My Top Ten Mistakes

As I begin the decent into the 6 month mark of clean time for Ms JoDee, I start thinking about what led us here. Undoubtably, drug addiction. But I mean more emphatically what lead us to this stage of our life. What have we endured to get to this place. And of course, that evovled into me picking myself and my actions or lack thereof, apart.   For the benefit of those who may be in the early stages of active addiction, or for those who don’t even know they are living in the mist of an addict, I bestow upon you, my mistakes. Take with them what you want, leave the rest.

  1. Not facing the problem when I knew something was wrong. The signs were present, but I didn’t see them or I choose to ignore them. The first time I really knew for sure something was happening was Jay J’s 16 birthday party. Yup, two whole years ago. Her and Long Gone (i.e., her old drug running boyfriend whom is, you guessed it, long gone and shall be named so for now and all time) said they had to run to his house, or an errand, or some other lie I should have seen as such, and returned to the party about 30 minutes later looking banged up. By banged up I mean droopy, heavy eyes, slurred speech, confused, and otherwise unable to carry on a conversation. I remember saying to her don’t you ever show up at home like this again. I don’t know what I thought she was doing, but I assumed she drank and smoked pot. And even that shouldn’t have been acceptable. I do not regret what I did, I regret what I did not do, and that was pry. Yell. Demand answers. Search her room. Search their car. Parent.
  2. Not understand the ramifications of drug addiction. When she told me she was an addict, I thought she was being dramatic. I thought that this was a teen-age girl rebellion thing. I thought a couple days in detox around questionable individuals would show her that her cushiony life in our suburban town wasn’t so bad. I was solemnly mistaken. This is not something you can punish out of a person or expect them to grow out of it. I certainly underestimated the sheer desire the drug had embedded into her. Her pull to that drug was much larger than the love she had for herself or her family. And until I completely accepted that this was not something we were going to get rid of like fleas on the dog or a stomach bug, we couldn’t even begin to think about real recovery. I do not regret what I did to help her at the beginning, I regret what I did not do, and that was educating me on the real meaning of drug addiction. Learn what recovery really meant to better understand the road ahead of us.
  3. Not making myself the person she leaned on the most. At the very beginning I was naive enough to believe that I couldn’t help her because I wasn’t an addict. To a certain level that is true. But assuming that someone knew better than me, or could help her better than me, or trusting her in her weakest moment to someone else because they were an addict too, was wrong. Days out of detox, I trusted JoDee’s care to someone I thought knew better than I. Someone who knew N/A and the inner workings of drug addiction. AC told me that age was not a factor, drug addiction was not a factor but that in life people look out only for themselves and what they can get. Or do to a person. I did not listen to him. I thought the shared history of a person we both love that had died provided a character reference by which I gaged a level a trust. Enormous mistake. I do not regret what I did to help her by finding someone to stay with her so she wasn’t alone. I regret what I didn’t do which was listen to AC and make sure it was family. Because family wouldn’t have taken advantage of her vulnerability when she was barely a few days clean, and desperate. And desperation is something a predator can smell.
  4. Not trusting my gut instinct-because a mother’s intuition will not let her down. As soon as we started the process of getting her into rehab miles away from home, I knew it was a bad idea. Not because the facility was terrible, or their success rate was poor, but because I know JoDee. And I knew she would run. In those days, JoDee was not unlike a wild horse. The horse might look calm in the paddock, but the minute that gate opens, boom- galloping for freedom and kicking anyone who gets in the way. She kept vocalizing that she didn’t want to go. She kept saying she wouldn’t do well without talking to me (there was a 60 day social detox- no phone calls, no visitors, no passes for off campus) but if she could just call me once in a while, she would do better. I knew that was true. As much as I knew that she wasn’t ready to go. I sat awake nights on end, pacing my house, listening to Reality whisper the truth in my ear buzzing like mosquito, and I batted him off in the same fashion. I allowed the blinding love of Denial to lead me in the wrong direction. Boarding the plane, landing in the home of cactus and desert, I had the fleeting desire to grab her running to the closes gate with a plane back to Boston. And I ignored it. I do not regret what I did to help her in recovery. I regret what I did not do which was listen to my inner voice guiding me to a better solution. I did not listen to my gut when it said to find another way. And I had to face the I-told-you-so look on Reality’s face when I got the expected but dreaded call that she was on the run thousands of miles from home.
