This story comes to you from the addicts mother. I lost my son to heroin addiction. I am writing this to separate the real from the fake. Some of what I will write may be too real for some to accept. However, it is my truth and my hopes are to educate the family of the alcoholic or drug addict.
Michael’s Story of Addiction The point of view from the addicts mother.
My son Michael was born July 4th, 1989 in a town called Red Bank New Jersey. He was such a gentle soul, the first moment I saw him my eyes lit up. I was in love with him. I knew at that moment I would do anything for him, and I would support him through anything.
Michael was a very intelligent boy and a very free spirit. Our family had a history of alcohol and drug abuse. My husband had been seeking alcohol counseling for years and my brothers and uncles had a history of alcoholism too.
According to the information he talked to me about, he had started drinking when he was about twelve years old. He was bullied a lot in high school and had a lot of stress from home, which I accepted responsibility for. He wound up on probation the first time when he was 14. He then repeatedly wound up violating numerous times due to dirty urine tests. They would then give him the option to go to drug and alcohol treatment or go to jail. He would always choose drug and alcohol treatment over jail and would come home healthier looking, but it wouldn’t last for long.
By the time Michael was 18 he was working a job and seemed like he could manage his life enough regardless of his drinking or drug use. He told us he was happy and that’s all that mattered to us. He received a scholarship to go to Brookdale Community College for baseball, but in the spring of that year was hit by a car and injured several vertebrae in his back. The doctors prescribed him pain killers before he was 18.
Michael’s Repetitious Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center Visits
Michael would go into treatment centers throughout his early 20s like they were vacation spots. He never could find a solution for his addiction and alcoholism struggle. We had very good insurance and he was always covered for substance abuse and mental health. He must have been to a grand total of 20-30 different drug and alcohol treatment centers through the years.
The pain killers eventually took over his life to the point where he would come into our room at night asking to check on him to make sure he didn’t overdose. This went on for almost a year or more. I was tired; tired of watching him go through this, tired of him going in and out of treatment and tired of what he put out family though.
He unfortunately passed from a heroin overdose when he was 26. After many years of psychiatric counseling and joining a group for mothers of addicts; I recovered from what this had done for me. They introduced me to a way of processing my feelings and actions through 12 steps and I wish I didn’t have to lose my son to the disease of addiction before I found this way of life.
I have since reflected on the moments I spent in therapy and speaking to treatment professionals with my son. I recall them telling emphasizing to me the importance of meetings. What I realize now is that they never explained the full condition of alcoholism as explained in most 12 step fellowships. The spiritual condition he was blocked off from the sunlight of his spirit. This explained the void I had seen in him consistently over the years.
Being an addicts mother is not easy.
It never has an upside until you see them recover. As a mother you want to see your children grow up and become happy, health and successful people. You want to love them unconditionally no matter what. Unfortunately it becomes hard to do when addiction rears its ugly head. There is hope for the mother and the addict. Both can recover. The addict can turn it all around and become your child you knew as a young mother. The young child you looked at in the crib and told yourself you’d never leave their side. This oath we make with ourselves are no different then the vows we take in marriage. They are forever. I love my sons addict or not because they are my sons and I am their mother
What I learned from the drug & alcohol treatment industry?
I learned that you can have all of those fancy commercials saying, “I used to be an addict, but now I’m not.” All of the drug and alcohol treatment in the world might get your son or daughter clean or sober, but it won’t keep them clean and sober. I found that you need to find a program that will introduce them to what works outside of drug and alcohol treatment and the severity of the condition of drug addiction and alcoholism.
I have another son who suffers from a heroin addiction and he is in treatment right now. Unfortunately we don’t have very good insurance anymore. Luckily, I was able to get him a scholarship for treatment. I started writing a blog after my first sons overdose and was able to reach out for help. In turn I was asked to tell my story.
After all of the trials and tribulations that we went through with my son Michael, we were able to find a good treatment center for him that involves twelve step immersion and many aspects of the clinical side. I wish I could say I understood addiction, but I don’t need to. I accept it as reality and know that an addict has to accept it as well to get better.
Being an Addicts Mother Is Not Easy
I write this as a last ditch effort at hope that losing a child is the hardest thing to ever accept. Helping others, freed me from the hopelessness that came along with losing a son to a drug overdose. As a mother you try everything and nothing works. A mother needs to understand that the addict suffers from a disease that there is no cure for. The addict needs to want recovery for themselves and has to put forth the action to get it.
Through the years my biggest fear was losing my son to the disease of addiction. My only hope is to help the mothers who have not lost their children and still have a chance to save them. If you get something out of my story I will be happy. One thing you must listen to is this; they are your children and they will always be. Never give up on them and keep fighting until you have nothing left, because the pain of losing them is far greater then the pain of helping them.