The Friendly Fog

via Daily Prompt: Skewed

My point of view when it comes to recovery or substance use is much different than someone who is not living it every day.   As a mother, I have learned to educate myself on substance use disorder.  I wante to be aware of what can happen, what is happening and how I can cope with it as  a mother.  I want to have faith and believe in my child and love them where they are at.

The friendly fog… Well that is what I would call those who have a skewed point of view on things.  Friends, family, community members and others who want to give advice on how to handle things and share what their opinion is.  Well unless they really are educated on what substance use disorder is (a chronic neurological disorder according to the surgeron general) and want to be helpful instead of overly critical, I dont’ really want to hear what they have to say.

Not because I don’t care about them.  However, I do not need eveyrone deciding what is right for me and my family.  I have chosen to do a lot of research, seek a lot of advice from those who have experienced substance use disorder themselves or a loved one.  I know it is not easy and I don’t believe in the theory “it is their choice”.  Yes, of course the first time they use a substance, that is their choice.  Somewhere along the line it becomes survival mode.

They are no longer using for “fun” they are using because it is a means of survival.  The thought of withdrawing from whatever substance they are currently using is too much to bare. They have a skewed mind because the substance has damaged their brains.  This is something we must take into account.

It most certainly is hard to listen when things are skewed.  It is certainly hard to understand when our own point of view is skewed.  Most of all it is hard to accept truths when we are stuck in a belief system that blames people with substance use disorders or mental health issues for their diseases.  So stop telling others to go get “skewed” when we all need to make sure we know what we are talking about.

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My Minds Crevice

Alarm blares at 5am.  UGH do I really need to get up? I swear I just went to sleep.  Ok, time to snooze for another 9 minutes.  I hit the snooze button.  Then I lay there trying to sleep more.  I open my eyes and look over at my husband and think why can he still be sleeping?  UGH

Then my mind wanders to our son. What is he doing?  Is he OK?  Did he stay somewhere safe last night?  Is he breathing?  I don’t feel emptier inside so he must be ok.  Then it happens, I look over at my cell phone.  Hello FaceBook Messenger…..  where I can see if he is currently online or when he last accessed his FB Messenger account.   Thank you Jesus!  He was online an hour ago.

Time to get ready for work, get the girls ready for school and head to work.  In the shower my mind drifts away to the responsibilities I have for today. Work meetings, customer needs, kids activities, dinner with family, and trying to unwind for the night.  Will he make it through today?  Will I be able to focus completely on what is in front of me today.  Will I get a call saying to come he is sick or overdosed. This is the first hour and a half of my day.

Then we drive to town, taking the oldest to school and youngest goes with me for a bit.  My mind races on the drive; I love him! he is my son. how did we get here? why can’t I fix this? his sister love him!  My husband loves him!  his brother loves him!  we need to love him where he is at.  I am dying inside and don’t know what to do.

Time to pray. I need some peace. The girls have no idea the conversations I am holding in my head today.  Lord, thank you for all you have given me. Thank you for the roof over our heads, food on our table and providing for our every need.  We especially thank you for giving your one and only son for us Lord.  Please put a circle of protection around the girls as they are in school.  Please put a circle of protection around my son and anyone else in our little town that is struggling from substance use disorder.  I ask for a spiritual awakening here Lord, that those who need to feel your love and hear you are able to.  That they can feel you and hear you and know they are worthy and loved.  We ask for these things in your precious soons name, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This is within the first 2 1/2 hours of my day.  What will happen in the next 15 hours?

 

Vigilant to be Awake

I remember the night I couldn’t sleep. Someone dropped him off and he seemed ok but as time went on it was clear he was messed up.

He sat on the couch and the nodding started. Then it turned into his mouth moving no words coming out. Graduating from that to trying so hard to stay awake but his eyes closed and he would lean way over side to side.

I was so scared. I had no idea what was going on. I tried my best to stay awake just to make sure he was ok. I googled every possible phrase to see how long it takes for an overdose after using and what the signs and symptoms are.

My Mom heart was aching, my eyes were burning, I was sooooo tired! But I was vigilant to not fall asleep just in case. Got the narcan out just to be safe.

Before me flashed every moment- from his birth, to getting RSV, to the first teeth, listening to me and his father sing silly songs to him, to him shaving his head to be like me when I had lost my hair during chemo therapy, to baseball, basketball, wrestling, Japanese Exchange student time, to first car, first girlfriend, prom, graduation and then…. here.

Thank you God for being here and listening to my every thought, hearing my prayers, comforting me when no one else can and for offering my son love and grace because he is YOUR child and you love him.

I wish I could never fall asleep and never miss a moment with him until he is in recovery. I am vigilant to be awake. However, I just cannot make it, my eyes burn, my body and mind are tired and I must sleep.