  5. Not telling the right people. When JoDee was released from detox number 1, we called our family, we told them she was an addict so they could be supportive. I’m not saying that was the wrong thing to do. Family support is imperative for the success of an addict. And sometimes even with family support, an addict can’t find his or her way into long term recovery. My family is really no different than any other family. Some of us get a long great, some of us don’t get along at all, and some of us just see each other occasionally with no ill feelings. And similar to other families, mine had its opinions on what should or should not have been done. At every pass I’m sure someone in my family had a critique of my actions or JoDee’s actions or both- and that is neither helpful nor wanted. The problem is, on a day to day basis, it is not my family that I see. It is my friends, my co-workers, those in my inner circle. I should have realized right away that support from them was crucial. Instead of confiding in them, and running to them with open arms for guidance and help, I ran from them with my eyes squeezed shut hoping they didn’t see my families terrible demise. To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman “Big mistake. Huge.” I do not regret telling my family and getting much needed help from them. It is what I did not do that I regret which was not trust my friends to love me and my child no matter what. I chose the wrong people to turn to, in turn they ran from us, and I do not miss them. The friends I should have relied on, I waited in radio silence until the secret got so big I could not hide it anymore.
  6. Not realizing everything will change, and nothing will ever be the same again. That doesn’t mean everything will always be awful. Because we would all just jump off the Tobin in a Charles Stewart way if that were the case. It’s not. So don’t jump. Life has good and bad times. Even when things are as horrible as you think they can be (and trust me, they can always get worse) it will eventually feel a little better. The thing that is deadly, that might really make you plummet to your death is trying to make your new life like your old life. It can’t and never will be like it used to be. There is a break in trust so deep and so penetrating, you can never trust your addict the same way again. That is not to say you won’t ever trust them period. You will. But not like before Addiction. Before you find out that your loved one is an addict the relationship is different. It is perfect and untarnished, a creamy layer of peanut butter with the tin foil newly pulled off, fresh swirls of butter before there is knife and spoon impressions. After addiction the relationship more closely resembles the ocean during a hurricane. And a tornado. Whilst snowing. Nothing about my life is the same now. And that is not all bad. I have learned that letting go and giving up is not the same thing. I have also learned that no one in a family can go through something so traumatic and life altering as watching a loved one suffer from addiction, and then resume living the same way as previously. It’s impossible. I believed at the beginning that we would get “through” this and then we could go back to life as normal. I do not regret the things I did that changed the course of our life forever. I regret the things I didn’t do and that was be honest with myself, and my partner and my kids. Tell them that things are changing but that’s ok because we will grow and evolve in the face of adversity instead of keep trying to convince everyone that things would go back the way they were. I should have embraced it instead of ignoring it.
