Friday, May 3, 2013

The Long and Winding Journey

My daughter is now in the TDCJ system again - she was in County jail for so long - it seems like almost 9 months.  I never got the full story of what happened, but it clearly traced back to the wrong people and drugs. Sigh.

We are in touch via writing - and while she was in county we spoke on the phone at least monthly. I love her, I miss her, and I hope that one day she will be able to stay clean unrelated to being in jail. I haven't talked to her since she was moved to Gatesville, but do have her ID and sent her some funds and a note on Jpay.

She is an incredible person when straight - works so hard - but besides the drugs, so far she is addicted to really poor choices in her male company.

Landon will be 5 in July - Kaylee turned 3 in February. They are amazingly beautiful and intelligent and loving children.  The irony of this dreadful addiction.  Kaylee now comes and spends time with us at least once a month. They are both a joy and amazingly exhausting!  We are reaching a fork in the road soon, with Landon needing to be enrolled in public school next year for Kindergarten.  The current visitation schedule will need to be modified, and I am praying that the other grandparents will not dispute him staying here with us for the school year. Right now he goes and spends a week with them every third month.

We all do get along better than we did when Landon was born - the two sets of grandparents have been the only constants for these kiddos.  It seems to be best to have Landon with us and Kaylee with them - Financially, energy-wise, and because it is what they are used to.

Amanda will need a place to parole to - I am researching half-way houses and options. Any suggestions?

How are all of YOU?

13 comments:

Dawn McCoy said...

About the same as you lol. Raising grand babies and trying to ensure they have all they need for a successful drug Free life, regardless of what it costs in terms of split siblings...sucky finances and being damned tired at 58! Think of you guys often. Pretty sure Calamity is using again. Other than that, get out of bed, do what needs to be done, rinse, lather, repeat! <3

Athena said...

Hugs, Fractal! You know exactly!

sara christopher-carrozza said...

I had to split this comment up into two as it was too long...

Athena,
First and foremost, I am absolutely in awe of your strength and grace. I found your blog and read the entire thing start to finish in one night. I am so grateful that you chose to document the painful journey you've been on and have allowed strangers access to such a private and agonizing part of your life. I know addiction all too well, however, I am the addict in my family. Reading your perspective allowed me to see the fight from the other side of the ring and it touched me in such a way that I cannot describe nor will I ever forget. I have often longed to hear about my own mother's struggle but have been too ashamed to ask for fear that it will bring back too many gut-wrenching memories. A's story reminded me so much of my own that it brought me to tears. I've been struggling with addiction since the age of 11 when I picked up for the first time. From all the things I have seen and done, I can truly say I have been to hell and back. Every attempt at sobriety and every subsequent relapse tore me further and further from my family until eventually they cut off contact because they could no longer continue to watch me tighten the noose I had wrapped around my neck, flirting with death as though it was my latest john who held the key to my next high. And trust me when I say there were times when I was sure death would have been much better than the nightmare I couldn't wake from that had become my life. For a long time I felt as though any and all hope for recovery that may have been hanging on by a thread was surely gone. Like A, the only clean time I could muster was usually gained with the help of jail or rehab and was quickly forfeited upon my release. You know this story already as you've seen it firsthand. I felt the overwhelming need to write you, however, because I wanted to give you hope. You see, after 12 years of active addiction, I had finally had enough. Sometime during my 14th rehab attempt I made the decision to change my life. Honestly, I'm not even sure if I knew at the time that I had had enough and was going to change. I just knew that I was going to take it one day at a time and I wasn't going to use today. I'd always heard that saying, "One day at a time" but I don't think I had ever truly listened. And today, nearly three years later, I've stayed clean. It's been hard. The first few months, I was sure that my sobriety wouldn't last and that soon enough I'd be back on the street because that's just how my life was. But it didn't happen. And it's nothing short of a miracle.

sara christopher-carrozza said...

