Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In life and death you've always stole my heart...

On the Saturday evening before your release from treatment, the center where I stayed held a "candle lighting" ceremony.  The "Mayor" of the current group of addicts and alcoholics, stands at the podium, introduces you, and if you are so inclined, you are given a few minutes to address the group, and you have an opportunity to light three different shaped candles: a square, a circle and a heart.  Each client on the evening of their "candle lighting" is encouraged to assign something meaningful from their personal journey that brought us to treatment;or our feelings about our recovery at the moment to each of the shaped candles, and to share their thoughts.  The following were my thoughts as I lit my candles:

Earnest Hemingway, my favorite author, and fellow alcoholic, was well known in literature for his use of symbolism.  In his literary novella, "The Old Man and the Sea", the battle between the ocean and the old man is symbolic in that a man can be destroyed, but not defeated.  I am lighting the square candle as a symbol of the strength I have witnessed here at Happy Turtle Treatment Center*, and from all of the knowledge I have gained from all of the incredible people I have spent the last 20-something days with.  Drugs and Alcohol may have tried to break and destroy us, but it does not HAVE to defeat us. We are all strong enough to beat this disease. 
My youngest son, my little prince, also struggles with addiction.  When I called him and told him my plans to check myself into rehab for my drinking, he asked me, in all seriousness, "On your own??".  He truly could not fathom the concept of seeking treatment with out being court mandated, or it not being conditional of anything else. So, that being said, in his honor, I am opting NOT to light the circle candle, in hopes of breaking the cycle of addiction in my world by embracing sobriety,  As I begin my journey into recovery by finally setting the right example.  No longer expecting him to "Do as I say, and not as I do".  
Most, if not all of you may already know this, but for those who don't, four years ago, my 20 year old son died from a heroin overdose.  Or, as the certified certificate of death states, "Acute accidental opiate intoxication" as his cause of death.  Burying my son, my firstborn, was without a doubt, the single most sad, difficult, miserable, painful and surreal day of my life.  A close second was possibly choosing the words to put on his stone.  These words would be my final tribute to him, and will also someday mark my final resting place as well.  I was barely functioning at the time, rarely, if ever, taking a sober breath, let alone being capable of forming a cohesive thought.  Yet for reasons I still can not explain, this was profoundly important to me. I wanted his grave to be marked and I wanted, I needed it to reflect the love in my heart for him.  Ultimately, I chose, "All my Love, All my Life", and I light this heart candle in memory of my beautiful Prince, my baby boy, who has held my heart for all of my life. May he and all of the others lost to this Beast, may he rest peacefully.  

(you can click on the picture to enlarge)
*The Happy Turtle Treatment Center is not the real name of the treatment center.

Friday, March 14, 2014

That that's not the way I want my story to end...

Ron, from "An Addict in our Sons Bedroom" had recently graciously opened up his furiously popular blog to Guest Posts.  If you knew me in person, I am actually a bit on the shy side, however, I loved the idea of being able to contribute something to his little piece of cyberspace, so I requested a writing assignment.  Ron, having read of my recent experience with sobriety requested that I share a little bit of my perspective on what it was like to be the one going through the treatment center doors.  So, please, if you care to read it, head on over to Ron's Place, and feel free to share your thoughts, and give a great big shout out to Ron for all of the fantastic work he is doing over there helping to fight this Beast.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Keep on dreaming, fight those demons...

During my days in treatment last fall, so much emphasis was placed on loving myself.  Last night I was relaying my current situation with the man with a good friend.  She was aghast at his meanness towards me, and by my cowardliness in accepting this behavior.  I read her the text messages that the man and I exchanged that morning, specifically the one where he told me, and I quote, "I have to figure out what I want... but I don't want this..."  She couldn't understand why I would continue to want to still pursue a future with him, when he clearly doesn't want one with me.  When I arrived home after work last night, he did not even lift his head to acknowledge my presence, and didn't even bother to say hello.  

She asked me if I wanted to be a doormat, or do I want to be Kel.  I responded that I wasn't even sure who Kel was anymore.  The Kel I used to know is lost deep somewhere in the throws of being a parent to an addict, an adult child of an alcoholic, the mother of an Angel. A motherless daughter. An orphan of sorts.  I have lost both of my parents and my oldest son in under four years.  I no longer have a relationship with my only sibling. I have spent the last number of years in a drunken stupor. The Kel I used to be was a fighter, a woman of strength, who has morphed into a needy, broken shell of a woman who doesn't know who she is or how she got here.  And she has no idea how to find her way back. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

I'm Blown, to the maxim

When I awoke this morning, I realized the man did not wake me up when he left for work as per our normal ritual.  Red Flag No. 1.  As I made my way to the kitchen, I discovered the deliberate lack of coffee in the peculator, and the morning paper purposefully absent. Flags No. 2 and 3.  Silent treatment in full effect.

I have not written much about the man here in my blog.  Choosing instead over the years to use this as my outlet for venting my sadness and frustration with my Prince while he was alive and active in his addiction.  I have posted only a handful of posts since his passing. There is a combination of so much and not very much to say.  Almost like a long neglected friendship where there is so much to talk about and catch up when you finally get back to it, that it is so very difficult to start.

