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So many wasted years.

Posted by 4Everhoping. on 20 March 2013.

My son has been addicted to heroin for almost 18yrs although I try not to dwell on that awful length of time. Life has been a roller coaster of emotions but I think the over riding ones are of sadness and fear. What has kept me and his dad going though is hope. We will never give up hope that he will really win the battle to stay clean and have the normal healthy life he says he wants and we all want for him. Going back to the early days when we first discovered he was using heroin we were so naive. We were not even aware of all the other drugs (just about everything there is and more we'd never heard of)he had taken before that. We made so many mistakes mostly out of fear of what might happen if we didn't give him such and such, didn't pay off his debts, didn't allow him to remain at home, fear of losing him. We got him into a rehab and he did well and it was wonderful to see him looking healthy and we should have taken the advice of those who knew better and said he needed to remain in there at least another 3 months, to not allow him back home just because he was absolutely sure he was ready...he knew best....but he didn't. He came home and within a couple of days he was using again. Flats lost, debts, prison, homelessness, loved ones walking away for their own sanity, suicidal, depression, a vicious cycle that has just kept going round and round and ending back at the same point. He can't do it by himself. He needs help. We have never turned our back on him and never will but clearly nothing we have ever done to try and help him over the years has been enough but hopefully now he has hit what I think must be his rock bottom he will get the professional help he needs and things could start to slowly change. I know in my heart I have doubts that "this is really it" that despite how low he has sunk it still might not be low enough. I can feel the toll it has all taken on me and see it in his dad's face yet we continue to love him and want the best for him and live with the fear of losing him one day but constantly shoving those negative thoughts aside. Trying hard to focus on the rest of the family who over the years have lost out on having our undivided attention due to so much of it going on our problem son. What is very important to us as his parents though is that throughout all the horrors we have been through with his drug addiction is that he knows how much he is loved. We do not want to add to the despair and depression he feels by making him feel guilty for what he has put his family through, he is full of regrets as it is, so we try and encourage him to look forward not back. It has been a help to read some of the stories on here because for all these years I have felt quite alone in all this mess, except for having a great husband of course, but even so we tend to only show each other our "brave" faces and try to be strong for each other. I've felt like no-one understands...clearly reading on here lots of people do. I wish everyone the peace of mind we wish for ourselves.

Comments

Arial
8 Apr 2013

Thank you for sharing this as I found it very inspiring to know that you can make it through a loved ones addiction, although I know you are still going through it.  My daughter is 20 and denies using anything, although all the signs are there.  She has been living in and out of hostels over the last 2 years and has had a succession of boyfriends.  Her latest one is a lot older but she has moved in and its 'working out'.  As a family we have tried to be supportive but it is only really me, as her mum, that has any patience left, although I think it's also  guilt as I feel I must have done something wrong.  I can only be there for her when she has moments of needing 'mum' but reading your story made me feel better as it is 'ok' to try and support them, even though she  seems to have 'chosen' this way of life for the moment....x

4Everhoping.
23 May 2013

Thank you for your comments.I know the feeling of thinking you may have done something wrong. I often questioned myself but not any more. I know deep down it isn't my fault that my son made the choices he did. He has told us he doesn't blame us that he only has himself to blame. I think guilt must be a mum thing! I know there are people who feel we should walk away and leave them to it. It's their "choice" to ruin their lives but it shouldn't ruin everyone else's etc, etc. I often think the people who say these things don't really have a clue what it's like to have a child...even if adult...who is addicted.They don't understand the grief you go through. At the end of the day we have to live with ourselves and the choices WE make. We choose to    not walk away and we too have to live with whatever  consequences arise from that and that's not always easy either. I wish you and your family well and hope you can stay strong in supporting your daughter and not let all the stress come between you. x

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