His Heart Beats

As long as his heart beats, I will stand with him. I am a Mom, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter and more. Most of all I am a precious child of God. So is he…. which sometimes I think people forget.

It is easy for people to tell me what they think I need to do or what they would do if they were me. It is easy for people to pass that judgement. What is NOT easy is to turn your back when someone you love is hurting.

As long as his heart beats, I will have HOPE.

As long as his heart beats, I will stand ready to HELP.

As long as his heart beats, I will continue to HEAR and listen to what God tells me to do with him.

As long as his heart beats, mine will REMAIN unbroken.

I can completely understand how people feel that they would act differently than my husband and I are. I was like that before now too. But please just know that we are making the right choices for our family and our situation even if it isn’t what would be right for you.

LOVE THEM WHERE THEY ARE and PLEASE LOVE ALL OF US TOO! 💜❤️

I Can Only Imagine

My husband and one of our daughters and I went to this movie tonight.  Wow, Wow, and Wow.  I haven’t shed that many tears in a long time at the movies.  This movie tugged at my heart strings and spoke to my core.  It brought me back to my own life experiences.  Having a family member being physically and emotionally abusive for the majority of my childhood.  I was so relieved when that person was no longer in the picture.  However, I was ambivalent about it for a very long time.

When the person who is abusing you is someone that you want to love and care for you it makes it all the bit harder to let go.  Forgiveness is not easy.  Even when you do forgive someone it is hard when they don’t acknowledge your pain.  This is why accepting Jesus was so very important for me.

I learned that despite the things I had experienced at the hands of this person, that I am worthy, loved and cared for no matter what. That I am loved by Our Heavenly Father and I am offerred grace and acceptance.  I don’t have to measure up to a certain standard because Jesus already died for my sins.  I also learned that I am OK to forgive someone without acknowledgement on their part – it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t hurt by them or the actions never happened.  This was hard for me to work through.

This also makes me think of my own child who is suffering from substance use disorder. Forgiving him and loving him where he is at because he deserves it no matter what he has done.  I know he has a desire to recover and he can.  I know he loves me and his family and his sisters and brother.  I know he wants to be loved back and to be accepted and to be OK.

I can only imagine ………

You can add the remainder of that sentance that completes what is in your heart.  Each of us has a dream and desires.  Never give up and never underestimate your potential.  No matter what anyone else says.

Detox Supply and Demand

Since we live on a small island with very few resources there is not a place to safely detox from substance use. You can get the emergency room but they won’t admit you. We do not have an urgent care, or another place to go for help. We have a small inpatient facility that cannot meet the growing needs of our community. Actually out state has less than 2 dozen detox beds. Which is quite concerning!

The wait list to get into a provider for an assessment is long. It could take up to 90 days. Then it could take weeks before you can get into a program.

If you need medication assisted therapy you are looking at a couple months before you can see a provider and then it depends on if they can take on new patients.

The struggle for families with someone in active substance use disorder is so frustrating and real. As we watch our loved one get turned away when they are ready for the help we get more discouraged. I cannot imagine the frustration of my loved one. He’s ready but cannot get any type of help at all.

All I keep thinking is DETOX is imperative! How is it that we have an epidemic and we cannot get help!! People are dying!! We need help!!

As a Mom this upsets me! Along with the stigma and poor treatment of those who need help. I hope to never watch my son get treated poorly because he has a disease – otherwise I’ll be recording if possible and doing something about it! Change is needed!! Detox is needed!! Treatment upon demand is needed (just like supply and demand in economics)!! There is a demand for help so increase the supply of it!!

Let the Judgement Begin

I think about harm reduction all the time.  Narcan, clean needles, alcohol swabs, not using alone, needle exchanges, blood tests, regular doctors visits, clean skin and much more.  How can we make sure that those we love are practicing harm reduction?  We can help them ourselves if there is not a needle exchange.  We can point them in the right direction.  We can love them where they are at so they feel safe and comfortable coming to us if they need help.

You know what gets me?  I saw a meme on facebook about how expensive an Epi Pen is to help someone who is having an allergic reaction and how a “junkie who OD’d get narcan for free and it is wrong.  How the hell can giving a life saving medication to anyone be wrong? Regardless of the cost?

This really got me worked up.  Kids as young as 10 years old are using heroin and opiates where I live.  Do they not deserve to live just as much as someone who is having an allergic reaction is?  How can humans be so judgemental?  As far as I know there is only one judge and that is GOD and he offers grace and love to his children and that means EVERYONE.  He gave his one and only Son for each of us.

I went to this AWESOME training this past week.  The presenter talked about how everyone WANTS to and CAN recover with the right support.  It takes love, support, grace and a lot of patience to support someone in active substance use disorder trying to get well.  THEY CAN AND DO RECOVER!!  So…. harm reduction is vital during their active use times.