Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Gut-wrenching pain

Addiction is a family disease where every member is impacted in one way or another. The pain is gut-wrenching and sometimes you simply lose hope, temporarily. But, somehow, in all of the pain and chaos, you find the strength to carry on another day.

Today, I am sharing posts from other mothers who are praying that their children make it out of this nightmare alive. Sadly, love and prayers were not enough to save some of the children, and they didn’t make it (I could not imagine!!!). Through their words, these moms express their hopes, their fears, and their pain. Their emotions are very raw and truly reflect the day to day struggles that we face as parents of individuals battling addiction.  

You will also hear from a very brave boy whose mother and father are both battling addiction.

They have all given me permission to share their posts with you.

Yesterday, I lost my son. He drowned. He told the treatment facility he wasn’t ready to leave. They discharged him anyway. Don’t know if he was high or not. I don’t care. I just want my son back. My heart is so heavy. ~ Sarah 

I am sitting here bawling my eyes out and shaking uncontrollably. I have had enough!!!! I honestly can't take anymore!! I hate drugs and I hate this life and I am all done with it!! I don't want to be here anymore. I can't be here anymore!! Son # two has been lying to me. He is still actively shooting heroin!! I am soooo beyond repair! ~Brenda

My son is in treatment. I'm so very proud of him but I do have some concerns, of course. I'm the mom that's just so BURNT! Anyway, today he said something to me that literally crushed me. It was so powerful. He said, ‘Mom, I'm doing okay but I really wish I had CANCER where I could get chemo and radiation, and then I’ll either get better or die. At least with cancer you have a chance at getting better. Our disease NEVER GOES AWAY. We can only try to tame it. One day at a time!’ I found so much sadness in these words. Here he is in an active program and that's how he feels. I pray that he feels serene at some point in his journey because I fear if he doesn't, why would he want to stay clean? I'm praying for strength for my boy.  Would you mind lifting him up in your prayers tonight? Thank you and so much love to all. ~Jessica

Have been on this roller coaster ride for 4 years and I want off. I want my son back. I want my life back. I can't remember what it feels like to be truly happy.~Tracey

So yesterday was a day of enough. Enough with empty promises and lies. Eight weeks from sober living and nothing good. Empty promises.. yelling .. being called every name in the book when I told him he was leaving! I got him a motel room. Drove him there in tears. We cried and I heard more lies. I drove home in tears! He texted me. You ok? You get home ok?.. yes and yes.. I love you... I love you too.. more tears... I hate this disease. I hate what I had to do. I hate the devil that keeps taking my son from me. I want that boy back who was in recovery for those 4 months! I hate drugs and alcohol! ~Gemma

Wonder if the day will ever come that I will just stop crying! ~Ally

I feel like such a total failure. One beautiful daughter dead from addiction. My son an alcoholic and pill addict. Why did GOD let me have kids if this is the way it would turn out? My heart ripped out and bleeding. Raising my daughter’s three beautiful little ones. What assurance do I have that this won't get frigged up too???? I am sad, tired, and always afraid to hope. Put on the act for everyone around me. I feel like the most pathetic loser in the world. Every breath I had went into raising my kids. I have plenty of online support, been in counseling for 4 yrs. As hypocritical as it sounds, I am a believer, and have such strong faith. Stood on GOD's promises. I don't blame GOD. I am so damn lost, but still have to put every ounce of loving energy into my grandchildren. I guess I just needed to get this off my chest. You are the only ones I can be completely honest with. GOD help us all. ~Pearlene

Help me breathe, please help me breathe! I cannot take another second of this madness! GOD, PLEASE HELP ME!! ~Tanya

 My heart is heavy. On the way home tonight, my 11-year-old grandson said, ‘Nana, I want to ask you a question, and I want you to be really honest.’ I knew it was going to be a deep one. He said, ‘Nana, when my dad gets out of jail, if he starts using again, what are you going to do? Being in jail does not count as being clean. When he gets out what if he is lying and starts again on the drugs??’ I told my grandson that I have already told his dad that this is it. I can’t do this anymore. That if he goes back, I will have to cut him out of our lives. My grandson said, ‘That is what you need to do but can you do it?? I can do it because he has never been a real dad to me. But I know how hard it would be to cut out your kid. But Nana, if you don't, he is killing you.’ All I could say is that I would pray on this and hope it never comes to having to make that decision. But how the heck does an 11-year-old get this smart??? ~Nana

This amazing grandson also shared his story publicly in front of 300 strangers, including judges, lawyers and parents. He even wrote the speech himself! Pretty amazing. The pastor said a prayer with him beforehand, which calmed his nerves. He did a wonderful job. Here is the video on You Tube (Dare Challenge Speech) . Grab a tissue.

Please pray for the families who have been impacted by addiction: a disease that comes with very little help, and very little family and/or public support. Most people suffer in silence in their daily lives, reaching out only to strangers online. Crippled with fear of how their family will be judged. These strangers provide a lifeline because they understand. They are living the nightmare, too.

If we ever hope to save today's generation and prevent others from going down this path, we have to become a compassionate society who cares, even though we may not fully understand the cold, cruel disease of addiction.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Treatment without gaps; a wonderful result

Our son is enjoying his new life in recovery. He has truly turned a new page in his life.

He works all day and spends his nights and weekends at home with family.

He buys all of his necessities and loves that he can do that now.

He pays room and board and, much to our surprise, even gives extra because he can and he wants to.

He treats his family to dinner almost every payday because it makes him feel good.

He tends to things around the house because he likes to help out.

He manages his cravings by doing something to take his mind off of them.

He does not want to go back to the life of hell.

Yes, our son is enjoying all that life has to offer.

He is constantly expressing his gratitude and how good it feels to be clean.

Life is good!

By getting the treatment he needed, he was given a new lease on life.

Every person should have this opportunity to get well. Every. Single. Person.

Our son is in this wonderful place because he finally got the treatment that he needed and has been asking for. He was on the waiting list for two years. That was a very long two years for him and us.

There were no gaps between his detox and his treatment this time. It was seamless.

To improve his odds of a successful recovery even more, my son also got into an aftercare program at The Reach Foundation shortly after treatment. He was so lucky to get into their first group. It is an amazing place with amazing people. Through the Foundation, he is gainfully employed and learning new work and life skills. His recovery is the priority and he is fully supported in attending appointments and meetings. He is also surrounded by positive adult role models as well as peers who are also in recovery.

We are truly fortunate to have an aftercare program like The Reach Foundation in Stratford. It is new and I have no doubt that it will grow across the Island with the proper investment from government, the business community, and Islanders.

I thank God each and every day for my son’s recovery. I also thank the folks at Mt. Herbert (Dr. Ling, in particular), the good people who started The Reach Foundation (Janice Coady, Cheryl Roche, and Verna Ryan), government for investing in addiction treatment last fall (much more needs to be done please), and everyone else who had a role to play in my son’s recovery!

Most of all, I would like to thank my son for his courage in this fight with addiction and for his love, kindness and beautiful smile that make the years of hell fade away from memory.  

I want this for every family. We have to do more. It is up to our government to invest our money into addiction treatment and aftercare programs so that people have a chance to get well. This is a healthcare issue that has a tremendous impact on society if not addressed. For every $1 spent on addiction treatment, $12 is saved in other areas including healthcare and justice. This is a good, sound investment that needs to be made immediately. Lives depend on it.


PS: Anyone wanting more information on The Reach Foundation can contact Janice at 620-0000 or