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Message Board > Recovery Diaries > Descent Back Into Hell...

Posted by: MotherW October 13, 2006, 3:12 PM
I’m glad the moderators are allowing us “mothers of addicts” to post as we work on our own recovery. I’ve kept my own private journal and will put excerpts from my journal onto this site in the hopes of helping other parents work their own recovery and for me to be able to look at and reflect.

Even now, as my daughter is coming up on her third attempt to kick heroin and has made it to almost 11 months – she seems to be doing much better than I. Oh, I seem to be doing well for the most part, for most of the time – it’s the occasional quiet moments, when I am alone with my own thoughts or like when I saw a photo of her the other day from her using days, or when something like “Intervention” makes its way to my TV screen, that my heart spirals backwards and begins to tumble. But, then I catch myself and remember where I am today and who is in charge. I have a “higher power” – Jesus, and He’s working for me – with me. I am healing – I know I am – sometimes, I almost feel like that big fat Cheshire cat, lying lazily in the sun and life couldn’t be any better; but then there are those painful memories that try to creep up and haunt me and makes me think too much…too much about yesterday and tomorrow.

Posted by: MotherW October 15, 2006, 6:00 PM
On October 31 of 2003, I was a long way away from where I am today. My precious daughter had gotten herself caught up into heroin use...again, and this was me, then:

"And so tonight I step away from what is calling me into the horrible descent - that horrible descent back into hell. Isn't it so ironic that of all nights, it is October 31! It's 9:00 p.m. and I just hung up from talking to a heroin addict who is in denial. Someone who thinks everyone else is wierd and our lives are all screwed up. A heroin addict who is in denial, who has become the biggest liar and who used to be my beautiful and innocent daughter. When will the Lord stop this terrible trembling inside of me!! I can barely find the keys on the board. I've been with her thru this descent before and I wasn't sure I could survive it then!! I think it might be harder the second time around! My God, my hands are trembling so I can barely type. I can barely think - my God, I can barely breathe! Yet, I feel like I need to write these feelings down, it seems like maybe it will give this trembling a place to go - words flowing onto a computer screen, sort of like how blood rushes to be absorbed by a paper towel. I had to call her - so much I wanted to hear her admit her addiction and cry out to come home to all of us who love her so much. I didn't hear anything remotely close to that! What happened to Jenny? How can a stupid powder change a human being so much? I can't understand that, but I have to accept that it has. Oh my poor baby - my soul aches for you. I wish I could set you free - I tried. I know she didn't mean all the horrible things that came out of her mouth; this powder has altered my daughter! It's forced the old Jenny to be hidden away, deep below the surface. But I trust God and I know God is at work even while I cannot see it right now. He is at work. I know my God - He is faithful and never changing. I wish He would take away my trembling. I can't call Jenny for a while, I need to regain my own strength - to become strong in the Lord and strong in myself. If she calls asking for help, I will be there, strength would immediately flow through my veins in such a way that Atlas himelf would be green with envy!! Don't pity me - each day, I will grow stronger and the joy of the Lord will restore my soul. But, right now, I am weak and so I cry ... and wait for the trembling to go away 'cuz I hate that part."

Posted by: MotherW October 17, 2006, 10:21 PM
I truly am a woman of faith - a mother of faith. But, after finding out my daughter was using again, man, I was so lost and so full of a pain that was nearly unbearable. I was like a crazy woman, lost in the dark, trying to feel my way back home! Thank God I made it!

"11-01-03, Saturday

Oh Lord, help me. Help me to be strong. Jenny called me lastnight and said she wanted to come home - that Ben (her boyfriend) was mean. I wished she meant it and I wish she would come home. Oh, Lord, you say you won't give us more than we can bear, but my soul feels so weak and so ready to collapse. How can I go on? It's 12:30 pm my time, 10:30 am her time. I know she is awake - I hope. I hope she isn't dead. I wish I didn't even have to think like that, but heroin is real and along with it comes the dangers. Oh God, turn back time, please. My heart hurts - oh please call me, Jenny! I have to get myself together. I can't be responsible for her choices, but Lord I love her so much and I hear the torment in her sweet voice and my heart hurts for her. I will do what I can and trust in God to do His part.

Well, it's 5:30 pm and I've called Jenny twice already today. I know I have to stop - I think this is it. I don't even know where or how deep this pain goes, but it's unreal. It's like nothing I've ever felt - I hate this. I know I asked God to provide concrete proof if He wanted me to know. A while ago, I had a dream of her shooting heroin in her arm - it was such an awful sight and a horrible dream. I think since that day, I've sort of knew - maybe even before then. I think she's in it pretty deep. Oh boy. Ben is telling her things - things like she only has to live for herself and doesn't have to answer to anyone else - isn't that an addicts code of living if I've ever heard one!! He's poisoning her against me and I don't know how to stop it. Yes, I do..I will let go and let God. Truly, I am not going to call her anymore. I can't. I just wanted to hear her voice and know that she was alive. I could tell she was high and I hated hearing her voice like that. Oh gosh, she said awful and hateful things. I never knew what an addict was like when they weren't ready to admit their problem yet. It's the ugliest thing and it fills me with such anger!! HOW CAN THIS AWFUL DRUG STEAL MY BABY!! I won't let it!! I will get her on every prayer chain I can find!! I will not give up!! I can't!!"

Posted by: MotherW October 20, 2006, 6:33 AM
Today, peace is within me. Today, I can smile and I can almost laugh with abandon again! I hope and pray I continue to grow in my own recovery. It is so hard having a child who is an addict - how do you walk away from your kid? I can't. I am reminded of how far I have come from where I used to be!

" November 4, 2003 - Tuesday 8:21 pm

Well, I talked to Jenny today. I couldn't help myself - I just wanted to hear her voice. She is so precious to me. I stayed strong. She was curt with me at first. Her voice cracked a little like she was going to cry. My heart can barely contain itself just knowing about the heroin - what could be worse than that, I wonder?? I guess I'm doing better today, but I am aching to hug Jenny and have her home where she can be safe. God forgive me for feeling like I do about Ben. I know it's not right to feel this way, but right now I can't think of anything I would rather do than to slap him so hard in his face and curse him right into hell. It pains me so much to know what a slave she is to this awful drug and to Ben. She doesn't even see it - I love her so much and I just wish I could peel the scales off her eyes so that she could see. Sleeping is better, but not good. Peace of mind is hard to come by these past few days. I did talk to Brian this morning and it was so good to hear his voice, too. What irony is this? My son is away in Iraq at war and my daughter is away fighting her own war, too. I've lived my life for these two and I don't expect to lose either of them! Funny, Brian is off in a war he didn't really choose to partake in and Jenny is in a war she chose to be in. Her own self-inflicted war. But it's not really her own, it's mine, too. I know God is at work in ways that I do not know and that I cannot see. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1."

Posted by: MotherW October 22, 2006, 8:37 PM
It's so odd to me - I am not an addict, yet I have to work the same recovery program as my daughter. I don't get it. I did not choose to use drugs or drink, yet I am thrust into the same world as the addict. I guess even if I don't ever understand it, I know this - I have learned that recovery is something I must now do for myself - and it is a constant life-long thing that I will have to work at. I wonder why it is called "recovery" since you never really recover. It's always there, tucked away as deep as we learn to push it.

"November 5, 2003 - Wednesday, 8:53 pm

Today was a bad day. I trembled so much and I wonder if a day will ever come when I don't cry. I feel like I'm all alone. I have no one to lean on and no one to talk to. I can't share with anyone how much pain is deep down; there is no one I know who would understand because I don't know anyone else who has been through this. Sometimes I feel so weary - it's like I can just sit and stare into space, but my mind doesn't rest. I called Jenny again today, but on her cell phone when I knew she would be at work and left her message telling her I missed our talks and I made up some reason for calling. I just wanted to hear her. I can't go on like this. I think it's funny how life keeps shoving you forward, even when you don't want to go. Sometimes I look at those semi's driving by me on that little two-lane Hwy 20 and I think how just a little jerk of the wheel would put me in their path, but I don't really want to do that. I know there is hope and I need to "wait upon the Lord." I just want my baby girl whole and healthy; spiritually and physically and mentally. I have to say I do feel better tonight than this morning. I went after work and helped to pack up stuff for the soldiers in Iraq (including my son!). It did feel good to talk with those other ladies and to be around other people. People who know nothing about me except I have a son who is a soldier in Iraq. I think I need to get involved helping others and I think less of my own pains."

Posted by: MotherW October 25, 2006, 8:00 PM
I am in a place now where I am much more skeptical than I ever used to be. I used to trust people so easily and I sort of miss that outlook and that attitude. I want to trust my daughter again, but I don't. As of right now, I'm not sure I ever will. But, I know that's okay. I have to keep my faith in my higher power, Jesus. I have got to keep my foundation in Him and in taking care of me....finally!!

"November 14, 2003 - Friday, 8:47 pm

I almost didn't cry for a whole day yesterday. But Jenny hadn't called and I just wanted to talk to her. I called and regretted it the moment I heard her voice. She must have just taken a hit. She sounded so high and it just broke my heart. She couldn't even talk to me - I am sure I interrupted her high. It scared me so bad, but she didn't want to talk; she could barely talk. Her voice was so lethargic; I thought I was going to quit breathing; I was so incredibly terrified and sad. I'm sure she picked up on the panic in my voice. I thought I hid it but when I talked to her today, she said she knew I thought she was high, but she wasn't; said she just had a headache and was just in a bad mood and didn't want to talk to anyone, and yada, yada, yada. Lies and lies and more lies. Where, oh where, has my little girl gone? Where, oh where, is Jenny? I know she's there - I see glimpses of her now and then and I hear her sweet voice every so often. But then the drug keeps trying to push her down and this ugly person that I don't even know who is full of anger surfaces and says such mean things. I can't lose my joy, I just can't. It's the thing that gives me strength. To find joy in the Lord, despite this. Jenny will overcome - in time, she will see. She has to - I won't give up on God or the power of prayer. I can't or it will surely kill me."

Posted by: MotherW October 30, 2006, 9:06 PM
Even today as I have grown stonger in "letting go" of my addict and focusing on myself, I still have bad days where I think too much about yesterday and I cry. But, this time, I only cry for a minute and then I'm okay. I hate that happens, though, and I hope that someday, it doesn't hurt so much to remember.

"December 5, 2003 - Friday, 8:03 pm

I love Jenny and would do anything to help her. I know she didn't mean to get caught up like this. I know who she is right now, isn't really Jenny. I know she can't help saying the things she sometimes says that hurt. She doesn't mean to hurt me in any way and I do know that and I truly believe that. She is so beautiful, inside and out, and she made a real bad choice for which she alone is accountable for. She has to pay her consequences for whatever future choices she makes and I only pray and hope she makes the Godly ones. I know I cannot live my life crying anymore; I cannot live my life worrying anymore. I've got to live. I'm sad if she doesn't choose to live as well, but I know it has to be her choice. I have to let go and let God. I'm trying to do that and I really do want to do that. I can't stand watching shoppers in the stores and the Christmas lights twinkling and the Christmas music I love so much that now brings pain to me. I can't let that keep hurting me like it does.

I can't figure out how to love life and be happy when someone I love and care about so much is in so much pain and trouble. I know I have to trust God and I do; I just wish I could figure out how to be happy and feel joy when my precious daughter is slowly killing herself."

