some of those days I cried.  Some of those days I was just normal.

He missed his daughter’s birthday and his cousin’s wedding.  His cousin was his best friend growing up.  Had he lived differently, my son would have been in the wedding.  They were best friends growing up and inseparable.  Hopefully, as my son gets his life back, this is a relationship that can heal.

I was angry Sunday after the wedding.  I cried.  At the wedding we took family photos.  We did the classic mom/kids shot with me and my children.  We did the cousin shots.  We did the sibling shots.  In the moment I was okay.  The thoughts were there, but I stayed in each moment.  The wedding was incredible.  But man, I was just freaking hurting the day after. Angry.  Not sure at whom.  God? Addiction?  My son?  Family genetics?  All of it I guess.

I spoke with my cousin/friend about all of this.  In the middle of my ranting it hits me hard.  You see, she lost a son 12 years ago.  He should have been in that wedding also.  The 3 of those boys were just trouble and fun all rolled into one baseball.  They were about prank wars and building hideouts and playing baseball.  Amazing how a phone call with the right person can put everything in perspective.

I began letting the anger go.  My son is home now.  He gets to come back.  He gets to try again.  I get another chance to help him be the man he is supposed to be.  Somehow (I am sure through a lot of prayers) my son has managed to stay alive through his addiction.

There are so many freaking quotes and sayings about how to get through tough times.  Guess what???  Life is not a freaking meme.  Funny thing is, I have an Instagram page that publishes these memes.  I’m not feeling all that meme(y) today.

So, feeling my feelings.  A concept I’m still not that used to.  It is getting easier though.  When you drown your feelings in alcohol the way I used to, feelings are just strange at first.  Feeling pretty good today.  I have hope.  I have second chances (okay, probably more like 50 or so chances, but you know what I mean).  This mom is fighting with all she’s got and not giving up.

My son is home and working on his recovery and today he has 67 days clean.  Going to build on that.  66 days of incarceration.  66 days that hurt and gave me hope at the same time.  We’re all in and we’re doing this.happy-family-standing-beach-sunset-time-keep-letters-forming-word-concept-friendly-49113043

My Reasons

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I just finished 13 Reasons Why and I realize there is a lot of controversy over the rawness of this series.  But, guess what?  High school experiences really can be the way Hannah described.

I was in 9th grade when the mob girls turned on me.  I remember telling a friend something because I felt guilty.  (I made out with a guy that had a girlfriend)  I believed our conversation was private.  I realized immediately it was a crappy thing to do.  But, I was 14, he was a huge crush of mine and he thought I was cute.  All it took for this 14-year-old hormonal teen to start kissing back.

I remember it was the last day of school.  I walked into girls’ choir and at least 5 of the most popular girls were there waiting for me.  They began telling me I was a slut and how horrible I was.  They would not stop.  Most of what they said wasn’t even true and they weren’t there when it happened.  That day went with me the rest of my high school years.

I got lucky.  I had friends who did stick by me.  I had a sister that was supportive of me even when I did stupid things.  I wasn’t a Hannah who just moved to the school and didn’t have real friends yet.  I wasn’t a Hannah that had things snowball the way they did for her.  But I could see how it could happen.  I can also see how the story line with Tyler occurs.  There were Tyler’s at my school too.  Luckily, if there was a Bryce, he wasn’t in my circle, but I have known plenty of boys/men like him throughout my years.

Kids are mean – but it really does begin at home.  When do we start realizing this?  If a husband is a bully to his family, his kids will be a bully at school.  If  a mom is neurotic and a perfectionist, her kids will be unforgiving at school.  We really all need to start being nice.  Start treating everyone the way we want to be treated all of the time.  Not just when we feel like it.  It spreads.  It spreads either way.  Can’t we make the nice spread instead of the hate?

Church, jail and Vampirina

Vampirina.  My grand-daughter turned 3 and had an awesome birthday party.  It was Vampirina themed and if you are not familiar with this spooky new character, look her up.  She’s actually pretty cool and tolerable.  I was a big part of the celebration and, unlike 2 years ago at her first birthday party, I didn’t feel like the pariah.  I was actively drinking at that time and not the family favorite.  This party, I heard, “go ask grandma” and “can you get that?” and other things that just made me so grateful to be sober and an integral part of my family.  Counting my blessings here.

