This is a link to a post I wrote to my son 3 1/2 years ago. It was his birthday and I was so happy to see him happy because over the past 10 years his life has led him down very dark tunnels. There was no light at the end of the tunnels he traveled. Sometimes I was so afraid that at the end of one of those tunnels he wouldn’t be able to find his way back.
You see, my son is a heroin addict. Through his addiction I learned a lot about myself. Therapy helped me with that. I learned that I was his #1 enabler. I learned that I used his addiction as an excuse for all my problems. I learned that there was nothing I could do to save him and I learned how horrible addiction is. Unfortunately it took many years for me to learn these things.
In the mean time I helped fuel his addiction. I know that some people will tell me that it was his choice to be an addict. That it wasn’t my fault. Maybe so but all the help I thought I was giving him was partly for myself. It was easier to give him a $20 bill than to have him beg for it. It was easier to give him what he wanted than to face the fact that he was an addict. It was just easier to withdraw into myself and just pretend the whole thing wasn’t happening.
I remember when the book “A Million Little Pieces” was published. It became a best seller recommended by Oprah. ” A Million Little Pieces is a memoir by James Frey. It tells the story of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser and how he copes with rehabilitation in a Twelve steps oriented treatment center. While initially promoted as a memoir, it was later discovered that many of the events described in the book never happened”.
I could have written that book because all those events happened to my son and our family. Maybe not the exact same ones but still, the last 10 years was very similar to what happened to James Frey and very similar to what happens in the families of most drug addicts. If I told the story of my son’s addiction you might not believe it. You would wonder “How could those things happen to a family?’. The horrible part is that those terrible things happen to all addicts AND their families.
Right now my son is in a halfway house and has been clean for almost 6 months. He has been and is still going through a very intensive 12 Step Program. He has been in detox and some short-term programs but nothing like what he is doing now. My heart still stops for a second when the phone rings and I see that it’s him. I am still afraid that I will answer and he will be at the other end crying and telling me he wished he were dead, or worse, it will be the police telling me he IS dead but thankfully for the last 6 months he tells me he is doing well and he is working hard to become a better man and for the first time I believe him.