Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Community Mourns

As the news started trickling out little by little,those of us in the addiction community were holding our breath.

A major fire in our city, in an abandoned building, in the wee hours of the morn..3 fatalities..1 survivor air lifted off Island for medical attention.

As we phoned,e-mailed,texted,& tweeted..hoping it wasn't one of ours living on the streets due to their became perfectly clear, there was not one single parent on our small Island, whose child did not come home that night... wasn't doing the same thing..The pain of not knowing where your child was took on a real sense of urgency to get in contact with them !!

Eventually it leaked out through the media,they were all young males, the youngest believed to be only 15, 2 were cousins..and all were from a small community outside the City. The loss of these young men will run deep in this small community of 2,000. It will run deep in our Province.

My heart breaks for these families and their loss of their children..there will be alot of speculation in the next few days surrounding the why's of this tradgey,I only hope people will remember to have empathy & Compassion for these families..Let them mourn their support from each other.. allow them their privacy !!

My heart is heavy and my prayers many, for these families and the community...xoxo

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Last Dance

When our children were babies, Mamma's always heard their cries..we heard them moving..we even heard them breathing from our own bedrooms ( we had no monitors in my day ).Our hearing was extremely acute and our sleep light...we were on our feet running at the slightest sound.

Those ability's are the same, when you live with a loved one in active addiction !

The rules and boundary's have been reset..tightened..added to..subtracted..and I have my running shoes beside my bed.

A lesson I have learned after his many relapses..and recovery periods..don't get to complacent !

Why his thought process when looking at treatment always..One last  Dance with the Devil !

Next week he will return to treatment...For today we step backwards..

Back to locking everything up!
Back to dealing with lies & manipulation!
Back to wondering who this emaciated person is living in our house?
Back to the thought... this one last Dance... could mean Death!

The one difference this time..I am not alone...

Hope & Hugs for all Families who are struggling with loved ones, dancing with the devil at this moment..We are Many..We are stronger then we think..We are Speaking out..We are Not Alone..xoxo

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dark Places

As I was Framing a few pictures of my grandchildren last night,I was thinking how blessed I am to have these little people in my life !

Then my thoughts went to a much darker place..A place my mind has not been for awhile..A place I do not like to go..A scarey place.

I had one extra frame left..I kept seeing my youngest son's face in that frame..sitting on his casket.

Then my eyes again scanned those beautiful faces of my blessings... and smiled.

I threw out that extra frame !!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

He's Back

After 4 months in recovery...It reared his ugly head..again.

I am always amazed how quickly my handsome son can start looking so quickly..powerful stuff!

After spending time with our oldest son & grandbabies for a week...The minute I walked in the door I knew.

No freaking out..he knew, I knew..His recovery had ended...

At least he was honest ( about using again)..There were no denials...I am sure he could see my broken heart...But all I said was..what's the plan ?

I have a plan...continue working on my own recovery...continue to offer support without enabling.. continue to love..continue the fight for better treatment for this horrendous disease ...continue to leave his recovery to him..continue to advocate for him and others who struggle daily their demons...One day at a time.

I mentioned smart recovery will be opening up next month..he should look into adding something different to his plan this time..Smart Recovery might be an option..since his plan of recovery hit a brick wall!!!!!!!!!!!!

No One knows my son like I do..He needs serious treatment..In a "good".. long term.. Treatment Center..with professionals who will work on his whole being..this disease affects their whole body..mind & soul..he needs the whole package..Daily..Oh yea..we have no long term Treatment Facility!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


But I love my son..xo

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mine Too

With the approaching nor-easter heading our way I decided a few supplies were in order.
As I was making way through herds of people doing the same thing, I ran into a former co-worker.
We did a little bit of catching up as it has been years,Our youngest children were born the same month and year.She had a girl.

I asked how her daughter was doing,where she was..the normal questions we all get asked and as parents of children with addiction issues we tend to skirt around. Her face got red..she stuttered & stammered..then the flood gates opened ! OMG I thought..what did I say?? Finally I heard her voice whisper,she is not doing well,she is addicted to opiates!

I then started to cry...she is looking at me like I am nuts! I then said..My son is in recovery from the same disease. It was the first time I had ever said that to someone face to face...I've blogged it..spoke on the phone with other parents..shared e-mails..but to say it to another Mamma,face to face..a first..Damn I knew what she was feeling..I also knew she was new to this journey!! I was crying for her,not my own situation..I knew what she going through.

We left our supply's in the aisle and went for coffee..we talked for over an know the help for her daughter..I don't know her does not understand..siblings do not understand...But I did.

We exchanged phone numbers..Promised her I would keep in me anytime..there is hope..we are making inroads..although the paper..mamma's are speaking out..Rally's are being formed..recovery groups for not be ashamed to tell your story..It is a disease like no will get through this..I will also.