Church. Sunday morning service.  I had stayed away for so long it still surprises me that I have this longing to attend.  I sat with my parents which made them really happy.  I got a lot out of the service.  It was about growth and taking care of our crap (my words, not the pastor’s) in order to be able to grow.  I find it remarkable how similar the church message is so close to the AA message.  Good stuff going in produces good stuff growing. Simple.  Not easy.

Jail.  I visited my son prior to church.  The visit was okay.  He is dealing with stuff.  He is in line to be sent to a state funded recovery facility and will be released from jail soon.  I am glad for this.  Still hesitant and hopeful at the same time.  I truly hope this is his turning point.  I am still so amazed that this is our life right now.  This is not how it was supposed to be.  Sometimes I am so sad about all of this.  Most of the time I’m fine.  Doing what is necessary to maintain my sobriety and hopefully aid in my son’s.  Sometimes I just feel like I have been gut punched.  The breath is knocked out of me and I just have to regroup.  There is nothing pleasant about having to drive to jail to see your loved one.

So, this is my new normal.  Birthday cakes, jail and church.  Somehow, they work.  This weekend it will be wedding, barbecue and jail.  That jail part seems to be our constant for the moment.  Ah well.  I am doing it.  I think I am doing it okay.VAMPIRINA - (Disney Junior)

 

3 Day Quote Challenge

Thank you to blogger Manc Girl Missing who has nominated me to do the 3 day quote challenge.  I follow her because she is pretty cool and someone I think I’d love to have a coffee with.  Or tea, she’s from Manchester. I would have said glass of wine but, you know, I’m an alcoholic so….. You can read her stuff here http://mancgirlmissing.com.

I’m late with this because my life has been pretty crazy.  Mostly good crazy though, so no complaints here.

My quote is not really a quote.  Just some words that sit on my desk.  My daughter painted this for me last year.  It meant so much to me.

thumbnail (2)“you are strong”

For a long time, I didn’t feel strong.  I felt like I was just existing and barely.  Funny though, I kept trying to prove I was strong.  I would sign up for races and things.  I ran a marathon.  I ran in an obstacle course race with a bunch of twenty somethings.  I was trying in all the wrong ways to be strong.

My real strength came with surrender.  When I gave up my demons and stopped fighting is when the strength came.  Admitting that I couldn’t take a drink was what held all of the power.

People say you can’t get sober for someone else.  I’m going to call bs on that.  I think initially you get sober for others.  My family is the reason I started going to AA.  I really did not want to.  But, I did not want to lose my family more than I didn’t want to go to meetings.  So, I went.  I think though, that I am truly staying sober for me.  And, for the first time in forever – I am strong.

 

The rules for this challenge are;

♥ Thank the person who nominated you.

🗯 Post a quote for 3 days, and explain why it appeals to you.

🙋 Nominate bloggers each day!

So, my nominees are:

The Girl in All Leopard

A Run At A Time

Walk the Goats

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

How did it Start?

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I’ve been thinking about this lately.  A little angry with the fact that alcoholism came in and took so much from me.  Angry that I let it in the door.  I’ve been thinking back and trying to remember exactly when I let it in.

I was raised in a pretty strict home.  I never witnessed people binge drinking or “partying” until I started attending parties with peers.  I think it seemed so cool because my parents never drank.  So of course, cool would be the opposite of anything they did.  I had  always had too much to drink when I did drink.  I thought everyone did.  Looking back I realize, maybe not everyone.

After my divorce from my first husband I drank a lot.  I was 24 years old and scared and hurt and a lot of other gross feelings.  I went out a lot (this was pretty new behavior for me –  I was pregnant when I turned 21) and when I did it was always extreme.  To say my behavior was risky would be an understatement.  My sister says I was in self-destruct mode.  She may be right.  But, I had friends and family around me that helped me stay grounded.  I had 2 little boys that needed me and eventually, I got myself straightened out.  I worked 2 jobs, played indoor soccer and took care of my boys.  Life was busy but I was managing.  I drank some, but not everyday.  Again though, when I did, it was always too much.