  7. Not seeing the sign of relapse as they unfolded in front of my face. One would think that I would be an expert on drug use and relapse. One might think that I would be able to learn from my mistakes (refer back to 1-6) but repeatedly that did not happen. Multiple times relapse was happening under my nose. In my absolute denial, defying what I already knew, defending the actions of the user to those around me, proclaiming that she is adjusting to her new life, instead of seeing it for what it was. Lies. Using. Relapsing. Manipulating. When JoDee was 17 and began dating someone much older than her, I told myself he was a good kid (and he was … then…) so it would be ok. The justification in my head throughout the years is appalling and inexcusable. Similar to the first justification, I spent many a night convincing myself that some wrong turn was acceptable because none of us knew what our new normal was going to be. Only our life was not shaping into our new normal. It was shaping into reoccurring relapsing. And until something absolute and definite happened, the cycle would not be broken. I do not regret trying to support JoDee in her goal of recovery. I regret what I did not do which was see the truth much sooner. I should have acknowledged and acted on the fact that JoDee was not capable to make decisions for herself and any decisions she made in early recovery were probably not good ones.
  8. Not acting once I saw the signs of relapse. At some point, whether I was willing to admit it at the time or not, I saw the signs of relapse eventually. I didn’t do anything about it. I froze. I made no sudden moves and hoped the monster of active addiction would pass by without seeing us. Complacency is a delicate word for enabling. By doing nothing, I did something. No action is an action. It’s a choice. I had the mental debate. I knew Reality was right. She was using, and I was doing nothing. She came in at 1 in the morning and hide in her room in the basement. She was avoiding me, wearing long sleeved t-shirts in August, telltale signs. Or when she was at war with friends, knowing she doesn’t handle that well. Knowing things were going on that she was having a hard time. Nasty. It was always a sign when her personality changed. Losing weight. AC would say something is up. I would say give her a break. But  Reality was pointing a finger, what are you going to do. I did nothing. I kept thinking about it. Until I had no more time to think about it, and it was a crisis. I do not regret my action in the middle of a crisis. Because what needs to be done needs to be done. I regret what I did not do which was act before it became a crisis. Ignoring Reality, allowing Denial and Anger to cloud my judgment.
  9. Not enforcing rules once the addiction became clear. Once I realized JoDee was an addict, active or not, I should have changed the way I treated her. I still treated her like one of my kids, which she is, and deserves treatment as such. But all children are not alike. I should have focused less on her addiction and more on my other kids. In the haze of active addiction, I allowed precious time and support to be stolen from my other children, my job, and my friends. I focused solely on addiction and tried to rage a war I was fighting on my own- which is not how it is won. The only person that can win the war is JoDee herself when she surrenders to recovery and has the desire to be clean. It feels a little like we were all on a sinking ship, and I was trying to save the only one who could swim. I’m sure there is some resentment from the boys for time lost, missed appointments, lack of attention. I can’t even think about the times they were home sick but I couldn’t take any more time off because I had worn out my excuses at work with overdose after detox after rehab after runaway until the sympathy was gone and a job needed to be done. I do not regret fighting with everything I had to save JoDee. It is what I didn’t do that I regret and that was realizing one child’s life was not more important than another. And tunnel vision can be deadly. There is no such thing as irreversible damage. Damage is done. Even if I glue the smashed plate back together, it will never be as strong as it once was.
  10. Not realizing that I do not need to make up for her actions. Her drug addiction is not my fault. I know everyone blames the mother. And so did I. Over and over I told myself that somewhere along the way, I did something wrong. I misled her, missed something tragic, something horrible or it was just my parenting that was horrible. It took me a long time to realize that a person does not need to have a horrendous childhood, be molested/raped/abused, have a drug addict for a parent or be abandoned by h/her family to have become a drug addict. Addiction is so much more than taking drugs to get high. It’s about something much more deep seeded and some use because of the before mentioned reasons. Some it’s for completely other reasons. But the one thing I know now is I am not the reason. I am not perfect. I was a teen mother who did not do many things right, and to say I am an untraditional parent is probably a large understatement. However, addiction would have reared its head whether JoDee was raised by the Simpsons or The Cleavers. I do not regret that I don’t care whether you believe it is my fault or not, or whether it is a disease or not. I regret what I did not do which was realize that much sooner.

