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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today was my first day back to work in six weeks. It is wonderful to have such a long break but there is a price to pay upon returning. As you can imagine, the work is piled sky high. There are tons of emergencies that should have been handled yesterday demanding attention. I arrived home exausted and turned around to go with DH to the nephrologist. His kidneys are still holding steady. The doc ordered a urinalysis to check for bladder or kidney infection because of his frequent and violent chills.

After that, we had salads for dinner and I got a call from my sister that my Mom is back at U of Pennsylvania hospital. She will have a heart catheterization tomorrow. We were on our way to a sleep study for DH who may also have sleep apnea. His cell phone rang. It was his sister telling us that Beth had been in and out of my mother in laws house all day and that the caregiver was missing a ring. D"H said that we will tell her she can not go in there anymore unless we are with her.

I called my sister in law and said that I am not willing to confront Beth today. A dear young friend of hers died in a car accident. I said that she may well have stolen the ring. But I will not confront her on the very day she is burrying a friend on the off chance that we are wrong. I told the story of how I once raised hell with her and searched her things for 300 dollars that I was missing. I had put that money in my jewelery box which I remembered when I found it. She is very capable of stealing in her addiction but she looks like she is trying to me and I do not want to kick her while she is down.

Beth called me last night to tell me she would attend the funeral. We talked about her plans for getting support during and after the service to come out of the predictable funk. I called  my husband to tell him that I had talked to his sister and that we would deal with this issue in a few days. His sister had already called him back. It seems the caregiver found her ring.

Sigh......... I know that the suspicion was earned but I am so glad I decided to wait and that the ring was found.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Friend Dies

Beth called last night to report that one of her friends died in a car accident. He was a bright and hard working boy. He drank. This time he was drinking and driving alone. He crashed his car all alone. She is very upset.

My  husband went over there to watch a movie with her. She was crying about this boy and also very emotional over the pictures that my mother gave her from her childhood. I talked to her for awhile and then told her to call me again if she needs to. I think it is good that she is reaching out to me and her father in her distress instead of drugs. I think she has a tremendously difficult time feeling her intense  emotions and that  is a big part of her issues.

DH seems to be able to be more compasionate towards her when she is not under his roof. So can I actually. She is close. Only a few blocks away but we get a lot more serenity this way. I was never a mother   who tried to be her friend. I did not believe in that. I thought that I had to teach her responsibility and dicipline. I showed a lot of love but I in no way treated her as a peer. Maybe that was wrong.

Well, now that I have utterly failed that way, I am trying to be a friend to her. She definatly needs a sober friend. /She is calling me for emotional soothing, for listening to her not for drug money. I think this is some kind of progress.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Three O'clock in the morning and I my fears loom large

     For the second night in a row I woke up crying around 3 in the morning. My fears and trepidations seem to magnify at that time of the night. I am afraid for my husband's health. He has had laser eye surgery and 3 eye bleeds in the past month. He has also had a dangerously infected wound on his foot and severe pain from herniated disks in his back.

He hobbles around here in severe pain and takes several naps a day. The latest is that he has some sort of undetermined infection which is causing violent chills and fever that come and go. His kidneys are at about 35 to 40 percent capacity. The chronic kidney disease was caused by out of control blood sugars. He is seeing on average 2 to 3 doctors per week. I do not know how he keeps on working. He is in real estate which is excruciatingly slow right now so that is part of why he can continue.

He has made many improvements lately. The sugar is under control as is the blood pressure. He exercises regularly and has begun to loose weight. None of that mattered last night. I just felt overwrought so I cried and cried alone in the family room at three in the morning.

Oh, and to sweeten the deal my doctor has me doing tests to see what is wrong with my liver. My liver! I never drank more than 3 drinks per week, usually not that much. I never did drugs or even took more than a perscription or two at a time.

 Well, things improved a little in the morning. I talked this situation over with my parents and children. I am considering getting back on my antidepressant which I recently weaned off of. It helped me a lot and now I am up in the middle of the night worrying about things I cannot control, crying off and on throughout the day over little things. I was doing fine until these health problems accumulated.

I know that I have to take it easy and apply the same skills I have learned to deal with addiction to the chonic diseases. It just seems so unfair but then life just gets tougher as we age. I am only 54 and my husband 56. I am not ready either loose him or see him decline so rapidly. We are working together finally to reverse this situation. The blessing is that after more than 30 years together I still can not imagine my life without him. I really do believe that his situation will improve but last night reason lost and the fears won. A battle lost does not mean a war lost.

Let this be a warning to any of you that might be trifling with diabetes. It is not unusual for everything to be fine, you feel fine, you look fine and then one day every major system takes a major hit. That is where he is and because I love him that is where I am too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ghostly Girl

I saw a friend of Beth,s street walking today. It made me very very sad with a soul gripping grief that I could not shake all day. I thought about stopping the car and talking to her. What is a beautiful and sweet girl like you doing here? W hat can I do to help? What have you tried to get out of this? I was afraid to do it. I was too exhausted by my own life to do it but I felt a certain guilt in just passing her by. I do not know her parents or even her last name but she said her mom was a teacher and that she went to catholic school.

Beth said that they were not seeing each other anymore as this girl was shooting heroine. Now I see her walking down a street that is a known drug zone....... circling around...... walking very slow in her short shorts and looking very very dazed. This ghostly girl has haunted me all day.

