My Purpose

Everyone’s life has a purpose. Everyone’s mistakes have a purpose. Sometimes we do things purposely that others can’t understand. Sometimes we question the greater purpose in life. Sometimes we fail to understand the reason or the purpose of losing a loved one, a man so great and so giving that any purpose given would still seem unjustifiable. There are times I sit at my desk, listening to my bosses order for reports, and time frames are given to complete things as though they are life and death when in fact, it’s just accounting. No one will die if I forget to complete the bank reconciliation by the 10th of the month. So what’s the purpose?

Purpose. Purpose. Purposely. Purposeful. The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. To have as one’s intention or objective.  The reason for which something is done is not always clear. At times we are not certain why something was created or for which it exists.  Often we do not know if the intentions of a person are good or bad. But purpose is neither and it is both. Purpose does not have a feeling or judgment. It’s neutral. Purpose doesn’t pick sides. Purposefully hurting someone and purposefully helping someone can look the same. Purpose is driven and exact. The problem with purpose is that it is not always clear on directions. Sometimes a purpose that is meant for good becomes a purpose of bad. I began parenting with purpose. The purpose of someone who wanted to raise well-educated, well-behaved, well-rounded and cultured children. I began parenting with purpose to do good-by my children, to shape them into adults that are loved and open-minded members of society that make a difference in lives of many.  The purpose was to have children that would grow up to help make the world a better place, and leave it better than it was when they were born. My intentions were pure. My goals were obtainable. I set out with a positive purpose.

I never anticipated that my child would become the opposite of that. That all of my purpose would instead raise a child that steals, and lies, and squander her life in the name of addiction. Her purpose is to get high. She purposely sticks a needle in her arm, an arm that is infected and abscesses and scarred.  It is because her purpose became something that could kill her that I had a new purpose. My new purpose is why I marched into a court for the fourth time in two years to tell a judge that my daughter is a danger to herself. My purpose was for them to issue a warrant on a section 35 to detain her in a safe environment by staff that could help treat her drug addiction. It was with that same purpose that I told her either she goes or she is not part of our family. It is with the same purpose that I drove her to that court-house, listening to her say how she is sick to her stomach and afraid. My purpose steeled me against those words because queasy and scared are emotions she won’t feel if she is dead, and my purpose was to keep her alive.  My soul purpose in life has become keeping her alive.

They called her name, and she handed me her jewelry, giving me a kiss and a hug as she walked toward the judge. As I watched the bailiff, the same one that was here last time, and the time before, purposely put her in handcuffs and shackles, I stood up to wave good-bye. I exited the court room without looking back on purpose, because I have seen her be taken away twice before. I walked back to my car with the purpose of a person who understands she needs a new purpose because she can’t make her child live purposely unless she wants too.

HBO, Home Comings, and New Year’s Resolutions

Well, shit. Here we are, a year later in a very similar place that we were in this time last year. I don’t find this ironic or coincidental at all. This is what addiction is all about; doing the same thing over and over, though, if we are honest, we don’t expect different results. No one does. Actually, that’s a lie, I do. I expect one of these times it will end with her dying. And that is a given. If you use, you die. It’s only a matter of when. With that in mind, I had been asked multiple times over the last few weeks if I was going to watch the special on HBO about addiction on Cape Cod. I was not going to watch it. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to or not so I decided to DVR it in case I wanted to see it later. The truth is I have seen JoDee with a needle in her arm, I have found her overdosing, I have seen her high, lie, steal, beg and run away only come back clean when she is tired of the life. I was absolutely certain there was nothing I could learn from that program that I didn’t already know. So, why watch it? It’s like watching Intervention. I used to watch it to tell myself our life isn’t so bad. But then the more I watched it, the more it really resembled our own lives and that got depressing so I stopped. At 8:58 I was watching the end of Chopped. I waited for Ted to pull the cloche off the plate of the contestant being chopped, revealing the winner when I had an out-of-body experience. Suddenly I had no control over my hand and bam I flipped the channel to HBO.