Posted by: MotherW November 6, 2006, 8:58 PM
Thanksgiving is almost here. I find it nearly impossible not to keep my joy from exploding!! I'm going along, feeling good about life. Thankful my daughter is still working her recovery, thankful for my family and just so much and then, I see that thing that triggers a memory of when my daughter was in the throes of her addiction and it penetrates my joy But - here's the good thing - it only is there for just a moment - a brief and silent moment - and then it's all good again inside.

"December 8, 2003 - Monday, 7:37 pm

Brian called me this morning. He sounded a little down at first, but he sounded better as we talked more. The holidays will be hard for them overseas and at war. I just pray my Lord keeps our boy safe and brings home alive and well. I miss Brian so much. I can't wait to cook for him again! I can't for his big shoes to be lying in the middle of the floor - I just can't wait to hug him! And, Jenny. I can't wait to see her and hug her. I'm sort of scared 'cuz I don't know what I will find. A broken spirited addict with the fight of her life ahead of her. I pray she can make it. I've made so many internet friends on a recovery board who have gone thru similar things. It really helps me to talk to them. Jenny will come back Sunday. She will come back and God will deliver her from this horrible addiction. He is already moving on that. It's amazing how once I turned this over to God, He moved so quicly. When I kept trying to hang onto it, it was taking forever and all I felt was overwhelmed and full of grief. I am still sad, but I can rest better knowning God is in control. I did cry today, but it is better. I would have done better, but I caught up in a Christian song and it moved me and touched me being in this situation and all and I just cried - it just triggered it or I would have been okay. I think."

Posted by: MotherW November 16, 2006, 9:01 PM
Once upon a time, a long time ago, I had no idea how far I needed to go. I had no concept of where I needed to get myself mentally. Today I have a little more peace in my soul and spring in my step. Today, I am doing okay.

"January 21, 2004, 8:23 pm

I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on. Mentally, it is very hard. I feel like mush on the inside and this shell that surrounds it, is so fragile, that if one more thing touches it, it will shatter to the ground. Is this what a nervous breakdown begins to feel like? I don't know. I need Brian home from Iraq and Jenny to stay clean and I need money to pay the bills. This is so hard. God help me. God help us.

January 23, 2004, 9:42 pm

The crisis has passed - I think. For the first time in my entire life, I thought I was going to step over that line - that line that separates the sane from the insane. I thought I was going to have a meltdown. I'm not sure what happened or even why. Brian is coming home in April and, for the moment, Jenny is clean off heroin and seems to be doing fine and going to NA meetings. I don't know what it is. When I was driving home the other night, I started crying so hard, I began to vomit. Then the other night, I felt as though I was sinking, going under, drowning, but not in water. I can't explain it really. I was scared, I thought my mind was going to snap. I didn't realize how fragile the human brain can be. I just kept thinking that I had to see Brian - I couldn't go under, not yet anyway. I just kept saying out loud to no one but myself that I had to see my son when he comes home from Iraq and hug him; I miss him so much. With all that's been going on with Jenny in addition to Brian being gone, I guess it was too much once I slowed down. I think it just came up behind me and slapped me in the head - real hard! Jenny has to make it, she just has to.

Right now, I feel very fragile. Like I could cry so easy. It's so funny, too, 'cuz even when I talk to people, even Jenny, I know they have no idea how much I am freaking out inside. I act so normal when I talk - I can tell. I think if they knew how scared I was inside or how ready I am to just lie down and cry and cry. I wonder if other people ever feel this way, too? Like an actor and life is a stage - all our real feelings are hidden down inside. I don't have anyone to share them with. I have no one to physically hold me and reassure me that everything is gonna be okay. I have God, though, and I have His word and HIs promises and it is on that I will stand!!

I'm going to visit Jenny tomorrow to go to a Fitness Expo with her. It will be fun. She went out with her friend, Aaron, lastnight. She met some of his friends and said she had only two beers. She said she had fun."

Posted by: MotherW November 30, 2006, 9:47 PM
I remember a time in my life when I used to be able to laugh and smile without a care in the world. Life was good. But then along came my daughter's addiction to heroin and my son's trip to Iraq. These things changed me, but, I believe, for the better. I never saw me as self-centered or particularly pre-occupied with myself, but now, now when I laugh, it is no longer without a care in the world. Now there is a very tender and raw spot in my heart that is reserved for that addict still using and for that mother, father or spouse who love them so very much. And in that same spot, is that soldier fighting overseas in a war which I don't quite understand. Always, always, when I smile and start to think about how grand my life is going now, I remember them and whisper a silent prayer.

"February 25, 2004 9:04 pm

Sometimes I just sit all alone in my living room, the tv is on and yet it feels so quiet, so lonely. I feel like as though I am all alone in this world. The silence surrounds me and at times it feels like it's going to pull into some abyss from where I might not ever return. Things seem almost dreamlike at moments. I wonder about Jenny - is she really clean? I shouldn't have these doubts and I don't want to. I want to live my life, but it's so hard to move ahead. I'm scared that when I start to, I'm going to get pushed back again. LIke when she left this summer and I felt like she was beginning her life, independent, and that now my life could start. I was fixing up my house and feeling so alive, or was I? I though I should get some help...mental help. I love God and I know He is there and He is always with me. It's just that sometimes, sometimes it's still lonely and I get scared of what could happen. Funny, when I look at what I just wrote, I realize how crazy that is. How can a person ever be happy if they are worrying about what could happen. I have to quit that."

Posted by: MotherW December 4, 2006, 10:20 PM
Thanksgiving has come and gone and that old song kept running thru my head..."what a wonderful world." Old wounds are healed, or at least buried for now. My daughter was with us for the first time in a very long time and she was clean. I am hopeful that 2007 will be a whole new year of discovery and continued growth...for both of us.

"March 17, 2004 7:57 am

2003 has been the most horrific year of my entire life. I hope and pray that I never have to relive something like that again. I try not to keep looking back at it, but it haunts me. I always say you can't move forward if you are looking back, but 2003 tugs at my mind almost constantly some days. Brian went off to war and I never dreamed in my whole life that would happen. The very thought of it terrified me. And, drugs were never something I thought about with my own children. I never thought they would enter our lives. But, now I have been touched by the very things I never dreamed would happen. Now, I just have to learn how to live with it all. I have to learn how to adjust my mind. Soon, Brian will be home. I pray constantly that he comes back emotionally, spiritually and physically whole. And, soon, Jenny will be back. I pray, too, constantly for her to return emotionally, spiritually and physically whole. I know she is back physicially, but he road to recovery is long. And, so now that we are in 2004, I fearfully wait to see what it will bring. I want to explode in joy and thanksgiving, but I'm scared to. I'm scared to have faith for a better year. I thought when Jenny got clean in 2002, she was really getting clean - I had no idea that all along she was still using. How blind can I be? I wonder if I am blind now? This is indeed a hard, hard road. But, I do not walk alone - I know my God is with me and I know that even though my roots have been shaken in a way like they have never known, they are still rooted. I know the furthest I can fall is to my knees. I know my Lord is taking care of me and carrying me and keeping me as strong as I can be through all this. And, I know, too, that He will make it all good - I just have to keep the faith even when it's hard to walk some days, I have to keep the faith and know that He is there and with Him, I will overcome."

Posted by: MotherW December 11, 2006, 10:57 PM
My daughter's many relapses helped not only her to grow, but myself as well. You know up until this heroin thing, I always fancied myself as a "strong" woman. Ha! Little did I know how much I had to grow. And, even now, though I know I have grown in strength, I know there will always be room for continued growth. And, actually, I am thankful for that. The pain of my daughter's addiction will always be with me - whether she is using or not. Somehow, by the grace of God, I am learning to co-exist with that pain and I am continuing to grow.

"Monday, April 5, 2004, 8:08 pm

Something deep down in my gut is telling me something isn't right. Lord, I pray I am wrong and it is just suspicion. But something is tearing at me and it won't go away. Jenny is spending so much money and says she is going out and spending a lot on cab fare. I don't know - I just don't buy it. She didn't go to her meeting tonight. I don't know - just lots of unexplained things. She isn't talking so negative about the drug anymore, but is instead wondering if her life was actually better before. Says all the stress of a job and stuff is making it hard. Oh, Lord, as I re-read what I type and I see it in black and white, I am terrified. Oh, please, just don't let it be. Gosh, I think of all the things she's said lately: like, "I should have stayed with you for awhile." "I think I'm getting a cold." and she had sniffles. She doesn't eat much anymore - she asked, "Didn't you notice?", and I guess I did, but I don't know what I was thinking. Supposedly, she is drinking, but I don't know. It would break my heart, but I would not spend another penny on her. She supposedly is just sitting around that apartment all the time with that new guy "friend" of her's and supposedly she says he doesn't like heroin - only marijuana and alcohol. As if that's better?? She must think I'm stupid. But. it's tearing me up. I love her, though, I love her so much and I will stay in prayer for her..and for myself. Brian should be back from Iraq within just a few weeks - my heart will sing with joy! I cannot wait - I think that is a lot of what keeps me going!! That - and God!"

Posted by: MotherW January 1, 2007, 7:32 PM
It's a new year - 2007. Okay, I am going to work harder at being stronger. I don't really have a plan to do that, but I have to figure it out some kind of way. It was one of those nights lastnight where you keep having that same dream over and over again. I kept dreaming Jennifer was getting heroin. I hated those dreams. The good thing was that I didn't even think about it when I woke up this morning. The dreams woke me during the night, but I had forgotten about them until just a bit ago. I guess a part of me is concerned for Jennifer. Just some things going on that make me uncomfortable, but I have to push past that. I have to refocus. I have to catch myself and let go. Cripes, I am a CONSTANT work in progress!! Sometimes I get sick of it all.

"Sunday, April 11, 2004, 7:45 pm

It's Easter. I am thankful for God's gift in the risen Christ. I am heartbroken at the news I received today. Brian called me - he's not coming home from Iraq! He was told his stay was going to be extended - he was due to fly home April 15 - 4 days away! I don't understand this at all. The fighing in Fallujah didn't seem all that bad that it would warrant this. I don't understand - I miss Brian so much. So, here I go, crying again. It seems like that's a lot of what I've been doing lately. Can you run of out tears? I don't know. Jenny is doing good, though. She was thinking she was stronger than she was, though. Maybe even having thoughts that she could be around Ben and not use; thinking it might be okay for him to come here. She knows better now - and this knowledge came to her from the words of a recovering alcholic working at a bar. An old bartender she knows and respects - God works through all kinds of people. I just pray and believe that Brian will be coming home soon; I just can't accept any less. I tried not to cry when he told me, but I couldn't help it. I thought I was going to lose it. I can't image how he must feel. Dear God, please hold him close to you, bring him peace and patience. Thank you , God."

Posted by: MotherW January 29, 2007, 9:12 PM
I have learned so much through my daughter's addiction. I have learned to make time my friend...and my friend has brought me to a new life. I say a new life because that's really what it is. I am living in a new way now and in a peculiar sort of way, my new life actually has so much more depth to it now. The rose colored glassed are gone - I don't need them anymore.

