Anonymous Still is a guest post by a mother whose child has the disease of addiction.
My child is almost 7 and he’s getting ready to go on a campout with his Dad. He ‘s just learned how to ride a skateboard and still calls me Mommy. He has his whole life ahead of him.
My child is 12. You should see his drawings. Maybe he might be an illustrator someday. He’s taking art classes now. He has his whole life ahead of him.
My child is 17 and just got his second DUI but you wouldn’t know that because I won’t talk about it. He’s 17. He has his whole life ahead of him.
My child is 18 and he’s been to jail twice now. When I show up at work late and bleary-eyed you ask me if I had a rough night and I change the subject. Things will get better. Why talk about it now? He has his whole life ahead of him.
My child is 27 and he’s been to court ordered rehab three times now. I run into his best friend’s mom from high school and she shows me pictures of her grandchildren and, “oh by the way how’s your son these days, what’s he up to?” I smile and say, “busy as always” and make an excuse that I’m in a hurry and say, “it’s good to see you again.” I find a support group online but worry about things staying anonymous. He has his whole life ahead of him.
My child is 29. He’s been out of work for a year now. He’s lost his apartment. We’ve tried the tough love approach and drove him to the mission downtown. He won’t go, we cave and he stays with us at home for several months. He looks so sick. He collapses with chest pains two different times. He has his whole life ahead of him?
My child is 32. He’s graduated from alcohol and drugs to heroin. He’s had a job now for a few years. He has an apartment. He calls me and tells me he needs to talk. He tells me about the heroin. He says he needs help. He’s drunk because that’s the only way he can make this confession to me. Liquid courage. I feel the world caving in on me. On the way home there’s grocery shopping to do. I’m red eyed and exhausted. I walk through the grocery store wondering silently what burdens the people who brush by me are carrying. I begin to accept that what happens, happens. My child’s recovery is up to him. He has his whole life ahead of him.
My child is 33. He’s been on methadone for 7 months. He cracks jokes and smiles. He’s thanks me for helping him. We’re closer than ever now. I have hope for his future even knowing that recovery can come with relapses.
He has his whole life ahead of him now.
Hello my name is anonymous and my child suffers from addiction.
Addiction is a disease.
Today is Mother’s Day. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the years but have not always honored is that my son’s addiction is his and it is his story to tell. He reminds me though – often. It’s difficult to hold back at times. After all I need help too. But it’s really not my story to tell. Every family has to make their own decision whether to wait for their child’s recovery to speak out or to speak out now. It is not an easy decision to make or to keep.
But whatever decision you do make, I hope your journey has a happy ending – anonymous or not.