Two years ago I finally said enough was enough. He was out of my house for the third time, and back in jail for assaulting his mom when I told him that he had to go to re rehab. Not a 2 week or 30 day dry out, but a real program that really worked on the heart of his issues. He refused. His mother agreed that as long as he had dried out and promised to stay sober that was all that mattered. I knew that one of these days things were going to go to far and I didn't want my son or me anywhere near it.
I am a believer in medication when needed, but I also believe that it's a band-aid to help take the edge off so that you can do the real work with thoughts and actions. We are our brains. Our emotions come from chemicals released in our brains.. our thoughts activate those chemicals being released. He had an overwhelming amount of "stress" (cortisol) hormones and low amounts of "happy" (dopamine) chemicals in his brain. He would try to fix that with drugs, and for the short term they would help, but he had no one to help him through the rest of the process when he was younger and still forming.
I was never married to Neil. I wasn't even with him at the time of his death, but I was his family. I was his person.. and I was his widow long before the last hit killed him. Opiates stole his life. They stole him from us. I am an opiate widow, because opiates killed my family.
I hope no one ever has to have this conversation with their child, but if you do I just want to let you know how I explained it.. the best way I could think.
That message never came in.. that call was never made. Neil was dead. Neil is dead. After almost 2 years of sobriety my biggest fear came true, and I had to be the one to tell our sweet little boy that his father was gone forever.
If there are people out there who are looking to get healthy, but don't know where to start, or feel like they'll be shamed, I hope that they see the mannequins of people who look like them and realize that they are not alone. There's an entire market of people just like you wanting the same thing.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Habits are really hard to break. It doesn't matter how many tricks you read about, it doesn't matter if there's a "change your habits in 28 days... or your money back". You may as well ask for the money back now, because habits are hard to break. Now, that is not to say that they are impossible and you're stuck with it forever.. but it's going to take work.
I believe this is why support groups like AA and weight watchers and the like are so important. Humans are, at our core, social beings. We need to connect with others. We need support, whether we like to admit it or not, but we can't always get that at home with the people who are happy in the status quo or feel more comfortable holding our pasts against us. When it's time for a change.. sometimes we have to make bold sweeping changes. We need to turn away from getting comfort in what's familiar and move on to a new tribe if you like. The most important thing is not letting other's define your identity.
We, as humans, are completely controlled by how brains and our nervous system. Our feelings are just a consequence of glands secreting substances and our neurons firing. If we need to feel happy we need chemicals in our system like Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins.. so we take artificial ones to trick our brain into being happy.. but our bodies can actually make those chemicals themselves in simple ways. We can think about something happy and we automatically smile and feel better. We can hug someone we love. We can even listen to music.