Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Lost a Friend

Not to drugs but to suicide.A common theme these past months on our small Island,mostly among our young people with addiction & mental health issues.Every parents nightmare.But this time it was the parent.A Beautiful soul who was a friend of mine for many years.

I knew her before the depression got a hold of her,As a kind, lovable,giving, nursing student,who had so much empathy it oozed from her.I also worked with her sister. Beth was the baby of her family and was always surrounded by unconditional love.Her nightmare began with many years of spousal abuse.She found the courage to leave and figured she was on the road to happiness.After a few years as an MLA in the government,giving back to the people in her community she was once again enveloped by the arms of Clinical Depression.She sought help,talked about it openly, to try and de stigmatize mental illness.

Last week the depression won,In a province with so many suicides and only half the required number of Mental Health specialists ,I fear we will lose a few more.1.5 years waiting for a mental health assessment is unacceptable on soooo many levels.

Unfortunately I was away at the time of Beth's death,and unable to attend her funeral.She will be greatly missed,not only by her family but by every life she touched,That's just who she was.

If ever there was an Earthly Angel,She held that title...

We will Laugh & Talk again Beth..xo

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Is This His Time ?

Well here we go again,I hope & pray this is his time.Still no word if he will get an opportunity to get long term treatment,but not giving up hope..yet.The rest is up to him.I hope he embraces recovery this time.We will give him the opportunity to come back home to work his program and stay clean.Love & a safe place is all we have left to give him..I know you've heard it all before...and here are again.

Again I am heading off for a short visit with my Older son & Family...My Beautiful granddaughter's 2nd birthday..where does the time go..At least this time my hubby will not be left to deal with my son alone,a mini vacation for him also...xo

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Nightmare

I had a really bad sleep last night,the reason I am sure is because my son is entering detox again and the same fears and what if's creep in.

1.5 years ago my dad died,the day of his funeral,we the family were inside sharing a lunch with those that attended and sharing stories about my Dad.My husband approached me with a look of terror on his face.Apparently my youngest son was out at the grave,not crying,but filling it in shovel shovel full.I went out to talk to him.He explained his grandfather would want him to do this..not some stranger.I went back inside and let him continue to do what he need to do,much to the shock of alot people.It was his way of showing his love,who am I to judge.

Well last night it was me filling in that grave,and it was my son's grave not my father's.I can still see that image today.What a true nightmare addiction is and for all involved.I have to keep fighting for better treatment to keep my mind busy on the positives and stop these images from creeping into not only my waking hours but now my dreams...I sang this song to both my son's when they were babies...and to my granddaughter today,I wish things were this simple today to bring calm & comfort to my son.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Different View

As I opened the morning paper today to read another Mother's Story of Loss..It hit me hard..I think I was still holding out hope her son would be found alive..My son will enter detox,yet again, on the weekend.Then what? I struggle continually with the Tough Love Theory...We tried that early on his life in dealing with his ADHD...It did not work..It certainly will not work now with an added Disease of Addiction.As I have mentioned before, the enabling I have down to a science.We do not enable anymore.I do however struggle with the decision to give him over to the streets, when he so desperately seeks & needs long term treatment.I know in my Heart I cannot do it.I will take him home after detox and support & advocate for further treatment for his addiction & mental Illness.

 This morning I received an e-mail from a young man that sealed my decision.He is now clean and has been in recovery for 7 years.He wrote... "MY" e-mail brought tears to his eyes as he remembered how his course of using and addiction affected his Mamma & Family,Ironically HIS brought tears to my eyes..Not only for the hope it gave me that recovery is possible..But it was the Love of his parents who never turned him out that he gives credit to for saving his life by allowing him to stay at home,It also allowed him to seek help.2 things he mentioned in his letter are worth sharing.
1.Remember even if you can't see it or feel it your son loves you and feels safe knowing you haven't given up believe me if he could,he would stop.
2. something my mother said when I asked her why she never slammed the door on me. Her response was what if that was the last time I saw you. What if my actions made you realize your life was so empty and it caused you to end your life, I would never forgive myself.