So I will start with the man.  We have been together on and off for I guess about 7 years or so. We have been living together since last June, when I sold my house after my mothers passing.  He gave up his apartment and we are renting a house that is way too big for us, but it is in a great location, it has a built in pool which I am used to having, and we figured the extra space would help ease the transition of living together for the first time, giving us each a place to go when we needed some "me" time.

Our personalities are very different. I am very outspoken, talkative, and hate to be alone.  He is quite shy, does not like to be around people, and suffers from a bit of social anxiety.  He has never been married and does not have children.  You all know my story on that topic.  He is very health conscious for the most part, he eats healthy most of the time and his gym time is high on his priority list.  Me? My diet isn't great, and it definitely includes too much caffeine, sugar and nicotine; and the gym is a place where I have "donated" plenty of money over the years and it is likely there is a dusty treadmill there with my name adorned in gold showing their appreciation.

Early in our relationship, we saw each other mostly on the weekends, and we often went for dinners, to wineries, outdoor concerts, etc.  Alcohol was often a common denominator with us.  For me, well, cause I liked to drink, and for him, well, it helped him with his shyness and lowered his inhibitions.  The years went by and the drinking continued, him much more able to control it, not drinking to excess, never during the week,  and me, well we all know how that worked out for me.  My drinking was often a bone of contention, and we broke up briefly quite a few times over it.  Until finally last fall, when my drinking was consuming my mind, my body and my life, I checked myself into a rehab and got clean.  As a matter of a fact, today I am 115 days sober.

Prior to my treatment, he often insisted that all of our problems were a direct result of my alcoholism.  I foolishly believed him.  It is important for me to point out I sought treatment for myself. The hopes that my relationship with the man would improve and be more secure were just one of the many cherries on the top of my decision.

I have never rented a house or an apartment, I have always owned my own home, the rental for the year, was to be a test run, to assure our compatibility.  The bigger plan was to rent for a year, and then move forward and purchase a house. In spite of a few blowouts since my return home from treatment, in January we found the perfect house, made an offer that was accepted, and we began the arduous process of buying a house in New York.  

When the man is upset with or angry with me, his way of showing it is to basically sulk and give me the silent treatment. A method of communication that I find childish, punitive, and unacceptable.  It is a subject we have discussed at length, a personality flaw that is extremely destructive to our relationship, not too mention my self-esteem, and he had promised to work on.

Well, it turns out that now that I am working on my recovery and embracing sobriety, my other flaws are suddenly deal breakers.  This is where this mornings red flags and latest edition of the silent treatment come in to play.  According to his text messages this morning, I do not eat properly.  I don't exersize, I consume too much sugar, high fructose and flour.  I smoke. I am unhealthy.  I am entering middle age and it will not work out well for me.  He is not confident about our future.  He doesn't know what he wants, he will have to figure it out in time, but he doesn't want this.

Yes, these are flaws that I am guilty of. I will not deny a single one, but I am doing my very best to conquer one demon at a time.  My sobriety is still so very new and fragile.

So now we have signed a contract with a young family who is relocating to another state for a career change to purchase their house.  We have put down a significant amount of money as a down payment, have already receive a mortgage commitment, we have a scheduled closing date of April 30th. and will be liable for many additional, expensive costs if we back out of this contract, not to mention the disruption and inconvenience caused to the young family.

However, I think this time, enough is enough.  I am simply exhausted by his passive aggressive behavior, being made to feel like a naughty child who has misbehaved every time he is upset about something. I love this man, I wanted a future with him, I am crazy about the house we were supposed to buy, and am not in a position financially to loose the money I am going to loose.  But I am finally understanding what it means when my therapist tells me: "Love is necessary, but it is not sufficient."

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Kenneth Charles
June 16, 1989 - January 8, 2010

Four years ago, my beautiful Prince lost his battle with addiction.  He was 20 years old.  I feel cheated.  Still. I function in my daily life, but it has been an enormous struggle.  My coping method of choice was alcohol.  Wine, specifically, and lots of it.  The pain was/is just too deep to bear.  There have also been a few suicide attempts.  Lots of self sabotage.  It often feels just wrong to be alive and living in a world without him.  55 days ago, I realized my life had become unmanageable and I checked myself into a treatment center for alcoholism.  I have not had a drink in 54 days.  I am beginning to heal, very slowly from all that I have gone through in my life. Feeling things:  good things.  Not so good things, and sometimes very bad things.  But I am feeling.  And that is a beginning.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lawyerss, guns and money....

My mother passed away 9 months ago after just about a year of being very ill.  COPD from many years of smoking, although she had quit some twenty something years ago.  Liver disease from many years of abusing alcohol.  A quasi-rare genetic condition that also took my Aunts life some years back also factored in.  Side note: My brother and I are also afflicted with this disorder. 

