It is ironic that I have been unhappy how our lives seem to revolve around drugs and yet, I have been doing things lately that are making my life focus on drugs even more. Of course the difference being that formerly it has been my son's drug taking and addiction that has been the focus, and now it is about me wanting to learn more, speak more openly to others with similar problems or interests and trying to gain the tools to help my son, myself and eventually others.
Never have I been closed minded about drugs or judgemental about people who take them, however, in recent years I have seen my family start to fall apart and suffer because of the detrimental affects drug use can have, I have wished that I would have never known anything about drugs! It was not an education I chose to have, it most definitely was not an education that I would have ever wanted any of my children to have! In fact, to be honest, I sometimes become very angry and disappointed in myself, and my son to be honest, that I have somehow been responsible for my youngest daughter to grow up in her most innocent years learning things no one at her age should learn. Of course I feel the same sense of responsibility and disappointment and guilt over my other daughter's pain and damage she has suffered due to the influence drugs have had on our household and family. Like any parent, when I look at my son, I feel I have also somehow let him down, first because I did not fulfil all his needs and therefore he felt he had to turn to drugs, and secondly because once I was aware that there was a problem, I was unable, and have been unable, to help him enough. I know, I know, it has to come from the addict, he needs to want to get help...but at such a young age of 15/16 would he have been able to make the mature decision that he needs help? Now that he is 18 people look at the situation differently, but I can't help but to look back and in hindsight think I should have been doing more! Then ultimately that leads me to the thoughts that if it his addiction that is causing the problems, if he is an "adult" who can decide whether he wants help or not, then it stands to reason that my daughters are not in the same position and I need to focus more on them....it goes round and round in my mind, in my heart, in my very soul on a daily basis. Now I may be disappointing people when I say...I still believe that I can help ALL 3 of them and that we can ALL come out of this healthy and whole and one day I WILL have all 3 of my children leading good lives and they will all be grateful. Is that foolish or unrealistic? I do not think so, though I am sure others may disagree.
OK, so I got off on a tangent like I so often do!
My point when I started writing today was that I am getting more involved in drugs! I have had 2 training sessions in the lengthy mentor training process which was focused on drug and alcohol education. Many people on the course, as I would expect, are recovering addicts, and I find them not only interesting people but also an inspiring testament to me that people can recover after many years of dependency and addiction! I look at them and think...WOW, there is hope. Plus they want to help others...an even bigger WOW!
Last night I attended my second session of The BRICK Project which is a combination of an al-anon type of meeting as well as an informative course with different guest speakers. Talking to other parents who have different stories and situations but we all share the common ground of living with a child who suffers from a substance misuse problem and the ramifications it has on the family and the guilt we as mothers share is not only strangely comforting, but also reassuring that we are not alone.
I suppose looking back through the years, the opportunities did not present themselves before as they are now. Maybe things do happen for a reason and maybe now is the time we will be led in the direction we are meant to be in and in the process find help. I don't know. One thing I know that though I sought help for my son in the past and though we did have contact with various services nothing transformed, nothing happened, nothing worked, no new doors were opened. Now again I find myself in the situation that we have been seeking help and though nothing has "worked" yet in regard to finding a path to recovery, there seems to be more possibilities this time. Also in the process I may have found a new path in my own life, my life that somehow became stagnated in a bad marriage and its aftermath. Now I find myself where I wanted to be years ago after I studied psychology in university, wanting to find a way to help others. I am also rediscovering that I am an intelligent woman, I do have things to offer and my last has not been wasted!
As for my son, well he has met with one of the members of the drug and alcohol team three times now, someone my son feels a connection with based on their common knowledge and understanding. Someone who "gets" him. They have come up with the beginnings of an action plan and it looks promising at the moment though I am being cautious about my optimism. My son also agreed to seeing a psychiatric nurse on a spur of the moment visit (there was of course a phone call an hour prior to see if it would be ok) since my son was asleep when the scheduled home visit took place. This took place yesterday and it dispelled my son's fears that we are trying to get him "locked up" in hospital, but there is still an element of uncertainty. Hopefully it may lead to other avenues being explored, or maybe not, at least that door is now open.
I am willing to talk to anyone, seek help from anywhere because I have been saying all these years to my son,you have to keep trying and weed through a lot of people and services and advise until you find the one that will help you. It was too daunting for him, after one bad experience or outcome, he did not want to try again. I feel I must keep on and try harder than before to help us find the person or the program or the treatment that will be the one, the one that will put us all on the road to recovery because at the end of the day once my son starts to recover from his drug dependency and addiction, we as a family will all have to recover from the damage done to each of us individually as well as a family who can function as a healthy unit.