"Sunday, July 4, 2004 9:00 pm

July 4 and here I am - home. Home enveloped in my own private grief. A grief so strong that sometimes it seems like it could nearly destroy me. Yet, it does not. I go on. By the strength and the grace of God - I go on. So many reasons that only joy should flow through my soul, yet it doesn't. At times, thoughts of yesterdays and fears of tomorrow cripple me. Brian is still in Iraq. He has only two more days of missions and then he goes to Kuwait and should be flying home around July 19. I want to burst with joy at the thoughts of that, but I get nervous thinking it might not really happen. I miss him so much. So very much. No holiday is the same without him here.

Jenny is doing good, but not going to NA meetings anymore and that bothers me. It really bothers me. She's not using - she says - and I believe her, yet there is a little tug at me refusing to fully let go and believe. I think she just works so much and then spends her spare time with this new boyfriend and just doesn't find the time for the meetings, but I sure do wish she would. I am going to pray she makes it back to a meeting real soon and gets her 6 month key chain. I finally understand the words to the Christian song- not sure how it all goes, but the chorus says, "Please hurry..." and I get it. I pray He hurries and delivers us unto a new heaven. Praise God and help me to keep on hanging on until you see fit to return.

I wonder when I will ever learn to live again."

Posted by: MotherW February 5, 2007, 9:46 PM
It feels good to have fun again. Gosh, it feels good to laugh. I didn't know if that would ever happen again, but it has. I feel stronger inside. Still, I can't help but wonder, can I just laugh now because my daughter has been off heroin for over a year? I don't want my joy to be based on where Jenny is in her recovery. Just how deep is my own recovery? No matter how deep it goes, I do know this much, I know I will survive - I will survive. Life is God's gift to me - how can I not embrace it?? Yes, I will be okay.

"Sunday, July 18, 2004 10:37 pm

I had a realization tonight. I realized I couldn't just let joy pour out of me anymore. I am still grieving. I am afraid. I am afraid to let joy run through my veins for fear it be stolen away again. It's pushed way down deep, but I feel bad I don't let it up..but I can't. Tonight, for one brief moment it started pushing itself out and I started to sing out loud , but then I froze and I realized I can't do that - I can't sing out loud, I can't let myself get too happy 'cuz if I do, the fall is a lot harder. Brian is coming back from Iraq on Thursday. I hope that doesn't change. And, Ben called here for Jenny yesterday, but I am not going to tell her. She seems to finally be getting herself back on track. I think. I want to believe that, but a part of me just doesn’t. I saw on her cell phone bill where she called Ben. She denies it, but it's right there. I hate those ugly lies - they remind me of heroin and how she used to lie to me then. All the ugly little lies she was telling me...and herself. Joy. I hope I haven't lost it forever."

Posted by: MotherW February 7, 2007, 8:47 PM
War is war - whether it is amongst the nations or within ourselves. And, if we plan our strategy just right, victory should be ours. I believe that. I don't believe we can just let ourselves keep going day in and day out without any goal in sight and we just can't think it will go away. There comes a time in our life when we have to stand up and fight for our own sanity or else we will never be whole again. It is up to each one of us who are flooded with desparation and gripped by fear to somehow get a battleplan and fight for our own lives. I may have lost some battles, but I do believe I am winning the war!

"Saturday, July 24, 2004 11:09 pm

Brian is back! He is back in the United States he is back at his base! I just hung up from talking to him. When I found out he actually was on the plane - that the 933rd was really coming home - my legs turned to rubber. I wasn't sure how I could walk and I cried silent tears. I was at work and I just couldn't believe the news!! Now after talking to him, it seems he is changed. In a good way, though. More serious, more mature. It seems like he forgets he was away at war - he doesn't seem to understand the tears or why people would want to buy the soldiers dinner. He says it feels wierd to see grass and trees and deer. No more sand. He said the air feels clear. They left Kuwait and flew to Budapest, then to Bangor, Maine, and then home! I really wanted to be there to see him, but he didn't want me to. He said to wait until he's finally released and I will respect his wishes. I think he needs time right now to soak it all in. He said in a peculiar sort of way, he misses Iraq. It was his home for 18 months. I can't wait to see him!

I took Friday off and went up to see Jenny. She had a rough couple days - wanted to use, but didn't. She called her sponsor and went to a meeting. She quit her job and I just hope and pray she will find another one soon. Money is really tight, but I know I said as long as she gets home and clean that wouldn't be an issue. I got to trust God. I can't believe Ben called me and had the nerve to ask for Jenny and to ask for her number or where she was!! I feel for Ben – I know he has issues. But he and Jenny can never be. Never. She has tried so hard to come away from the grasp of that deadly drug that Ben put into her arm to begin with. For a heroin addict to make the choice to walk away from that life, it is a real miracle. July 14 was 7 months. A long time - but not long. She'll make it - she just has to.

My joy should not be dependent upon Brian or Jenny. My joy should be upon the Lord. So why can't I let go and just let it flow like it used to. Like it used to before war and heroin? Why do I keep looking back? Why can't I let it go?

Well, I just hung up from Jenny. She called me upset about this new guy she's seeing. My opinion is she could do a lot better - he sounds like a real loser, but I guess he treats her okay. At least they don't do heroin I dont' think. Anyway, I didn't say that to her, but she was upset with me because I suggested maybe she talk to him tomorrow when she hasn't been drinking. I don't know - she got mad, said she had to go. She cursed - not at me, but she curses so much - like she used to when she used heroin.

I wish she would turn to God - I wish that so bad. Where is she going, oh please, God, save her. My heart is so broken; sometimes it feels like it will never be fixed again. I want only for her to be happy. It pains me so much that she isn't. From the bottom of my heart, I pray, Oh Lord, rescue her, and bless her - and help me, please. Thank you, Jesus."

Posted by: MotherW February 12, 2007, 11:57 PM
I wonder if there will come a time when I quit straining my ear to the phone listening for that little sound that Jenny would get in her voice when she was high. I hate that I do that, but I haven't quite learned how to stop that one. I guess I should probably work on the other stuff, too. I know I need to stop looking for the pinpoint pupils and secretly trying to look at her arms. Cripes! Good thing she lives 65 miles away!! Sometimes I feel so scrambled inside.

"December 11, 2004, Saturday: 11:53 pm

Well, well...where have I been for so long! My computer was on the outs and I just finally got it fixed. Enough about that - Brian is home!! Really home - he came home July 28 and I will NEVER forget that day in all my life. When that bus pulled up and I saw him marching to formation, I thought I was going to faint. I couldn't even believe it was really him. I didn't want to let go of him when I hugged him - it felt so good. He looked so good. Man, how do I describe that feeling. I can't find the words. Maybe like someone who was lost and wondering in the desert when they finally see a lake of cool clean water. It bothered me that Jenny didn't come. It was just me and my sisters and my niece that went to pick Brian up. Why couldn't Jenny be there? I don't get to see her that much these days. Anyway, what a day of anticipation! We got there early - it was probably 5 hours or so before the buses finally rolled in - they had a police escort from each suburb and even in the city. People were pulling over on the tollway to let the soldiers thru and it was amazing. The media was everywhere and there was music and food and drinks and it was so incredibly hot out, but I didn't care! It was surreal. It was so nice when it was all over and it was just me and Brian and we could just talk. I had so much I wanted to talk to him about...but that was going to have to wait. He had his own stories to tell.

It will be one year on December 14 - three more days, that Jenny will have been clean off of heroin. She is still seeing this guy named Taz whom I've never met yet. She is not going to NA but still stays in touch with her sponsor - she says. She is working as a nanny and seems well adjusted to it and seems happy finally. She has problems with Taz - relationship things, she spends a lot of time with him - in fact, he stays at her apartment every night - he doesn't have a place of his own. I think he might be a mooch and so does she, but she says she is just enjoying the moment right now and will see what happens.

So many things that have happened, changes in all of us - yes, even me. I think good changes finally, but I am tired now so I will right more later. God is good - thank God for His son Jesus and for our many blessings."

Posted by: MotherW February 24, 2007, 12:18 PM
I have good days and bad days. Mostly good days - thank God, but those bad days make my head swim. If we could just turn back the clock. They say "if" is the biggest word in the English lanuage..and I beieve it!

"Friday, December 31, 11:43 pm

Well, it's almost 2005. Oh Lord, my heart is breaking - I am so afraid Jenny is using again. I want to believe her when she says she has the flu and she is just really depressed, but I don't. She talked to me with such anger in her voice that I am almost sure she is covering up again. She said she broke up with Tazm, but I don't believe her. I checked her cell phone account and I saw where he text her and she text him back. I don't know but I think, I wonder, if he is getting her heroin. God, I hope not. Oh, Jesus, please let me be wrong. So many lies from her, so many lies. She said she didn't text him and that he only text her twice, but because I could see the cell phone bill, I know for a fact she was lying. How is she going to get up out of this mess again? Jesus is the only way. Oh, Lord, help, please help."

Posted by: MotherW March 6, 2007, 10:59 PM
So - I am learning to co-exist with my daughter without making her and her recovery the focal point of my life. Man, it has taken some real work! I have to make a conscious choice to go away for the weekend or to even turn off my cell phone at the movies!! But, I am doing it - but, again, it doesn't come as a natural instinct - I think about it before I do it - I think about "what if she needs me." I think about it for a moment and I wonder if it will ever just be a natural act?? Time will tell - it's showed me so much already.

"Sunday, January 2, 2005, 7:59 pm

Well, Jenny and I had an argument today. A big one. She seems so mean, like she did when she used. I could tell as I was talking to her the past couple days that there was a tone in her voice similar to how she sounded when she used. I was thinking she was mad at me because I told her I saw suspicious calls on the cell bill – for which I pay!! She grew confrontational at that point and it was after that she had that attitude with me. It was ugly today, though. She was cool and distant - oh, Jesus, I swear it is like when she used.

She started saying I was the reason why she made the choices she did. I know that's not true, but it is painful to hear her say those things. She doesn't want to see her sponsor anymore - she says she wants to get a new one. She doesn't go to NA anymore.

A few times when I've talked to her, I felt an odd sense in my gut when I heard her voice. It didn't sound right. I can't tell if it's from the problems with her boyfriend or from drugs. But I also know, I can't be treated like that by her I put so much of my money and time in to help her. I have no regrets that I did, but I am not going to be pushed around and treated like that I wouldn't let anyone else talk to me like that and I am not going to take it from her either. I love her with all my heart and all my soul and would do anything for her, but I am not going to be a doormat. I know she wantrs to push me away so she can make her choices - no matter how wrong - and not feel that guilt she must feel when she talks to me. She said if I wouldn't have called her all the time in California, she would probably still be there. I thought she got clean 'cuz she wanted to?? I did not tell her to come home!!

God help me if I step back, help her, okay, God? I am going to step back and I just pray, dear Jesus, that you take over totally. I don't know what's going on with her, but the signs are heartbreaking to me. Oh help me, Jesus. Keep me strong and let me find joy through you, sweet Jesus - my dear, dear friend. I love you, please help me 'cuz I can't help myself."

Posted by: MotherW March 12, 2007, 11:02 PM
I can't believe that sometimes a whole day goes by and I haven't reflected even once on my daughter's addiction. I can't believe I actually went out and bought myself some very special and richly scented lotion and shampoo. I can't believe a lot of things these days...especially just how good God has been to me. And, pardon the cliche, I can't believe I can finally begin to exhale!