I met my husband, we had two more children so I became a stay at home mom.  I was a room mother, a coach and all the other things that being a mom involves.  My husband traveled a lot and a lot of burdens of the house fell on me.  Bills, home maintenance, yard work and the kids.  I didn’t drink very often.  Occasionally, (once every 3-6 months maybe) I would go out with the “girls” or we would go out with other couples.  We drank, but not tons.

For many years I was just normal.  (er, well, drinking anyway) Then our social life started changing.  The kids were all older and our friends’ kids were older so when we all got together we drank more.  We progressed and drank a lot.  Friday and Saturday nights were always about going out and always about drinking. We’d have friends at our house and they would sleep there.  We’d go to my sister’s house and end up spending the night there.  Then we started going to the lake with my cousin.  Free-for-all with drinking.  We always started early and if we hadn’t passed out, we ended late.

This is around the time I stopped wanting to leave the house.  Since my husband would be out-of-town during the week or the entire summer, I started drinking during the evenings.  A couple of beers or a couple of glasses of wine.  This soon changed to vodka.  Then, I started drinking earlier and earlier. I would have a drink in order to leave the house.  Then, as alcoholism does, it started progressing.  So, I guess, this is how it started.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Kamry!

 

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So, today is my grand-daughter’s birthday.  I woke up so sad for my son.  Excited for my grand-daughter though.  Her mom brought her by my office and I got to play with her for a little bit.  Her big party was last Saturday and my son missed that as well.  I know 100% it is all his fault, as does he.  It doesn’t make it easier knowing where the blame lies though.

Reflecting on a few things, I realize we are really lucky that we have a good relationship with Kamry’s mom.  That doesn’t mean we haven’t had our challenges, but we always work it out.  One thing that my husband and I have talked about recently is how unbelievably nice Kamry’s other grandparents are.  They could be a lot of other ways towards our family and about Nathan.  Instead, they care.  “How is Nathan doing?”  They always ask.  They don’t judge us for having a son that is a drug addict.  They don’t hate Nathan for fathering a child with their daughter.  They could.  I’m not sure I would be as nice.  We really got lucky.

My heart hurts knowing my child’s heart hurts.  He talked about Kamry on Saturday when I visited him.  He spoke of her on Monday when he called me.  He sounded the saddest that he has been since he has been in jail.  I think he always believed he would be released before her birthday.  I did.  Now it looks like he will be there another month, possible two.  I can only hope that this feeling right here will be what it takes to help him get a stronghold on sobriety and staying clean.  And I really have to say, seeing him clean right now every week is kind of nice, regardless of the circumstances.  We talk about books, his plans and his daughter.  The last few months before he was arrested he was back to using and if I talked to him at all it wasn’t pleasant.

So, today I am a little sad. I give a little nod to the sadness and keep it where it belongs.  I am excited it is his baby girl’s birthday and that I get to help her celebrate.  I am hopeful that this will be Nathan’s big “aha” moment.

 

Happy Birthday, Kamry Anne.  You are so loved.

My Heroin Addict

I read comments about addiction and I keep my mouth closed. I see uninformed posts regarding narcan and I keep my mouth closed. I hear all drug dealers should be sentenced to death and I keep my mouth closed. I see horrible comments like “natural selection” and “let them weed each other out” and I keep my mouth closed. I’m not sure who people picture when they think of heroin addicts, so, I’d like to introduce you to mine.

My heroin addict weighed 7 lbs when he was born.

My heroin addict collected hockey cards and memorized all of the players’ names when he was 5 years old.

My heroin addict cried because his dad missed his 7th birthday.

My heroin addict held his baby sister for the first time and was in awe.

My heroin addict played 2nd base in the little league World Series. Twice.

My heroin addict broke up with a girl in middle school and was so concerned about her that he had me call her.

My heroin addict took his little sister to the father/daughter dance because her dad was out of town.

My heroin addict threatened to beat up a kid bigger than him for picking on his sister.

My heroin addict always noticed if I changed my hair.

My heroin addict was reading at a high school level in 2nd grade.

My heroin addict is loved by so many people.

So, maybe we should all remember, whatever state they’re in today, there is a mom somewhere, with knees bleeding from prayers, that just wants her baby back. Maybe instead of judging, we say a prayer. Maybe we become a bit more educated and help raise funds to help recovery facilities become more successful. Maybe we contact our lawmakers and request more useful laws concerning addiction.

Maybe we try to remember that every heroin addict is someone’s child.