My son has battled heroin addiction for the last 5+ years. He overdosed and almost died about 2 years ago. Heroin seems to be the “new” drug that is taking over and infecting our children, friends and family members. The death toll nation wide from what I’ve read has surpassed death by car accident, which was the leading cause of death in the US. Please don’t quote me, as that is not an exact statistic.
So the last 5 years of my life have been spent trying to keep my son alive. Chasing down dealers, following him around, paying off his debts, putting him in rehabs that he would leave 2 days later. It’s been emotionally exhausting for me. Through it all, I’ve managed to stay strong and continue working. Work has always been a sanctuary to me, where I can be distracted just enough to forget about my life outside of work.
He entered rehab again at the end of July. He went to a detox in Encino where they gave him subutex to WD him. Bad idea. Then he was transferred to his inpatient facility in Costa Mesa. This was the 15th facility he had been in, and the first one he had been in since he overdosed in a facility in Laguna Beach.
About 3 days into his treatment, he called me on speaker with his counselors there and we got in a huge argument because he wanted me to give him money for cigarettes. He ended up getting angry and hanging up on me after calling me several names which I won’t repeat. His therapist called me right back and was SO mean to me. She told me the only reason my son wanted to call me was because he wanted money. Who did this bitch think she was? She has no idea the relationship I have with my son. He loves me. So much. I told her that was extremely rude of her to say and then gave her a piece of my mind.
The conversation ended up with me sobbing and apologizing for being rude but that I was at my wits end and just didn’t know how to deal with this. He was allowed no contact or visits from family for 30 days, which I thought was horrible and didn’t see how it was beneficial for him to not have contact with the people he loved and who loved him.
When we got off the phone, I went into hysterics. I kept hearing that woman over and over in my heas saying “your son only wanted to call you cause he wanted money. Not because he misses you or anything”. And then all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks. What if she’s right?! My son is so completely lost in his heroin addiction and I’ve been enabling him for years. I’ve tried to love him and help him and even control him. We have a toxic relationship.
And that was the start of my breakdown. 2 days later, I told my boss I needed to take a leave of absence from work. I was no longer able to focus on doing my job. I cried all day. The truth of this addiction and the part I played in it was a huge weight on my shoulders, and after 5 long years, it has finally broken me.
I was no longer able to eat or sleep, and I was in a constant state of painful and overwhelming depression. Strange, because it never seemed to really bother me. Then again, maybe I was just burying all of my feelings associated with what was happening to my beautiful baby boy.
That was early August. As he got farther into his program, he started showing great progress and promise. He had a sponsor and started working the 12 Steps and he even started praying. At the end of the 30 days he chose, ON HIS OWN, to transition to the Sober Living program that the treatment center offered.
We slowly re-established our relationship, but with boundaries that HE chose to set, much to my dismay. We agreed not to talk for awhile but promised to text regularly that we loved each other and he would also let me know that he was doing ok. We had dinner a few times and everything was going well. I was starting to feel better.
Until this last Saturday when I got a phone call from him asking my permission to leave Sober Living, move back in with his dad (toxic environment) and get a job at some construction place. I got SO upset and was instantly thrown back into my “control” mode. I told him that I did not agree with his decision and I did not support it, but I knew that it wasn’t my choice to make. This was definitely violating the boundaries that we set. Especially when he knows how upset and emotional I get when it comes to his addiction/sobriety. He told me his dad told him to ask me.
After I spent the next hour FLIPPING OUT and texting his dad saying I couldn’t BELIEVE that he would endorse this, he told me that he told our son he would have to stay another month. It’s nice to know that his dad is in control of his sobriety…
Since that day, I’ve been on a downward spiral again. A constant sickening feeling in my stomach, depression so bad it hurts, constant tears and a TON of anxiety. I haven’t gotten out of bed and can feel myself slipping into my agoraphobic type of feelings.
I have to find a way to detach. I just don’t know what to do or how to do it. I can’t allow his addiction to control me. I can’t worry about what he is doing, while I literally crumble into 1000 tiny pieces. My own mental health is suffering and I am hanging on by a string.
I am still on my FMLA time off from work and don’t know how I am ever going to get my head straight. I have no idea how I went from being a strong woman to now being this fragile, fraile and scared little girl who just wants to stay in bed and cry.
But this was definitely my breaking point.