"January 13, 2005, Thursday, 8:08 pm

My suspicions about Jenny using are peaked to the max. She said she has not felt well for the past several days - sinuses she says. She said she threw up today at work - supposedly the smell of some dog food made her sick - dog food at work?? Then she said she was having chills and she was sniffling and coughing and yawning. Oh Lord, I am fairly certain of what those signs mean. I asked you, Lord, to tell me if she was. And I do believe you are trying. But, you know me, Lord - I just can't seem to let it in my head. Yesterday she said she almost didn't go to work and was going to go to the doctor for her "sinuses." It's not her sinuses. I know it, but I can't bring myself to believe it - not really. Yet, if I think of how her voice sounds and how she is tired and stuff. I don't know - it all sounds like before when she used. Her period was really, really bad this time - like how it gets if you use, then quit. She doesn't want me to spend the night because she claims I get up too early. She says she might come back and stay here overnight - but I don't think she will. She's just talking. Oh God - my heart is breaking. Why, oh Lord, why. Jesus, my dear friend, there is no one I can talk to - just you. So please be patient with me - my joy will return - it will. And I will try not to whine too much. Oh Lord, I don't want to lose her. I give her to you, Jesus, please - you take care of her, okay."

Posted by: MotherW March 17, 2007, 11:35 PM
Life is peculiar sometimes. These emotions that flow through our spirit causing us to act and re-act, causing us to be sensible or not. These emotions that sometimes strain us to the max. I hate wondering, I hate doubts, gosh, sometimes I hate that my old life was taken away from me. Sometimes I get on the pity-wagon and I hate that I do. Sometimes, oh, sometimes I wish I didn’t feel at all. But then I wouldn’t know the good feelings and those are so good. I just wonder if the scabs will ever fall off!! Still, I know God is good, that God has been good and that He continues to be good. Let me always be thankful and get up out of the pity-wagon…and fly!!

"January 25, 2005. Tuesday 7:07 pm

I have to write this down so I don't push it aside or play down the suspicions in my mind. As is typical, Jenny rode the city bus home from work when she got off at 6 pm and she called me at 7 pm and said she just got home. Said the bus was really slow. She had on her pj's and said she is just staying in - seems that's all she does these days. She bought herself an ice cream cake roll lastnight. She doesn't eat stuff like that. She doesn't keep that stuff around. Supposedly she is eating junk food more - she doesn't eat like that and lose weight. Her voice sounded different than it did when she called me at 6 pm from the bus stop. I don't know what to think. Whatever it is - if she is using - I cannot let it control my happiness or my own goals in my own life.

God help her - plesase help her to stay away from drugs. I don't know - I just don't know. She said she was tired and didn't want to talk to anyone and just wanted to eat her dinner. I think she was high. I think she called me to get me off her back so I don't call her and she can nod off or whatever. It just feels good to write it down so I can see in black and white what my heart doesn't want to believe."

Posted by: MotherW April 23, 2007, 9:26 PM
Things are getting better - sometimes I almost - a l m o s t - can forget my daughter is an addict. She seems so good now. But, I know I will never forget that she is an addict - for life. Addiction has now bonded itself to my heart and soul. Never again will I ever be like I was, nor will she. Yet, we each can still be free and I thank God for that.

"February 11, 2005. Friday, 9: 10 pm

Doubts continue to linger. I just called Jenny and she said she was just watching the news, but didn't feel talking to anyone, unless I really wanted to talk. It sounded very suspicious. She is always going down to her store to buy "food." Oh Lord, I think it's drugs. I really do. Oh God, I can't control her life or her lies. Earlier she said she just got back from the store and was going to eat - well, I think she was going to fix. So when I called her now, almost two hours later, she was just relaxing. Does she think I'm stupid? I know what she's doing and it breaks my heart. Oh Lord, help me stay strong.

February 21, 2005: Monday 6:58 pm

Has a crisis passed or just begun? I don't know for sure. Jenny was frank and honest - feeling bored and depressed and said her first thoughts are of heroin. I don't know what this means, or perhaps I do and I am just in denial. Either way, nothing I can do - i can't make her choices; she has to make them I will pray and I will not give up hope or believe in God. I pray she can find that relationship with God that is so critical to survival. My insides shook again today - oh, how I hate that feeling."

Posted by: MotherW April 29, 2007, 10:42 PM
Well, today is my birthday and it was a good day. Jennifer was here and she is clean. She got me some beautiful gifts, but nothing, absolutely nothing was as beautiful as just sitting back and watching her go thru the motions of life without drugs. I think sometimes I could just sit quietly back and just watch her and listen to her for hours - it's like a gift - like music to my ears and a comfort to my soul. It's a beautiful thing - recovery.

"February 27, 2005: Sunday, 8:58 pm

I took Friday off and spent the day with Jenny. She was having an awful crisis - she was full of anger, resentment, depression - had thoughts of heroin and wanting to use. She has the "anti-establishment" attitude that the addicts who are using have. I hate that so much. As the day worn on and we shopped and she spent the night with me, it seemed to go away. By Saturday afternoon when I took her home, she seemed better. I don't know - it's just so hard to deal with this; sometimes, well, nevermind. I just wish so much that she would never have done heroin, but she did. I loved shopping with her - she seemed pretty happy and yet she sometimes acts like she shouldn't be, like she thinks she has to act mad and angry. Still we had a good evening together, too. We watched Black Tar Heroin and I was hoping and praying it wouldn't trigger anything. We each went to bed about the same time and we each woke up about the same time, hot! So I turned the heat down at 2 am and we watched the movie! Then, like a fool, I let her take it home with her. Sometimes I just sit home alone and I just cry - I cry for the past and all that has happened. It's like an awful, horrible, horrible dream, except I have the scars to prove it was no dream. It seems like the scars aren't going away, it seems like the blood is still flowing from them and the pain is still there. I want to let go of it and sometimes I start to and it seems like I am starting to heal, but then my mind drifts to the past and the scar is ripped off and it hurts all over again. But, today, Brian and me went to lunch together - alone. I could not believe he went with me. I was so happy inside and everything else just drifted away. I didn't think about the drugs or the war or anything. I just enjoyed lunch with him. Gosh - it was so nice. I asked Jenny Friday if she was still happy she made the choice to leave heroin and she didn't answer - she gave me a look that said, "Not really." She says at least with heroin she is happy and not bored. Oh Lord, I pray she can get close to you - I pray she can develop a personal relationship with you and find the joy and the peace and the love you bring. I know I sound sad and cry, but I know, too, that I might shake and rattle, but I am not going to break, I am not going to fall. God is my rock and I know I will make it through - it just hurts but that's okay - it will pass."

Posted by: MotherW May 2, 2007, 10:31 PM
I read and re-read posts by so many on the Recovery Board and sometimes it is so overwhelming. I watch A&E's "Intervention" and it fills me with such pain. My own daughter has been clean for quite some time yet I still find myself constantly lurking about in this world of addiction. If I hear anything on the news pertaining to drugs, my ears perk up. When my son shares any of his stories from the streets and dealing with the drug sellers and buyers, my eyes well up with tears. I can't reflect on my own daughter's history of drug use without deep sadness. I don't know if this is good or bad to feel this way. I don't know if this will pass. Am I supposed to step away? You would think that since my daughter is clean and moving on and up in her recovery, that I, too, would move on and up and away from this world. Yet I am still treading water here and not planning on getting out anytime soon. I guess that's okay. Maybe that's a process and maybe one day, I'll move on ahead and be able to step away. Maybe one day, I will be able to talk about addiction and keep my voice from cracking.

" April 2, 2005. Saturday 9:48 a.m.

Spring has arrived and with it, a rebirth in my heart - a hope, a light, joy. Jenny is clean - she says. Doubts continue to peck at my heart and my mind, but I must keep faith always in God. I wonder how she can really be clean when the odds are so much against her, but to wonder that is to doubt our awesome God. It is only by God's hand that she was delivered - only by God's hand. I listen to the robin's singing outside the window, I see the flowers poking their head up out of the earth and I think to myself, that it's going to be okay. Somehow, some way God will take care of everything --- and I rest in that - well, I try to rest in that. "

Posted by: MotherW May 24, 2007, 11:36 PM
Forgive me, I guess I am having a bad moment. For Julie, for HB, for all of us with addicts and addiction just chipping away at our life. Sometimes it just seems like too much to take on, ya' know. Like I said, I guess I'm having a moment - I know it will pass, but right now, all the pain on this board is like a million bright lights flashing in my eyes. Makes me so sad. Wish it wasn't so, I know it will pass - this is recovery, a life-long process - strike that, a life-long struggle.

"August 20, 2005. Saturday. 6:55 pm

It's been a while - all summer. Jenny would be so mad at me if she knew how I still wonder if she is using. We had some words tonight - sort of. I told Jenny I wish she would go to NA again, or stay in contact with her sponsor. She told me it's her life and she will do what she has to do. It is her life, but it's mine, too. She is my life. I know it's not her fault and she didn't ask me to make her my life. It's just how mothers are. She can go on with her life and live and be happy, or she can choose to use again - it's all in her hands and she knows how she feels and what she will do. I don't. I don't know anything except the past and how she lied and used. Sometimes things happen that make me wonder if she is using, but then other things make me think not. Then I find myself going back and forth in my head and I cry and it drives me crazy. Then I tell myself it is her life and her choice and I just need to pray and trust God. Up and down, up and down I go. Oh, how I long for the days of old when my worries were so trivial. I can't reread any of this journal right now. I can't go over it - it's too hard right now.

On a lighter note, Brian got hired with the Police Department and he's very happy about it and I am very happy for him. Jenny is working as a pre-school teacher and she seems to be doing good there. Life is hard, but God is good.I pray, oh how I pray, to laugh again, to really laugh again. You know, that laugh that comes from the gut. Lord, I miss that feeling so much."

Posted by: MotherW June 11, 2007, 9:35 PM
Better days are here, that's for sure. Pains from the past poke at me now and then and even leave messages on my answering machine that throw me for a loop! It almost knocked me down, but not this time. For a minute, I dwell in self-pity, wondering what my life would have been like without the venomous sting of addiction. But I have to quit wondering because that slows down the healing and I cannot go back to where I was - ever!!

"September 11, 2005. Sunday, 8:40 pm.

I am crying so hard I feel like I am going to vomit. I have been trying to call Jenny for a couple hours now. I can always reach her on her cell phone but not tonight. Oh Lord...and she had that awful catch that I hear in her voice. That "catch" that is synonymous with heroin users. Oh Lord, please give me the strength because I do not have it on my own. Please God let her call me back. I've left her two voice mails. I don't understand or maybe I do. Oh please don't let it be heroin...please don't let it be any drugs, please Lord. I am so sad. Brian left for the police academy today He is doing so well. I am so happy for him. Oh please let Jenny call.

9:15 pm. Jenny finally called me back. I want to write this down so I don't forget it, so I don't get fooled again You know they are so good at doing that. Her voice was VERY slurred, slow - just like before. I told her I just wanted to see if she was okay, told her that her voice sounded "funny." She claimed she just got up - had been lying down. Said she had a late night. I reminded her I just talked to her at 6 pm and she sounded perfectly fine - she did. perfectly fine. We hung up. She called back as she had listened to my voice mail. She was angry and still very lethargic in her voice. It was awful, I tell you just awful. She was mean again, saying she didn't know we had to check in with each other. I apologized, she slurred and made some noise that was spiteful and said she better go. God. I know. She never seems to acknowledge clean time or talking to her sponsor anymore. I don't know. I wish I could get her pets from her."

