☼ My Son Is An Addict (Sometimes I Feel So Alone)

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My son is a stranger; an addict wears his face.  Everyday I must wake to the loss and horror of this and still put one foot in front of the other; everyday I must climb a mountain no mother should ever have to climb.

Sometimes I feel so alone.

My son is now invisible, but my heart still holds his place. Rarely does anyone mention Joey’s name. After all the trouble and trauma no one knows what to say anymore; no one wants to ask when I last saw my son or spoke to him or if he’s still alive. Family and friends want me to be okay, so I act strong for their sake (and mine). But I hurt. Time doesn’t heal all wounds… at least not yet.

Sometimes I feel so alone.

My son is an addict, relegating us to a shamed and lonely place. Ours is a world where drunken car accidents, intravenous speedballs, and drug overdoses are not understood. A world where addiction is hushed and shushed and hidden away, snug and comfy in the illusion of sweet dreams and happy endings and the power of a mother’s love. A world that believes — because it must — that children do not self-destruct randomly and therefore this mother’s love must be tremendously flawed.

Sometimes I feel so alone.

My son is in the grips of a tragic disease, even though it may look more like a disgrace. I’m afraid for Joey. He is sick, maybe dying, yet I can’t hold his hand.

Sometimes I’m not as strong as I look.  Ask how I’m doing and I won’t feel so alone.

The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction  is available in bookstores and libraries.

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50 thoughts on “☼ My Son Is An Addict (Sometimes I Feel So Alone)

  1. MARIE

    HI SANDY. ITS BEEN A LONG TIME I KNOW BUT ALOT OF CHANGES. INLAWS MOVED IN WITH MY HUSBAND AND I AND SON DAVEY. WHICH BY THE WAY WAS 14MTHS CLEAN THE 27TH YESTERDAY. SO PROUD. HE BOUGHT A BMW MTHS AGO WELDING AGAIN FULL TIME HAS HIS DAUGHTER IN HIS LIFE SHE JUST TURNED 3. HER MOM IS ALSO CLEAN FOR 15 MTHS AND HAS HER BACK FOR 3 MTHS NOW AND WE SEE THEM BOTH OFTEN. HER HALF BROTHER DAVEY THE 3RD IS NOW 11 GOT A CELL PHONE SO DAVEY AND HIM TEXT NOW AND HES STILL IN W.V. 6 HRS AWAY WITH HIS MON AND GRANDPARENTS SO WE DONT SEE HIM THAT OFTEN. HELL B DOWN THIS SUMMER. LIFE IS GOOD. DONT GIVE UP PEOPLE ON YOUR CHILD LOVE ONES THAT ARE ADDICTED TO DRUGS. PRAYERS DO WORK.

    Reply
  2. Donna

    Your story sounds so familiar. I have been dealing with this all alone. My family and sons father just Dont understand addiction so they choose to ignore the situation.My husband only gets mad when my son is mentioned. My son stole from him to get his fix. I try to be OK and I act OK everyone thinks I’m strong and put together inside I’m not OK. Thank you for your story there are so many of us that need to know we’re not alone.

    Reply
  3. Melissa Lavender

    These could be my words. So many feel our pain. You are not alone. Praying for all of our children stolen by addiction.

    Reply
  4. Lisa Auch

    I’m living g the nightmare of having a heroin addicted son. I’m 50 years old and have had custody of (his children) my two grandchildren for 3 years now. The oldest (6yrs old) was born with severe Hemophilia Factor VII deficiency. I infuse him every other day (venipuncture)
    It’s difficult seeing my son yet not know him, to love him, but despise the addict.
    The emotional, mental and physical distress is overwhelming.
    Thank you for all the information. I’ve read a few of your books and they are extremely helpful. Thank you

    Reply
  5. Tracy Mattson

    I feel like I could replace Joey’s name with my son’s name, we seem to live the same life. Most days I can’t even think nmy son’s name in my own head without falling apart. I wonder if there will ever come a day where I don’t cry. Every time I see his face I wonder if it will be the last time. I don’t even know how to be normal anymore.

    Reply
  6. Nadia

    My son is in the hospital. I could not let it go on any longer watching him use while living with me. I told him today that he can not go back home when they discharge him on Monday. There are still options such as inpatient rehab or homeles shelter. Or whatever. I am turning him over to God, or his Higher Power. It is up to him to figure things out. He is 24 and needs to grow up. I am in pain, but comfortable with my decision. This is the only thing that is left and I did not try before – kicking him out. He has duel diagnosis, and I am sorry for him, but it is up to him to seek help. If he is functional enough to get drugs he is functional enough to get shelter and help. I am angry and in pain.