America the Great

A very smart person once said to me marriage/relationships take one of three roads. Either two people grow together through many obstacles, and stay the course, split up or move apart while not leaving the relationship and grow back together or hit a bump in the road splitting for good. If you are lucky, and rare, to be the couple that sticks to the tough, thorny road of long time commitment (which is all marriage really is) that is wonderful. And not likely. I have not met one couple, including my grandparents whom were married for nearly 60 years when my grandfather, aka Bucky, died, that do not have rough patches. Not everyone has to separate but life is treacherous. I believe a successful commitment weathers the storms, no matter how rough, and rejoins to fight the good battle. Yes, I mean battle, because relationships are hell. And heaven… but it’s through our hard times that we evolve and grow. It is not a measurement of our success that we merely stay together, but that we stay together as partners. Why am I bringing this up? It’s funny you ask. The reason I bring this up because another super smarty pants person I know (I won’t mention any names, but I will just drop an initial or two, ahem EJ) said to me, while talking about many hot topics in the news as of late, that when someone says “Live and let live” what we are really saying is, let’s be stagnant. And that is so true.

The definition of stagnant is showing no activity, dull and sluggish. That is what we are when we “live and let live.” That might be confusing to some, because it sounds like saying I won’t judge you, don’t you judge me. But what it really means is don’t ask, don’t tell. Clearly, I don’t mean in a militarian sense. I mean in an every single way-sense. I don’t want to live and let live, when I live in a country that has to pass laws ALLOWING people, US Citizens, tax paying, law abiding, productive members of society, rights. This is confusing to me. It is confusing to me that I should be proud to live in a land that has to make a law so Black members of society are seen as equal or that one citizen may marry another, which is even more ridiculous because the basis by which we have kept them from marrying was religious in nature, and I happen to remember a separation of state and church thing that occurred just a few years back. Oh, and if all that isn’t just peachy, my stomping grounds also was kind enough to pass a law that allowed me to vote, so I would have a say in where the money I paid for taxes was used (HA right!), from the job I have to support my family, and pay my bills, which by the by, I did not have to have a law passed to make me pay. Please do not misunderstand my true feelings; I do believe I live in the best place in the World. America is America the Great. We just aren’t as fully advanced as we would like to be.

Before Caitlyn Jenner, there were transgender individuals. They were ignored, terrorized, hated, made fun of as well as loved, work, and lived amongst us. We turned our blind eye, and live and let live, which meant the average person did not take the time to understand or know what it meant to suffer from gender dysphoria. I have the privilege of having someone in my inner circle that is transgender. I say privilege because it is an honor to be trusted with the gift of witnessing someone transition from something they weren’t to what they were supposed to be. I was opened minded prior to meeting this person, but I became educated as a result of knowing them. Just like this person had a different perception of drug addicts, until this person realized JoDee was an addict. And then this person saw addiction much differently. That’s the way life is. It’s scary to think, in this world, in a society so smart I have a tiny computer with a touch screen I can put in my pocket, and use to make calls; we can’t grasp human rights without tragedy. We didn’t need all phone communication to cease for someone to invent the cell phone. We certainly didn’t need popcorn all over the world to be in danger to develop a microwave but when it comes to the human race, we don’t validate the injustices happening to our fellow citizens, until something horrifying happens to shed light on it. And, human to human we have a perception that it doesn’t matter or it’s not important, unless it happens to you personally. America is founded on the notion of free will. We all should be concerned about how the world at large treats anyone. Everyone. I’m guilty of it. I have been judg-y about how a person looked. If I saw someone looking like JoDee did, or noticeably high out on the street, I definitely would have thought loser, scumbag, thief, prostitute or some other horrible insult. That’s not ok. I should not have to endure the hell of watching my child struggle with a heroin addiction to find common compassion.

The confederate flag controversy is another great example. I don’t live in the south, and I have never been prejudiced against because of the color of my skin (that I am aware of) so I don’t feel that my opinion about whether the flag should stay or go has any bearing but I can understand what the fight is about. As American’s we have been “picking sides” since the second we were born. Someone has to be wrong for someone else to be right, which is so far from the truth. I don’t see The Dukes of Hazards and think of racism and slavery. I think of my grandfather who mildly resembles Ennis. And when I think of the confederate flag I think of a time in history that American’s fought for the rights of others. However, I wouldn’t want it waving in my backyard. Now, before all you haters attack like Cujo after the bunnie bite, keep something in mind. I am not saying I think it should banned from everywhere, just from common grounds. From land that is supposed to mirror the founding fathers (more men) fight for equality. I believe it should be in a museum, it’s a huge part of our history, and I want my kids to learn about it, and understand what happened in the past so it won’t repeat itself. I also think that if someone has some other fundamental or sentimental attachment to such an item s/he should be allowed to own and display it on their own property, because this is America. And as American’s we are encouraged to be free thinkers and agree to disagree when necessary.