It could be Beth but it is not. Yet, they were recently friends and it disturbs me. I have told none of my family or real world friends what is unnerving me but now you know. How many more beautiful and loved young people will we loose to this plague. God help us all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Unexpected Ally

Twice this week we needed help and it came from an unexpected source. Beth helped us out twice. The first time was last Saturday. We have a beach house that we rent out on a weekly basis. The cleaning service never showed and we had upset tenants on our hands. DH and I had to go clean but DH could hardly walk. He called Beth and she agreed to come and help us. She worked diligently and seemed happy to have been able to come to the rescue.

She also came over today. I was out and DH called saying he was sick with violent chills again. I called Beth who was with a friend. They went right over and sat with him until I got home. She then proceeded to take her trophys out of the basement. She wants to put them on a shelf in her apartment. I think it is good that she is remembering what it felt like to be thanked and praised for accomplishments and contributions. This was the norm in her life before the trauma, mental illness and addiction.

She also told me that she has been having a lot of panic attacks lately. ( It might be because she is off the prozak.) I asked if she told the Doctor and she said no. She is also starting to obsess about a car again. Lots of days she does not feel good enough to look for one. Her knee has been hurting a lot lately. When she feels good enough to get out and look she just wants to get the first thing she sees. Sigh  like cars with more than 200,000 miles on them.

I am not thrilled about her getting a car but it is her money and a reasonable request. She really can not walk any distance without pain and for a woman it is particularly dangerous to get around without a car. On the other hand we all know the easier access to drugs and the other dangers of a car. We are looking for a honda or toyota with current inspection sticker and a price below 4000.00. Any other suggestions?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


What was your worst vacation experience with the addict?  Our worst was a few years ago when we had bought tickets to visit my Aunt in Florida. We were looking forward to a winter break for just hubby and me. My aunt is a wonderful hostess and was looking forward to pampering us.

Beth tried to kill herself by taking all her psych meds after cutting up her arms. This all was a result of a fight with the boyfriend who found out that she was using cocaine again. She was admitted to the psych ward and stayed there for a few days. We cancelled to be with her. We told the whole sad story to my aunt who cried and cried.

She has been hospitalized 4 times after attempting suicide. She was in a coma after the most serious attempt. She has made verbal references to another attempt from time to time but no actions in the last two years. This is also an experience which backs me up from a tough love stance. Dealing with a person that you know is capable of taking there own life or at least putting it recklessly on the line in a fit of anger or depression changes a mother's response. Once she did this because she had relapsed and would rather die. The other times involved rejection from a failed romance. She never really acted because of the boundaries that I set and kept. I often feared that response and did what I thought had to be done anyway. I thank God that she is still alive. Where there is life there is hope!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Great Vacation

     I got back from Panama on Monday during the wee hours of the morning. It was a great break and the first time in the last 4 years that the vacation was not canceled or sorely interrupted by the antics of the addict.

I went with a tour group called Caravan. A girlfriend and I traveled together. Her husband does not travel and mine can not travel in the summer as this is his busy season. It was wonderful not to have to make any decisions all the while being entertained and pampered. Panama is very warm and very welcoming to Americans. Panama City is very modern and safe with all the infrastructure that American are used to. It is ok to drink the water and eat the food freely which we certainly did. We toured the canal, the  mountain highlands and the pacific shore areas. We saw beautiful scenery and adorable little monkeys about the size of squirrels.

I am just starting to get caught up on my normal life. Beth came over today to do her laundry. She is taking some pride in her apartment. She keeps it clean and is having some fun decorating it. She has a job interview tomorrow. This has not happened in a long time. She remains off her antidepressant which seems to be stopping her mania but increases her depression. She had a panic attack yesterday while trying to arrange car insurance. Well, it was very frustrating. She called 7 or 8 companies looking for a special program that we know exists for people on medicaid in our state. No one could help her but they were all willing to sell her something she could not afford. I found the dollar a day program the next day. It took 3 hours and all my dealing with bullshit skills to accomplish it.

Her ssi disability settlement is covering her rent, food and medical. I am paying the electric bill. She will get her gas and spending money by working when she can. She has been doing yard work here and there and clipping dogs when she can. There were no lists open for low income apartments or section 8. Not just no apartments available but no lists open to be on a waiting list. These places charge one third of a persons income. That would make her independent. She was grateful to have any roof over her head. She did not balk at the low income places.

I am much less crazy knowing that she has a roof over her head and where to find her. As you know, she was homeless for the better part of the last 4 years. She went to and finished multiple rehabs. She continued to relapse. She was attacked several times while on the street. She just kept getting crazier and crazier. She was in and out of several mental institutions. She almost died several times and kept taking herself back to rehab. At one point she was gone for 6 weeks and we thought she was dead. We were calling morgues and jails and police departments. That is what changed my mind about the tough love. I thought, what if she was doing the best she can and I never even find her body?  At this point, she has some days where she seems perfectly normal. She says she is clean. I bet she is not totally clean but has cut back some. She does not seem to be doing heroine at all. I think she is drinking more and doing pot more. She now has working friends as opposed to addict friends. She knows we love her and support her recovery. All is not well but i told you that I would tell the truth. It is a whole lot better than it was before for the family. We can sleep at night and have some enjoyment in life. It is better for her to have a place where she is safe from being victimized on the street. At this point, I have no regrets for helping her get her SSI. It only cost me time.