My older brother moved into my mothers apartment in the two family house my mother and  I co-owned, about  a week or so before she passed, while she was still in the hospital.  He and his girlfriend lost basically everything they owned in Superstorm Sandy.  They rented a small cottage in a small beach down on the shore and it was essentially swept away in the storm. They were left homeless.

He is my only sibling and we are not very close.  It would require something more along the lines of a mini-novel as opposed to a single blog post to fully describe the dynamics of our relationship.  Lets just say dysfunctial would be a huge understatement.

My mother and I jointly owned the house.  I sold it over the spring after her passing. I am the executor of the estate.  My brother was entitled to only 25% of the proceeds of the sale.   Some years back he was diagnosed with diabetes.  He was diagnosed only after an infection in his big toe was so bad, he had to have it amputated along with a portion of his foot.  Prior to the infection, he had worked in a government job, with full insurance and benefits.  He was offered a job working with a family member in securities on some level.  Higher salary-No benefits.  He was given a cash stipend in which he was to procure a private health plan or COBRA his existing plan.  My brother opted instead to use said stipend to procure cocaine instead.  When the commodity market was still here, cocaine was the most commonly traded commodity, so I've heard.

Fast forward six months after he started his new position, sans benefits, and the first of his toes was amputated and he was given the diabetes diagnosis.  My brother still opted to deny the graveness of a diabetes diagnosis and continued to drink and rarely managed his diet.  The amputation left a hole on the bottom of his foot which has yet to fully heal some 8 or 9 years later.  He was unable to return to work and has been collecting disability ever since.  He has had a total of 4 toes removed from one foot and just last year he lost a toe on his "good" foot.  He has finally accepted he is an insulin dependent diabetic and now, NOW, all of these years later seems to be holding his own.  Long story short, he has accrued one hundred thousand dollars or so of debt from before he was put on medicaid and his portion of the inheritance from the sale of the house was seized by the hospital lawyers. 

Good times I tell you, good times...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

No No No No...

Eight months worth of sharing to catch up on.  Pull the bandage off the wound method seems the only way I can put this down in writing.  La Petite, my youngest, only living child, is seventeen years old and has been living with his father on and off for the last few years.  I found out on Sunday morning and confirmed yesterday that he is shooting heroin.  Fuck My Life.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yeah, its's been a while...

It's hard to believe that so much time has passed since my last post. I still spend some quiet time each night before falling asleep composing posts in my head, and always begin my work mornings catching up on the blogs that are still around. Yet I rarely if ever comment and can never seem to find the words in the light of day to write an actual post.  I only wish my writers block was caused by a lack of material to share, and not the lack of time it would take to bring this blog current with all that has happened in my life this last eight months or so. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I never did is done....

Lord make me into a rainbow.. I'll shine down on my mother, she'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under your colors,  life aint always what you think its gonna be, aint even gray when she buries her baby..

HOPELESS.  That is exactly how I feel..  La Petite just finished a stint in detox for Xanax.  He is 16 and is doing his second tour (?) in rehab.  Really.  My mom has been in the hospital less 4 days for over a month now.  My Prince would have turned 23 this past Saturday. This coming Sunday is the first birthday in 44 years that absolutely no one in my family is here.  My dad is dead.  My Prince. Dead.  I survived my first and hopefully only suicide attempt last fall,  6 days state mandated in the looney bin.  True Story.  For the record... not a great way to spend Labor Day.  Why am I unlovable???  I just need someone to put their arms around me and tell me they love me. My plate is full.  Fuck you Heroin.

The sharp knife of a short life. 

Peace y'all

Thursday, March 08, 2012

And here I am...

My ex-husband, who is 44 years old, took ill quite suddenely in the middle of December. His blood pressure had apparently been extremely high and unmanaged (oh the irony...) for the last few years. Add a pint or so of vodka and two packs a cigarettes a day, he was admitted to the CCU unit of the hospital, put on blood thinners for fear of a heart attack or stroke and there he sat for approximately 8 or 9 weeks fighting off a myriad of ailments that has ultimaly left him with renal failure and he now requires dialysis for 3 to 4 hours a day, three times a week. For the rest of his life. He is still out of work. Good Times.

The little Prince alternates where he sleeps on a pretty regular basis. Although I am the "legal" custodial parent, he splits his time between the both of us. Often choosing to stay with his father since he is the more lenient parent as far as curfews, healthy eating, and boundaries are concerned. Truth be told I often prefer him to stay with his father, because quite frankly I no longer have the patience to deal with another obnoxious, beligerant, substance abusing teenager.

When I walk in the house after working all day and I am greeted, no, lets call it assaulted by the pungeant odor of a recently smoked blunt, it does not a happy homecoming make, to say the least. And so begins the circle-jerk of bullshit, where in I accuse, he denies, I become angry and defensive along the lines, of yeah, by now, do you reallllyy think I dont know what weed smells like by now?? Seriously? Followed up by his dramatic hysterionics of how he hates to be f-ing accused of being high, F-Bombs fly, blah blah blah. Doors slam. and..... end scene. He is, or he tries to be a bully.