    Reply
    1. Heather Dodson

      My little sister is an addict. She has been using for years. It all started after she had her first child at the tender age of 14. And then four years later a baby daughter. A baby daughter who is healthy thank the good Lord as she done drugs the entire pregnancy. I honestly don’t know what happened to her. I pretty much raised her and when I had to get on with my life it devastated her. She blames me at least for how she is which literally kills me. My entire family, myself included, have tried beyond hard to get her some help. She’s been to jail and rehab numerous times. As celebration for getting out this last time, she graduated to shooting her drugs. She also steals and screws people over at an alarming rate. Even me. I can’t count how many times I have laid in bed with the tears flowing worrying about her. I prayed for her. Begged for her. Took care of her. Three brothers and me and then she came and changed my life. She was my life. If I went, she went. Eight years difference but I didn’t care.. She was hanging with me and if you were my friend and wanted to hang you would deal with it. She was my angel. Now I don’t even know who she is. She’s not that long dark curly haired beautiful innocent baby girl anymore. Sometimes in a moment I will look at her and see my baby sister hiding in there. The one I had such high hopes for. And then the drugs take over. I had to let go and let God. Let go of my urge to fix my younger siblings as I am now, the oldest. That doesn’t mean I dont love or worry. It just means I have to stop forcing recovery. It’s hurting me more than it is hurting her. I can’t be sissy mama anymore. I have four of my own to worry about. I just wish there was some way to get through to her. Not even the fact that her ex boyfriend has custody of her two kids now and lives in a different state makes a difference. The oldest is not even biologically his. She doesn’t care that we love them and miss them but he won’t let them call or see us. All I have now is a broken heart and a loss as to what to do that I haven’t already tried. Sorry for the long post. Think since I started getting it off my chest that’s what I needed to do.

      Reply
  7. Joseph

    I’ve been an addict since I was 13 yrs old I’m 36 now I’ve had many periods of cabstinence and many periods of recovery the longest was a year and a half I’m back living in a halfway house now. I’ll never give up,I believe in my heart that one day I’ll put the drugs down forever it’s taken so much from me and the People I love don’t ever give up on your kids defiantly don’t give them cash but when they call and ask for help like a ride to detox be there for them, cause addiction is a lonely disease and if u give up they probably will to my mother stopped enabling me a long time ago and it was the best thing she could have done for me stay strong and I’ll pray u get your kids back

    Reply
  8. marie

    HELLO SANDY AND EVERYONE ELSE READING THIS. DAVEY IS ALMOST 7MTHS CLEAN. HES DOING GREAT. WORKING 6 DAYS A WK LONG HRS. SEEING HIS DAUGHTER WHEN HE CAN. DOING WHAT HE NEEDS TO DUE TO BE INVOLOVED IN HER LIFE. HE LOOKS SO HEALTHY. IM SO THANKFUL THAT GOD CAME INTO HIS LIFE AND FINALLY GOT SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED. SO PROUD OF HIM. TAKE CARE EVERYONE AND NEVER GIVE UP. THERES A GOOD SAYING MY DAUGHTER SENT ME AND IT GOES LIKE THIS….WORRY IS A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME. IT DOESNTCHANGE ANYTHING. ALL IT DOES IS STEAL YOUR JOY AND KEEPS YOU VERY BUZY DOING NOTHING. I KNOW ITS HARD NOT TO WORRY BUT ITS SO TRUE. .

    Reply
    1. Rona

      Hello Marie, my name is Rona and enjoyed the saying your daughter told you and I have written it down because it is so true..thanks for sharing..

      Reply
      1. MARIE

        HI RONA AND EVERYONE. MY SON WILL BE 9 MTHS CLEAN NOV 27TH. IM SO PROUD OF HIM. HES WELDING AGAIN WITH HIS OLD BOSS AND FRIEND SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. HE GOT IS CAR ON THE ROAD AND A COUPLE WKS AGO A DEEER HIT HIM . MESSED HIS CAR UP HES FINE. ALL HIS TIME AND MONEY TO GET THE CAR RUNNING AND FIXED TO GET IT ON THE ROAD, BUT HES TAKEN IT VERY WELL. I WAS WORRIED BUT HIS INS COMPANY JUST TOTALED IT BUT ITS STILL DRIVABLE AND HE GOES TO WORK EVERYDAY AND I PRAY IT DONT BREAK DOWN TILL HE CAN GET THE CK AND FIX IT BACK UP TILL HE CAN SAVE FOR ANOTHER 1. THATS WHAT HES WORKING FOR NOW TO BUY ANOTHER CAR. HE SEES HIS DAUGHTER WE SEE HIS DAUGHTER EVRY WED. SHES STILL WITH THE FOSTER MOTHER DOING GREAT. HER MOTHER IS DOING GREAT ALSO. SHE WAS TAKEN FROM HER MOTHER OVER A YR AGO ANFD SHELL PROBABLY GET HER BACK IN FEB WHEN WE GO BACK TO COURT. WE WISH AND PRAY SHE DOES RIGHT FOR NORA. MY EX AND HIS WIFE DAVIDS DAD WANT TO ADOPT HER IF HER MOTHER AND OR DAVEY CANT GET HER. LONG STORY BUT EVERYONES DOING GREAT SO THATS ALL THAT MATTES RIGHT NOW. SANDY I SAW THAT U WERE ON YOUTH DRUG AWARENESS AND PREENTION. I KNOW YVONNE PERSONALLY ANF SHES GOING THRU A ROUGH TIME RIGHT NOW W THE HOLIDAYS AND MISSING HER DAUGHTER THAT PASSED 4 YRS AGO. MY DAUGHTER IS NOW HELPING HER W HER SITE NOW HER NAME IS CHRISTINA. SHE THANKED HER FOR HER HELP AND DAVIS EVEN WANTS 32 HELP NOW. IM SO PROUD OF ALL 3 OF MY CHILDREN. I PRAY FOR ALLL THE ADDDICTS OUT THERE AND THEIR FAMILYS ALL THE TIME. DONT EVR GIVE UP. PRAYERS R ANSWERED. LOVE, MARIE

