The Here and Now

There is no doubt in my mind that we did the right thing. There is no doubt in my mind that drastic times call for drastic measures and every other metaphor that fits. However, that does not make it easy to think about, or do, or live with. I’m not sure if not knowing or knowing is better. I don’t know what the facility she is at looks like, but if you hear JoDee tell it it’s like jail. I’m sure it’s somewhere in between that and a regular rehab. Everyone there is remanded there, same as JoDee, so it should be locked down and they should have rules. JoDee hates rules. Unless she set them.

She got to make a call to a family member once she was done with the admission paperwork. I was at work when she called my cell. She was scared, whimpering, sad. It’s heartbreaking to hear, I can be good, and I just want to come home. I want her to come home. I wish it was that easy and I could say I would go pick her up to bring her home. But it doesn’t work that way. I’m sure she means it now. Not just because she is locked up and sick, I think the events of the last few weeks have taken a toll on her. She was separated from her family, in a way she never was before. She has been on the run, afraid to go home (to the sober house, for fear of being drug tested), she has been bullied, dirty, and sick. When everyone is partying and having fun, it’s all a joke. Until it’s not. This was no joke.  When we went to the sober house with the police, she kept saying I just want to be clean and have my life back, I don’t want to do this anymore. I believe all of those things. The problem is that even the worst of moments will pass, the desire to use will get stronger, and the willpower gets weaker. She has been in and out of all kinds of treatment in the last 2 years. Detox, rehab, half-way house, sober house, dual diagnosis units, psych units. She has been kicked out of or left every single treatment or program she has started, with the exception of the very first one she ever went too. She has run from me, from her dad, AC, her boyfriend. The one big difference, the thing that made me sure I did the right thing, was that she could not run this time.  Watching her freaking out, before the cops arrested her, eye red and swollen from crying, I realized that she has the flight instinct. She has to learn to stand strong and fight back.

I have been able to call me a few times now since Wednesday. The last call she said that she wanted to thank me for doing this. She said that there is no way she would have survived or seen how destructive she was being unless it was to this extent. And that is great news. I’m happy to hear that. But I am not naive enough to believe this is it. There is no cure for addiction. There is no magic wand and I don’t believe locking her up in a state facility is going to make a “walking on water” type of phenomenon that will completely change everything. Hopefully it just plants a seed of the beginning of real recovery. That’s all I can ask for. I know she is safe, and that has helped me really relax for the first time in a few years. With no exaggeration. Let me tell you that did not happen immediately either. One might think that once JoDee was safely part of the chain gang that I would come home and pass out. However, that is not how it happened. I think I was so traumatized by the events that took place, not just that day but the weeks since Christmas, I still didn’t sleep. I didn’t think or cry or laugh or really do anything. I was sort of numb. By Saturday I was stupid, I was so exhausted. Famous last words, I told AC I was going to take “a good nap” before I cleaned the house on Saturday afternoon (we had traveled up to see Preggers new house which was AWESOME) when we got home. Ha! I got in bed at 5 with the intention of sleeping for an hour or two. I got up at noon the next day! I did wake up at some point in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and get a drink of water, and then right back to bed. It was fantastic. Especially because I still didn’t get out of bed all day Sunday! I watched Girls, Interrupted and then Natural Born Killers and then Kill Bill (don’t judge!!!) and finally several hours of Food Network (it weighs out all the violence!) before going back to sleep.

Monday, I had off from work, and I was super productive! Cleaned the house, did laundry, grocery shopped, scoured my bathroom to a nice shine. All wonderful things. Which, of course, made me reflect on how I felt about all that, and the conclusion I came up with was I was happy JoDee was locked up. I can really not worry about her running away/escaping/over dosing/getting arrested/using. It was refreshing to feel like I could truly pay attention to my own life. I realized Jay J’s room was also disgusting and Jared needs a haircut so he no longer can confused with being a shaggy dog. Speaking of dogs, my poor dog nails are so long they sound like high heeled shoes on my hardwood floors. I’m happy to take care of the things in our life that need attention but I worry about what it will be like when she gets out. I don’t want her to get out. I know that she is worried about being locked up for her 21st birthday (and actually she said she thought it was the best place for her to be but would miss being with her family) but I don’t want her to get out. At the moment, I can say I don’t want her to get out ever, but that is completely unrealistic. Just like that day so long ago when I found out she was a heroin addict, I will have to adjust again. I will have to get ready for our new normal. Again.  For the moment, I don’t know what that is. And I’m glad for that. I’m happy to just be able to pay attention to the here and now with those around me. I will face what happens next when she gets out. That is super important because today is a big day. A month ago I might have forgotten, but thankful I didn’t. Twenty-one years ago today I became an Aunt for the very first time. Today I am happy that I was able to get up and remember to text my wonderful, smart, beautiful niece to say Happy 21st Birthday! I know it’s sad for her that she isn’t celebrating with JoDee since they are only 16 days apart, but those are the ricochet effects of addiction and the way it truly interrupts everyone in some way. 21 years and 16 days ago when JoDee was born, and Toria came to see her (with my sister who would have to bring her since she was an infant, of course) I never would have imagined this is where we would be all these years later. But alas, that is life. Today- I don’t feel bad for where JoDee is, instead I wish Toria a happy, healthy, 21st Birthday and a 60 or 70 more!

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