I was not surprised by the program. It was everything I believed it would be, and it was everything I didn’t want to see. I was saddened by the loss of the two beautiful girls that had lost their battle with addiction. I could relate as I listen to the parents in the support group talk about finding money for rehab even when you know you shouldn’t, the co-dependency and enablement, and I could even hear JoDee’s voice in those of the addicts interviewed. Her story is their story is all addicts story. The same, but different. Addiction is a whole new paradox. One that you never ever want to go to but when you do you realize that forever, eternity and beyond, your life has changed. Whether you are the addict or the family member, life will never be the same. I also agreed when the woman said that parents of an addict is a whole separate struggle. A person can walk away from a lover/boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/neighbor/sibling if they absolutely have too. But a parent is doing the exact opposite of what they have spent a life time doing-putting our arms out to catch our child when they fall. Kissing boo-boo’s and healing pains. Addiction is the only thing I can think of in which helping an addict is hurting them. Helping them is the exact opposite of what you must do, an impossible thing to do when your knee jerk reaction is to catch them when they fall. While I did not really learn anything I didn’t know, and instead, confirmed my worst fears, I certainly hope those that are not dealing with addiction on a daily basis learned something new. My hope is that the prejudices for those suffering from addiction will be lowered just a little bit, so they can get help without the stigma currently attached to it. Only time will tell.

Only time will tell what 2016 has in store for this family, too. It is not going to start off well, for that I am sure. But when you start low, there is only one place to go but up. JoDee is going to have to come home, sooner or later. She would prefer sooner, I would prefer later. Knowing I cannot keep up with this madness anymore, I can’t just step back. I can’t just try to withstand from doing for her, but I have to literally let go. There is a saying in NA to Let go and Let God. I’m not sure what I believe as far as God or a higher religion, but the sentiment is the same. I have to figuratively and literally let her go. And not be responsible for her. Please do not fool yourself into believing this will somehow grant me peace and serenity, it won’t. The pain for watching her suffer will be the same. Should she relapse again, I will be in agony watching from the side lines and when she tries to pick herself up, I won’t be there to brush her off. She will have to figure out how to do that on her own. I will still be her mother, and her pain will still be mine, and I will hate this fucking disease but I just can’t anymore. I can’t (fill in the blank).

That brings me to my New Year’s Resolution. I have listed them below:




This makes it extremely easy to see that I don’t give up on my resolutions. I am not pledging to lose weight, be organized, volunteer, stop swearing, or any of the other ridiculous resolutions I have made over the years but never stuck too. Especially the swearing resolution… that was just dumb.  Resolutions usually last until mid-February if a person is lucky, which I am not.  I am going to end this year in this year, and try not to take anything with me into next year.

I have a tradition of writing all the things I didn’t like about the previous year on an egg and smashing it against a tree in the woods on New Year’s Day. This year I am going to do that but with more practicality in choosing the things I write on that egg. I am not going to write the things that annoyed me or I was bothered by, or my own character flaws that really will never change. I am going to write the things I am ready to let go of, say good-bye too, and be willing to release once that egg leaves my hand. I am looking forward to that.  I hope every one has a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and that 2016 is all you wish for it to be.

Happy New Year’s ~



I know I owe you all the second of two things that happened to me, however, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about where we are in the Drug Court/Sectioned phase of active addiction. JoDee has been locked up for about 2 and a half weeks at this point. We were supposed to go to a Family Support Meeting on Tuesday and of course a typical New England blizzard derailed that plan. We rescheduled it for Friday, and again, impending snow once again made a reschedule necessary. We had made a plan to meet the coming Tuesday. Not five minutes after I walked out of work I got a call from JoDee and her clinician saying that a meeting Tuesday won’t work because she is being discharged on Monday. To say that I was panic stricken would be an understatement. There is a no time for a meeting because they don’t do them on weekends. That went over like a lead balloon. So, once the shrieking stopped, by me, the calm clinician said she would meet with us on Saturday morning. Then it was back to Friday. Then there was a trip down for no one to be available. Completely frustrating. Neither AC nor I really had any idea what to expect when we arrived. It was so much worse than we thought it would be.