        Reply
  9. marie

    HELLO, HOPE AND PRAY FOR EVERY PARENT OUT THERE. EVERY DAY IS HARD EVEN THOUGH MY SONS ON THE RIGHT ROAD TO RECOVERY. HES STIL IN THE HALF WAY HOUSE IN ARIZONA. HES WORKING 7 DAYS A WK SINCE DAY 1 ARIVING THERE. HE DOES 1 HR MEETINGS EVRY DAY AND HES BEEN WORKING OUT HE SAYS. THATS A FIRST. HE COMPLAINS SOMETIMES BUT THE OTHER DAY HE TEXT ME AND SAID HOW MUCH HE MISSES ME AND THE FAMILY AND HIS KIDS AND HOW HUMBLED HE IS 2 HAVE ALL OF US. I DIDNT EVEN KNOW HE KNEW THAT WORD HUMBLED. I THINK HES FINALLY GETTING IT IN THERE THIS TIME. HES BEEN IN DETOXS 3 TIMES REHAB ONCE FOR 3 WKS . THEY SAW ADDICTS GOTTA CHANGE PEOPLE PLACES AND THINGS. WELL ARIZONA WASNT COSTING US NOTHING BUT THE AIRPLANE RIDE THERE. HE KNOWS IT WAS A 1 WAY TICKET, AND IF HE WANTS TO COME BACK ONE DAY HE HAS TO SAVE UP ENOUGH FOR HIS OWN TICKET BACK TO BALTIMORE MARYLAD IF HE WANTS TO COME BACK AT ALL. AND HAVE ENOUGH MONEY SAVED FOR HIS OWN PLACE. . PLUS NEEDS TO BE RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO PAY HIS OWN BILLS BECAUSE WHEN HE WAS WELDING BEFORE HE WENT AWAY … HES BEEN A WELDER SINCE HIGH SCHOOL, AND HES REALLY GOOD. ANYWAY I WAS TAKING OVER HIS BILLS BUT HE WAS SNEEKY WITH THAT TO BECAUSE HE WOULD CASH HIS CHECKS SOMETIMES BEFORE I COULD SEE WHAT HE MADE AND HE HAD EXCUSES THAT HE LEFT HIS STUB AT WORK, OR HE DIDNT WORK A DAY BECAUSE IT WAS SLOW. WE THOUGHT HE WAS CLEAN FOR 6 MTHS AND HE WAS DOING PILLS SMOKING CRACK AND LORD ONLY KNOWS WHAT ELSE THIS TIME. WHEN HE WENT INTO REHAB 2 YRS AGO AT MOUNTAIN MANOR EMMITBURG MD HE WAS SHOOTING UP HERION. PANHANDLING FOR MONEY. I NEVER KNEW WHAT THAT MEANT. HE GOT CELL PHONES WITH PLANS AND SOLD THE PHONES FOR MONEY AND NOW IS STUCK WITH PLANS THAT HE DIDNT CANCEL AND OWES ALOT OF MONEY AT&T VERIZON OVER 2,000 BETWEEN THOSE 2 PLANS. THERS PROBABLY ALOT MORE I HAVENT HEARD YET, BUT 1 THING I CAN HONESTLY SAY IS THAT HE NEVER STOLE FROM ANYONE. SORRY SO LONG BUT ILL WRITE AGAIN. I JUST GET STARTED AND CANT STOP TALKING ABOUT MY SON THE ADDICT AND I PRAY TO GOD EVERY DAY THAT THIS TIME IS THE TIME HELL NEVER DO ANOTHER DRUG AGAIN. THIS TIME THOUGH FEELS ALITTLE DIFFERENT. JUST BY HIS ATTITUDE HIS TEST AND HE HASNT GOTTEN KICKED OUT FOR DOING SOMETHING STUPID. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH EVERYONE OUT THERE THAT DONT KNOW WHERE THEIR KIDS ARE OR THEY DO BUT THERE KIDS JUST HAVENT ASK FOR HELP YET. ITS ALL UP TO THEM. THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE. GOOD NITE.

    Reply
    1. Sandy Swenson Post author

      Marie, thanks for updates and prayers for all of those walking the same tough path. Keeping you and your son in my prayers, too. Hugs.

      Reply
    2. Jeannie

      Marie,
      My prayers are with you to stay strong. look after yourself and your son will
      Learn he has to look after himself. I have hear and lived all your stories with our daughter and I am happy to tell you she is 9 months clean and sober today. we can only pray for each day that is in front of us.
      Love to you Jeannie

      Reply
      1. marie

        THANKS, MEANS ALOT. DAVEY IS NOW 110 DAYS CLEAN. JUNE 21ST HIS 90 DAYS 90 MEETINGS R DONE IN ARIZONA . HES COMING HOME CLEAN AND HE SAYS HIS NEW DRUGS NOW IS WEIGHT LIFTING WORKING OUT. HES SAYS HES SO PROUD AND THIS IS THE LONGEST HES BEEN CLEAN. I WROTE SANDY THREW ANOTHER LINK I FORGET WHICH ONE BUT I TOLD HER EVERYTHING UP TO DATE. HES COMING HOME. IM GETTING MY SON BACK. IVE BEEN WANTING THIS FOR A VERY LONG TIME. TAKE CARE MY PRAYERS ARE WITH EVERYONE. PRAYERS TO HELP.