After I got home..she called..just to say thank-you..No, thank-you for sharing with me..for opening up..for getting it all I could tell you..You are not alone..sometimes that is all we need to hear, to start us on our own Journey of recovery,healing..xo

Monday, March 24, 2014

Drug Addicts

I wonder if it is just me, or just part of my own healing that the word " Drug Addict" when referring to my son and others struggling with addiction,bothers me to the core!! I too used to use that word..don't get me wrong..but for some reason it now bothers me...Kinda like the advice you get from others parents about detaching..I choked each time I had to write it..I now use..distance ( advice from a fellow parent).It is amazing how one word can make all the difference in how we look at addiction.

I wonder if our children feel the same way when they hear themselves being referred to as "Drug Addicts"?
This is just my thought for the day..I find myself using "struggling with addiction" "active in their Addiction"..more in my conversations & writings lately..I think.. I too.. am finally finding my way through this journey of addiction and healing..My way.Just as my son is finding his path on the road to recovery his way.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Drug Courts

After reading a piece in our paper this morning regarding specialized courts, How about a Drug Court.Judge Lantz states his hands are tied because of the existing court system.He has no choice but to follow rules & sentencing of the court.He would like to see that Change.So would I,as we continue to read our children's,parents,sisters,brothers names in the paper, being sent to Jail for petty crimes due to their addiction.

Hold on now,keep reading,I don't mean, and neither does he, violent crimes,but petty crimes like shoplifting.Sentencing a person with addiction issues to 3 months in jail for stealing a pot roast & 3 steaks is useless and costly.Because without treatment for the underlying cause,It is setting them up for failure.Instead, offer them treatment!! Hey there's a novel Idea..They sign an agreement to be sentenced in drug court,which offers them help, like being incarcerated in a Rehab instead of Jail.A win win situation for all..and saves thousands of dollars of the tax-payers money.

Is it 100 percent effective... no,but the success rate is high for those who participate.Which means they are not sitting in jail,writhing in pain, from withdrawals,dreaming of  getting that high when they get out.Instead they are given treatment,programs to help them when they get out,build their self esteem,give them something to look forward to when they do get out,A Life !!Keeping their minds & body's busy with thoughts of sobriety & recovery !!

Many of provinces in Canada have such Courts..and they are working!!
The Judges want them..they want more options,they want to help, rather than sentence them to jail,because they know,chances are in 3 months they will see them again for stealing that Can of Lobster,to sell,to get that next fix!

Here is an article that explains it quite simply How Do Drug Courts Work ?

A girl can dream..xoxo

Monday, March 10, 2014

There Is Light!!

Although I knew these 2 projects were in the works I was so excited to see it in print!!
You can read about them here Hang In There,Help is On The Way.

I am ever so grateful to this Woman,Friend who opened her arms, her heart to me, when I thought I was so alone.She tirelessly works for us all,Those with Addictions,Families, people in name it..she can help..if she can't..she'll find someone who she has done here..started up a program that will help!!

She is one of my Hero's...Love ya Rose..xoxo

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sober Living

This is big pet peeve of mine.In a city of 40,000..A province of 120,000,we have 2 sober-living facilities.
One for the woman,One for the men.Average stay 3 months.Beds: 14 in Talbot (men's).Less in Lacey House ( women).

Addiction Center detox program turns out 28 Men & Women on a weekly basis with a waiting list.Chances of getting into a sober-Living facility..slim to none!! They also have a waiting List..Do the Math,perhaps not all wish or need to go to a sober-living facility,However even if half do,the chances of staying clean & sober for months while waiting are...not great...So back to using,back to petty crimes,back to the streets..Then back to Detox,A Vicious Cycle,A costly Cycle..As those of us know that have family members,friends on that Journey of Addiction. We also know,Only too well,that first time using after detox can be fatal !!

WE know the government is moving at a snail's pace on addictions..a full blown treatment center is way into the future..a few more sober-living facility's would be a tremendous help !! We have many empty buildings...Open them..they will come!!

A sad story was recently shared where someone,somewhere on our fair Island managed to detox at home..or Jail..and needed further help.When they called for help the answer was, sorry we can't help you if you have not used in 7 days...I mean this is cruel...It says go out and use again..then we can help.I believe one of biggest needs of people in early recovery is a safe place to stay ( away from triggers & old friends)..and support..We are severely lacking in that department. Let's keep the talk going..xoxo

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The CardBoard Sign

Last night Hubby & I attended a benefit for a friend of the family.It was a great success.More people than they expected , thus a very crowded event. The family is well known & Hockey was theme of the night, as the son of the gentleman, who the benefit was for, had played in NHL & continues on the coaching side of hockey today.A collectors dream,as jersey's,sticks,pictures,etc. all signed, went up for auction.Even if my favorite players' jersey( Martin St.Louis) was up, I could not afford to bid with big guys.

About halfway through the night we needed some fresh Air...throngs of room to move or we stepped out into the freezing cold.