I truly believe this is a disease and thus should be treated as such..I would not turn him away if it was Cancer and I just can't turn him away now as he reaches for recovery.As I have said before there is no right or wrong answer in dealing with this...each person's story is different and what led them to recovery...We will see how this works if he is given the chance for proper treatment..Keep your fingers crossed & keep us in your prayers as he enters Detox again this weekend, that this will be his time when he reaches for recovery and succeeds...xoxo

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A New Abode

The search is on for another place to stay.His current room mates( I say this lightly as he is sleeping in their storage room) are leaving the province.Just yesterday a friend(my guardian Angel) wrote in her blog about our children being homeless and the anguish , we as parents go through, having to turn them away.This was the topic of conversation at our home this weekend.

He still has another week in his cozy quarters but after that..he's out.It also is his last week of work.I honestly did not think he would make it..but he did.He managed to keep himself going by the grace of god,Mamma's taxi service and home cooked meals.( of course the week isn't over yet).He is then scheduled to enter detox,hopefully( I say this lightly) then a sober living home till he gets( or doesn't) a shot at Off Island treatment.

This is where things get dicey.What if there is no bed available at the sober-Living( 10)? This is where things got heated.Can I come home? This is where I may have turned a corner of sorts.Although he wanted an answer then,I told him that's now how I work anymore.I am only living in today and today I can't answer you.We will see how things work out with everything else in his plans and we will talk about it at that time.He pushed for an answer,he had to know,he couldn't have this on his mind for weeks...blah blah blah.The truth is I did not have an answer.He let it drop,for today.It was too easy,he never lets things drop without a drawn out fight.But I'll it take it for what it was,Drove him back to his apt and actually relaxed for the rest of the day with no further thought to the conversation( a feat in itself for me!!).

In previous attempts to come home it always ended with both of us upset.Yesterday it was just him.I lived in the moment,and for that day only...Where today take us..Who knows...This is what I truly love about my Guardian Angel,She is always there to bounce off and never,never Judges.You have to do what is best for you and your family..everyone's circumstances are different,there is no right or wrong,you do what feels right for you...Gotta love a friend like that..xoxo.I keep adding to my arsenal with bits & pieces from others who go down the same path,some worked,other's did not,It is such an Individual Journey with a common thread.Positive thoughts someday, my turn will come, when I write in my Blog, my son has been in recovery for 3 months,1 year,2 years,etc...xoxo

Today my thoughts are with another Family,Their son is missing,Suspected Suicide who struggled with Addiction with indequate treatment.This would be 2 this last week.I pray and think of them today...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rememberance Day

I come from a long line of Veterans,who have fought all over the world.I am so proud.My Dad fought in Korea. Both my Grandfather's fought in WW1 & WW2 along side their sons.How awful that must of been for the mothers,both Husband & Son's gone off to war.They were made of strong stock,not only handling all the farm work at home & raising the children still at home,but the fear of getting that letter in the mail telling you, your husband or son is missing in action.                                                                                                                                                                               My Grandmother got such a letter,In heavy black type on an air mail letter,her son had given his life in Italy in 1943.He was her second born and the only one of 5 children that looked like her.He was 18 and very handsome,had a wonderful sense of humor, Loved his Mamma more than anything.He was popular with everyone and always went out of way to help someone else.In fact the day he was killed he was filling in for his brother, As a driver,for 4 Star General , when a Bomb struck their car.He & his best friend who was also in the car were instantly killed.The General and his staff survived.He wrote my Grandmother a very touching letter.It included the conversation he had with him about his much loved Island & his Mamma.
 It had been just a few short months before she had received a letter from him telling her the news.These letters were always upbeat & funny..But always ended with asking for money & Cigs..This last letter contained the news that he won a Medal, It was the Golden Gloves Medal for Boxing ! He hadn't told her he was on the team, for fear she would worry about him getting hurt.He told her he lost weight with none of her homecooked meals and thus qualified for the 135lb weight division on the Canadian Team.The Championships were held in London,which as he explained he joined the boxing club to spend some time in London with a gal he met there, when he first arrived in Europe.
 The Day of the Final match he was up Against an American.He wrote he was one of the nicest boys he had ever met and really did not have the heart to fight him.So he danced around him, Avoiding his punches but not attempting to fight back.It was the last round and it was tied,he decided he better make his team Proud and landed a few knock - out punches..But his opponent kept getting back up.Finally after the last Punch and he hit the floor,My Uncle told him " For god's sake stay down, I don't want to hurt your pretty face anymore,Your Mamma will kill me!!".He Did..This young man wrote my grandmother for years after the war,he was from the "Boston States" and an Irishman like my grandmother.
 Just last year I inherited the medal & his letters all wrapped in bow and kept in a Morris Chocolates Box for safe keeping.I in turn donated his medal to the local Military Museum.It now proudly hangs in it's walls underneath his picture for all to see and enjoy,He will not be forgotten.
 While reading these letters and getting to know him through his words, it struck me I know this Boy...Not only is my Youngest son the spit of him,But carry's his personality traits.
 On this day of Remembrance I not only remember the sacrifice's our Men & Boys made for their counties,But also for the boy I used to know.

