Moms aren’t meant to be suspicious — we’re meant to believe. But addiction changes that.
When the son I once trusted started to lie, I started saving those lies, inspecting each one carefully and keeping it fresh in my mind: I might need the last lie to make sense of the next lie to make sense of what was happening which made no sense at all. I carried around this brew of lies and fears (and kept stirring), until I started to write.
Only then did I start to let go.
Because, instead of wearing the noose that was killing me, I let it unravel behind my scribbled words.
As Joey’s addiction progressed, my notebook was there for me to refer to as I searched for clues or missing pieces, but it was so much more than a dump for my spirit and mind. It allowed me to see what was much more obvious on paper: I was doing and saying the same things over and over and over. Nothing was going to change unless I made the change. The only thing I could change was me.
And then my writing became something more.
All along, as Joey and I both struggled to cope with his addiction, I’d been reading. Books written by addicts, by parents of addicts, and by professionals in the field of addiction. Books where the addict recovered; books where the addict, sadly, died. Books with closure. Books with great advice. Eventually, though, I realized I couldn’t find the book I needed. A book written by a mom whose son is not in recovery. By a mom facing the horrible truth that she must focus on recovering from her sons addictions while realizing that he may not.
And so, I wrote The Joey Song.
Some of the books that have helped me along the way: No More Letting Go by Debra Jay; Stay Close by Libby Cataldi; Why Don’t They Just Quit: Hope for Families Struggling With Addiction by Joe Herzanek; A Very Fine House by Barbara Cofer Stoefen; Jagged Little Edges by Lorelie Rozzano; Beautiful Boy by David Sheff;and Broken by William Moyers.
We are all branches of the same tree. (The root is addiction.)
The Joey Song: A Mothers Story of Her Son’s Addiction is available at bookstore nationwide.
Where Love and Addiction Meet coming in Fall 2017, Hazelden Publishing.