Posted by: MotherW June 17, 2007, 10:41 PM
I remember when it was as though I clung onto an invincible shield to hold the walls back to keep them from crashing in on me. I didn't know that if I just let go, that the Lord, in all His wisdom, would pluck me up...just in time.

"October 15, 2005. Saturday 8:55 am

I think I need to get help - some kind of suppport group. It's been a year and ten months since Jenny has supposedly been clean. She seems to have moved on, I think. But me, I am tortured every day with thoughts of heroin. I could never tell Jenny. It's like I keep thinking about it and I can't seem to let go or move on. The pain and fear inside me doesn't seem all that much better than before. I am always wondering if Jenny is lying to me - most times I am certain she is. I think she has brought that guy down with her - she never comes to my house to spend the night anymore - why? because withdrawal symptoms will kick in. Her boyfriend comes to see her on her lunch break everyday - why? I am sure I know - to bring her a fix. Why can't I let go of all this and just live my life. The torment is horrible."

Posted by: MotherW June 25, 2007, 9:55 PM
Sometimes I just wish I could wash my hands of my addict, then I catch myself and guilt runs thru me. I know I should be glad she is clean and I am, I truly am. I remember when I wished she would come home for a weekend and now it's nearly every weekend that she comes back! I would NEVER dare to say this to her or to anyone - just right here. God forgive me for thinking like that. Forgive me for being selfish and wanting some weekends for me! I know she would stay home if I told her I was busy, but it's so hard to do that, ya know. She is so sweet and really a lot of fun and wonderful to be around. I just want her to not be dependent on me anymore than I want to be dependent on her. Is this what comes with recovery?? I need some help with this one!

"November 3, 2005. Thursday. 7:16 pm

It was a nice weekend, last weekend. I had a "sleep-over" here at the house with the ladies in our family. Of course, Jenny didn't come. I can't figure out why she doesn't ever come home anymore. It's been MONTHS. In fact, I can't even remember when she was last home. It makes me wonder - you know, about drugs. I just shake my head, what can I say, what can I do? I can work myself up into a frenzy and probably will before the night is over. But I am going to try not to. Oh, boy, here I go. Tears flood my eyes because I just don't know, or I do know. God help her because I can't. Lord, hold her in your hands and guide her on your pathway and keep her there - always and forever. I pray that she develop a personal relationship with Jesus. Amen.

Brian is away at the police academy - he has about another month left of it, then he's home and will be looking for his own apartment. We are all so very proud of him - he's worked hard to get to where he is at and I am happy for him."

Posted by: MotherW July 5, 2007, 10:59 PM
I was watching something on tv tonight and the parents had 3 young children and each of their children was blind. The kids were so cute and tiny and it made me start to feel real sad for the parents when I thought about how they had to look at their little kids and know the kids would never see their mommy's face - that their kids would never know the soft pastels of a rainbow or the beautiful blue of the sky. But then I thought of myself and my own situation. How I have a daughter who is an addict and all the pain and heartache that comes with addiction. Then I thought that maybe the parents with the three blind kids weren't so bad off after all.

"December 27, 2005. 8:55 pm

On 12-1-05, Jenny confessed to what I already knew. She has been using again. Heavily. And, guess what - as I re-read my entries here, I see I knew right from the start. I just didn't want to believe it. But I knew; I surely did. She confessed to using to me on December 1 so you can see I have avoided this for a while. She just called me a minute ago to say she ran down to the 7-11 to get some Tylenols. I don't believe her. I think she got some dope. Lord, help me, but I don't believe her. I believe in Him, though, and I believe in His power and His strength and I will always, always pray for Jenny to draw close to Him. If she does that, if she gets close to him, she will be just fine. I will wait and let God go to work.

Well, how did I feel when she told me. Brian was here. I asked her straight up if she was using and she said she messed up. You know what happened - my insides were shaking again, but I was trying to keep the outside together. I was doing okay, until I had to tell Brian I had to ask Brian to watch my animals and that I was leaving to go to Jenny's for the weekend. She wanted me to stay with her while she detoxed. Lord, how could I go thru that again! It was so hard before. But, I asked Brian to watch the house and the pets and then I lost it, for just a brief moment, and in that brief moment, every cell in my body cried out and I know my eyes revealed everything inside - torment, fear and a horrible realization - lost and broken and tired. Brian saw the pain in my face and I know he must have heard it in my voice. He asked if I wanted him to come with me. That's not like him, but I saw his face and I knew I had to gather myself together for his sake, too. I don't want my kids to worry about me.

I'm not as bad this time, you know. This addiction is her addiction, not mine. I'm not going out on a limb this time. She has to beat it on her own. I can't do it for her. I held her hand while she detoxed. The rest is up to her. She has the tools and it is up to her to use them. I will continue to grow and be my own person and live my life, too. I have to do that - and you know what, I want to do that.

Life is, well, life. We go on because it pushes us on. If we don't move forward, we will get trampled down by today. I pray God carries me right now because I'm a little too weary to walk."

Posted by: MotherW July 14, 2007, 1:00 AM
I recognized something in myself today. I was thinking back to how I used to be when I was so easily manipulated and fooled by my heroin addicted daughter. I was remembering that awful constant pain and how it gouged so deeply that it nearly destroyed me. Thinking about all that, made me realize, I will NEVER let myself go to that bad place again. Never again will her addiction cripple me. I cannot believe I can finally say that. I'm not going there again - that feels fabulous!

"January 24, 2006, 10:20 pm. My heart hurts - not all over like it used to, but that little part I keep for Jenny. That part that I let stay in my heart until I know she is safe. No, she isn't using again - i don't think, but she is showing signs of slipping. Of course, I prayed. That little spot was quiet for a while, but now it's stirred up and it hurts again. It won't spread, though. It is contained and I will still live my life. I just need to cry for just a little while. You see, that keeps the spot from spreading and taking over and destroying my heart. I need to contain it with some tears and some words so here I am. Tears pouring out of my eyes and words pouring out of my heart. May the Lord keep her in His precious hands and guide her to where she needs to be for a successful recovery. Amen."

Posted by: MotherW July 16, 2007, 8:48 PM
The pieces of my heart, soul and spirit are coming together again. I didn't even realize they were! But when it seemed like my daughter might be using again and that old panic started to rise in an attempt to choke me, I didn't just push it back down - I grabbed it and tossed out!! Man, it's time for me!!

"Wednesday, June 14, 2006. 9:45 pm

Why do we as parents of addicts have to feel this pain in our hearts? When does it ever go away? We have to separate ourselves from our children - we have to cut them loose so we don't enable. Then we have to wonder and hope and pray that they don't get hold of any of that "deadly" heroin going around the streets - like in Chicago right now with over 60 overdoses in the past few weeks. Sometimes we start to feel strong and sort of feel like we can laugh again from our stomach - we feel like maybe everything is going to be okay. But, then reality sets in and it bites and it bites hard. I know I need to follow my gut - so many little signs giving way once again. Nothing I can do stop it, but I wish I could. I just have to go with it and pretend like she isn't using again. I hope she isn't but, man, it seems like she's back on again. She's been hostile lately; she's had that little sound in her voice a few times here and there. She's not hitting hard yet and I pray she don't. Hanging on - that's what I'm doing, hanging on and learning how to live for me. God help me, okay. Man, oh man, how I've enjoyed those clean days - they were awesome for me. I wish they would have been for her. Can't say much more right now - it's too raw just yet and I have to "accept" what my head is telling me - i don't want to, though. Maybe??"

Posted by: MotherW July 28, 2007, 11:50 PM
Something I am struggling with is my sister's ignorance about the disease of addiction. Tonight she asked me why I want to watch all that stuff about addiction and I tell her that knowledge is power and I don't EVER want to go back to that place I was. Then I realize she doesn't know that place where I was. This is my sister who just happens to also be my best friend - we do trips together, go shopping, laugh together, cry together. I'm starting to feel like I don't want to hang with her so much anymore and I'm sad about that. Addiction changes so many things.

"Tuesday, July 11, 2006. 8:30 pm

Dear God, please help Jenny to stay strong and to find you and the joy and the peace that only you can bring. I want to let go and let God. I want to stay out of His way. Mountains move when I step back. Oh, it's so hard when it's your daughter. I love her so much. I don't want to lose her to something like drugs. Please, Jesus, hold her in your hands always and forever and keep her feet on the pathway to heaven so that I might see her again one day. Of course, I love Brian, too. With all my heart and my soul, I pray the Lord grow close in Brian and Jenny's hearts. May the know the joy the Lord has brought to my heart. Though I go thru pain, I know, I know! with all my heart that the Lord is there to get me thru it and it is because I know He is there for me, carrying me, beside me, covering me - that I know I will always be okay. May Brian and Jenny each learn that wisdom and find the peace and joy that I have. It's a growing process and I learn every day - more every day. When I think I can't grow any closer or learn anymore - I do."

Posted by: MotherW August 4, 2007, 10:55 PM
I had a real feeling of freedom today - really free. It's been so long since I called friends just to chat and it felt real good. I did things I wanted to do today. My yard looks so pretty. I went to a movie, browsed an ethnic grocery store, cooked myself sloppy joes ... with onion!! And, as always, that part of my heart that will forever belong to the addicts and the families who love them so much, ached just a little as I lifted us all up in prayer.

"August 17, 2006. 8:40 pm

Thought I should drop a line or two to check in. It's been a while. Seems Jenny is doing well. She is now sort of seeing someone new in NA and she attends meetings regularly. She is co-chair at her Thursday night meeting. I want to let my feelings soar. My God, I want to let my heart yell and jump and just scream out in inexplicable joy. Yet, I am afraid. I want to keep my mind in the present and not jumping too far ahead or looking back. Ooooh, that looking back nearly chokes the air out of me. But, I am hoping in Jesus, not in Jenny. I am making Him my rock -my joy, my foundation. Man, it's got to be all about Him. Brian is riding on his own now as a police officer. Sounds like he is doing a really good job and he seems to like it.

God, please hold our children in your precious hands, hold them close, help them understand. May they learn the love and hope and joy that only you can bring, may their hearts in eternal praise sing!! Oh, Lord, thank you so much for letting Brian and Jenny be a part of my life, I am so blessed and honored you found me worthy enough. I know I didn't do the best job for you like I should have. So many things I know now that I should have done differently. But, that's the beauty of you, Lord, in you I know that it's never too late. In you, I know I can place them in your precious arms to hold them and guide them all the days of their lives. Thank you, Jesus, for being my everything. I love you!"

Posted by: MotherW August 21, 2007, 8:54 PM
A recovering addict has a day marked in their life that they quit the drug and can be marked accordingly and recognized as their "anniversary" date. I was thinking the other day that I don't have a "recovery" date. My recovery is a constant work in progress and as awful as this sounds, it is taking me a lot longer than her to "recover." Sometimes things seem sort out of focus.

