Posts Tagged ‘depression’

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Son becoming sober has been 10% us as parents and 90% himself working to get and remain there. It’s been over a year or more now and we have watched his life take on a total change of him finally realizing healthier decisions. Eating, who he associates with, how he feels about himself, how he views and interacts with those around him has changed for the positive. Keep in mind there are also health and mental issues at play. For a long time now he and we have been “stuck”in his recovery process. As his mother I cannot solely put into place the strong support system needed to help him learn new coping skills to not fall back into old ones. Though I have reached out continuously to outside sources none have helped I have gotten no answers. In the years of his drug addiction as in most, his extended family members have faded into the darkness that swallowed him whole out of fear and not knowing what to do.

During son’s childhood he and his brother, 2 years older had always had close ties with their father’s family. Both my son’s lived in the same city as adults during the years of son’s active spiral of self destruction but seeing this, family were unwilling to offer help except for his older brother. I believe to this day that the my older son kept his brother from certain death. Since younger son’s journey living home fighting to get his life back he has always pined to have his father and older brother back into his life. He will never tell them, but they are who he loves and respects most and has mourned losing due to his own actions.

Imagine my delight when after many years son picked up his phone just before Easter, calling his “dad” and talking over an hour, answering his father’s questions, telling him how sorry he was for his actions as an active addict yet thanking his father for still being there. Next he phoned his estranged older brother followed in days by taking the train to see him for the first time in 2 years. I heard the visit went well and have noticed rekindling those bonds has changed him profoundly, giving him hope and strength as he moves forward again. I want nothing less than to have both of my sons together in our life, it’s been too long since we have all been family.

After years beginning his journey a new door opened.

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Recovery is hell, learning new coping skills with a dual diagnosis is learning to walk all over again.

My son is a strong personality like myself. We are too much alike in many ways which is probably why we argue the way we do. As an adult he and I share a communication neither of us understands, like twins with their own language.

Three days ago he was yelling, lashing out with fists and broke something during our battle of words. I already have holes in my ceiling and a door. Yesterday a more reasonable human, he said “I’m always going to be an addict mom, I have an addictive personality.” I feel his frustration because I don’t know where to go from here either. He says it’s my fault he is here in my home without a job or income and no way to go forward. I told him one more physical outburst I will phone the police. My husband provides him room and board but son thinks he shouldn’t help out financially, wow.

He is still swearing off any medical treatment for his active Hepatitis C. Without marijuana he is nauseous, suffers from insomnia that keeps him awake 3-4 days, and in pain. He gave up on doctor visits when he was offered chemo’ to treat his illness but not pain relief for his other illnesses due to his having been an addict. I don’t know what the answers are anymore. I “do” know he needs to learn new coping skills and he does too but where to go and the cost of the one after care program in county is daunting and only 5 days duration as an outpatient.

Keeping enough food in the house for all is a challenge and nights I feed the men, telling them I’m not hungry so we have enough food. I eat a piece of fruit or toast or a yogurt. Our original agreement while he was so sick in the hospital was for him to move home, recover his very bad health with medical treatment and get off drugs. To begin over.

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Medical Marijuana.”

For myself the two words bring up an image of the 1970’s I grew up in sitting around smoking a “joint” with friends as a teenager. I never thought I would live to see marijuana used for medication. I never even considered the thought. In my 50’s in my own experience of medical treatment and pain management I would have to weigh the pro’s and con’s to use it or not for anything more than recreation. No, I don’t use it and haven’t in decades. Back when I and friends used “pot” it did two things, made us sleep and eat. In the last couple years of it being medically legalized I have seen Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or “PTSD” treated with  every drug available. If anything the side effects of the medications were worse than what they were treating, causing son to become so agitated he would need a drug for the drug. Insert here the fact his ailing liver with HepC is filtering all of it when it shouldn’t be anywhere near it.

Son’s underlying mental illness is exacerbated by the severe PTSD he has. In one full blown “flashback” he is a 125 pound 5’8″ yelling  terrified wrecking ball for which only marijuana seems to keep in check.  He’s cooked it, he has smoked it, or vaped the elixir. He can eat, becomes social, sleeps nights, and is as normal as he can be using it 3 times a day. The bigger problem is the fact son won’t drive. Years ago he was hit head on by drunk drivers not once but twice and it changed his life forever.