The last few times he has slept at my house this week, I was quite sure he was high. My instinct over the years is rarely wrong. So the fight scene above repeats itself. Boundaries. I try to set the boundaries. The rules to live in my home are quite simple. NO DRUG USE. Period. You can not use in my house, you can not bring drugs into my house, I will not give you money, you will not take what doesnt belong to you. Go to school, make curfew, and you will have respect. There will be no telling me to go Fuck myself. Period. And yet.

My M.O. is to throw him the fuck out of my house as I have done before until he decides that my rules are for real. Dont wanna follow them? You know where the door is. However, when he stays with his father or his grandparents, the rules are far and few between. As long as you physically go to school everyday, then psst okay, cool! Homework? Ehh homework is for those studious college bound types. You smoked a little pot? Came home a little stumbly and slurry cause you had a fewtoo many beers? Well thank the little baby jesus that you arent messing with those damn opiates again... No job or desire to secure one? Well, sure, you should probably be working, but as long as you somehow are still managaing to get your cigarettes and weed and a few beers and maybe a pint of vodka or so on the weekends... and as long as I dont have to foot the bill... then it's all good.

Perhaps I am being ever so slightly dramatic. But seriously not so much. This afternoon his new school that he attends for "disaffected students" and others with various emotional disabilities called to tell him he appeared high and reeked of pot in class yesterday, and that today he was removed from a class after being disrespectful and then cursing at a teacher. And he hasn't done a single homework assignment in two of his classes. I called him and explained that he is not to leave the house afterschool today and he will not be allowed to leave the house until said assignments are made up. This was followed up with his typical response of that is stupid. That is so stupid. Bottom line, I told him yet again, my way or the highway and if he wants to continue to have a place to rest his thick head in my home, then I suggest he do as he is told.

I really do not have to energy to do this again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012



This is just a short list off the top of my head that I can think of when I remember first learning that my Prince was using drugs. The same list can alos apply to the many feelings I remember feeling the moments after I learned my Prince died of a drug overdose. It is almost like coming full circle on an emotional rollercoaster.

Monday, January 09, 2012

We were ready for anything... but this

Yesterday was two years since my beautiful prince left this world. A mass was said in his name on Saturday evening in the same church where his requiem mass was held. I am ashamed to admit that I have not stepped foot in that church or any other since the day my son was buried. I was raised catholic and still believe in God and respect some of the laws of catechism, but if I am to be honest with myself, I have to admit it has been very difficult for me to not question and doubt the justness of the last few years of my life. That being said, it felt good to be in church, surrounded by my friends and some family and to remember the rituals of a Catholic Mass. My favorite part has always been (please forgive me if I have the terminology incorrect), when the priest lowly chants the words of consecration over the gifts while the litany is being sung. It has always been the part of mass that somewhat restores my faith.

One of my oldest and dearest friends arranged to have the mass said. After we received communion and kneeled for the obligatory prayer, she leaned over to me and told me she also said a prayer for me and told me she was proud of me for being so strong. While I appreciated the kind words I don't know that I am any stronger than anyone else in my position, but I know I am just trying to survive.

So much has changed in these last two years, and so much is still so very much the same. I miss him so very much. I feel as though there is something I should be doing or should have been doing to make some kind of difference in this world. In his name. Yet, I know in and around the area where I live, the prescription drug abuse is spiraling at all time highs. There have been frequent pharmacy hold ups for oxys, many of them resulting in shoot outs and deaths of innocent people who happened to be in the wrong time at the wrong place. I do not live in a city or even very close to the city, I live in suburbia. In my humble opinion, there needs to be something done about the Oxycotin. Take it off the market. Or have it only available in a clinic type setting. I have thankfully never had pain so terrible that I needed opiates to treat it, but I have suffered the pain of losing a child to an opiate overdose. If this drug is so dreadfully addicting, that paople become so desperate for it that they are willing to walk into a family drugstore in the middle of the afternoon, on a busy street and kill for it, well then, this to me is problematic.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank you silence...

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and officially kicking off the holiday season. I know from reading others blogs that the holiday season, when you are the parent (brother/sister/spouse/grandparent) of an addict, that the holidays are often filled with trepidation. Will they show up high? Will they show up at all? Will pieces of the good silver go missing? Will there be a blowout and a scene? The negative possibilites are endless when there is an addict in your life.

Remarkably, when the Prince was alive, our holidays were without drama. The 2009 holiday season preceeded his death by mere weeks. In hindsight, I can remember him being quieter than usual, and looking at the pictures from that late fall/early winter, you can see the difference in his eyes. The dark circles around them.

I do not know what it is like to celebrate a holiday while my child is incarcerated, or in a rehab. I only know what it is like to have the perpetual empty seat at my holiday table, the seat where my Prince once sat. The seat that he will never sit in again. The empty seats in the future where his wife and my grandchildren should have sat. It is so easy to dwell on the pain and the loss. I still have moments daily that take my breath away with the realization that he is really and truly dead.