"December 4, 2006. 7:55 pm

Do I dare to breathe?? Do I dare to exhale?? Oh, Lord, I am almost afraid to!! I don't want to move for fear the walls may come tumbling down. Yet, my focus is not, should not, be my children. My adult children. I can't fear what Jenny might do or might not do - I can only relish in today. Today she is clean. On 12-1-06, it was one year off heroin. I don't know if another year will come - I can only hope. Yet, I cannot make that hope for recovery the foundation for my happiness. I know where my heart and mind must be - my faith is in you, Lord. Thanksgiving was magical. Oh, Lord, what a wonderful time we had!! After the turkey and stuffing, we played Sex and the City for hours, and then when were hungry again, we went to Walgreens for a frozen pizza. Oh, Lord, I will never understand your mercy...but thank you, thank you from the depths of my soul! Thank you for sparing Jenny's life when she shot up and died that day. That experience didn't cause her to quit, but I know, oh Lord, and she knows that was your face she saw. Thank you for bringing Brian home safely from Iraq. Help me to one day, feel total joy again, instead of this guarded kind. But even this, is wonderful. God Bless you, sweet Jesus!!"

Posted by: MotherW October 31, 2007, 9:32 PM
October 31, 2007. Four years ago on this date, I started a journal and a journey. I stepped down into my own self-created hell. I let myself spiral into a place I should never have been. I didn't need to go there, but yet, I had to go there...then...I guess. Never again.

"December 11, 2006. 8:17 pm

Have you ever felt your soul in pain? I was thinking the other night - how I am doing better, but how my soul hurts. It's like my soul is a part of me - a core inside of me, yet separate in some kind of way. It hurts and I can feel that it hurts right in my soul. My body doesn't hurt, but my soul, I can feel a pain there, a pain that only allows me to cry because I can't get to the pain. It's like I have no way to heal it - I can't reach it or touch it - I just have to feel it. I know I have to let God heal it and sometimes it feels like it's healing up, but then memories and thoughts seem to open the wound back up."

Posted by: MotherW December 12, 2007, 10:11 AM
December 11, 2007. I laughed the other day from my stomach - my God - do you know how long it has been since I laughed like that?? I can tell you - five, almost six, years. I feel like I've really grown in my recovery - I really do. Yet, sometimes I still wonder just a little bit if I feel like this because my daughter is clean. I don't think so, though. I've grown stronger and, yes, a bit selfish. I've missed ME. I want me back - laughing and living. I don't ever want to stop living again.

"January 7, 2007. Sunday 6:55 pm

Doubts creep in. I am concerned. Jenny is feeling negative towards NA...again. Says she needs to find a new group. That old restlessness that can destroy. She says she can't figure out how NA is really helping. Says she is clean because she wants to be clean, but if she wants to use, she will use. NA doesn't stop her from doing that. I cautioned her to be careful. But, I am scared. Trying not to let my fears take me over, though. Trying real hard.

I had a dream the other night that I have to write about. Man, it was awesome. I was on the phone with my sister when I went outside to look at the sky. I asked her if she was looking at it. It was unreal - so beautiful - the vibrant colors just bursting and the way the clouds were moving and the way the colors kept changing - nothing I've ever seen. I was in awe. Then a hole starts to come through the clouds. I asked my sister if she sees that and I wondered if Christ was coming back - half joking. I continued to stare and was in silent awe as I watched what I knew was Christ's pierced hand holding a torch come thru the hole in the sky - man, I was breathless. I looked around to see if others were going up, then I felt my body start to slip away, sort of whirl away and I wondered if it was going to hurt. I still had hold of the phone. The next thing I knew I was above a flock of angels. I looked down and I all I could see was a multitude of silvery wings - oh, it was incredible!! I could hear the thumping of the wings and it was just so grandeur!! Then I woke up. I have no idea what that was all about, but I was not scared and I did not think of Jenny or Brian or anything, just Christ and it was an amazing feeling."

Posted by: MotherW January 6, 2008, 8:41 PM
The winds of turmoil and pain and addiction whip at our spirits, trying to break us, trying to topple us. I had to step away from the board to just breathe for a while and I don't mean that in a bad way, I really don't. It's just that the bond that brings us together is sometimes so overwhelming. I cant' stay away, though!! I wish I could reach out and just pluck us each up and make us all better. Sometimes, it's just so hard to not be able to do much but sit back and pray and post and pray and post and pray and post. As for me, I'm doing good, really good. I spent an unexpected New Year's Eve with both Brian and Jenny and it was amazing. That moment or I should say a moment like it may never come again, but it is forever etched in my heart and in my memory and I thank God for it.

"Sunday, January 21, 2007 4:05 pm

I just hung up from Jenny. She is walking on a tight rope, right now. Oh my gosh. She is so angry. Angry that she can't go drink with her neighbors and watch the Bears game. I am trying to stay strong myself. This isn't the first time she's felt like this lately. I can see a lot of ugly, ugly signs. She's talking negative about the program, about the people. I can see she's trying to keep it together, but, man oh man, it's hard for her. She wants to yet she doesn't want to. Oh Lord, please, please, please help her and me. Give me the strength to keep myself together as all I can do is to sit nearby and watch and listen - like I am waiting for the storm that I do not want to come. Please Jesus - turn the winds around, please."

Posted by: MotherW January 17, 2008, 9:56 PM
You know the old Christian song, "All is Well with My Soul," - well, I'm not there yet, but I'm very close. I don't hurt so much anymore in that place in my soul where human hands and medicine have no healing powers. But, it's quiter now...peace is beginning to dwell there and that feels pretty good.

"Sunday, April 29, 2007. 9:55 pm.

It's my birthday today and though I'm getting older, it feels pretty darn good!! Wish I was thinner, but I'm working on that!! Anyway, it was nice today. Jenny came home to visit Saturday and brought me some lovely, lovely gifts, but nothing as lovely as seeing her clean. Man, that's awesome. Thank you Jesus. She looks so good with her dark shiny hair, soft tan skin and sparkling blue eyes. She is so pretty. Yes, it was nice today. We went to Robin's and she had made me a cake. Robin, me, Jenny and Cody went to Steak and Shake for lunch and it was nice. Jenny got a burger with no meat and I got a burger with meat. We were running late but we were going to see the indoor pool park and take Jenny to catch her bus back to the city. I always miss her when she goes back. Boy, I would love for her to live with me, but I know that would just be crippling to her. I would never, ever want to do that. I want that sweet girl to soar and I know God is going to take her places that only He could take her and I thank Him for that!! Take good care of her, Lord - always.

I got to see Brian - he stopped by while he was on work! He looks so handsome in that uniform. Gosh, I am so proud of him, too!! Those kids of ours, Lord - they are going to be okay. You take good care of them all the days of their lives and let them never ever forget just how very much i love them and how their very presence has blessed me beyond measure."

Posted by: MotherW January 29, 2008, 8:39 PM
It's been a long, long walk. Never have I walked thru fires like I have during these past years. Standing at crossroads where I was afforded opportunities to go the other way, I instinctively turned towards the road to hell. I walked in the valley of addiction, hand-in-hand with my daughter. She didn't see me there, but I was there - perhaps walking even deeper than her. I'm not sure anyone else will ever understand the depths to which my soul had plunged. But, if they did, they would see how far I have come. When I look down at where I was, I hold my breath for a moment. I feel a little dizzy and scared because I know, I KNOW, it's not a place where any human being should ever dwell. But, man, after standing here looking down and catching my breath, I breathe - I really breathe. And with every powerful breath I take, strength and hope pump through my spirit and it feels amazing!

Posted by: MotherW February 6, 2008, 10:34 PM
I’ve realized something. My daughter is working her recovery and all during this time - for almost two years, she calls me every day. Back in the day, I would have killed to have her call me every day. But, I need her to stop. Oh, I love talking to her. I enjoy our conversations and hearing how much she has grown in her own recovery. I love hearing the woman she has become. But, I need to know that I’ve grown into the woman I need to become. I need to know that if she doesn’t call, that I will be okay. That I won’t wonder…that I can continue with my plans without picking up the phone to call her. I need to walk along that cliff and know that I will not fall over the side.

Posted by: MotherW February 22, 2008, 10:35 PM
I met a friend for lunch today who is a recovering addict. She asked me how long my daughter had clean. I said I couldn’t recall exactly – used to be I could quote the exact minute!! I told her I was trying to focus on my own recovery. She knew I meant recovering from being co-dependent. She laughed and asked how much time I had. I smiled and told her, "I’m a mom." That ache that lives in our heart never really goes away. The scars are permanent. They lessen over time and aren’t quite as shiny or red as they used to be, but they are always, always there – reminding us of the blood that once spilled.

Posted by: MotherW February 29, 2008, 10:34 PM
Everyone experiences that moment when they hear a certain song on the radio and they are flashbacked to a moment in time. I just heard the song, You Raise Me Up, sung by Selah. Wow!! It gave me pause and I peeked back to several years ago and there I was. Pitiful, pitiful, pitiful. I could not only see me on the outside, but I could see me on the inside. Sitting in my car on my lunch break, working 50 miles from home, parked in the lot of a grocery store. It was like an igloo around me – snow pushed up along the sides of the parking lot and an icy cold wind breathing down my neck. And I was colder on the inside than the outside!! A daughter who was 3000 miles away shooting up heroin everyday, and I pretty much quit living the day I found out. Look at that woman! Isolated, filled with hopelessness and depression and still desperately trying to find a way to fix her daughter, when she is the one who is broken!! Sad. Then, “You Raise Me Up” plays on the radio. It was a while before I was raised up.

Wow – what a memory.

Posted by: MotherW March 16, 2008, 10:09 AM
Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I can’t believe my life has evolved to where it is. Yes, I am in a good place. My soul is at peace - most of the time. See, even though my daughter has over 2 years clean off heroin and is working as a case manager at a drug rehab facility, I still sometimes wonder “what if she picks up again.” C’mon!! These thoughts should be history!! Then I remember that my recovery works day-by-day, too. I have to check myself and remember that I cannot control her behaviors – I can only control mine. And then I get back to my peace. So, today is a good day.

Posted by: MotherW March 23, 2008, 8:16 PM
Addiction is hard to understand, but what’s harder to understand is how this world keeps turning when there are those of us with children or loved ones who struggle with a disease that forces them into the most dangerous places to cop some dope, who are putting a possibly lethal dose of heroin into their arm or neck or wherever they can find a vein that’s not yet collapsed. The world keeps spinning, people keep smiling while our world has stopped. For the sake of work and family and friends, we will put on the face to go along with everyone else, but inside, we are desperately broken.

But, amazingly, as I reflect back, I actually begin to understand and realize perhaps this mechanism of “life goes on” is part of what is needed to force us to go forward and to get ourselves together. Seeing those smiling faces and seeing life being lived starts to look pretty darn good and then we can begin to climb up out of the hole we have dug ourselves into. Funny how that works.

Posted by: MotherW April 4, 2008, 7:28 PM
Sometimes I just get so tired, so very tired. Sometimes I would just like to pack up my jeep and my dog and just go. I don’t want to talk, or listen to anyone, or even think. Just drive….away. So many might say how thankful I should be my daughter is clean. I am thankful. But it doesn’t end with being clean. When we do get to stop???!! When?? I need HER to let go of me. Maybe I just need a vacation.

Posted by: MotherW April 8, 2008, 10:49 PM
How well do our old wounds really heal? My heart choked up again tonight. My daughter who works at a drug rehab facility told me she took a call tonight. It was from a mother who was desparately trying to find some help for her son. My stomach felt sick. My daughter said the woman’s voice was nearly ready to crack but she was trying to keep it together. Told my daughter her son had overdosed off heroin and was in the hospital but would be getting out tomorrow. What could she do for him? Is he under 18 my daughter asked. No, he is an adult, but she just wanted to try to find him some help.