Four years of son’s recovery. Recovery takes the rest of a life and if son doesn’t take charge of his life and leave our apartment this will be the rest of OUR life.

My health isn’t good. My husband’s been hit for the first time in his life with painful arthritis this winter and we both have been revolving door patients at the local hospital due to lack of healthcare nor can we afford “ObamaCare.” Son thankfully has state medical care but refuses to use it not trusting doctors. I have one more clinic visit at the cost of 185$ plus prescriptions and when those run out I don’t know what we will do. My own mental health is kept in check with medication these last 20+ years and without them is no happy ending.

One bit of good news before my 2am signing off here is I quit smoking nearly one year now. My 67 year old mother was a smoker who contracted Metastasized Breast Cancer in 2000, again in 2012. Her second time around she stayed home refusing any more treatment and took her own life in the end. I’m praying hard as I get older it isn’t genetics.

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Often times those ill in our life directly and indirectly demand so much attention we realize years later and ask ourselves “Why can’t I remember his first baseball game?” Or a daughter’s dance recital? Guilt rushes in as I get older because I have two other grown children I don’t see alot and I’m having trouble remembering icon events in their child lives. My mentally ill adult son as a mentally ill child demanded much of my 14 year single mother time in home and out. My other two unfairly were off to the sideline of forever ongoing crisis that’s their brother.

I miss my other two children alot. The idea as they got older was I returned here from the south to get to know them again. I can’t get their childhood back but I have time now. I thought I did. By nature I’m a solitary person so I have few friends, none close. Even if I did our situation would scare them off.

I’ve tried social media to reach out to people and groups about addiction but discovered over the years you can either contact other’s online or off. Chances are if you talk at length online you won’t hear anything from them offline except “Facebook me.” I gave up on that.

I haven’t seen my oldest son whom I talk to the most on the phone in two years. The last time he came down was Christmas 2012 which ended in screaming & shouting initiated by addict-son. My oldest son had rode the train here and was met by a wall of anger and insults from his brother who in our small apartment had heard conversation between us in an adjoining room about nothing in particular.

My son never came down again he was so angry and shocked by his brother’s attack, as he should be. I have a daughter also we haven’t seen in years who has her own daughter with another on the way. The idea of putting son and what little he has “out on the sidewalk” is easy to say but no doubt will draw attention and more damage from his temper not to mention he will be back where he nearly died with addiction. Help saving son has made us his physical and emotional hostages. This has gone way too far yet we don’t know what to do without retaliation.

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It’s winter doldrum time. My 28 year old son has been sober now awhile but thats all. He eats, sleeps, stays in his room 24-7 coming out only when we go to bed. He’s depressed and all I can do is suggest to him what to do.

He’s filled the hole in himself drugs no longer fill with distorted thoughts and negativity. All reason has gone out the window. In the meantime we had to fly home to husband’s country when he lost a parent. I have a depressed husband and son now under one roof and they hate each other.

Not a great update. Son has no income and no car and his 2nd try at disability was rejected. His HepC isn’t active now but his negativity is just as bad.

Getting clean is only 1/3 of the battle. Now somehow he needs to pick himself up and get participating in life before his stepfather throws him out.

The extreme cold dark winter weather isn’t helping. Son is on no medications by choice, good meds included. I don’t know what happens with his HepC because he isn’t seeing doctors of any kind.

To you people considering having children, that they will grow up and you’ll get some part of an adult life back, think long and hard. I’m nearly 52 with my own plans that haven’t been realized and Now I feel overwhelmed and trapped.

This is the year my husband and I are supposed to move overseas as in our plans for retirement. I don’t know how that can happen if son doesn’t help himself! Since returning from abroad 2 months ago we laid down rules and informed my son we will be leaving come June. It’s so frustrating!

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As parents we want nothing more on earth than our children to grow and have fulfilling lives. As older parents of adult children we should die before our children but obviously it’s not always so. I’m not superwoman, I am not a perfect  mother. My children were brought up by only myself in our own home in a small rural town where everyone knew each other. There was no big drug problems back then nor was there much crime rate nay for normal teenage pranks and growing pains.