People will continue to evolve. Someday, hopefully when I am still alive, there will be no racism. Color may truly not matter, people stop saying “the gays” deserve rights, and realize people have and will exercise their rights and freedoms without being labeled something that is supposed to sound supportive but really sounds ignorant. And people will realize transgender is not about sex, or sexual organs, but about whom a person is- because a person’s character is the most important thing. Addiction will find its place as a medical condition and we will stop trying to use social programs to cure a medical disease. In the meantime, we all have a duty as American’s to better our country, to not pit each other against one another, and realize that when we live in a society that stands around phone-videoing transgender women being assaulted on a subway, and old women being shoved to the ground, a mother being beaten and kicked in front of her child, without stopping it or helping but making sure to post it on Facebook to watch the Likes flood in, we are disgracing each other. In a vile, irreversible way. Just like in any other relationship, we all don’t have to always get along but what the hell happened to common decency?



E– Even in my worst nightmares I didn’t imaging that my child would be a heroin addict. What I never wanted to know about addiction, I am now well versed. The things you learn about addiction or about how the addict craves the drug. How the drug begins to rule their life. How the things they do under the guise of needing more is not who they are but what they have become.

N– No one tells you what happens after active using ends, and recovery begins. No one tells you how you make recovery such a main focus, such an end-all-be-all that you continue to make mistakes. The same blindness you experienced during active addiction is the same blindness in recovery. The addict hears the message that all they have to do it is stay clean, and that is their only responsibility. They learn that you will take care of everything and do anything for them not to use so they expect it, and more of it. Kindness from you is seen as a deserved right by them. You have created a situation that is as bad as active using because they are never satisfied with what you do for them. It is never enough. They always want more. You feel like you are being black mailed with recovery- even though that is not the intent of the addict. You hope.

T– Trapped in a terrible situation is a horrific feeling. It’s a vicious cycle. The addict manipulates and steals and pillages for drugs when high, and then manipulates and steals and pillages emotion and support when in recovery. Life is never normal again. There is life before drugs and life after drugs. There is never a ‘back to normal’. The normal you used to know is gone and the new normal is a moving target. A relapse changes your normal. Recovery again, changes your normal.

I-Ignoring the behavior is a mistake. Facing the behavior outright is a mistake. Trying to be your addict’s friend is a mistake. Parenting an addict is impossible. Every move you make is met with indecisiveness and pondering. Vacillating between making rules, enforcing them, and wanting to give up because you feel the hate from the addict. When you start to hate yourself you realize, Heroin has won.

T- Tunnel vision is deadly. Narrowing in on the addict, in active addiction and recovery, means you are not watching, loving, living, the world around you. Time goes by, whether you pay attention or not. Other children grow, graduate, get sick, have accomplishments and your guilt grows bigger, wider, deeper, when you realize you have missed them.

L– Loving an addict isn’t easy. Knowing the difference between entitled behavior from a teenager that’s normal, and entitled behavior from an addict that is not justified isn’t easy. Do I accept the way she talks to us because she is young? Or is that outrageous behavior because I have led her to believe that she is holier than thou? Or does it matter, because either way you’re tired of it? Does the why make a difference? How is a parent to know? When a parent is already second guessing themselves, as bad parenting is clearly a symptom of teen drug addiction, how is a parent to know what the right thing to do is? If you fight with her, and she dies, will you die from guilt? Don’t you already feel dead inside?

E– Enabling an addict can be just as bad in recovery as out of recovery. Allowing them to not own their life or take responsibility for their actions, clean or not, is never a good thing. The things we do, the things we rationalize to be necessary, are the very things that could turn an addict back out.