As the weather turns slowly in the fall, and the holidays approach, I fantasize about not celebrating at all. I dream of getting on an airplane and laying in the warm sun and eating fresh mangos instead of roasting a turkey and certainly not preparing for the mother of all family holidays- Christmas. If I could flip the calendar from October 31st- January 9th each year I would. Its hard to be thankful and full of joy when you spend more time planning on how you will decorate your childs grave for the holidays than you think about decorating your home.

My once large family has grown smaller with each passing year, and I have lost interest in carrying on holiday traditions and. Yet,my Little Prince deserves the Mom he used to have, the Mom who painstakingly planned every detail of every holiday menu and tried her best to make everything as perfect as possible (within a perfectly flawed family that is) at each celebration.

A part of that Mom is gone forever. I can see it in my own eyes when I look in the mirror. The pain of losing a child is indescribable. And it is there, present, front and center with every breath you take. But, as I sat by my sons grave this past Sunday, where I spend most of my weekend days, it occured to me, that I have spent more time over the last 22 months at the graveside of my dead child than I have spent focusing on the precious child I still have. The living, breathing, young man who needs his mother desperatley. And it occured to me how very, very wrong and unfair that is.

It would be easy to skip the holiday... having a dead child gets you a pass on these kinds of things, but then, after much reflection, I decided to take a long hard look at myself and remember what Thanksgiving is really about. It is about being thankful for our blessings and what we have, and I realized that although my heart is broken, I am very thankful for the life of my Prince. To have had the joy of his existance for 20 years, to have been hugged and held in his strong arms, to have watched him in the process of becoming a man. They werent always good years, but I always loved him deeply and fully. I feel priviledged to have been given the honor of being his Mom, although he was taken from me too soon. And I am thankful for the realization that this life is really not all about me and my pain, that I have this other beautiful human that I brought into this world and I am equally blessed to have him.

So please take a moment on Thanksgiving and think of my Prince, and all of our addicts, and be grateful for them, wherever they may be. Allow yourself a moment to smile and remember better days, and know that you will all be in my prayers and that I am thankful for each and every blogger out there that shares their story.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When you open up your heart and the truth comes out...

Many of my work associates were able to either watch my brief interview online or on television yesterday. Most all of my co-workers who were able to view it, made it a point to stop by and say a few kind words or drop me an email offering support.

I still work in the same office that I worked in when I lost my Prince. Although there are one or two new faces, everyone here knows my story. However, after watching the show yesterday, three of my co-workers came to see me at separate times during the day and each shared personal stories with me of the ways that alcohol or drug addiction has touched their lives.

One spoke of the heroin overdose which took the life of her 21 year old cousins over 30 years ago, and how her grandmother wept for that beautiful boy every day until her own death. Another came to me with tears in his eyes thanking me for having the courage to share my story so publicly, and how he goes to sleep each evening thanking God that he has lived through another day without receiving a call informing him of his own dear cousin, who has always been like a brother to him, has overdosed. Lastly, my boss's assistant came to me and spoke lovingly of her 45 year nephew who is drinking himself to death. He has already done the institutions, prisons, rehabs and what not. His pretty wife had had it and is just mere moments away from packing up their two young boys and calling it day.

It reminded me all over again that I am not alone in this battle, and I was honored that these people felt comfortable sharing their experiences with me, and thanking me for reminding them that addiction isn't a dirty secret after all and my courageousness for going public with the Princes story encouraged them to speak out.

Oh Thank you Mr. Cooper, for giving me the opportunity to open a dialogue. For the first time in a long time, I feel my life may have some kind of purpose after all.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I am daring to put this link up to share my segment that I mentioned in my last post... I will not leave it up for long... your thoughts, as always, are welcomed...




Losing you is like living in a world with no air....

I was invited to be an audience participant guest on A. Coopers new talk show which premiers today. You know- he is the guy from C- N- N.... LOL Forgive me for being cryptic, but I try to keep my blog private from my friends and or family so I can speak as honestly as possible here. Although I do not post with regularity, I do write a post almost daily in my head. Even if I rarely write it out. This blog has been a place for me to share my pain of living with an addict and ultimely loosing that battle with honesty and speaking from my heart. I would like to keep it that way.

That being said. I get the opportunity to speak with Mr. Cooper for a few moments and briefly talk about losing my Prince. It premiers today in the NY area at 4 pm on PIX. Not sure where it will air in your neck of the woods, but if you get the chance to tune in, I would love your imput, afterall, you guys have been my backbone and lifeline for many, many years. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being just a few clicks of my keyboard away...

Friday, August 19, 2011

I don't need to fight, to prove I'm right...

During my 45 minute commute to my office each morning I enjoy listening to the silly morning show on the top 40 pop station. I often find myself laughing out loud to their silly antics and jokes. I find this a good way to start my day off in a good mood by smiling and laughing in the car alone, and it tends to put me in better spirits and makes facing my work day a bit more pleasant.

In between the silliness and the news and traffic and commercials, they do play the top pop hits of the moment. Most of the songs sound the same to me, and I rarely give them much thought, tolerating the synthesized music until my silly friends come back on the air. However, hearing the same catchy songs over and over, the words begin to register and you become aware of the content.

