Over and Over and Over

I haven’t posted anything in 2 weeks because I have nothing to say. What can I tell you? I’m depressed? I am. I know I am. I’m not going to swan dive off of the Tobin Bridge but I’m not exactly pleased with how things have turned out. And in some ways, documenting it hasn’t been any easier. It’s a constant reminder that I am in the same place right now as we were 1 year ago and 2 years ago and 3 years ago. I know many families struggle with addiction for so many more years and have multiple family members so it makes me feel even shittier (more shitty? Shittest?) that I am complaining. I shouldn’t complain. But then I sort of think, eff that… I have a right to complain. People have a right not to listen, or to form their own opinions about my complaining, and to them I say whatevs. I don’t care about that either.

I can go on and on and wax poetic about all things and plans and ways I anticipated my child’s life to be different. But it’s not just her life that is affected. It’s all of our lives. In so many ways. My youngest just started health class. One of the things he covered in health so far is drug addiction. He came home to tell me all the things they talked about in class, but he went on to say, but they don’t even talk about the way it really hurts a person.  Then he used poor attitude, laziness, disregard for one’s self as examples of that. It depresses me that my 14 year old son has that kind of insight. Granted, he is a very bright kid, but he still shouldn’t know that. He shouldn’t be that well versed in this bullshit to be able to identify the real hurt in drug addiction. Some know-it-all-do-gooder can write in a text book that drug addiction breaks down the neuropath ways or doesn’t allow for emotional growth or slows the respiratory tract to the point of paralysis but those are facts. They aren’t the things that a mother thinks about when she is staring at the ceiling at 2am. They should talk about how it takes families and stuffs them in a glass jar, shakes the living shit out of it, and then dumps them all on to a table to see who survived, and who is tarnished for life.  Talk to me about guilt. Talk to me about suffering. Suffering in a way that you think the only possible way to end is to end. Talk to me about how there are times when I think that I am so certain she is going to die I just want it to happen because the anticipation of it happening is killing me as bad as the pain will when it finally happens. Talk to me about the bone-crushing self-hate a mother feels after she thinks about that, the agony and shame so great, she can’t look at herself in the mirror, never mind anyone else in the eyes.

I can tell you I hate addiction. But that statement is not strong enough. The word hate does not resonate to the level of disdain and contempt I have for addiction. There is not a word or an emotion that can equate to the feeling, in a way I could best describe it. I can only say to imagine the love that a person feels for their child- it’s the opposite. If love was my daughter, the opposite end of the pendulum would be addiction, resting on all that is bad in the world. But no one really cares. Who cares? Addicts are worthless. They are no good and never amount to anything. They abandon children or kill them and stuff them in a fridgerator. They don’t give back to society, or make the world a better place. They take, and steal, and use, and abuse, and fill the world with a hate so great that society at large makes unfounded and discriminatory judgments about them. Until it happens to their family.  Everyone understands then.

When a person first finds out that someone they love is an addict there is action. Even if it is meaningless and ineffective, it is still action. It is a distraction from the truth, being your person is an addict. Instead of focusing on why someone became an addict, how it happened, what drove them to it, we spend time finding detox’s, chasing recovery, finding meetings, searching for a runaway, fighting insurance companies and ignoring the rest of their life and what is happening around them. By the time enough addiction has gone on, and all the dust has settled in a way that feels like a soaking wet, wool blanket on top of you, too much time has elapsed. Birthdays, Christmas’s, Halloweens, sports events, graduations, time missed with friends, deaths, births, have all gone by without you, unnoticed.  You wake up one day looking around frantically for the life you once had only to find out it has gone on without you, as it should, but you didn’t notice, because addiction, heroin, steals from everyone in arms length. You let yourself be a victim too. That is when the depression sinks in. You realize you can’t go back and enjoy those times that have passed and you can’t make up for the time you lost. You can only try to move forward but you have to do it without your addict. Even though they are still alive, you have to act as though they are not. So you suffer while they are alive, and the only relief you think you will get is when they are gone but that is a mistake, because you will only suffer more. So how does a person make themselves get out of bed and participate in life when there is no end in sight? There will never be any relief. There is nothing. But the same routine. With the same ending. In the same space. Over and over and over and over and over until over doesn’t even sound like a word anymore.

 

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12 thoughts on “Over and Over and Over

  1. EJ LabbEJ says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your story even when it is so difficult. Thinking of you and your family – especially that daughter of yours who has such a bright light inside…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim says:

    I hope you can have some moments of peace during this very difficult time. It is hell on earth and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I pray that your daughter will find recovery very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam says:

    I don’t have the words to convey how sad I am that you are going through this over and over, how unfair it is, how much I wish I could help in some meaningful way, how angry I am at the senselessness of addiction and the pain that it generates and how much I love you and wish for you to have some relief and how much I wish that your beautiful daughter could see the possibilities within her that we can see.