D– Disease, disease, disease. Understand that this is a disease. Even if it doesn’t start out as a disease, it ends in disease. Mental disease, physical disease (HIV, Hep C) and collateral disease. The collateral disease is the mental anguish, the suffering, the intolerance of their own life that the family of the addict suffers. I hear about addicts that die. And I hear about how awful heroin addiction is for the addict, I am here to tell you it’s not picnic for the family either. The family is suffering, and hurting, and desperate but the question is how the addict is? Is she clean? Is she safe? Does she have food? Does she have a place to live? The siblings suffer the most. People ask how am I doing? How is AC doing? But everyone forgets that this greatly impacts her brothers. Her step-ish sisters. They worry. And get angry. They are part of the collateral damage. They matter. They all matter. How do you juggle all of it without everything coming crashing down?



What can I say about one of the worst experience of my life? What words could I string together to make a cohesive sentence that could accurately describe a scenario that was so emotionally taxing that the mere thinking of explaining it is exhausting. I make no promises that I will sound intelligent, but I can try.

I’m not sure exactly where to start. I guess at the beginning but we have already gone over the highs and lows, pun intended, of addiction so just assume things had gotten out of control again. JoDee was accompanied to the ER by two close friends after several weeks of using and hiding it, not very well, at that. When I got the call, and then proceeded to the ER, I was, again, not prepared for what I would see. I had called her earlier that day when I had heard from someone that she was seeing her drug-runner/ex-boyfriend (which I still don’t know if that is true or not…I heard he is still in jail so who knows) and we had an argument. She was nasty to me, I hung up on her. Before I hung up I told her don’t call me until you’re ready to swallow your pride to realize you are in serious trouble. She looked so sick in the week since I had last seen her. Her face was brutally picked, she smelled, she was dirty, she was paranoid, and I don’t know even know whose clothes she was wearing. Clearly crack was at the party this time.

She agreed she needed detox again. She claimed she couldn’t do this anymore, but in a sort of half interested way. She said her stomach hurt because she hadn’t eaten in days. Her friends departed, I stayed with her until the in-take person met with her. We agreed on a course of action and I went home to sleep a few hours before work. It as 3am on Monday morning. I got up at 5:45 per usual to start the morning routine. I text JoDee, she was not up yet. Everyone got off to school and work, and she text me around 11 that she was going to detox and had to turn off her phone. Around 4 she called me from detox sounding annoyed, sick and very tired. She was going to go lay down, I told her someone was bringing her some clothes and I would drop off quarters. I went home from work that day feeling discouraged that we were doing this again. I saw something in JoDee’s eye that led me to believe that this was not over. I was very uneasy.

I never heard from her again until 6pm on Tuesday night when I was on my way to pick up her car, my car really, were she left it. She was disorganized in her thoughts, seemed paranoid, was not oriented to time. She kept repeating herself and then would stop talking and say “did you hear that?” or wouldn’t say anything at all. It was frustrating just being on the phone with her. She finally said that she had slept for 24 hours and was confused because she just woke up. She was upset because she still had no clothes and was desperate to finally shower and get out of the clothes she had been wearing for who-the-hell-knows how long. I told her I would see when her clothes were getting dropped off and told her to call me later with the quarters I had dropped off. When we hung up I told AC that she was a mess, I was worried. And, I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that told me a big storm was coming and I had better brace myself.

At 9:20pm I get a text from JoDee, below is how this conversation went:

Her: Where are my car keys?

Me: I have them. Why do you have your phone?

Me: Did you leave detox? Why do you have your phone?

Me: Hello?

Me: Jesus Fucking Christ answer me JoDee.

Her: I left.

I immediately called her. She didn’t answer. I text her “Answer the phone right this minute or I am turning off the service.” She called me back. She said she left, she didn’t care about life, and she wanted to do whatever she wanted to do. She had walked out the front door. She wasn’t going back. I told her she was a spoiled brat and she swore at me going on about how she isn’t the only addict in the world who behaved badly, on and on. Finally I said I won’t see you again until your funeral if you keep this up, she “ya ya ya’d” me and I heard her say I love you, and I hung up. JV and I text back and forth until almost midnight trying to determine where she is, what happened and what next. I said, she walked out, it’s freezing, and she needs to be on her own in the cold to see what that is really like. He agreed. I didn’t sleep all night.