Peace & Freedom

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mamma Why

Are you always so angry? A Question my son asked me yesterday as I ran him to work.Duuuuh.
Kinda tells you the mental state my son is in!! I couldn't even answer I was so angry!!

After giving his question some thought through out the day I gave him an answer at supper.
Fear...Fear of the unknown...Of not knowing where his addiction is going to lead us.Fear he is going die.Fear that his father & I's marriage won't survive much longer.Fear Fear Fear.

 Does that answer your question?

I dislike the term "detach".You have to "detach with Love".A fellow blogger once wrote me and said use the word "distance" instead.Sounds so much better.I was doing better at distancing myself,but lately with his neediness for food,drives,support,
etc,that distance is shortening again and with it my anger is rising.I need to work on this again,I am slipping backwards instead of moving ahead.Sound familiar? No Different than his battle with his drug of choice,The only difference is he is mine.

I did get a letter of support from my Family Doctor yesterday for long term treatment for my son.It was very powerful so I hope it will help.I also again asked for a wee something for myself,just to numb me a bit.Again the answer was no.You can't be numb dealing with him,you need to be at full speed,hopefully he will soon be in treatment and you will heal...Hope he says the same thing next time he sees me and I am wearing one of those cute little jackets that tie in the back!! AnyWhooooooooooo..Deep Breath..Time for me today. xo

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Methadone Clinic

 More news yesterday on our Islands fight with addiction,A New Methadone Clinic.It is an independent clinic run by 8 doctors.It is not connected with the Addiction Centers Clinic nor is it under the Governments Umbrella.Four of these Doctors presently have anywhere from 50-100 patients in their Family practise and have been practising this way for 7 years.
 I know Doctors get a bad rapp for over prescribing opiates but these 4 doctors seen the need for life saving help for addicts( I hate that word) and stepped up to the plate.This wasn't easy for them to do,along with their regular patients to have & monitor up to 100 methadone patients,I know the pitfalls trying to handle one!! They plan to Add another 100 immediately.

 One of these Doctors is my own Family Doctor who had been looking after my son for over 20 years, Until a few months ago when he couldn't deal with him & his Lies & attempted manipulation anymore.I have nothing but admiration for the man,He is an excellent Doctor.

 What I find Ironic about this announcement, is on Friday at the news conference, regarding the Addiction & Mental Health report,They hired an overseer. A new chief mental health and addictions officer to oversee all areas of addiction & Mental Health.The Idea is to have her bring them together so those with addictions, can access the help they need in a seamless manner, not have each agency work independently ( their eg was bring the silo's together).In Theory a great Idea,but in putting it into practise may take time.More time then some of our Addicts have perhaps.

 In His Interview yesterday One of the Doctor's spearheading this Clinic stated they wanted to remain independent and not have big brother dictate to them.After all these are not some yahoo's from the backwoods.They are trained physicians first, trained in Methadone Maintenance and reached out to the addiction Community with help when no one else did.My opinion is they deserve a whole lot respect & Kudo's for taking this next step that is greatly needed in our City!!