        Reply
  10. marie

    HELLO SANDI, WELL AS OF MARCH 20TH DAVEYS STILL IN ARIZONA DOING HIS MEETINGS EVERYDAY, AND HE HAS VOLUNTEERED EVERY DAY SINCE HES BEEN THERE TO WORK AND HE HAS HIS RENT PAID UP NOW FOR 3 WKS HES SAID. HE DONT SEE ANY OF THE MONEY HE MAKES RIGHT NOW IT ALL GOES IN2 HIS ACCT. HES BEEN WORKING OUT WHEN HE CAN. HE SAYS HE GETS LIKE 4 HRS SLEEP A NITE CAUSE HES UP AT 4AM DOING HIS CHORES, AND THEN EATS AND OFF 2 SOMEWHERE. HE WORKED A FAIR, CARWASH, RENEISSANCE FESTIVAL DEMOLITION. HE SAID THE T.L.C. TRANSITIONAL LIVING COMMUNITY HE LIVES IN IS VERY PROUD OF HIM SO FAR. IM SO PROUD OF HIM. HIS DAD AND STEP MOM SENT HIM A CELL PHONE PUT HIM ON THEIR PLAN CAUSE HES ALLOWED TO HAVE A PHONE AND HE CAN KEEP US INFORMED OF HOW THINGS R GOING W HIM. HE REALLY WANTS THIS THIS TIME. A BIG CHANGE IN HIS ATTITUDE WE CAN SEE THAT. THEY SAY ONE DAY UR JUST SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED AND I GUESS THIS IS THAT TIME FOR HIM. I WISH EVERYONE LOTS OF PRAYERS AND DONT GIVE UP THEY NEED SUPPORT. WITHOUT THAT THEY REALLY DONT HAVE NOTHING. IVE BEEN TO SUPPORT GROUPS AND THEY SAY LET THEM FALL AND YEAH THATS TRUE AND DONT ENABLE CAUSE ITS ONLY HURTING THEM. I LEARNED THAT. PRAYERS DO WORK. DONT STOP PRAYING.

    Reply
      1. marie

        HELO, DAVEY CALLED ME LAST NITE IN THE BEST MOOD HES BEEN IN A LONG TIME. AS FOR THE WORD HUMBLED HE USED THAT I DIDNT EVEN KNOW HE KNEW WELL HIS 1ST WORDS WERE GOD IS GOOD. I ASK WHY AND HE SAID FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE HES BEEN IN ARIZONA WORKING LIKE A DOG 7 DAYS A WK 4AM AND GETTING BACK LATE DOING HIS 1HR MEETINGS AND SOMETIMES WORKING OUT. WELL THEY COMMUNITY PULLED HIM ASIDE AND TOLD HIM HOW WELL HES DOING AND HOW ALL HIS EMPLOYERS SAY GREAT THINGS ABOUT HIM. WHICH THEY ALWAYS HAVE. ANYWAY, HE WAS TOLD HIS RENTS PAID UP 4 WKS 200 IN ACCT SAVED AND 45 IN THE STORE ACCT HE CAN BUY WHAT HE NEEDS AND GAVE HIM 45 CASH FOR WORKING. PLUS HE GOT A PASS TO SLEEP IN TODAY. HE SAID THAT WAS THE BEST THE PASS. IM SO IMPRESSED THIS TIME. . MY HEART WAS SO HAPPY CAUSE HES HAPPY. HES HEALING AND NOW I CAN. LIFE IS GOOD. THERE IS HOPE OUT THERE FOR EVERY1. PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED AND GOD IS GOOD. U MIGHT NOT THINK SO BUT IT DONT HAPPEN OVER NITE THATS FOR SURE. A LONG ROAD TO GO DOWN. BUT WERE FINALLY ON THE RIGHT TRACK. HOPEFULLY…. I HOPE I GIVE SOME OF USE PARENTS OUT THERE HOPE. REALLY THERE IS DONT GIVE UP AND DONT STOP PRAYING.

        Reply
          1. marie

            HELLO SANDY. HOWS UR LIFE GOING?THINK ABOUT U AND EVERYONE ALL THE TIME. WELL DAVES STILL IN ARIZONA AND DOING GREAT. 7WKS CLEAN NOW. HE GOES TO CHURCH, AND MEETING AT THE COMMUNITY HOUSE WHERE HE LIVES AND WORKS ALMOST EVERYDAY AND HAS A AWESOME SPONSOR HE SAYS. HES IN HIS 50S 18 YRS CLEAN AND HIM AND DAVEY GO 2 OUTSIDE MEETINGS LIKE THIS SATURDAY AFTER THEY WERE REWARDED WITH AN OUTSIDE BLUES BAND ON THE PROPERTY WHERE HE LIVES. WE TEXT ALOT CAUSE HE HAS FREE TEXTING. HE CALLS ME WHEN HE CAN. HE DONT HAVE MUCH FREE TIME. I GUESS THEY GOTTA KEEP HIM BUZY CAUSE ADDICTS WHEN THEY HAVE TIME COULD RELAPSE IF THEY HAVE THE OPERTUNITY I GUESS. HE HAS WORKED ALL DAVE AND THE JOB HES ON IS LANDSCAPING AND ITS SO DRY LIKE A DESSERT. HE SAID DIGGING IN THE DIRT IS LIKE TRYING TO DIG THRU CONCRETE. NEVER RAINS THERE. HE HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR STILL. HE SAID IT SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW TO DO LANDSCAPING IN ARIZONA L.O.L. BUT HOPE EVERYONE FINDS PEACE SOME HOW. I KNOW ITS HARD ESPECIALLY WHEN ALOT OF U OUT THERE DONT KNOW WHERE UR KIDS ARE. I NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH THAT THANK GOD BUT IVE HEARD OF ALOT OUT THERE. DONT STOP PRAYING. GOD IS GOOD.