At 5am I got up, got ready for work, the entire ride debating with myself with next steps. I got to work, changed my mind, went back to Danvers, picked up AC and headed to the court. The whole time we were driving we kept saying out loud, and to ourselves, are we going to go through with this? Can I really have JoDee locked up? Have things really come to that point? Someone told me almost two years ago, that’s right TWO YEARS, to go to court and have JoDee sectioned and I didn’t listen. And each time she relapsed, I brought it up, or someone else did and I would think about it and say, no she isn’t to that point. There was no denying that she was at that point. For the first time, I truly could not anticipate what might happen. I had no idea where she was going or what she was doing. She was completely homeless, money-less, car-less and any other sort of less I could think of. She was going to be desperate. And I knew the time had come. If JoDee died from her drug addiction, I could not say I tried everything within my power to help her because I was afraid. I was afraid to do this but I realized the fear of her dying was greater than the fear of seeing her locked up or of her hating me. I really understood that it would be better for her to hate me for the rest of her life than to have her die in a gutter somewhere. I also knew it’s no guarantee. Many a good person has been sectioned, released after doing said time, used, and subsequently died. But how do I know if it would work for JoDee if I didn’t try? The last thing she said to me when she hung up was, “I don’t give a fuck about life” which is a strong statement.

So, with a heavy heart and enough anxiety to paralyze a small nation, AC and I marched into court and declared JoDee be detained. Only that’s not how it works. I soon enjoyed the slice of heaven here on earth that is our Drug Court Clinic. It was a lot of sit here and wait. Now come and tell me your story. Ok tell me again, slower. Now repeat that. What about this. Please wait outside, please sit some more. Please go into the court. Please tell the judge how pathetic a parent you have been that your child is such a wild hoodlum that you can no longer care for and why. It’s a humiliating, depressing, frustrating and time consuming process. In the end, a warrant was issued and the hunt to find JoDee was on. We made phone calls to people who made phone calls to people who made phone calls who claimed she was at someone’s house. Great. We called the police to let them know. They hadn’t received the warrant yet. We called again 30 minutes later. They just got the warrant and currently at the location. She was gone. It took some time but JoDee eventually called me, crying, no not crying, frenzied is probably the best word. She didn’t know where to go, she didn’t remember leaving detox, she never wants to use drugs again, call off the police, she will come home and sleep in her own bed and be a good girl, and the guy she was with scared her and she was afraid to be on the street and she didn’t know where she was going to go. I think you get the drift of that call. We let the police know where she was, and met them there. She tried barricading herself in the house, but we got in and the police took her away. It was ….there aren’t words strong enough to be worthy of such an emotion. She was frail, sick, dirty, scared, desperate in a way I have never seen her. And in that moment, at that exact time, seeing her like that, I knew it was the right thing to do. Without that sort of terror, without really seeing the bottom, she would never understand how bad it could be.

She went in front of the judge. He remanded her on the section to the women’s addiction center. And I am left feeling, nothing. I think my emotions have been so exposed in the last 24 hours that they shut down. I keep saying to AC I don’t even know how I feel. Relief. Sad. Exhausted. Worried. Glad she is safe. To say I am cautiously optimistic is an understatement. I am certainly not naive at this point in the game to believe that this is going to be a miracle cure. There is no such thing. I can only hope that it’s bad enough for her to remember when she gets out. I know there are many, many people whose loved ones have been locked up multiple times so I also keep in mind, this may not be last time I have to do this. But I am going to not think about that tonight. Tonight, finally, I am going to do laundry, and try to clean the house. Then, I am going to lie in bed and watch bad-mind-numbing TV that is not about drugs or drug addiction so I can try to sleep, just for tonight.