Today I realized the top songs being played over and over are by the same few so-called-artists... the top sellers and money makers of the moment. Two of these songs are catchy drinking anthems. Lyrics include: "Cheers to the freakin weekend, I drink to that, let the Jameson sink in." or: "Yeah we danced on table tops, then we drank too many shots, think we kissed but I forgot". Another of my "favorites" includes the line "before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack".

Really? I am not trying to deny this generation their right to have a good time, I am not going to deny I did my own share of bar hopping and partying when I was a kid. However, in order to get a lot of air play on the radio, does the music have to be laden with stories of female debauchery, drnking till you pass out or get arrested and random hooking up with strangers that y0u wont remember? I know it happened when I was young and it happens today and it will happen in twenty years from now. Yet, is it OK that the rockstars of today are young women singing the praises of this behavior? Are there no more real "artists" out there that can actually play an instrument and write a song with meaning that will give you goosebumps and stay with you and will stand the test of time?

When the young shy girls looking for acceptance and a place to belong turn on the radio and hear these songs, are they getting the message that in order to have a good time and fit in you must go to the clubs and drink yourself stupid? I certainly hope not. And seriously... when did I get this old???

Wishing you all a wonderful and safe weekend... and hey.. lets do it without brushing our teeth with a bottle of Jack... just sayin...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not much? How 'bout you?

Lying in bed Sunday evening unable to sleep, my mind, as always , vacillating between the problems I am currently having with my younger son; and what went wrong, why was my Prince taken from me? Out of the hundreds of thousands of addicts out there, on that particular evening why him? What have I done to deserve so much pain in my life? Why me? And it occurred to me for the very first time ever... who am I to question God and his will?

I believe I may have had a breakthrough...

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Did you get what you deserve???

Thank you Dear Tori for commenting and inquiring about my son and I, it gave me the inspiration to put up a short post. Something I have been meaning to do for a while. I am still here every day reading your blogs and sometimes even leaving a comment. I am so excited to see my old faves- Mary Christine, Lou and Pammie are back in the blogging business. Just makes me feel better.

It is 17 months today that my Prince has left this world. The pain is still overwhelming. He is still the first and last thing I think about everyday. There are still moments that take my breath away when I realize he is really and truly gone. Heroin. Really, it kills. Do not doubt it for one moment.

My little Prince, spent 30 days in a residential facility. Since he has been home he has been splitting his time between living with his father and I. In the earlier days it was more with his father because he was lashing out at me and we really could not get along. He stayed clean for about 3 weeks after but has now been testing positive for marijuana. In his wee little brain he still sees nothing wrong with it. It is really quite exhausting. He is failing his sophomore year of High School. It has not been an easy year, or couple of years for that matter. But I am doing my best and I am still getting out of bed and trying to function in the real world. I try not to wear my pain on my sleeve, cause really, at the end of the day... no one really cares any way...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You no my name....

So. yeah. You can follow me on twitter if you are inclined to dial into my pathetic life in 140 characters or less.... @kellyny1968 or something like that.

Monday, April 04, 2011

I couldn't walk and I tried to run...

Last week, at a restaurant, I was asked the dreaded question, "Do you have any children?" I squirmed and hesitated a bit before looking over at my date for some reassurance or maybe just some assistance before the woman asked again, "Is isn't that difficult of a question". I then explained my situation. She was apologetic and after the moment of awkwardness passed, we went about the business of enjoying our meal. I didn't go on the share with her that my younger, only existing child, is currently locked away in a rehab facility 400 miles from my home. Friday night I was feeling a bit sad and weepy about my current situation and reached out on the FB to a friend of mine that I met at the cemetery where both of our children are buried. Within an hour, she and another MOA (Side note: In our case we use this acronym to mean "Mother of and Angel" but I have seen it referred to Mother of an Addict in our corner of the blogshpere, but technically I am both. Can you say Epic Fail.) had arrived at my house tissues in hand to help me lift my spirits and feel better about who I have become and how I have landed here. Sometimes though, I have to remember the blessings in my life, like the gift of good friends that have walked in my shoes and who love me and understand.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another mother's broken heart is taking over...

I forget the warm feelings I find after receiving comments on one of my posts, from others in our little corner of the blogshpere, and I thank you, I forget how much comfort I once found in blogging regularly.

Received a phone call this morning that a bed will be open for La Petit a week from Tuesday at the residential facility we are looking into. It is over 4 hours away and we have no guarantee that the insurance will authorize treatment until he is physically at the facility and they do an intake. Another week of keeping him on lock down. It will not be easy. But then again, nothing ever is.
The weekend was drama and stress free other than the fact that he is getting anxious and wants to go back to school and he wants to see his friends.

This all still feels like a bad dream. I still find it difficult to accept the fact that the Prince is dead. At times, it will hit me like a brick and I can literally feel the air being forced from my lungs and breathing can be difficult. And I have ask myself, did this really happen? Is he really gone? Has it really been more than fourteen months since I have layed my eyes on him or spoken to him? Will I really never see him again? And the pain is just too much too endure.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Imagine me, Taught by Tragedy...

