I am a sixty-year old mother of a forty-one year old drug addict. My son’s drug use and incarceration have been a fact of my life for going on thirty years. I’ve gone to Al-anon, read self help books and learned many coping skills for life with a loved one so handicapped. I have no new spiritual truth, nor any cures to offer anyone whose life parallels my own. I have only my experience to share. If you are the family member of an addict, I hope you will find fellowship in my experience. This story is written in real time from my son’s last parole in November 2018 until some point in the future when he either gets clean, gets sent to prison again, or dies from overdose. Accompanying the current reality will be bits of history written as a linear narrative. The story I tell is not without hope. While I am the mother of an active addict, I am also step-mother to two addicts who have found recovery. I will have plenty to say about them as well.
To those who have been fortunate to avoid addiction, or escaped the misery of having a loved one entrapped in a condition beyond their control, I still have nothing but my experience to share. I hope that any person who reads will find a truth about addiction they can use in their own lives. I hope it stirs compassion, tenderness, and a willingness to slip into another’s skin and feel what they feel. There is too much pain in the world for us not to love one another.
I must add that if any reader is in an abusive or dangerous situation, or has thoughts of self harm, please, please, reach out to someone now. Don’t wait. Abuse hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255