 The Province also intends to open a clinic to help with easier access to those associated with The Addiction Center & also increase the openings in their program to ease the long waiting list.
The Doctors announced theirs will open in the New Year,The government gave no timeline other than as soon as possible.

  Dealing with the Government and their initiatives sometimes feels like your watching a magic show,alot of slight of hand ,disappearing acts & Illusions,but in the end... no White Rabbit was pulled out of the Hat.

 Congrats to the Family Doctors for taking this step in helping with the struggles our children with Addictions go thro daily in waiting for their lottery number to pop up and get on the methadone program!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Weekend Review

 I ran for the shore...My refuge when things are not going so great...I had such hope for that damn report..and it left both myself,but most importantly my son down.He also was awaiting it,in hopes of some kind of treatment in the immediate future..But it was void.
 My son came over today to do laundry,have a good meal & shower.He looked sad & sounded almost hopeless..There was no manipulation..Only talk of recovery,treatment,a better life.He was sick,I could see it in his eyes,his voice.While he was here Detox phoned regarding a bed.He explained he was working,2 weeks left, if they could arrange a bed around that time,she promised to do the best she could and keep him on the list to ensure when he was done, a bed would be available quickly.Bless her heart!!
 We are working on a application for out of province treatment..we will see where that takes us.Very few get it..I pray he does..I'm scared of his talk,his look,even in his darkest moments in the past,  I have never seen him like this..It causes me great concern & fear.Recently I have reconnected with an old friend I have not seen in years,She just lost her son to addiction..She is going thro hell..her reality is my greatest fear!!
I have an appointment with my Family doc this week..perhaps he can help regarding my son's mental health.I do know I can't fix him,only he can do that...xo  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mental Health and Addictions Report

 Well, I attended the Looooong awaited report on Mental Health and Addictions today.It was a packed house  with standing room only.I hate being an optimist,more often than not, It is not what I hoped for,This report was no different.
It did contain a few tidbits.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           He expanded the methadone treatment and included a methadone clinic..this should decrease the wait times for our Addicts,allowing them to receive it in a timely manner not waiting for a year.

  •  He also announced a 10-bed transition unit for use after detox..with a stay of an extra 21 days..He failed to mention these are not new beds..but beds that were already available just never used.BUT I'll take them !! 
  •  He expanded access to Suboxone for youth ( 18-24)
  •  Hired 3 new staff to help those with addictions navigate the system.
  •  Added assistance to a new youth addictions after-care project.( 18-24)
  • Reviewing prescription drug coverage..hired an investigator to look into this problem.
  • Hired a Chief Mental Health and Addictions Officer to oversee and bring all areas of addiction & mental together rather than working on their own making it difficult to obtain any seamless treatment and services.
That's it folks!!
No new sober living facilities
No long treatment program or plan
No Rehab
1.2 million spent on this new strategy...Most of it's on wages for new staff hired or shuffled from other depts)..To say I am disappointed is putting it mildly...I am happy for the youth..a few more, much needed, tools to help with their addictions..Sadly nothing to help my son..or others who are over 24.
 As I sat there surveying the room it was mostly Community Agency's,Dept's of Government & Staff,MLA's,Staff of addictions, Special Interest Groups. Where I was sitting was a handful of Women,Who tirelessly work & fight everyday to improve the services for addicts..Yes Mother's of Addicts( who were left out in his opening address thanking almost everyone else for being there) .Some of whom have formed organizations,some who go it alone..But all with a common goal..Treatment!!! I watched afterwards  as some of these women swarmed the speakers with question after question to get clarification on the report, gave interviews to the press.They were not fooled by the big talk and little action being heard, by those of us with our children's lives on the line.It gave us little hope...So the fight continues..I wonder how many more son's & daughter's we will lose waiting..waiting..for long term treatment..One of those now could be mine...

Added Nov2: After just reading the local paper, The minister stated the 10 " New" beds are for youth..Argggh.