Slowly but surely, I've built my life up again. Gradually, earning back all the things I had given up or lost while using like a relationship with my family and custody of my 6 year old son. I still struggle with the shame and guilt of decisions made during my active addiction as well as remembering all the experiences and feeling all the emotions I had tried to forget or numb with heroin. Working with a therapist to get past that and move on has helped immensely so I no longer dwell on those things daily. Of course, I'm not foolish enough to believe that I am "cured" and that I will never have to worry about my addiction ever again. I know that at any moment, that monster inside me could rear it's ugly head and I would pick up right where I left off. But each and every day I nurture my sobriety, that monster's voice gets softer and softer. In fact, it's been quite a while since I last heard him call out. And for that, I am grateful. I wanted to tell you all this because I wanted to give you some real hope that it is possible that A will one day want to change her life, that she will one day want an actual LIFE. And one day she will thank you for every single thing that you have done and haven't done for her and her children. I know that during my addiction, I was positive that there was no way I was ever going to be able to maintain sobriety and if I did, I was certain that it would be just like every other time and would be short-lived-- just long enough for me to find my next loser boyfriend and start the cycle all over again. But I was wrong! And I know it sounds so cliché but I really believe that if I can do it, anyone can-- including A! Just keep the hope and faith alive in your heart and one day your precious baby will come back to you. I hope that you are (somewhat) inspired by my story. I think you are an incredible woman and mother. And one day A will realize that-- if she hasn't already. Again, thank you for sharing your story. It really helps to hear from the families perspective. It's just another reminder to me to be eternally grateful for the family I have and to remind me of what I could easily lose should I ever pick up again. And that's okay because I've come to realize that my life now is better than any high I've ever felt. I hope you'll continue to update your blog and I will pray that A will wake up and recognize that she has a family that adores her and beautiful children that need her. Feel free to e-mail me if you'd ever like to talk.
Also, I apologize for the length of this comment... I didn't realize I had so much to say.
With love,
Sara

Saralinchristopher@gmail.com

Athena said...

Sara,

Thank you. Your words mean more than I can say. I am pretty concerned about Amanda's confidence in herself; that she can ever stay clean after her serious relapses, and will be sending your comments to her. She has thanked me, as you said that she would. I hope the rest follows as well.

I wonder if you were to share what you wrote here with your mom whether that would be a way to let her explain what she went through, and how thankful she is that you survived? Of course, maybe it would open up old wounds as well. You are a beautiful woman and am happy that you have come out the other side. Keep moving forward <3

sara christopher-carrozza said...

Thank you for your kind words! I completely understand your worries when it comes to Amanda's own confidence. It took me a while to really believe that I could do it as well. But with each day clean, it got easier and easier. I hope you will share my comments with her. Please let her know I would love to write her as well, if she was ever willing. I will share what I wrote with my mom and see what she has to say, despite how worried I am that it may reopen all those old feelings. Hearing my family's own stories really helps remind me of all the reasons I never want to pick up again. Especially when I have a particularly hard day and my mind starts to reminisce and romanticize about using (amazing how sneaky and tricky heroin can be!). Thank you again, Athena. You've helped me in ways you could never imagine.

With love and light,
Sara

Momma said...

I just found out of my son's heroin addiction a few months ago. This sadness I feel everyday...


Thanks for sharing your story

Nurse Jon said...

Don't really know what to say.

As a nurse, I thought I had seen everything. As a result, my practice has moved into holistic health care.

One of the most basic things that will help so many (options) is the water cures protocol. It will, if nothing else, help you get out of bed.

When using it to help people stop smoking, they report almost no withdrawal feelings.

Similar with any addiction, it is a replacement of electrolytes and properly hydrating the body that helps the body get back where it is supposed to be.

Best wishes...

Ever,

Nurse Jon

worried mother said...

i am not sure if i am at the right sight. My daughter is a heroin addict with a 22 month old.

worried mother said...

not computer savvy.. pls help

Athena said...

Welcome, Worried Mom

Athena said...

What can I help with?

The neverending battle of child's opiate addiction said...

Athena,
I have been looking into the Delancey Street Foundation in SF. They have them in NY, NC, NM and Los Angeles. I have not heard any feedback on the blogs about it but I have done some research and also visited the one in SF and it is AMAZING! It is a two year commitment and the addict has to be ready to go. They also have taken court ordered addicts as well. I hope this helps and prayers continue for you and your family. Renee