I was told I need to blog again by a friend. What’s hard though is beside a few fun glimpses into my life on Facebook, I’ve had no desire to write. Frankly, my life has been really painful the last three years and I fell into a pretty harsh depression. I still had moments of laughter, I went to work every day, I enjoyed time with my family and friends. But there were days that getting out of bed was almost too much to bear. I did it. But without joy. I plodded along through the day and buried my sorrows in my work – easy to do as a hospice nurse, because frankly everyone one of the families I helped were having a worse day than I was.
I didn’t even know I was depressed because I was so depressed. There was no introspection, there was, work, life, husband, kid-crap – rinse and repeat. It was like being a robot. I was without life. I never wanted to kill myself – but if a semi ran me over, I would have welcomed it.
I’m finally crawling my way out of it.
My therapist has also suggested I write. He doesn’t care about what, nor did he recommend blogging per se. But it seems to be what I know.
What started it all? August 2014 my sister died. Then my son started using drugs and within almost a year he went from ‘experimenting’ to a full-blown addiction. People who love people with addiction know that really addiction starts with that first taste of whatever ---- but it took us a year of trying different things to ‘help’ him before we realized the extent and got him the right kind of help (we sent him to private school, drug tested him, took away his car, out-patient, and finally in-patient).
I was thinking today about the night he went to his in-patient program. We found out he was continuing to use while in his out-patient program. I came home one day to find one of his ‘user’ friends standing in my kitchen. I must have just broadcasted rage, because he sort of backed out of the kitchen and out the front door without saying anything to me. When Jake came downstairs, he tried, in the manipulative way that addicts try, to make me feel this was more my problem than his. He left the house and I called the out-patient program. I asked my options, we did a dance back and forth – I think it was hard for them to come out and say, ‘yeah he needs a stronger, more intense program’ so finally I said, “MAKE IT HAPPEN”. I may, or may not have sounded possessed. They took Jake out of the ‘class’ and it was then he confessed to them he had continued to use. And then he confessed it to us. We got it all planned and he left to Arizona two days later.
He stayed with other people during those two days.
He came to dinner the night he left, he did not want us to drive him to the airport. He and his friends (friends from the program – kids who are good kids who had made the same mistakes that Jake made and were now on the mend, kids that knew what he was going through, kids that understood him. His family were no longer the ones that understood him, or the ones he would turn to. In fact we were the last people he wanted to be around.
He wasn’t angry about going to in-patient. He embraced it. It was the first time he really wanted to admit to a problem and wanted to start working on getting sober. So his anger at us wasn’t about sending him there. He just did not want us in his life at that moment for reasons we still aren’t privy to and may never understand.
We ate dinner with Jake and his friends, the friends he had been staying with, the friends that were taking him to the airport. Great boys who got it. But they also got us. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t eat. I just wanted to hold my boy and never let go. I wanted so badly to go back to when he was a toddler and I could take away his pain by hugging it away. But this man-child had to be told by his friends to hug me good-bye.
And he got into the car and I had to wait almost 8 weeks before I could see or talk to him again.
It was probably the hardest night of my life.
But it was also a beginning. Not just for his healing but for my own.