Sunday, 16 March 2014

Please don't judge my son



Please Don't Judge My Son
By: Rose Barbour 

There’s an unshakable ache inside my heart
The words you say that tear me apart
While you see a junkie and scum of the earth
I see the child who I’ve loved since birth.

I love him today as much as I did then
That you judge him so cruelly is an absolute sin
You look in disgust at my sick young man
When you could instead, make him feel worthy again.

With your cruel words, you keep him down
There’s no place for “them” in this nice town
You’d rather see him suffer another day
Than to lend a helping hand and lead the way.

What you don’t understand or seem to know
Is that attitudes like yours cause it to grow
A compassionate society will kill this disease
That thrives in shame, secrecy and general unease.

So many are dying, while some are barely alive
Simply existing in the world trying to survive
A slave to a disease that knows no bounds
As we turn a blind eye, it is making its rounds.

Let’s talk about it and bring it into the light
Let’s not let it win, together let’s fight
Let’s stop the judging and our misguided hate
Let’s open our arms to those we underrate.

Please give my boy hope and all the others
That we won’t stand by and lose another
We want them to get well and will do what it takes
To bring them back home for all our sakes.

Rose Barbour
http://shadowsinpei.blogspot.ca/2014/03/please-dont-judge-my-son.html

28 comments:

  1. Rose, your beautiful poem brought tears to my eyes. I feel the same way each time the topic of addiction comes up and I think of my secret.... that both my children are addicted to opiates. Even though they are both receiving treatment and no longer using, they feel judged, even from their own age group. So until they feel they can speak about it, I must remain silent about my family's situation but I take every opportunity to educate others on the disease of addiction. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done and continue to do to keep this issue in the forefront. You are making a difference.

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    1. Thank you! I am happy to be your voice and that of your children until such time that you find your own. This is a disease that has impacted many families. I will definitely keep the conversation going and am so glad that you are educating as well. I am so glad that your children are getting better. I wish you and your family all the best. Take care!

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  2. awesome poem!!! he must be very proud of you as you are of him!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! He is five months in recovery and we are all very grateful for that!

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  3. Yes, I feel your pain, but the change has to come from them, our compassion will really not do much good. Thousands of good kids are becoming addicted but we can't change that after the fact, only they can. Change has to come from within. All we can do is to educate them before they get in the drug and alcohol trap and hope they are listening.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Historically, society has not been compassionate to those battling addiction (ie war on drugs and lack of good treatment programs) and the problem has gotten worse, much worse. It would be much easier for one to decide to get help if they knew the appropriate help was going to be available to them so they'd have a chance, and if people treated them like human beings when they reached out for help. It is harder to find the courage to change from within when all of society looks down on you.

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    2. Rose, you are absolutely right! I have been involved in 12 step addiction recovery for 15 years, and while I agree that lasting change must come from within, the truth is many addicts who would gladly take advantage of the chance to turn their lives around are denied the opportunity because of a lack of treatment options. Our society could actually save both money and lives if we funded treatment and decriminalized this disease.

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    3. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting! Yes, we have to invest in treatment, not more jails if people are going to get well. People deserve the opportunity to recover from addiction just like they do with any other illness.

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  4. Never a truer word said Rose we are still fighting it with our son and we still hope and pray that he will get healthy again and take the help that has been offered and given to him so many times so a person should never judge they have a sickness but they still need love and support to hopefully overcome this terrible and deadly disease

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Sometimes it can take several attempts at treatment before it sticks. We need to offer as many treatment options as possible so that individuals will have a better chance of finding what works for them. I hope your son finds what he needs and enters recovery.

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  5. Rose, I am SO proud of your son and proud of you for supporting him. PEI is severely lacking in the variety of treatments available to addicts. Treatment is not one-size-fits-all; each individual needs to find something that speaks to him/her. I find that on the Island, 12-step programs are most common; unfortunately, these programs do not speak to me. Methadone treatment is also ineffective for me. What I find to be most helpful is dealing with my underlying anxiety problems. My addiction was simply an ineffective coping method. As long as I view my addiction as such, and deal first and foremost with the anxiety, I can stay clean. I recognize that my addiction held power over me, but what held more power over me was my crippling anxiety. That is where I choose to focus my treatment.

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    1. Thank you for your response. I am so happy that you have found recovery. That is wonderful! I absolutely agree that we need to offer many options so that people can find what works for them. Finding recovery is not a one-size-fits-all as you said - you can't fit a square peg into a round hole no matter how hard you try. We have to offer more. You are an inspiration!

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  6. Rose:
    Beautiful poem. Please let your son know how proud we all are of him.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! I like to tell my son and others who battle addiction, either active or in recovery, that there are many good, kind people rooting for their return to health. Many times they only hear the negative things so it always means a lot to them. I will most certainly share your kind words with my son. Thank you!

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  7. Grateful friend2 July 2014 at 16:08

    Thank you Rose... for sharing your beautiful poem about your son. I myself struggled for many years with what doctors diagnosed as mental "illness" (addiction, depression, eating disorders and on) in Prince Edward Island and initially felt so ashamed and guilty to suffer in such a small place where everyone knows everyone. There should be no shame or stigma associated with these conditions, on PEI or anywhere... many who suffer are the most sensitive, kind people. We need to treat these beautiful souls with the utmost respect, compassion and love. They can all be well - these 'conditions' are reversible. Thank you for sharing... I will share as well ;)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. You are right that people shouldn't have to feel ashamed for being ill. They need kindness and compassion, not judgement. Thank you for sharing as well.

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  8. My son is serving 5 years in prison because of poor choices he made in addiction. We said we'd never bail him out of jail, but after a month of prayer we responded to his request to bond him into Fresh Start Ministries Recovery in Orlando , Florida. He was able to graduate their one year program before heading of to prison. This was his third try at rehab, and the best. Two years plus clean and sober. Praise God.

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    1. What wonderful news! When he gets out of prison, he will have a whole new lease on life. I am so happy for all of you. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Rose, just saw your wonderful poem posted on a FB page for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings - all who have lost loved ones to this horrible disease. Thank you for your words. I would like to use, giving full credit to you and link to your blog. But I wanted to be sure that is okay with you. I'm on FB Barbara Allen for PM or Shatter the Stigma(r) as well. Bless your son and all you do to bring hope and sunshine to others.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! I am very sorry that your family has been devastated by this disease as well. I am so grateful that my son is 15 months into his recovery because I could NOT imagine losing him. You can share anything from my blog that you like. Thank you so much! xo

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  10. Absolutely beautiful. Wish I couldve seen this poem a few yrs ago and shared it with friends and family.

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you don't need it now because your son is in recovery. If it is because you lost your son, I am so very sorry. xo

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  11. The stigma with addiction is unreal. It is an illness that is hard to beat but it can be done. Please don't give up on your kids. They need you there when the rest of the world has turned their backs.

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  12. Thank you for your kind words, I live in a town where addiction is viewed as a moral failing. There have been some awful things said to me regarding my son. The first time I felt I had friends who understood and that I was not alone, was after joining The Addicts Mom. I cant say enough about how they saved my sanity and maybe my life. Love these ladies!

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    1. Thank you for your comment! Addiction is very misunderstood and stigmatized. That is why it is freeing to find a group of people who understand and show compassion and caring. I'm glad you found that support. xo

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