WATC-Women’s Addiction Treatment Center of New Bedford looks like a jail from the outside. Barbed wire, big fences, locked doors. The story starts, however, before we even left. It was like the stars were aligning to prevent us from going down there. First the meeting changed, then we went down and no psychiatrist available, then we change the date again. The morning we were supposed to leave I woke up before the sun came up, anxious and worried about the drive. I got up and got ready, got AC up, did the normal morning routines. We were ready to go early. I knelt down in my bedroom to see if my shoe was under the bed and I felt this ridiculous stabbing in my foot. I yelped, jumped on the bed, pulling off my sock, to find a large splinter in my big toe. From my hardwood floor? What? It took AC and me 20 minutes to get it out. At one point I told him forget it, I would just go with it in because I didn’t want to be late, but after basically cutting my toe open we pulled out a long, thick piece of wood that I can’t logically imagine where it came from. Then, we get on the road only to find that my windshield wipers were broken, the pipes to the windshield was completely frozen. We stopped at a gas station for AC to desperately try to make the fluid make onto my windshield because we could not see through them at all. We tried (by we, I mean him and I sat in the car yelling stupid suggestions) tried putting windshield washer fluid in, chipped the ice off of the dispensers, tried using warm water, nothing would work. I think once, months ago, when I was driving back from the Berkshires I had no fluid so I put in water. It must have still been in there and froze (I have not told him this because I am certain I would end up with a Colombian neck tie after what he went through to try to make that work!). I am slightly horrified to admit that we ended using a Macgyver-esque system which involved hooking a hose from my dad’s camel back which I still had in my car from two years ago to a sports bottle which we kept filling with fluid. He would hang out the window, while I tried to slow down enough to get it across the windshield, and he would squeeze it out, I would put the windshield wipers on. Completely unsafe but there was no going back, I was making it to that friggan appointment.

After several stops, near misses, and some yelling and laughing, we arrived 20 minutes early. We were both sort of taken aback when we first saw the building. There is a side door that said Family Support Session Only. It was the only door we were able to go to. The rest of them were closed off, gated off. Bars on windows. I couldn’t help but think about what JoDee must have been feeling, what she must have been thinking when she was transferred from one van to another, went through Middleton to be processed, and then driven all that way. My stomach clenched at the thought of her going through that ordeal. It sickens me, if frightens ma and it angers me that we all have to go through that, too.

We got out of the car, ran to the door in the wind that nearly blew us off the road on the way down, and rang the bell. The woman who came to the door was short and round, with a very kind sort of forgettable face. As in, you might remember she had blonde hair, or wore glasses, but probably won’t remember the details. She was very passive and calm, she reminded me of calming colors like pale green and yellow. Which was similar to how her office was decorated. We were let through two doors that needed security clearance directly into a very typical industrial cafeteria with steel tray lines and soda fountain, steamed trays. Similar to any hospital or institution. The social workers office was just on the other side, and it was so well decorated and organized it didn’t belong in this type of building. The outside was such a contrast to this office. But that doesn’t mean that a beautiful office means that beautiful things happen in there.