  11. Beth Shirley

    As I read everyone’s story or comments my tears are streaming down my face. My son is an addict and I am so very sad. I worry so much that when I hear a police car, ambulance, or the phone ring late at night my heart falls to my feet. I panic, I cry and I immediately think the worst. I text to make sure he is okay and…no response. This is just the way he operates. He will call when he wants something. We do not enable him and do not supply him with money, food or the comforts in life. Doesn’t mean I am not sad or do not cry because ninety percent of the time I am crying or extremely sad. Our situation is similar. A brother three years younger (22) and my addict son is (25). They also have a sister who is nine and wonders what is wrong with her brother. My addict son is married with an adorable four year old little girl. However, he is divorcing every other day and doesn’t ever know if he is coming or going. He only thinks of himself and his needs. He is so skinny and looks like a skeleton. I recently took him to lunch for his birthday. He was late, of course, lucky he even showed up. During our lunch I noticed he was having a very difficult time swallowing. That is enough to upset and ruin a mothers day. I am very sad. I need support and don’t know where to turn. I was reading a little about TAM and would like to know more about this organization. Peace, Prayer and Love to ALL, XOXOXO Beth

    Reply
    1. Sandy Swenson Post author

      Hi Beth,

      I’m so sorry it has taken so long for me to reply. Your posted comment somehow snuck by me. I know we have messaged since then, but I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you. I ache for you, I know just how you feel. The overwhelming sadness and fear. TAM is a great online support group, “The Addict’s Mom,” and recently has started chapters for each state. I urge you to dip a toe in and see if it is a good fit. You are not alone! Hugs!

      Reply
  12. marie

    HELLO, I FEEL EVERONES PAIN. I HAVE MY OWN WITH MY SON. HES 28 YRS OLD HAS BEEN USING DRUGS FOR A COUPLES YRS NOW. NOT SURE EXACTLY HOW MANY BUT 3 YRS AGO MY SON CALLED ME 1 DAY SAID PLEASE COME GET ME I NEED HELP. WHEN I GOT HIM FROM HIS PREGNANT GIRLFRIENDS MOTHERS HOUSE AND HIS CLOTHES, HE TOLD ME HE THEY WERE SHOOTING HEROIN. I ALMOST HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. HE CALLED BALTO CO HEALTH DEPT. AND HE SET UP AN APPT. AND WE , MY DAGHTER AND I AND HER BOYFRIEND TOOK HIM TO THE APPT AND AFTER ABOUT AN HR HE WAS IN THERE, HE CAME OUT AND SAID , I NEED TO GO TO EMMITSBURG MD WITH ADDRESS IN HAND AND WE TOOK HIM THERE. HE WAS THERE 4 3 WKS. AT THE VISIT MY HUSBAND AND I WAS AT HE TOLD US HE GETS 3 COME HOME.. WE WERE SCARED BECAUSE WE KNEW 3 WKS WASNT LONG ENOUGH. HE SAID HE FINISHED ALL HIS PAPER WORK AND THEY WERE GONNA BRING HIM 2 MY HOUSE.. HES BEEN A WELDER SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. HE HAD A GOOD JOB WHEN HE GOT OUT AND BEFORE HE WENT IN. HE RELAPSED AGAIN WENT TO DETOX 3 DAYS GOT OUT. HE HOOKED UP WITH ANOTHER GIRL… THEY WERE DOING DRUGS CHOICE THIS TIME PERCOCETS AND CRACK. HES DONE ALL THIS ALSO BEFORE. . JUST THIS FEB VALENTINES DAY IS THE LAST TIME IVE ACTULLY SEEN DAVEY. HE WENT INTO DETOX 3 DAYS STAYED IN A SHELTER WITH BUS TOKENS THE HOSPITAL GAVE HIM AND ALLS HE HAD WAS THE CLOTHES ON HIS BACK. A FRIEND OF OURS TOOK HIM TO THE DETOX THIS TIME I COULDNT. I THOUGHT TOUGH LOVE WILL SHOW HIM THIS TIME. WELL FEB 21 HE GOT ACCEPTED INTO A PLACE CALLED GAUDENZIA. HES BEEN THERE 3 WKS AND HE HAS CALLED LETTING ME KNOW HES DOING GREAT AND CLEAN ALL THIS TIME. HELL BE THERE FOR 35 DAYS THEN WILL B ANOTHER 6MTHS HE SAID. IM SO PROUD OF HIM AND I WRITE HIM AND IVE DROPPED OFF HYGIENE THINGS HE CAN HAVE. HE HAS A 10 YR OLD BOY THAT LIVES WITH HIS MON IN W.V. AND THE 1ST GIRL HE LEFT PREG…. WELL SHES 2 YRS OLD NOW AND WEVE HAD VISITATIONS ONCE A WK 4 A MTH NOW. DAVES SEEN HIS SON THIS PAST XMAS AT OUR HOUSE AND HAS BEEN BEFORE ALL THIS VISITING WITH HIS DAUGHTER THAT WAS TAKEN FROM HER MOTHER BECAUSE NO T GOOD LIVING ARRANGEMENTS AND DRUGS. NORA IS IN FOSTER CARE AND HAS BEEN 4 ALMOST A YR AND SHES ADORABLE AND WE ALL LOVE HER VERY MUCH. SHE IS GOING TO BE ADOPTED SOON BECAUSE SHE CANT STAY IN FOSTER CARE FOREVER. WERE ALL GOING THRU ALOT AND DAVEYS HAS ALOT ON HIM. CHILD SUPPORT FOR 2 KIDS AND NOW HES GOING TO BE BEHIND AGAIN. THE POOR KIDS. WELL MY EX AND HIS WIFE ARE TRYING TO ADOPT NORA AND IF THEY CANT MY SISTER AND HER HUSBAND WANT HER. I DONT HAVE IT IN ME ORI WOULD. IM 52 YRS OLD 3 KIDS AND 2 GRANDKIDS I DONT GET TO SEE THAT MUCH. MY SON DAVEY TELLS ME HE LOVES ME SO MUCH AND MISSES US ALL SO BAD. HE KNOWS HAND HE WANTS TO GET BETTER AND THAT HES IN THE PLACE TO HELP HIM. HOPEFULLY AND WE ALL PRAY THAT THIS IS IT. I WANT MY SON BACK TO. I WROTE HIM WHAT U SAID ABOUT JOEY AND HE SAID I TOUCHED HIS HEART. BECAUSE I SAID THATS HOW I FELT. IM SO RELEAVED I KNOW WHERE HE IS AND THAT WHEN IT COMES TIME TO BE ABLE TO VISIT HIM WELL BE THERE. IVE NEVER GIVEN UP ON MY SON AND NEVER WILL. . I PRAY FOR ALL THE PARENTS OUT THERE THAT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS BAD DISEASE. ITS AWFUL. LOTS OF PEOPLE OUR PRAYING FOR MY SON AND US TO BE STRONG FOR HIM. I KNOW HES DONT WANT TO HURT US ITS THEM DAM DRUGS THAT ARE SO STRONG. THEY HAVE TO FIND THE WILLPOWER 2 CHANGE. THANKS FOR UR WEBSITE. MY DAUGHTER FOUND YOU AND SENDS ME THINGS ALL THE TIME. HER AND DAVEY ARE 15 MTHS APART AND WHEN HE MESSES UP SHE FEELS IT AND GETS SICK EVERYTIME. WEIRD HUH. SHE WANTS HER BROTHER BACK SO BAD. WE ALL MISS HIM AND HES ALIVE.. ON HIS WAY TO RECOVERY. THANK GOD.

