I finished reading Beautiful Boy last night at 2:00 a.m. My Valentine's Day was spent tending to my son's needs as I've done for the past 19 years. His court appearance this morning, a hug good-bye as he went back to Rehab and a phone call telling me that he walked out of Rehab. The fingernails that I was able to finally grow this past month while he was safe in Rehab, become my target. The more pain I inflicted on myself, the more I couldn't stop. They are the constant reminders of my anxiety and the pain all around me.
My son's onset of depression and anxiety disorder turned our world upside down when he was 12. Countless therapists and psychiatric care for years was not enough to stop the inevitable; drugs made him feel better. Feel better about himself and the world around him; feel "normal". Though I learned in our family education program that normal does not equal good.
His tale of drug use is not as long or involved as many others I have met. As I tell my son, this is not a competition or a study in comparison. Did I feel better when the other parents had kids with longer criminal records or a history of using more drugs? Of course not, we all have pain but we also have hope. That is what has amazed me throughout this process of rehab and discovery, the hope and love from all the parents, spouses and siblings of the addicted. I used to think that Dads didn't feel the pain as deeply as we mother's, but reading your book made it clear that I was wrong.
The phone did ring and the number listed was from a gas station. The temperature was dropping and the winds gusting; he wanted to get picked up and go back to rehab. He knows that he is not welcome back home at this time. So difficult as a parent to say those words. This is all a learning process and I am trying to no longer let his behavior dictate the quality of my life, but it does, at least for now. I hold out hope that someone or something will get through to him. Maybe it will be the letter I sent him today from his little sister. I hope. Thanks for letting me share. Peace to all of you.