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  4. F Montuffar says:

    Melanie,

    You don’t know me but I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and I’m drawn in because how well you put into words what thoughts and things we go through when our child is going through addiction. I honestly was worried you haven’t written, I kept looking and hoping you would. I won’t “kidnap” your blog, but long story short our stories unfortunately are very similar. My oldest son (he is 21 also) is in recovery from heroin addiction…it’s been about 2 months this time. I can’t even tell you when all this began. The truths all come out in hindsight and him telling my husband and I now. He started in middle school with taking his friend’s adderall…how did I miss that? Then high school with marijuana and drinking…again I was apparently living under a rock. I thought I did all the right things…got to know his friends and their parents, he wasn’t even allowed to spend the night anywhere. Talked to him over and over about the dangers of drugs. But heroin? Of course not, that doesn’t happen here? Yeah, naive as Hell. Then he began taking pain pills…from where who knows?! I believe it was 2 years ago he admitted to having a problem with heroin. I never saw that coming at all. If I didn’t actually see the marks on him, that he hid so well and the actual needles I would of said no you’re lying no way. Yeah, I know no need to say it, I beat myself up all the time, even as I’m writing this, I’m like God you’re an idiot.

    He went into inpatient rehab in December of last year, only for 22 days. Umm yeah. Then immediately started intensive outpatient, almost finished, but was kicked out for testing positive. Then was sent to jail for 2 months for testing positive, a probation violation for his DUI (for drugs not alcohol) and ten points, yes 10 points he accumulated. I can’t even describe how difficult it was to have him there but honestly he had to see that this county isn’t playing around and by the grace of God he didn’t kill someone or someone else. Now he is about to finish another 8 week intensive care rehab. I am hopeful but scared and will never be the same again. The difference now, he is on Suboxone. Not sure how you feel about this? I’m interested to hear your opinion. Not what I was hoping for…but the lesser of two evils. He is on the lowest dosage and will be weened off with the guidance of a doctor. They fortunately opened a new office right down the street from me…yeah that is how awful the problem is here. It is professional, clean and I’ve been very please with it. VERY regulated and strict with the patients as far as meetings, seeing a counselor, and blood work and seeing a medical doctor. But has he changed? You want me to put it bluntly? He is a good liar and manipulator, something that kills me saying it about my own son, but that is what addiction does to you…to the family. I hope so, but sadly don’t think mentally he is there yet. God I am so scared. Living in fear day in and day out is such a heavy weight. Indescribable.

    Oh and I have a story to top your story of your son at his school. My 17 year old is taking a forensic class, one of the topics is covering a drug overdose crime scene. In the class there will be a video shown (back to school night the teacher told the parents), guess who made his acting debut? Yup, you guess it none other then my oldest. Being pulled over, arrested and truck searched. Nothing was found and luckily he signed a waiver from showing his face!!! So if you ever want to catch my son on video yeah in all his freaking glory it’s viral. Sorry, but sometimes you have to laugh at all the craziness or I might go completely nuts….even more then I am!

    Sorry, I did take over your blog. But I wanted to reach out. Prayers to you and your family!

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    • Wow, we really do have parallel’s in our stories. I have to say, with no disrespect intended, that I laughed out loud about the Forensic Class. We must be related because that is, without a doubt something that would happen to us! You right that we have to laugh or we would go insane. It’s heartbreaking. And the thing that depresses me, at times, is knowing there is no “real” end. Even if our children find recovery and stay in for a long length of time, we will always be wondering if they will relapse. I anticipate that 20 years from now I will be wondering if JoDee is my age and still using, or going to use. It’s so frustrating that they can’t see the beauty life has to offer when they aren’t in a drug induced stupor. I have no idea how it started, how I missed it, or what I have really been doing for the 3 years since I found out. All I can tell you is I feel like I am in exactly the same place I was then but with more clarity which brings me back to a very true statement: Ignorance is bliss. I’m so glad you reached out! Sad that we have similar stories, but it is a good reminder that my family didn’t invent addiction and dysfunction 🙂

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  5. Sheri says:

    It sucks waking up to pouring rain and thinking, well at least he’s in jail alive and dry. What parent wants to feel like that ? You hit the nail on the head, even though they are still alive, you have to pretend they are not. I hate it.

    Like

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