    Reply
    1. Sandy Swenson Post author

      Marie, such good news that your son is on his way to recovery. He’s blessed to have your support and love. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you’ve found comfort in my blog. Keep coming back! Hugs!

      Reply
      1. marie

        SORRY TO SAY MY SON GOT KICKED OUT OF GAURDENZIA LAST SAT FOR FRATINIZING WITH A GIRL. I WAS AWAY LAST WKEND SO HE DIDNT CALL ME, HE CALLED HIS DAD AND STEP MOM. THEY PICKED HIM UP AND HAD HIM AT THEIR HOUSE FOR A COUPLE DAYS. I SAW MY SON FOR THE 1ST TIME SINCE VALENTINES DAY WED NITE AT HIS DAUGHTERS VISITATION. THE SOCIAL WORKER MADE IT FOR 2 HRS KNOWING DAVEY WAS GONNA BE ABLE TO VISIT WITH HIS DAUGHTER ALSO FOR THE LAST TIME FOR A WHILE BECAUSE WE, MY EX AND HIS WIFE AND ME AND MY HUSBAND BOUGHT HIM A 1 WAY TICKET TO PHONEX ARIZONA A PLACE CALLED TRANSITIONAL LIVING COMMUNITY. HES THERE NOW , HES CALLED AND SAID HOW ITS SO HOT AND THERES NO AIRCONDITIONING BUT IN 1 BUILDING AND U HAVE TO HAVE PRIVLIGES TO GO IN THERE.. HE HAS BEEN CLEAN THOUGH FOR 34 DAYS. HES SO PROUD OF THAT AND HE TOLD ME LAST NITE ON THE PHONE HES GONNA COME BACK A BETTER PERSON HE EVER WAS. I TOLD HIM JUST LIKE A LICENSE ITS A PRIVILEDGE 2 DRIVE JUST AS UR REALIZING ITS A PRIVILEDGE TO HAVE A ROOF OVER UR HEAD. HES REALIZING THINGS BEING SOBER HE TOOK FOR GRANANT. HE HAD TO COMMITE TO 90 DAYS 90 MEETINGS. ITS A HALFWAY HOUSE THAT HAS 800 BEDS. HE DIDNT HAVE NO MONEY SO THEY HELP U FIND A JOB OR JOBS LIKE 1ST DAY THERE A CO. CAME TO ASK FOR HELP CONSTRUCTION AND DAVEY VOLUNTEERED. HE DONT C NO MONEY THOUGH IT PAYS THE RENT. 110 A WK 3 MEALS COUNSELING AMD FOR EVER HR U WORK THEY PUT A DOLLAR IN UR ACCT. FOR ANYONE OUT THERE THAT THEIR ADDICT PERSON WANTS HELP IM LEAVING THIS NUMBER FOR THEMCORPORATE OFFICE 1480-833-0143.THEY HELP HOMELESS ADDICTS REBUILD THEIR LIVES. THEY HAVE ALOT TO DO LIKES DOING THINGS TO GET TO DIFFERENT LEVELS BUT MY SON KNOWS WHAT HE HAS TO DO AND WHEN AND IF HE WANTS TO COME BACK HOME HE HAS TO SAVE MONEY FOR HIS OWN PLANE TICKET BCK AND HAVE MONEY FOR HIS OWN PLACE. . THANKS FOR UR RESPONSES AND I HOPE I REACHED OUT TO SOME1 READING THIS BECAUSE THERE OUR RESOURCES OUT THEIR THEY JUST GOTTA WANT IT.