There,sitting on the step was a young man,early 20's,with a sign & tin can soliciting for money for food & a room.I know I know..You see them everywhere..But I think as parents,families of those fighting addiction we look a little longer..a little closer.He was sooo skinny..quiet..just sitting..holding his cardboard sign.He wasn't high ( we learn early to recognize those signs)..He was sitting to quietly to be in withdrawals..So chances were he was exactly as his piece of cardboard stated..Hungry & Homeless..Did drugs get him there..possibly..never the less..Here he thousands of dollars were being spent on NHL Jersey's. Yes I am a heart on sleeve kinda girl..and I need to work on that balance in my life..there is life out there beyond addiction..and I am working on it VERY hard!! But you can't take the heart out of the girl.That could easily be my son sitting there..My Hubby knows me well..As we walked back in, he handed him a 20.00 dollar bill..The Young man couldn't have been more gracious..we watched him head next door to the Pizza place..for now he will at least have a full belly..My hubby looked at me and said...well there was no Martin St Louis Jersey anyway..Gotta love a man who knows how to bring a smile to your face..xoxoxo

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Lunch Date

I had lunch yesterday with my youngest Bro..He has lived with aspergers his whole life. He has always been a blessing in my life.

During my mother's journey with addiction I became her substitute as my brothers are much younger than I.
My Bro always struggled with school,friends etc due to his disease.He isolated himself,could not cope with people,relationships or social situations but was super smart.One of my first hand views of this was at his grade 2 parent(sister)-teacher interviews.The teacher informed me he was Lazy..did nothing in school..showed me his work books..empty pages.I found this hard to digest as he was extremely smart and had a VERY high IQ.
I told her I thought he was very smart & needed to be challenged...If he found something too easy he just did not bother with it..perhaps she could give him something more challenging and see where that takes us.She did..He thrived academically.He graduated from university with honors.Unfortunately he could not work in his chosen field due to the social limitations his aspergers placed on him.

He lived with my parents his whole life until my dad died a few years ago.My son was in danger of dying from his disease at this time and I worried about what was going to happen to my bro.I offered to let him come live us.He declined.He was scared of my son,wanted nothing to do with him.I had to respect his decision.
My middle bro and I had encouraged him when Dad was first diagnosed with cancer to find a job.He needed to be able to look after skills..he did.

He now lives on his own in a small apartment,works nights,which suits him to a T,And enjoys his solitude.
He has broadened my horizons so much.If he is not interested in your conversation..he just leaves..walks away..does not matter who it is..where it he goes.So I figured out quite early to communicate with him on a more intimate level.. I had to be interesting to him.That was a challenge..As I mentioned above he is extremely smart..I am so so..he made me broaden my horizons..step out of MY comfort zone..He loves Books..BIG books..DEEP books..I had to be able to read these books and understand in order to converse with him about them. His Music tastes..again out of my comfort zone..But I managed to find a few I loved.

He is also an Artist of pen & paints.He always amazes me with his penned stories & Art pieces.He has brought alot of Joy into my life.

I have been so consumed with my son and his addiction ,I had let my brother down, by not seeing him as much.Lunch was wonderful..we caught up on what he was reading,the movies he had seen,his latest Art..My heart soared.I missed our talks..I missed reading those BIG books about subjects I can't even pronounce..But I learned :)..I missed my Bro..One of the blessings I had let slide during this Journey with addiction..Love ya Bro..xoxo

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

7 Weeks

Worth of clean Pee tests..YES!!

 One of rules of our household when my son came out of detox was he had to bring home the results of his Pee tests ,The reason being we do not allow him to live with us and actively use in our home.He agreed..we got a few at first..then nothing..and week after week..nothing.

 I chose my battles wisely.. this was one I was not willingly to get into as he knew..we would know, if he was using in our home.

 Even tho we consciously let him own his recovery..and we concentrated on ours..this was killing me inside..But I zipped it !

 Yesterday he handed me a Big Yellow Manila envelope with 7 weeks worth of clean tests..I checked the number..birthdate..yes they were his!! He did not make a big deal over them..I however, put them proudly on my fridge ;)

 I was told at the beginning of his recovery process, that for awhile he may continue to use till his methadone reaches the appropriate level..whether this was the reason we did not receive them as often as "WE" would have liked or mute now..Here they are..I am very proud of him..and I told him so..Isn't recovery Grand!!

Another step on the road to recovery

For us all :) xoxo

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Anonymous People

I must say I was moved beyond words when I watched this documentary last night. I cried and I laughed,but most of all I learned !

It is about recovery from both Addictions of Drugs & Alcohol..It takes the mystery out of  the 12 step program to a whole new level and involves the community as a whole..Definitely a learning tool..It also appears to have great success & really talks to the downfall of keeping Addiction a secret and how that affects the recovery process.

Most importantly for me is told by those in recovery!! I mean really folks..who knows what's best for those in recovery than those living it!

As a Community fighting for adequate treatment it would do many people..not only politicians..but our community..province, to get the opportunity to watch this film.

I am sure there will be nay sayers..But for me..It talked to me.

It will be available to the public on March 14 at this address The Anonymous People, again for Internet viewing,However, there will be a 14.99 charge.If you choose to view it..get a group together..pass the hat.

It can break the stigma ...bring understanding,empathy..most of all action !!

I wish we could round up the whole Island and watch..

I will pay it forward..and spread the word..encourage others to watch..send the link to the power's that on perhaps getting a screening here ( with a little help from my friends ;)

Here is the Trailer on YouTube:

Anonymous No More !!

It moved me..xoxo