I know it has been a while since I have posted, but I am still around reading others blogs each day. I have so much to share and just cant find my voice, perhaps because what is left of my heart is being broken again from my youngest son.

I guess you could say I am the mother of an addict redux. Part 2? Again? My youngest son, La Petite, starting doing really poorly in school last year after the death of his brother. He was never a great student, but we figured he was just really falling apart from his loss. We all were. Late in June, he came home after being out with friends and he was obviously drunk and high. Knowing full well not to engage or argue with an inebriated person, I put him to bed, and kept a close eye on him all night.

I went through his phone and made some calls and was told by some of his friends that he had been smoking a lot of pot. They were concerned. I was shocked that I didn't pick up on it. I'm usually pretty good. We put him on lock down until he was to leave from sleep away camp a few weeks later.

He did well all summer while away at camp and shortly after starting his sophomore year, he started cutting classes and we found out he was again smoking pot. We cut him off financially, making him brown bag his lunch. I found a large Ziploc bag hidden in the bathroom filled with pot. Money was going missing. At this point I realized, I simply can not live with another addict in my house. He went to live with his dad. A week or so into that, he found some sleeping pills and pain pills that had been prescribed to my ex husband and took a nice handful of them. He was a mess. I would almost say it was an overdose. We got him into an outpatient program that meets twice a week and also requires attendance at AA or NA meetings.

Fast forward to February and the present, he has been dropped from his Spanish class, for cutting it so often. A class he has taken for the third time that is a requirement for graduation. He is failing 9th grade math for the second time, also a graduation requirement, and Biology the second time around isn't looking so good either. He is one cut away from being dropped from his Global Studies class as well. Opiates show up in his urine screen.

I am assuming he must be involved in dealing on some level because he has no access to cash, and he is still managing to be high all the time. Through out all of this I have been working with the Special Ed department to get him classified and placed into an alternative learning program outside of the district. I pull him out of the public high school because all he does is get high there, we decide its time for residential treatment. I am working on that right now, its not easy, insurance companies do not want to pay and I don't have $10,000 cash laying around at the moment. Beds for adolescent males are scarce.

We have him under 24 hour supervision. He stays with his grandparents during the day while we are at work. In the evenings he is either with me or his dad. Last night he asked his dad if he could sleep at his grandmothers house. We both kind of saw that as a red flag as he had asked to sleep at my house last night as well. But my ex is exhausted from sleeping with one eye open watching over him every night so we figured what could happen, he has been on total lock down.

Sure enough, my in laws call my husband at 10 o'clock last night saying that the Little Prince is high as a kite, totally out of it. Turns out he stole some DXM based meds from the supermarket during the day. Never say never.

We are hoping for a bed any day now. Its just so outside of my realm of thought that he would mess around with this stuff considering we buried his 20 year old brother just 14 short months ago. Cunning, Baffling, Powerful, Indeed...

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm not running from...

Last night I went to an event that was being held by one of the bereavement groups that I attend that is designed exclusively for parents who have lost children. A woman (who also happens to be a medium), led the group of approximantely 125 bereaved parents in a guided meditation. I do believe it is the first time I was ever able to successfully mediate. Perhaps it was the overwhelming feeling of sadness that had enveloped the room. Or the profound feeling of belonging that I feel when I am surrounded by a group of people who "get it". Those who have not lost a child, simply can not understand. They think they do, but they do not. However, the enegry in that room last night was overwhelming to me. A group of desperate parents looking to each other for comfort, support, guidance, I dont know, just looking to each other to say, "I understand". I wondered to myself if this is how the alcoholic feels when they finally find the rooms of AA Or the loved one of a alcoholic when they discover Al-anon.

Ironically, I have finally found the place where I fit in, a place where I belong, and that is with a bunch of people that have suffered the same devasting, life altering loss that I have.

It's not always so good to be home.

Friday, September 03, 2010

That part of me left yesterday...

Blogging used to be a place for me to come to talk about my sons struggles with addiction and substance abuse. It is here I connected with other parents of addicts, sober bloggers, and al-anoners alike. Some of those bloggers remain, some have gone. A select few I remain friends in the real world with.

I don't know what to say here anymore. I still read your blogs every day although I do not comment often. I see there are alot of new parent of addicts blogs out there, and I am not sure if my story can help or hinder their progress in their journeys. My story did not have the ending I had hoped for.

That said, I am still here, I am still in pain, and my son, the Prince is still dead.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nobody told me there'd be days like these...

Today I am celebrating, or really, NOT celebrating my first birthday without my Prince. Last week would have been his 21st Birthday. We had a small memorial at his grave as his headstone was in place a few days before, I passed out balloons and sharpie pens and we all wrote a message to him and launched the balloons in the air simultaneously. I invited his friends and my family back to the house for dinner. We made the best of a bad day, I asked that everyone dress in white and we celebrated his life. This is all entirely too painful. This never should have happened.

Friday, May 07, 2010

If Heaven and Hell decide, That they both are satisfied...