Here I am, just sitting home enjoying a nice evening and this mother’s world was falling apart. So many mothers worlds are falling apart. I just want her to know it doesn’t have to. I just wish I could have told her she doesn’t have to go that place. But, like each of us, she is going to have to travel that long and very painful road on her own. May God help her and strengthen her and guide her to where she needs to be.

Posted by: MotherW April 29, 2008, 9:20 PM
It’s my birthday today and as I reflect on my life, I can’t help but think of the one thing that has had the biggest and most traumatic impact on my life. Miss Heroin was an unwelcome and uninvited guest who stayed way too long.

But, as uninvited and as unwelcome as she was, I can also say that she, unwittingly, pushed me to a place I needed to be. It made me see some ugly stuff about myself and it caused me to change…for the better. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bragging her up by any means, nor I am wishing for a visit from her again anytime soon – I’m just saying, the old b**** didn’t take me down, but instead taught me to see.

Posted by: MotherW May 8, 2008, 7:09 PM
Love. To most of the people out there, this emotion is probably one that brings smiles to their hearts. Sure, they have had their share of broken romances and even felt the loss of a loved one.

But when your child is a heroin addict, love isn’t such a grand feeling. Sometimes you wish you could just detach from that emotion, but you can’t. You love them anyway and the pain in your heart is nearly unbearable – much more painful that the heartache of a broken romance. As long as our child is filling their veins with heroin, the grief hangs on and the nagging fear of death haunts the hollows of our hearts - while a widow only mourns for a season.

Jenny is doing well in her recovery and I am doing well in mine, but the path we shared has left an unequivocal fissure in my soul. And that’s okay. It’s that deep cut that will always remind me of where God has brought me.

Posted by: MotherW May 22, 2008, 9:43 PM
This old world keeps on turning and I turn right along with it. It feels good to be part of it…most of the time. My son just told me about a call he went on the other night for a heroin overdose at a fast food restaurant. The guy had been shooting up in the stall and fell face first off the stool onto the floor. My son was instructed to block the door to keep people out until it was known if the guy was going to live or die because then that would determine if it would be a crime scene. So, my son stood outside the door while people went in and out of the restaurant, ordering food to go or to eat in, whatever. The world just kept right on turning while a mother’s nightmare was manifesting itself inside the dirty stall of a bathroom.

Posted by: MotherW June 10, 2008, 10:47 PM
I’ve been singing quite a bit lately – not that I can carry a note, but I do it anyway. But, I hadn’t done it in a very, very long time. Now, the song comes out without me even thinking about it and my dog looks at me like it hurts her ears! That’s a good thing, though. I quit singing when addiction came into my world. I quit living when addiction came into my world. Singing never felt so good!

Posted by: MotherW June 27, 2008, 10:13 PM
The horrors of addiction will forever haunt my heart, lurking silently in the background of my life. It’s a part of me now that I have adjusted to. Sometimes I smile to myself when I’m talking to a CEO or CFO at our company or to a righteous Christian acquaintance and I wonder what would they say if they knew they pain I bore when my daughter was copping dope in the seedy alleyways of the west side, then cooking it up and putting it in her arm. Would they think less of me? Then I think that I don’t really care if they would because that experience, despite its horrors, has made me appreciate life so much more than I ever knew that I could. Then I wonder, "What kind of battle scars do they carry?"

Posted by: MotherW July 15, 2008, 9:56 PM
I used to be angry that we couldn’t just turn back time – just hit a button and push rewind, or fast forward and cut through all this crap. But I know I really wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s those things in the past – the good and bad – that make us who we are. The horrible gut wrenching pain and the buoyant blithe of joy creates dimension and character in our spirits. We are not like the flatliners who clearly have never felt the sting of pain or the challenges of life. You know the type – the ones whose mommy and daddy fix all their mistakes so they don’t even know they made a mistake. They have no substance. It’s us who have endured and learned and survived, it is us who take it one day at a time whose countenance reflects the depths of our soul and makes others want some of what we got. Yes - in the words of Queen (and to be a little corny!!) “We are the champions!” and we have a lot to offer the world.

Posted by: MotherW July 24, 2008, 10:35 PM
There was a time when I wondered if the reason I'm doing okay is just because my daughter is clean. And, I can honestly say that even if she picked up again tomorrow, I will, indeed, be okay. I’ve grown in my recovery and the walk has been a very long and enlightening one and I know I have a lot of walking left to do - a lifetime's worth.

Our children's actions are going to affect our lives as long as we are their parents. Accepting that and then recognizing our boundaries is where growth lies. Of course, we are going to be doing better when they are doing well, and when they aren’t, we are going to feel it. But, the thing is and what I believe recovery for me is all about, is that I know unequivocally that I will never step down into hell again. Sure, if she picks up again, my heart will skip a beat, my stomach will turn and that rubber legged feeling will take hold – but only for a moment. I’m not going back in that deep dark pit ever again. I don’t want to. I never want to miss out on Christmas carols or turkey again or laughing with a friend at dinner or sloppy joes with onion. I’ve found a place of peace from which I’ve gained strength and I thank God for that.

Posted by: MotherW August 10, 2008, 8:39 PM
Jennifer shared something with me lastnight that really took hold of my soul and made me feel like maybe I did do one thing right in dealing with this addiction crap - I loved her anyway. She said that when she was using, the thing that kept tugging at her soul and making it so hard for her to use was that she just “wanted her mom.” My love could touch her even at 3000 miles away while she was shooting up in the hole of an apartment she shared with the guy that first injected her with the stuff. She said she would just keep trying to fill up her feelings with heroin so she didn’t have to think about it, but she said in the end, all she wanted was her mom.

I guess what I am trying to stay is that maybe this poem I wrote so long ago actually has something to say:

Do you know, child of mine, how you broke my heart.
Do you know, child of mine, why did you ever start?

My insides quivered, please let this be a lie!
Not again, I can't do it; please help me stand.
My soul aches so, pain permeates inside.
Dear child of mine, wish you would have ran.

Another night with little sleep, can't shut off my mind.
Thoughts tear at my dreams, refusing me peace.
Wish I could just turn back time, just push rewind.
Stop all this grief, close my eyes, lose the beast.

Oh, dear God, I can't pick myself up any more
You gotta help, my legs are weak, my spirit broke.
Just taking my next breath is a deathly chore.
Sorrow is just too hard to take, I can't stay afloat.

I close my eyes and try to remember yesterday,
I held you in my arms and you smelled so sweet
Happy child, beautiful girl, then life got in the way.
You ran into a merciless drug you couldn't beat.

I wait now for the track lines to disappear,
I wait now for your sweet spirit to return.
Trying so with all my soul to hide my fear.
Praying so hard my knees begin to burn.

Will the light shine for us again tomorrow?
It hurts to see you so wounded and scared.
Very soon, there will be no more sorrow.
Your momma's here, I'm not going anywhere.

God hears a mother's plea on bended knee,
He feels our pain and sees our tears.
He hears my pleas, I know He won't let it be.
Love conquers all, and will set you free.

Do you know, child of mine, how you lifted my heart.
Do you know, child of mine, I loved you right from the start.

Posted by: MotherW August 15, 2008, 10:15 AM
I was lying in bed lastnight and for some sick and crazy reason was trying to imagine if my daughter was back out on the streets using, could I fall asleep? I remembered how hard that was for me back in the day. Then, of course, my thoughts ran to “what if she is using?” And then my thoughts started to scatter and for a moment, panic tried to take hold.

Then I began to wonder how far along I really am in my recovery. Anyway, and this is what I tell myself, the darkness and the silence of the night always seems to make things more intense. Still, I couldn’t escape the thoughts of my own progression. If I could make my heart race and panic set in by my own thoughts – how far have I really come? I believe I have some serious work to do.

Posted by: MotherW August 23, 2008, 10:52 AM
Lastnight Jenny called to tell me she and her boyfriend had to leave a festival because for some unknown reason she was throwing up. The first thought in my head was heroin. I’ve heard this from her in the past when she was using. I wanted to go on-line and look at her bank account, I wanted to keep talking to her to hear that catch in her voice that I know so well, I wanted to run up to Chicago and see her. But, I didn’t do any of those things and this morning I feel good. I feel good about myself and I hope the best for her always. But, I’m not going to focus on what she’s doing or isn’t doing – instead, I’m getting ready to go on-line and see what’s playing at the movies and then I’m going shopping for a new dresser. Life is good for me today.

Posted by: MotherW September 4, 2008, 8:31 PM
The time has come for me to close this chapter of my journey. I’ve reached a comfortable plateau in my recovery. It has been a very, very long and incredibly painful journey and a trip I know I am destined to travel for all my days…and I’m okay with that. This climb up out of hell has certainly not only made me stronger, but wiser. I can look back at that place where I was and I no longer fear it nor do I resent it, but instead, recognize the value of it.

As I read the posts and hear the stories of so many tragically broken-hearted and hopeless parents of addicts, my heart will feel their pain to the core of my being. I can easily slip into where they are and I wish with all my being that they would follow me out. But, this journey has showed me that each of us has to find our own way and in our own time.

I will have my moments, I will slip – I have no delusions about that. My soul is battle-scarred but my spirit, well, my spirit, it laughs out loud – from the gut!!

Godspeed to you all.

Posted by: MotherW July 12, 2009, 1:41 AM
My "comfortable" plateau, well, it shook a little today and I slipped...lost my footing for a brief moment. My daughter's "friend" who introduced her to heroin contacted my daughter. The hold he has on her is still there. So I slipped. I had that feeling in my stomach like a fist coming at me, but then it missed. You know, that feeling like your stomach drops. Panic rushed into my throat and every nerve stood on end! I thought, where the hell is my recovery? I got myself together and took my eyes off her situation and looked at me and I didn't like what I saw! I threw my tennis shoes on, grabbed my dog and walked and walked and walked and talked to God. And, I'm okay.

I simply refuse, REFUSE to go back into that place where I was. I just can't ... I want to live and I love life!

Posted by: MotherW August 13, 2009, 9:12 PM
I am not that strong. I wonder what parent of an addict really is that strong? Is there truly any parent that doesn't always hang on to a little bit of fear about their addict's recovery? Do we really "let go?"

I am not that strong. I don't want to live thru active addiction again. The reality is that things can change in a heartbeat ... one precious heartbeat. Reality sort of sucks...and I'm just not that strong.

My daughter's not picked up again...but I don't like how she's talking. And it bothers me that it bothers me. I'm disappointed in myself. That I'm not that strong. Thoughts of "what if" brings me to tears. What kind of recovery is that? How far have I really come?

Posted by: MotherW August 29, 2009, 8:43 PM
It’s been eye-opening for me in the sense that I really am not as strong as what I thought I was. I guess you could say I went through some “turbulence” but I didn’t crash!! It was a bumpy ride for me for a moment, I was scared and I cried, but I landed safely!! Time for me to refocus myself. To really get back to living.

For the first time in my life, I'm volunteering! On a regular basis at that!! I've been volunteering at a homeless shelter for women and children. I love it!! These people have given me more than I could ever give them!! I've grown to genuinely love these people - the women, their children, the other ladies who volunteer and the staff. These women with their children who have such hope when they don't even have their own bed! Check in by 6 pm and check out by 7 am. They are amazing. This little girl came into the shelter with her mom lastnight, dancing and singing "We got a house, we got a house." And she kept singing it and was so happy. Her mom said they finally got an apartment and would be moving in on Monday! Hope!

