Michele helped launch Breaking the Chains just before Christmas when her grown son was detoxing at home and in January shared her hopes when he got into rehab. She is hopeful now that he is working and has moved into his own apartment.
Addiction: All addicts have an addiction to one drug or another.
But, the addiction is a struggle that affects parents, family members and friends. We who love the addict always feel shame and the need to explain, but we don’t have to. This all-consuming, unforgiving, impatient lifestyle can’t be explained to those who have never had to deal with it. And I would never wish it on anyone.
My son turns 38 years old soon. He has been heroin-free for almost five months. Working every day, he has been saving money and finally got his own apartment. I am happy and proud of him … but I constantly worry. Will this be the day he relapses? Have I been missing the signs that he’s using again?
Or is it my mind just going to that place that I am too familiar with … I used to believe that burying my own child would be the end of me. But, I now know living the constant, never-ending fear of burying my son every single day, day in and day out for years, might actually be worse.
My son has been an addict for about 22 years. He started with pot, moved on to pills to cocaine to IV heroin use. The road has been long and tough. And my fears are forever tattooed in my head and heart.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a good or bad person — rich or poor — what color you are or what beliefs you have. If you try drugs, they WILL take over your brain and you no longer will have control of your life.
Will this be my son’s time to stop for good? I really don’t know. You don’t get over addiction by just stopping the use. You recover by creating a new life where it’s easier NOT to use. Does my son still struggle? YES, everyday. Do I worry? YES, every minute of every day.
But, today is a good day and for that I am grateful.
InDepthNH.org launched Breaking the Chains to give voice to people who are recovering from addiction. Breaking the Chains also provides information about where to seek help whether your drug is alcohol or heroin or any other drug. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell your story or to list recovery information. We use first names when appropriate for this column only.
Information about recovery can be found at: