Most of you know that I have a son whom I rarely blog about, but when I do...watch out! The reason I say this is because he is a recovering drug addict...heroin to be exact. As far as I know, he has been clean for 16 months now...from heroin...not sure about his other addictions. Yes, he has several. He is addicted to cigarettes, alcohol and not sure what else but I know he has, and probably still does, smoke pot.
His name is Tyler. He will be 25 this month and I adore him. He's a precious soul. He was most definitely my easiest child to raise and definitely my most mellow, easy-going, laid back little peacemaker. My girls are I.N.T.E.N.S.E. (not a bad thing, actually quite humorous, just who they are) and he is the polar opposite of them. Anyway, this little peacemaker hit his late teens and decided to try heroin. I don't know the details and I guess they don't really matter. What does matter is his decision to take that first hit. It didn't just happen, it was a decision. He made it and had no idea how that one decision would affect his life and the life of the people who know and love him for years to come.
I don't have much contact with this sweet boy. Oh, we have the occasional Facebook conversation usually consisting of some post he makes with me commenting on it. We text each other about once a month and if it's a really good month, we actually speak on the phone. I think I have seen him in person maybe 10 times this entire year...and we live only about 45 minutes apart from each other. Very sad...
"Love and Disconnect"...those words come into my mind when I think of my baby boy. After all that we have been through together, this is where we have ended up. The multitude of lies, stealing, enabling, worrying, falling apart, aching, agonizing...well you get the point, I have had to remove myself from the daily goings-on in his life. I am proud of him for the good things that he is able to accomplish and no longer surprised at the stupid mistakes he still makes. Because of my inate desire to enable him, I have had to disconnect in some way and it sometimes kills me.
This is my child, my baby to be exact. This is the sweet boy who cared more for others than even himself. Who stopped his car, in a blizzard, to help total strangers who were in need. The boy who was fierce on the football field, basketball court or baseball diamond. This is the boy who was protective of his single mother and scrutinized the men I dated, issuing them a "warning of bodily harm" if they didn't treat me right (tongue in cheek). And then we lost him...not to death, to something even worse...drugs.
The gammut of emotions is impossible to list in one post. I have spent way too many hours, days even months beating myself up and blaming myself for his situation. I even almost died from a heart condition exaserbated from the stress of worrying about this child for several years. I have felt helpless and completely hopeless at times. I have isolated myself and have hidden myself from the truth because it was too impossible to acknowledge...but his choices are not a measure of anyone in his family. He does not determine my self-worth or define who I am.
Please don't get me wrong, I haven't given up on him, I just no longer know what to do. I am desperately looking for an Al Anon group to attend and maybe even some one-on-one counseling to help me. I know what NOT to do, I just don't know anymore what TO do. How do I mother this 25 year old (going on 12)? How do I help him without enabling him?
So I have found a group that meets on Wednesday nights, about 25 minutes from where I live. I am going to my first meeting in two days. I'm terrified and excited all at the same time. You see, I'M the one who now needs help. I'm the one who needs to learn how to live in this new world of mine that I did not choose, but that I have to acknowledge. I am excited, I am terrified. I know that I'm not alone and in a way that makes me sad because it makes me realize that there are other good, loving parents who have or are living the hell that I have lived. I will make it through this. Hopefully Tyler will make it through this as well. I'll keep you posted and any prayers are deeply appreciated. God bless us all!