        Reply
  13. Janie Slaughter

    My son is an addict. The Army released him because their program did not help him and he needed further help. He got home this week. He is a stranger. He is weak. Your words speak to my very soul. I feel exactly what you feel. His little 3 year old niece used to always ask “where unka E?” Now… she doesnt’ mention his name or look for him. I am sad beyond words. Thank you so much for putting down on paper so beautifully what is in all of our hearts about our children. <3

    Reply
  14. Margaret Worthen

    Rarely does anyone mention Joey’s name… That one sentence floored me. My son is Justin and he started using at age 12 and throughout the last 13 years rarely does anyone mention Justin’s name. And more than anything a person can say, this breaks my heart! I know they think I might fall apart or God knows what Cry? I don’t know but nobody ever asked me about Justin. Too scared I guess but man does that hurt! and I guess seeing my pain is too painful for others. My husbands family NEVER could ask me about Justin and it was the most hurtful thing they could do. I have forgiven them and I understand it but If I cold change one thing it would be please please ask a person about a loved one.

    Reply
    1. Sandy Swenson Post author

      Margaret, it is so hard having no one ask about the son that you love. I know this pain. I couldn’t agree more with your plea: “…please please ask a person about a loved one.” Sending hugs to you.

      Reply
    1. Brenda

      I have a Joe also. He’s been an addict for over 10 years. I miss him yet he’s still alive. I can relate to all of what is said here. My son didn’t grow up thinking he was going to be an addict either.

      Reply
      1. Sandy Swenson Post author

        Brenda, warm hugs to you and your Joe. I’m sorry you know the pain of grieving the loss of a child who’s still alive. Hug hug hug.

        Reply
    1. Sandy Swenson Post author

      Sis, my heart breaks for you. Sad and scared every day is a horrible way to live. Addiction is a horrible disease, takes such a toll on so many people. You are not alone. Sending hugs.

      Reply
  15. kel

    I know that you understand and I appreciate your empathy.
    Strange thing happened just 30 minutes ago. My Son called.
    He said he had tried to get a bed in a rehab but he dropped clean and the bed was for detox only.
    He went on about how he had tried to commit suicide by taking a bottle of sleeping pills and a friend of his found him and he was taken to the local hospital in the area he was at. They transported him to a psych ward in a hospital some 2 hours from there.
    I know that he was taken to a hospital because he used our address and we received a bill.
    So now, he says he is trying to make his way back to our house and asked if one of us could drive and pick him up if he can’t make it all the way.
    My wife and I just sat and discussed this. Why is he coming back here? He can’t possibly stay here.
    For the past year, we spent our savings helping him with rehab, paying fines, paying for a lawyer to clear his legal issues and all along, he is lying about using and eventually stole from us.
    He chose his heroin time and time again over everything we tried to do to provide an opportunity to choose life.
    In the end, our efforts only helped him continue in his addiction.
    We are now going to have to face the most difficult thing we have faced so far, namely, to not allow him back in our home. He has nowhere else to go, but he cannot stay here. I fear for his well being. But he cannot stay here.
    We will not have a home where heroin is being used and where we become prisoners of an addict.
    I hate his addiction. I want my Son back.

    Reply
    1. Sandi

      We lost our 19-year-old son to a heroin od in his bed, in our home, 12 years ago. His older brother is separated and the father of 2 young boys. After years of trying to help him save himself & letting him stay here a few days, he proved just how bad his own addiction is by his actions and we had to left him go. I have not spoken to him in a couple months. I tell you this so you remember that having your son in your home is no guarantee of helping him. You cannot let your son’s addiction destroy your lives too. Hopefully life gets painful enough that your son truly wants to change. He is sick, but only he can change his life. Go to Alanon or get help from someone who understands addiction. I had to in order to finally set boundaries and stay strong. Tough Love is so painful. God bless us and our beloved addicts. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Sandy Swenson Post author

        Sandi, I’m so sorry addiction has caused so much loss and pain. Thank you for writing. I’m sending big hugs.

        Reply
      1. Sandy Swenson Post author

        Vonnie, I’m so sorry. You are not alone, there are so many of us out there. I hope you can find a good support group and understanding. Sending warm hugs to you.