It feels good to be in this place.

Posted by: MotherW October 7, 2009, 8:53 PM
Anyway, my beef, I suppose, isn't really a big deal. My daughter has over 3 years clean and I know - I KNOW - I need to be thankful for that. It's just that sometimes I feel like she is draining me. Her boyfriend moved in with her 2 months ago and now he moved out last weekend and she is devastated beyond words. He left, she cried and cried, she called her sponsor and many of her NA support friends...and me. After several days and her heartache wasn't getting better, she said she just feels like going out and getting something to numb the pain (heroin). She shared more than I cared to hear and it really left me sick to my stomach.

I sunk to such a low wondering if she was going to go out there again or not. The whole thing just made me mad. Mad at myself, once again, for "wondering" and mad that she felt like she could just run from the pain. What the f*@!!! I had to face my pain head-on!!! I was really really mad at how she was behaving - I didn't even care about her "heartache." I was pissed. How many of us have to deal with the pain and s*** (excuse my language!) that life and our addicts send our way and you're gonna tell me that you want to numb your pain. F**!! that - that's how I was thinking!! I got so mad.

Hell, I want to live my life! I lived with my parents, then a husband that was abusive and then raising my kids and now I'm still messing with dealing with her! After some ranting and raving and torment within myself, I talked to God and got myself grounded. The thing is - I can live my life. I'm letting "her" control me again and that has to stop. Yes, I am thankful she talks to me, but she cannot control me - I let her and I have to work on myself. I also know that as long as I am a mother, some of my life is always going to belong to her. And that is the tightwire I am walking.

Posted by: MotherW November 12, 2009, 2:53 PM
How quickly we can soar from up to down. How quickly our thoughts can sweep us away into a place where we don’t really need to go. Do we ever get to that place where we are in total control of our thoughts, our emotions, our fears?

You see, I used to think that’s where I needed to be. But, in reality, I realize that’s a place I don’t really ever want to go either. I don’t want to ever be so unfeeling or so uncaring that my fears don’t scare me, that my emotions don’t overwhelm me or that my thoughts don’t stray into those dark places. I need to cry and I need to laugh and I need to be a little scared now and then. That’s what keeps me grounded, it keeps me in my proper place.

The thing I’ve learned, is that I just don’t need to ever again let those things stop me from living.

Posted by: MotherW April 14, 2010, 7:32 PM
A parent shouldn't have to accept death or jail for their child. Honestly, how bizarre does that sound to the everyday folks? You know the folks I'm talking about...those lucky ones who haven't had addiction steal their children. The "experts" say addiction is a brain disease and yet, as parents of children afflicted with this disease, we cannot do a thing to treat them. What would the "lucky ones" say about that! They would never understand...I can barely understand! Yet, I know, the thing that seems the most incomprehensible to a parent is exactly what we must do...let go, and sometimes that means we can't even let them in our home, in what was once their home! Man, sometimes I just don't get it.

Posted by: MotherW July 12, 2010, 11:52 PM
Sometimes I get this visual in my we are passengers on the Titanic. The vessel is addiction and we all hop on board, some seeking to use, some seeking to save...and all of us trying desparately to stay afloat. It breaks my heart to see an addict frantically struggling to stay alive, but just can't let go of that vessel that seems destined to pull them under. And there we are, the parents who love them so much, trying in our fraility and naivety to hang on to them. Godspeed to us all.

Posted by: MotherW August 28, 2010, 12:38 AM
I'm tired. I'm tired of this disease and I just wish I could walk away from it. Why can't I have a normal life - like my sisters. They don't have to concern themselves with the choices their adult children are making because their adult children don't make choices with the mind of an "addict." But, there I go and therein lies my problem surfacing once again....I don't have to concern my self with the choices of my adult child. Key word: ADULT. Geez, why can't I start acting like one???????

Posted by: MotherW November 20, 2010, 8:21 AM
We think we have it together. We think we are maintaining. We've let go of our addict and we've accepted - to the point we can - that the outcome of their disease may be death or something worse, if that's even possible. We think we are okay.

But then their world crashes down and so does ours. We do not have it together and we definitely are not maintaining and we are trying to scoop our addict up and save them from themselves. And now we are not okay.

So how do we know if we really do have it together? How do we know we are really maintaining and that we've truly let go of our addict? Do we have to wait until their world crashes down, and it will, before we know if our world will crash down, too?

I can't wait for that to happen. I have to know that I am okay and that no matter what, that co-dependent nature does not surface just to pull me down. I have to know that I can love while letting go. It's not an easy place to get to, but I know it's where I need to be, it's where I want to be.

Posted by: MotherW November 30, 2010, 9:46 PM
Well, my daughter has re-established ties with the boyfriend who introduced her to heroin. Thanks Facebook! My sick self is manifesting; I can feel it and I hate how it feels. We have a shared phone plan so I already looked up to see how much she talks to him and I felt immediately sick afterwards. But, this time I told my daughter what I did and I didn't feel good about it and that I really thought it best we each had our own phone plan and she agreed. I'm glad I did that, though, 'cuz in the past, I would have NEVER wanted that to happen - how would I keep track of what she's doing???

I am trying to figure out how to handle this situation and I must confess, I need more ways than one!!!

Posted by: MotherW March 23, 2011, 11:55 PM
Well, I have my own phone line now and am all the better for it. I'm in a good place and I don't want to leave it. Sometimes, though, I can't help it.

Somewhere on this board, someone once said to me that I may be experiencing Post-traumatic stress disorder. I thought to myself that I haven't been to war...but I have. Most parents of addicts have been there, too. I think what we have to remember is that even though we may not get it right every time, even though we may lose a few battles, as long as we can learn from those battles, we can know that we will eventually win the war and we will know peace.

Posted by: MotherW April 22, 2011, 7:08 AM
Right now there are three little children under the age of 5 living their lives in a seedy hotel room...where the alcoholic drug-abusing father who beats the mother is NOT supposed to be, but he is because the "mother" loves him. Instead of playing in the sun and running through the grass and laughing, the children cower in fear and the curtains are drawn in an attempt to hide their painful existance from the world.

Yet, I post about how addiciton has affected MY life?? How whacked is that!

Posted by: MotherW September 8, 2011, 9:54 PM
Our faces are different, our lips, our noses, our chins...but our eyes are all the same - mirroring the pain that burns in our heart. We are different, but we are all the same - touched by addiction in ways that many of us could not have imagined in our worst nightmare. No parent should have to find their child slumped over with a bloody needle dangling from their arm or neck. No parent should have to hear about their daughter or son selling their body for a bag. We are all different, but we are all the same as we go thru the motions of life, desperately looking for a way to survive this horror that has touched our lives.

I say Godspeed to us all.

Posted by: MotherW September 29, 2011, 6:39 PM
Tell me, please! Why do they run, why! What is so appealing about that black hole that addicts are hell-bent on running into. I just don't get it! Addiction is a disease that no matter how much I read about it, hear about it, talk about it, I cannot and will not ever fully comprehend.

And, honestly, how does a parent stand silently by while their child is slowly dying - some of us don't, some of us run right into that black hole behind them, leaving our life behind and all that we loved.

Posted by: MotherW October 5, 2011, 8:52 PM
Sometimes all you can do is stand in the rain and let the waves of torment and fear pound away at your heart, until the waves topple you over. It is then, when you will either drown or not. I know. I almost drowned.

Posted by: MotherW November 4, 2011, 8:24 PM
Some days, I'm just so tired and I just don't understand. Some days, I just can't put one foot in front of the other, some days, I just have to stand still for a moment...and I know that's okay.

Posted by: MotherW November 23, 2011, 11:31 PM
It's Thanksgiving Eve. A time when we reflect on those things for which we can be thankful. I am thankful for today and I will relish every moment. I am thankful I have both parents, both children and all my sisters and brother still with me. I am thankful to have a home to go to that will be filled with love and laughter and football and turkey. Yes, all is well in my

May God pour out His blessings and hope and strength to those whose world is not so good today. May He hold them in the palms of His hands, gently comforting and soothing their tired hearts, and filling them with hope. Amen.

Posted by: MotherW January 1, 2012, 7:13 PM
The pain that we go through, the hurt we endure, I just wish for 2012 that it could all go away. But, it won't. Maybe for some, but when it ends for one, it begins for another. The best we can do and what we need to do is to share the hurt, to share the "load" because in doing so, we are helping those who are just beginning their descent.

Posted by: MotherW February 24, 2012, 1:51 AM Enabling...I really hate that word. It's such a little word, really, but it's impact is overwhelming, possibly life-changing. To me, it's like a crooked finger, extended and pointing directly at my heart. I don't know, I just think it's a word that is so loaded with definitions and interpretations and excuses...and pain. Yet, it seems to roll of the tongue so almost sounds pretty...but it's not.

Posted by: MotherW June 22, 2012, 8:23 PM
A mother's heart is amazing! It's capacity for unconditional love for their child is incomprehensible. And to think that something as beautiful as that love is, it is also the very thing that can drop a mother to her knees, in inconsolable pain. Nothing we can do to change that - it just is.

Posted by: MotherW December 12, 2012, 10:23 PM
'Tis the season to be jolly......NOT! Too many mothers' souls are in anguish as the Christmas lights twinkle while their child is copping and shooting up God only knows where. I don't know, it's just harder to bear when all that frickin' joy is around! I walked in those same shoes not so long ago...lifeless and empty albeit, the frenzied, anxious fear that had taken over my soul. So for now, I will in my own way, hold them up in the only way I know how and that is with prayer and hope...Godspeed, dear moms, Godspeed.

Posted by: MotherW March 6, 2013, 1:04 AM
I can't help but look in amazement at those moms (and dads) who have a child in active addiction, a child still out there ravaging their body, mind and soul with any mind-altering substance they can find, yet these parents smile, laugh, shop, vacation, Some may perceive them as an oddity of sorts. I mean, should you really be smiling, laughing, shopping, vacationing, breathing, otherwise, living, while your child is quite possibly shooting a lethal dose of heroin or meth or speedball into her arm, leg, neck or any other usable vein they can find?

Depression nearly choked the life out of me when my daughter was using. I did not smile, laugh, shop, vacation, breathe or live...I existed, and not very well at that! To those parents who have found a way to embrace life while a piece of their heart is crumbling, I say to you, thank you! Thank you for smiling, laughing, shopping, vacationing, breathing, living ... because then I knew I could, too!

Posted by: MotherW October 10, 2015, 7:50 AM
I can't believe it's been years since I've posted! Well, I'm here and reporting that I still work at this no co-dependency thing - can you believe it! Folks, it really is one day at a time. I don't know if my daughter is clean or not as of today, or maybe I do. My gut tells the truth and it tells me something ain't right...but, on the upside, I'm not obsessing...I'm living!

Posted by: MotherW March 29, 2016, 9:14 AM
My heart is soooo incredibly heavy with pain, but I will hang onto hope, because what else is there? I am so tired of this battle - within myself. Going up and down in my thoughts and fears for my daughter. Yes, she relapsed and I'm not sure if she is really clean or not and I know it is not my place to obsess, but I do...or I have. I almost relapsed in my obsessing, I almost wanted to do all those things I used to do, like continually call her with fake reasons to call just to know she was still alive...I slipped a little, but I'm ok. Sad, but ok. Living with the pain ... but living...and laughing, a little...and almost happy.