In my last article , my son’s father and I decided to show him tough love. If my son did not want to follow our rules and if he knew what was best for him, so be it and we would wish him the best of luck. About after two months of homelessness and my mother noticing my son at the gas station panhandling, I could not sleep anymore. I swore every night as soon as I closed my eyes the doorbell would ring—it was a perpetual nightmare! One morning when I woke up for work, my phone had numerous calls and messages from some close friends. I started returning calls and each one was the same: my son was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and had no desire to live. My heart was broken. It was either too late or it was just in time to talk him into attending rehabilitation.
I called my son on my way to work and again all I could do is cry. It was time to talk him into admitting himself into long term rehabilitation. I put an action plan together during my break and started calling rehabilitation clinics, and quickly discovered they were all out of state. Then I asked myself, “Why not go out of state? After all, all the dealers are here in Ohio!” Subsequently, I compared the facilities. To my surprise, no beds were available at Ohio clinics but plenty of beds were available at facilities in other states. If my son entered a clinic in Florida, a bed would be available in 24 hours. Feeling a resurgence of energy and renewed hope, I picked up my homeless son after work, gathered his belongings from several different houses, purchased some new clothes and toiletries, and washed his existing clothes. Within 12 hours he was on his way to a center in Florida. Dual diagnosis is tricky, since it is a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar condition and a problem with drugs or alcohol. The afflicted kids tend to become hostile.
After two days I received a phone call at work from my son telling me he is leaving. I explained to the administrator that my son is from Ohio and they need to identify a solution. Consequently, my son was transferred to a sister facility in Boca Raton, Florida. My impression was that it seemed like a better place, the clientele was more mature, and plenty of group activities were offered. Still, so many thoughts raced through my head—there is nothing worse than a mother who misses her child, it takes a toll on your life, your marriage, a relationship, and it affects your job performance. Worse, in my opinion, most people think your child is a reflection of you; if your child is not “good” you are not good, and no one understands that. A common stereotype is when your child turns 18, he or she do not have to go anywhere or do anything you say. They are adults and we no longer have any control over their actions. In fact, most of them choose to be homeless rather than seek help.
When my son returned from Florida, everything went off course quickly. Remember what I said in one of my previous articles: if you have a feeling something is wrong, you are probably right. To make matters worse, several overdoses were reported when he came back in September, which weighed on the family heavily. My son needed to return to rehabilitation and the only way was to contact an intervention specialist and intervention is a costly investment but so are funerals. This may be the only way my son would live a few more years! We gathered at my former husband’s family about three days before Christmas, and similar to the television show “Intervention,” we wrote letters explaining how much we loved having him (my son) in our lives, but if he continued to use and not accept the gift of recovery, then we could no longer have him in our lives. Thankfully and much to our surprise, he entered a treatment center in Arizona, where he was away for five months and to our disappointment, he returned only to use again. Do you think I gave up at this point? I gave him life and I refused to watch my son kill himself. Do you think I was just going to throw in the towel?
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