        Reply
    2. marie

      HELLO KEL…. THERE R SHELTERS FOR HOMELESS. MY SON RECEIVED BUS TOKEN FROM DETOX JOHNS HOPKINS AND HE USED THE TOKENS TO GET TO THE CITY AND WAIT IN A LINE AND HOPE HE GOT IN. THEY CAN ONLY TAKE IN SO MANY PEOPLE. HE WAS ABLE TO SHOWER THERE THEY GAVE HIM CLEAN UNDERWARE HE WENT TO CHURCH IN THERE AND THEY FEED HIM AND GAVE HIM A PLACE TO LAY HIS HEAD. IN THE MORNING HE TOOK THE BUS TO THE DETOX PLACE HAD HIS MEETING AND THEY SENT HIM OUT ON THE STREETS AND I DONT KNOW WHAT HE DID FROM 12 NOON TILL HE HAD TO GO 2 THE SHELTER. BUT THATS WHAT THEY HAVE TO LEARN, MOM AND DAD CANT DO NOTHING ELSE, THEY HAVE TO DO IT FOR THEMSELVES AND WANT IT. WE DID HELP W FINDING PLACES LIKE GAUDENZIA HE WOULD OF HAD IT MADE THERE 30 DAYS DETOX AND REHAB THEN HE WAS GONNA B MOVING TO ANOTHER BUILDING FOR 6MTHS AND HE COULD OF WORKED AND HE GOT KICKED OUT LAST SAT FOR FRATINIZING. AS OF THURSDAY WE FOUNG THIS PLACE IN PHOENIX ARIZONA A HALFWAY HOUSE BUT THEY HAVE TO B CLEAN AND WANT TO REBULID THEIR LIVES WHICH MY SON WAS CLEAN 4 3 WKS AND NOW 4 WKS. THE PLACE IS CALLED TRANSITIONAL LIVING COMMUNITIES FOR HOMELESS ADDICTS THAT WANT TO REBUILD THEIR LIVES. MY SON DID POT COCOAINE SNORTING AND SMOKING CRACK PILLS AND HERION EVEN SHOOTING UP. ALL WITHIN 3 YRS MAYBE MORE NOT EXACTLY SURE. IF UR ADDICT WANTS HELD CALL 1-480-833-0143. THEY WORK TO PAY THEIR RENT 110 A WK. AND THEY HAVE THINGS THEY HAVE TO DO LOOK UP THE TRANSTIONAL LIVING COMMUNITIES. WE SENT R SON ON A 1 WAY TO ARIZONA THURS. 2 DAYS THERE HES DONE WORKED CONSTRUCTION AND AT A CAR WASH FOR 5 HRS. PLUS MEETING AND ALOT OF OTHER THINGS BUT THEY HAVE TO REALLY WANT THERE LIFE TO CHANGE AND THANK GOD MY SON FINALLY GOT SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED. HE IS A WELDER BY TRADE. HE HAS HIS WELDING HELMET AND WORK CLOTHES HE TOOK W HIM AND HE ALREADY HAS THE WORD HE WANTS A WELDING JOB. GOOD LUCK W UR ADDICT AND I HOPE HE FINDS GOD. GODS THE ONLY THING THATS GONNA SAVE HIM.

      Reply
  16. Kathy

    I feel so all alone. My once beautiful daughter is not there anymore. I pray for miracles everyday. How many rehabs, mental health hospitals, heartbreaks can my family take?

    Reply
  17. bill

    i found it interesting when you mentioned people don’t mention his name…that happens to us too
    people will ask about my college attending daughter etc but they all know about my son and seem to be fearful to ask. They are prob trying to spare us etc . They have seen what my son has put us through so he has become the ghost of the family… sad to watch.

    Reply
  18. Catherine Thiemann

    I know how aloneness feels. I have one friend whose son is an addict (and estranged from the family); I have another whose son is incarcerated. I always ask how their sons are doing, because I have such compassion for people suffering from “unmentionable” causes. I’ve been through a similar ordeal: surviving clergy sexual misconduct, reporting a beloved and powerful minister, and being ostracized by my church. When shame or criminality or addition is involved, people don’t want to know. They don’t know what to say. There’s no “Carepages” community for people like us. We put on a brave front if we can (which makes it harder to find fellow sufferers because THEY are putting on a brave front too), and we put one foot in front of another day by day. If we are very blessed, we find friends who aren’t afraid of our pain, who are willing to be with us, who are willing to ask how we are doing.
    Thank you, Sandy. You made me feel less alone.

    Reply
    1. Tammy Young

      I am grateful for you and your courage!!! Praying that one day by Gods amazing Grace and Mercy He will heal and deliver your sons from this heart wrenching disease of addiction, as well as my own son who has suffered this life since he was 15, and now almost 25 with nothing to his name. He however tells me he is sober from heroin and alcohol and I have no choice but to believe and support that? I pray that one day you, me and every momma out there will get our baby’s back from the stranger they have become. God bless you and thank you again.

      Reply
        1. kel

          As a Father of a 30 year old addict…I hurt every day. I miss my son. I don’t know where he is, what he is doing, if he is even ok. Days go by and I’ve found I hadn’t thought of him and feel so guilty.
          He is so very lost and I don’t do helpless very well. It hurts…it just plain hurts.

          Reply
          1. Sandy Swenson Post author

            I’m so sorry. I understand your pain and loss. Yes, it just plain hurts.

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