She sat us down and began talking about what the process would be. JoDee would come down, we would talk about her leaving, JoDee has some things she wants to share and she warned us the meeting would go by very quickly. And that ain’t no shit. The 50 minute meeting went by extraordinarily fast. I kept finding myself starting at the clock trying to will it to go slower. JoDee came in, looking amazing I must say. Her skin looked so clear, she had put on weight, and her hair looked healthy. For probably the first time in a year or two she looked really good, and she is locked in a state facility. How cray cray is that? We talked about how JoDee is coming home to her sober house on Tuesday. I think that is completely effed up, but I have no say. I argued that JoDee was turning 21 on Thursday and I was worried about it. We talked about her plan for when she left. It’s not a plan I am happy with, I wanted my full 90 days that the court said they could give her but that isn’t the way it works either. JoDee is a cute girl from the suburbs who looks like everyone’s sister or neighbor or babysitter. There is no way they were going to keep her for a long period of time. It’s such a shitty system. Even the social worker said that the average length of stay was 21 days. Again, not long enough. It is not long enough. 21 days is nothing. But she has something on her side. She is finally on some real medications that should address her mental issues. And she started the Vivitrol shot. I know I have said before that she is at a huge risk but there isn’t much left to try at this point. If she is going to try to break through the shot to use enough to OD, odds are pretty good she would do that without the shot. At least the shot will curb the desire, back to the changing the composite of the brain and so on and so on.

However, the interesting piece of the meeting was when I was told that I over step my boundaries. This is not something new to me. I know that in many areas of my life so if someone thought I would shocked by that, I was not. The social worker did that thing, the thing some- somewhat patronizing social workers do when they know they are saying something you will hate but stop after each half sentence to give a dramatic smile which annoyed me even more- than the your-addict-doesn’t-succeed-at-recovery-because-you-enable-her speech. So the conversation went like this:

Her: JoDee needs to be an adult (obnoxious smile) which means you need to be able to step back and allow her to handle things on her own.

Me: I totally agree but that means she needs to handle it then. I have told Jodee many times that I can’t keep doing her biding for her, she needs to do it.

Her: Well (obnozious smile, for at least 5 seconds) I think what I hear JoDee saying is that she needs to be able to handle things on her own. (Obnoxious smile with awkward pause) And that means allowing her to be responsible for herself.

Me: You can smile, when you say things, but that doesn’t make them accurate. So you know, we gave JoDee space and freedom and ability to handle things on their own and that was met with her calling me yelling that she didn’t have clothes or didn’t have her meds or was going to be late. She had the freedom to do as she pleased, and handle her affairs and that lead her here. My typical response is you have to figure it out and then she swears and yells at me and hangs up. I will completely step back to allow her to take care of things on her own but that means she has to handle the consequences. (Turning to JoDee) I will allow you to take care of your own responsibilities but I will not make it easy for you to use. If I see that you are using or I think I will, I will tell your house manager again and I will not apologize for that.

I have read enough about co-dependency to know that it is easy for me to get sucked into that role. I totally believe I have enabled her. The definition of co-dependency is excessing emotional or psychological reliance on a partner or loved one, typically who requires support due to an illness or addiction. I am not taking it personally that I am being told to back off, by all rights it’s probably very accurate. I was a little annoyed that it was sort of presented to me like I was the problem, when there was no discussion about it. JoDee is an addict in active addiction sectioned there because she isn’t safe for herself and has only been there about ten minutes but whatever she says must be gospel. Another fail in a long line of fails in the system. I found out after JoDee has met with the social worker enough times to count on one hand the whole time she has been there. Clearly she knows all she needs to know. Eh. I realize how bitter and selfish I sound but I felt as though this was another example of how the mother is blamed. I’m already well aware of my fault in this mess, but let’s not give the addict something else to use as an excuse to be absolved of fault too. It feels so much like thing I used to protect my family is becoming the same thing that destroys us. Is there such a thing as too much love?

At any rate, the social worker is right. I have so much invested in JoDee’s recovery and I can’t do it for her. I will really step back this time. I will have to watch from the side lines. Something I have said I would do and have tried to do. I will give guidance when asked and bite my tongue when necessary. I know that I am not ready for this next step. I am absolutely, no-questioning, terrified about this next step. But if I identify something I need to change, whether JoDee changes or not, I have too. Just to be fair, I think the social worker was one of the better ones I have seen in this process. She seemed as vested in a patient as she could be having met JoDee on limited bases and with limited resources. I probably am just overly sensitive. Especially now, that once again, I can’t sleep.




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!


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.