I Am Not An Addict.
But try and love one, and then see if you can look me square in the eyes and tell me that you didn’t get addicted to trying to fix them.
If you’re lucky, they recover. If you’re really lucky, you recover, too.
Loving a drug addict can and will consume your every thought. Watching their physical deterioration and emotional detachment to everything will make you the most tired insomniac alive.
You will stand in the doorway of their bedroom and plead with them that you “just want them back.” If you watch the person you love disappear right in front of your eyes long enough, you will start to dissolve too.
A Mother’s Heart
” I wish it wasn’t me who was writing this blog. I really wish it wasn’t. I wish I wasn’t handpicked because I have one of the “best handles” on this subject. I wish I wasn’t “qualified” to speak on the heroin epidemic that is a growing problem nationwide. I wish I wasn’t a member of a community no one really wants to be a part of. No one ever says to themselves while reading articles like mine, “I wish I could relate to this.”
But I am. I am the non-addict who knows all too well what it’s like to have an addict in the family.
I know what it’s like to worry yourself sick. To cry yourself to sleep. To stare at baby pictures. To check on them while they sleep to make sure they are still breathing.
I know to watch out for pinhole pupils and subtle changes in behavior. To listen to them talk and make excuses and pile on lie after lie. I know what it’s like to pretend to believe them because you are just too mentally exhausted for an argument when you know they are lying straight to your face.
Youth Services hosts “Community Conversation” about Drug Addiction
Photo by Daniel Atkinson.
(this is an excerpt taken from a Hartford Courant Reminder News-Colchester Edition article)
On the evening of Wednesday, March 25, parents and students in grades 6-12 gathered at Bacon Academy to attend separate presentations about drug addiction as part of the Community Conversations series. The event, which was sponsored by the Colchester Youth Services’ Youth FIRST Coalition and Colchester Public Schools, attracted a crowd of roughly 150.
Parents attended a presentation by Mary Marcuccio, the founder and CEO of My Bottom Line, LLC, an organization that helps parents deal with young adults who are addicted to opiates. Marcuccio shared her family’s story and provided a comprehensive education about opiates.
Marcuccio began her presentation by discussing her family’s experience of having a son addicted to opiates for many years. Her son began using marijuana in middle school and began using heroin at the age of 15. Marcuccio said that it took her and her husband time to realize the extent of her son’s drug use.
My Dear Addicted Child,
I feel like I’m saying goodbye to you, and in a way, I suppose I am. I will always love you. I want the very best for you and I’m prepared to do the most unnatural thing, a mother can ever do. My minds screams, I’m abandoning you. Oh, I know you’re all grown up, but to me, you’ll always be my baby. That’s part of the problem. My nature is to protect you. I see you broken and despairing, and I am broken and despairing too. If you had cancer, or heart disease, I would fight tooth and nail to get you the care you need. In a strange way, this is me fighting. It’s the hardest fight I’ve ever fought. It would be far easier to stand at your hospital bed, knowing that what I was doing was helping you.
But there is no hospital bed. There is no cancer, or heart disease. What there is – is an insidious little secret – one that has grown into a horrible, ugly beast. It is devouring you alive, and me, along with it. I’ve watched this monster grow. I pleaded with it. I’ve coddled it. I’ve even nurtured it. I’ve done everything I can think of to make this THING go away, but it is relentless. I am left to face the truth. You my precious child, are an addict. An addict! Oh my God! I can barely say it. I feel sick. I HATE that word. And yet, it is true. Why does the truth have to be so hard? Even harder, is what I still have to do.
Matthew Milam’s short life story
‘AS A PARENT, YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO’
Edmund D. Fountain, for USA TODAY
(this is an excerpt taken from a USA TODAY article)
When Matthew Milam smiled, dimples on his broad face ran deep, and his cheekbones grew round and high — the infectious look of someone who could light up a room.
“As a little kid, I used to always tell him he had heart,” says his mother, Debbie.