Fast forward to recent. I am well aware bringing home a drug addict and choices I have made have not always been right ones. I am an enabler clearly, both son and I know this. Sitting in front of us now is darkness and scary. Son is becoming too ill and knows it’s near time for our ill acted wait and see to end. We will go to the hospital sooner than later, likely by sunrise and he and I will be terrified together. Nobody lives forever, the cat and mouse game of needle in skin you will always lose.

Maybe if there is a God son will be spared one more time.

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I got to see my son for the first time in a very long time. We spent much needed time together. I had never seen his arms before now as back we last meant it was winter and he always had long sleeves. When I drove up he was smiling, standing in the lot adjacent to the rooming house he rents in. He had no fresh needle marks that I could see, his doctor has him drug tested so just maybe this is for real I hope. He had scars though, his arms, his neck and legs. I call them battle scars.   We held his hands like when he was little, quickly scanning over his body as mother’s do to be sure all looked okay.

Prior to this moment we have been conversing only on the phone this last year, it’s been much to long being apart. We hugged each other the hug of mother and child reunited.” My son is alive” I heard myself think silently, and I am so grateful. Before today I had always lived in fear of him not hurting me, but just afraid of the deep depression and anger he has carried around since being a toddler, teenager and then adult.

His illness has landed him in jail, in hospitals, crisis shelters and homeless. He has been assaulted, drugged and robbed and tried to commit suicide on 4 occasions.  It’s cost him every single job, his relatives and friends have left him. There is just his brother and myself. If only as a child his father would have allowed him to stay on his medication, if only he had agreed to take it as a teenager…

As a teenager it became much worse and he was thrown out of school. He was always in physical confrontations, his voice booming in anger was a constant at home and when he became bigger than me occasionally he would physically attack me in the heat of the moment, once or twice resulting in my falling over. Life with son growing up was horrible and unpredictable and destructive no matter who came to help or by placing him in a facility for help. Here I stood holding my son already seeing the 100% difference in his manner, thinking and moods all from one antidepressant medication and I am so happy for him. He is back to the land of the living, now we can get to finally know each other. Everyday I call him and remind him to take his medication, so far he has stayed on it and has no plans on stopping. We actually talk now and laugh. There is no yelling!

We spent that special day catching up with each other, sharing life experiences while apart, laughing together and hugging some more.  We went and got something to eat and the end of the day I didn’t want to leave and drive the hour or so away again. I’d have given anything to bring him back with me but his life is where he is, it’s not much but his room is his and I respect that. I brought him things for his room, food and cooking utensils to help make him more self sufficient. He was grateful and enjoyed showing me his small space.

Oh if I could just grab him, throw him in my car and bring him home. In so many ways he is still a boy who has missed much by being alseep for years in pain and drugs. In many ways he is an old man who has been through much too much for a 25 year old man. I pray daily he can keep the life he has given back to himself by finally taking his antidepressant.

My son smiled, laughed, talked and people no longer stare at him for his hateful outbursts. Now they are drawn to him because he says “hello” to them and “how are you man?, nice day isn’t it?”  His new energy is profound.

This is my son, and he is alive today!

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It’s eye watering seeing my son emerging more daily from the darkness. The 4th of July he was literally running in the street that had been closed for the firework crowds.

Running and laughing, enjoying who he was, who was around him and the sparkle in his 25 year old eyes made mine water with joy for him.  Please God, let this part of his life last. He is still taking his antidepressant and it’s as if he is a whole new being and experiencing “good” for the very first time in his life since he was a very young boy.

He has been in torment so long I can’t recall the last age he was that he felt happy, let alone laughed like he is now. I phoned him just before we went to bed a night ago and asked what he was doing, he answered; “playing my guitar Ma, I feel great.”  I told him I was proud of him, I said “son, if you start to feel the familiar darkness creeping back into your day remember these days gone by and how good you feel and how much people in your life are enjoying being with you. THIS is the way your supposed to feel!” He says he sees now how important it is for him to keep on his new med’ regime and I hope he means it.

I won’t take this time for granted but I will enjoy our conversations on the phone. He has been asking me so much and re-remembering parts of his life with me before now. It’s as if he wants to know everything all over again now that he is rational. Hard to believe this was a man who was angrily stomping down the main street of the city he lives in and lashing out at anyone within  verbal reach. People and Police who know him are perplexed, his older brother and friends cannot believe he is the same person. I can’t wait to see he and his brother.

The sun is still shining.

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