Accidental Acute Opiate Intoxication
That is the final, official cause of death on the corrected death certificate. Last night I also received the autopsy report. Knowing my son died from an overdose is difficult enough without having to read how the Medical Examiner sliced his chest cavity open in the "typical Y formation", and sliced through each of his organs and detailing the condition of every organ in gruesome detail. There were no surprises, in fact other that the whole shooting-himself- full-of-heroin-until-he-died thing, he appeared to be in very good health. However, there are some things a mother just shouldn't know.
Four months ago today, my Prince was still breathing. Four months from approx. 1:15 a.m. tomorrow, he took his final breath. I am constantly thinking of what else I could have done, could I have done something differently, and there is n0thing. It breaks my heart when at the end of the day, I know that he, and he alone, was the only person capable of saving his life. And quite honestly, when he made the decision to start shooting into his veins, I do believe that his life was over, and the decision was made for him.
It frightens me to read how powerful the addiction to heroin is. How strong the pull. How so many addicts never get free from it. And it frightens me even more to know that there is really nothing that I can do about it. I feel powerless. I know I can speak out, and give interviews, tell my story, tell his story, speak to other parents, and write to my congressman. But the bottom line is there is nothing anyone can do when an addict puts that needle into his arm. Only he can push the syringe or not. It is their moment. And I can not change that.

>The addict does not know the wreckage he leaves behind. The lives destroyed in his path. He gets to rest peacefully while every painful day is the first day of the rest of our broken lives. The sadness in my home is palpable. There is no longer joy. I know with time, we will learn to live the new normal, our new life without my Prince. It will never get better, but they tell me in time it will get, different. Its already different. And not in a good way.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I've been wallowing in my own confused and insecure delusions...

When my Prince was alive and still in school or rehab, this was one of the days I dreaded the most. April 20th. or 420 (four-twenty) as the kids referred to it. It is some kind of weed smoking reference, I never got the full story. I just knew it was a day that the pot smokers celebrated by excessive marijuana smoking.

There were other days I also dreaded when he was in his teen years. That would be every day. My head is still not working properly. I will ask my younger son the same question 4 times in the 6 minute drive to his high school. It disturbs him. I try to explain that I am just so distracted since the Prince passed away and I am hopeful that in time it will get better. In reality, I do not know if I really believe it.

I do not hold my Prince up on a pedestal in his death, although it often too painful to remember the early years of his addiction, but there are certain moments when it comes crashing into my consciousness and I am reminded of an incident. In his final year of high school he was still going to the intensive outpatient rehab program. He was dating a junior from his home district. She was a lovely, beautiful girl. She was drug and alcohol free. She never minded coming to the house to see him since his program did not allow him to leave the house unsupervised. She invited him to attend her Junior Prom as her date. I was hesitant and very reluctant to allow him to attend. The "program" did not think it was a good idea. I faltered and decided to trust him. She was a good girl and she I know he did not want to risk losing her. I took him shopping and bought him a nice suit. He matched his shirt to her beautiful red dress. I was going to drive them to the prom, and her mother was to pick them up.

Two days before the prom, his weekly urine test turned up dirty. For opiates. He snorted heroin for the first time. Money turned up missing that week and I subsequently found it hidden in his room. I refused to drive them, refused to allow him to attend the prom. He went anyway. The next day I went apartment hunting. I had reached my limits. I was not yet in a financial position to afford an apartment while my soon to be ex-husband and the Prince lived in the house while I tried to sell it. Not to mention the fact that they would have killed each other. The solution was that he would go live with his grandparents. He lived with them until the moment of his death. He died in their house.

I think of all of the blogger buddies that I have followed and who have followed my story through these years. I am sad for the ones who have left us. However I am grateful for the love and support I have found here. I pray for your children that are still fighting their demons and addictions. And I miss my Prince with every inch of my being.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cause your the only song I want to hear...

Sometimes I feel as though I am still in shock and that my son is still alive. As though we had an argument and we are simply not speaking as opposed to him being gone. We had some really lovely weather this past weekend, a weekend where he likely would have been starting to do some work on his small boat to get it ready to put in the water. I kept waiting on the phone call for him to ask me to help him finance some kind of expensive boat repair. The phone call never came, and it never will.

I am mourning my own loss. The loss of my child, the flesh of my flesh. However, more profoundly, I am mourning his loss. The loss of the life he will never live. He was twenty years old. He will never get married and he will never be a father. He will never again spend lazy weekends fishing on the little boat he loved so much. He will never again go to a concert, or a baseball game. He will never have the opportunity to vote for a president. He will never again have the chance to get dressed up and take his lovely girlfriend to his office Christmas party. He will never stand up as Best Man when his little brother takes a wife. Gone are the days when he will call me and ask to come over and bar-b-que some steaks with his special secret marinade.

The sadness and pain of this loss is more than I can bear most days, and I am thankful for the body's ability to protect itself by keeping me a little bit numb so I can function on some level and get through most days. Sometimes the anger overwhelms the sadness and I want to wage a war against someone. To make a difference. To get this shit off the streets and away from our children. And that is just what I intend to do, one baby step at a time if I must...