Medication was the key after he grew up. Without it, Matthew toggled emotionally between a sweet, compassionate 24-year-old who loved to cook and was terribly shy around strangers — to someone consumed with paranoia who dug his own grave in the backyard and stood outside in a lightning storm, begging God to strike him down.
“It’d be like a light bulb going off,” says his father, Pat, vice president of sales for an oil field service company in New Orleans.
Drug Addiction – The True Cost
Hitting Bottom? My Drug and Alcohol Addiction Vocabulary is Ever-Changing
From: THE PARTNERSHIP AT DRUG FREE.ORG
While on vacation recently I had time to relax on the beach and reflect about our family’s situation. There was no great epiphany. However, one thing weighed on my mind concerning the language of addiction. For many years through this journey, people have counseled my wife and I that nothing will actually change until our addict hits bottom. It was always said with sympathy and understanding in a way that I am sure was well-intentioned. As a parent trying to deal with a drug-addicted child, however, just the thought of hitting bottom was frightening. What is bottom? How do we recognize bottom when we see it? How long will it take? And what damage is my son likely to experience on his way to bottom?
The answers from people experienced in drug and alcohol addiction were always vague and indeterminate. All the while we kept looking for that elusive bottom. And with each terrible experience we assumed, surely we had arrived there: losing his car, losing his license, losing his home, put in jail, nearly losing his life, and then, entering prison. What exactly is bottom, again? I have been told by addicts and loved ones of addicts that bottom is different for different people. For some, it’s losing one’s family, losing one’s home or incarceration, while for others it’s the thought of losing the respect of loved ones. The one thing I found out for sure is that there is no determining what bottom is for another person. That is what is so frightening for a parent about this whole bottom concept. Is death considered bottom?
With all of these examples of bottom and none of them actually defining the experience, I would like to propose a different term. I suggest we call it a “profound experience.”
A profound experience is something that anyone in any situation can encounter. Large or small, this event or series of events has the impact to change a life. Following a profound experience, a person is able to gain “profound knowledge” concerning his or her life and the impact this experience has on the future. With this new knowledge a person or addict is able to put in place the necessary steps to change his or her life. To me a profound experience more accurately describes what an addict must experience before it is possible for him or her to begin a change process. It is the inspiration that causes an addict to wake up to the fact that drug or alcohol addiction can no longer be a part of his or her life. For me, my vocabulary concerning drug and alcohol addiction is ever-changing.
Written by Ron Grover
7 Truths About My Addict That Took 5 Years To Learn
I feel deep empathy toward parents just beginning the terrible journey of their child’s drug addiction — and those facing the turmoil of a next step: rehab, incarceration, dislodging the addict from the family home. These are still open and fresh wounds for my wife and me. Following are seven hard lessons we’ve learned in our journey, all of which we denied in the beginning. We fought with ourselves and with each other about these things. It didn’t matter who was telling us the truth, we knew better, after all he was our son. We have come to accept these truths and now it is much easier to deal with the heartache and we’ve become more effective helpers for our son/addict.
Drugs – A Poem
I destroy homes, tear families apart, take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold; the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
And if you need me, remember I’m easily found; I live all around you, in schools and in town.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor; I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome; try me — you’ll see; but if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie. You do what you have to just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms, will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms.
You’ll lie to your mother, you’ll steal from your dad; When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised, I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids; I turn people from god, and separate from friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride; I’ll be with you always, right by your side.
You’ll give up everything, your family, your home, your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and take, till you have nothing more to give; When I’m finished with you, you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me– be warned– this is no game; If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body, I’ll control your mind; I’ll own you completely, your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed, the voices you’ll hear from inside your head; the sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see– I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do, but you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen; Many times you were told– but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away; If you could live that day over, now what would you say? I’ll be your master; you will be my slave; I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do? Will you try me or not? It’s all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell; Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell……