Monthly Archives: September 2009


One of the worst things for me about this whole heroin deal — right now — even while my kids are in a place of not using — is the constant suspicion.  Do you ever get over it?  Are there any other parents out there dealing with this who are in a place where you are not constantly suspicious?  I sure hope that somewhere along the way, this state of mind will leave me.  I really don’t like it.  Do I ever get to trust my boys again?

The Family

I should introduce the family.  Please know that all names have been changed to protect the innocent…and the guilty.  Mostly, really, to protect my daughter.  I’ll call her Catherine.  She’s 15, beautiful, talented, smart and athletic.  Oh — and angry.  Very, very angry.  I can’t blame her.  But I don’t know how to help her right now.  But that’s another post.  We’re maintaining our anonymity for Cathy.  So for the purpose of this Blog, here’s the family:

Danny is my oldest boy, age 19.  He is the heroin addict and has nine days to go in residential rehab.  He has always been very bright and a deep thinker.  He loves philosphy and physics, skating, film and music.  At least that’s who he was before.  I guess we’ll find out who he will become.

Allen is 17 — the middle child.  I think he’s addicted to heroin too — but I’m not sure.  That might sound weird but it’s the truth and I’m not doing any good here unless I tell it like it is.  We have him in drug counseling, and on an opium-based substitute drug right now.  He does smoke pot sometimes.  The counselor says, let’s deal with one drug at a time — we have our priorities here.  I agree.  Allen is athletic, smart, and has a great sense of humor.  He can carry on a conversation with just about anyone.  He dropped out of high school, where he was failing all classes, and enrolled in community college a year early — where he is doing excellent — even in a second-year college course.  Isn’t that weird that he could fail out of high school and excel in college?  Not so weird I guess.  Anyway, he likes to skate, cook, write and hang out with his friends.  He has a job interview in the morning.  Hooray!

Cathy is 15.  As far as I can tell she has not tried any drugs or alcohol.  She’s seen her brothers, their friends, and some of her friends go down the tubes and I think she’ll stay clean.  I hope so.  She’s active in school, takes a full load of classes, and from what she says right now, can’t wait to move away to college to live her life away from “this mess.”  She writes songs, sings, plays sports and spends just a bit of time on the computer and cell phone.  Girl talk of course.

I’m Kay.  I’m 50.  I’m their mom.  I just now noticed that I introduce my children according to their involvement with heroin.  Appropriate for this writing, I suppose.  But in my head, right now, that is my reference point.  I don’t like that.  Anyway, I work with nonprofit organizations.  I do no drugs, unless caffeine counts — or an occasional glass of wine.  I’m single, but I am in a steady relationship right now with a man I’ll call Bob.  I am a Christian woman, but not “religious.”  If that comment makes sense to you, then  you know where I’m coming from.  It’s not about man-made rules — but a relationship with God.  I like to write, play music, visit with friends, go camping and do Bible study.  I live far from most of my immediate family and I miss them, especially now. 

My kids’ dad is Mike.  He is very involved in all of this, so I don’t want to leave him out.  We are divorced — have been for almost a decade.  But we have worked very hard to parent our children together as much as we could.  Including now. 

So now you know who we are.  Wish I could post photos but I can’t.  Use your imagination…


I’ve had a few good nights of sleep since my oldest went to rehab — It’s just not consistent yet.  I still have those nights — like last night — when I wake up at 3:00AM with worries running through my mind.  I know this happens to many moms for many reasons.  I’m not alone.  

I am learning to use meditation techniques like deep breathing and creative visualization to at least relax my mind and body even if sleep is difficult.  And of course, prayer…

Hope Found Here

Before I back up to the early parts of the story, I want to say that right now, I have hope.  I actually have real hope that both of my boys will work their recovery processes and get healthy again.  This isn’t an easy hope to handle.  Some will say the odds are against them.  But I’m listing what’s on their side:

  • A strong family and professional support system.
  • Intervention/counseling/rehabilitation in early stages of use.
  • A strong desire to be well and live healthy lives.

I’m not an idealist.  I know there are always risks of relapse.  But I’ve got to have hope.  Heck — I’m a mom — hope is part of my job.  Not blind hope.  But hope nonetheless.

My oldest boy is finishing up a 28-day rehab stint in an excellent facility.  He’s doing great, and he’s now leading others who are just getting started.  And the younger boy, he was in the very early stages of use when he confessed his involvement with heroin.  He’s doing great with a low dose of medication and weekly counseling. 

I don’t know what lies ahead.  But today, I am hopeful.  And I’ll take every ounce of optimism I can get my hands on!


Earlier this year — Easter morning to be precise — I first discovered that my two teenaged boys (17 & 19) were using heroin.   WHAT??? 

“Yes ma’am.  I’m sorry to tell you.  We found it in his car.”  HEROIN???  “Yes ma’am.  Are you okay?”

My glasses weren’t okay.  I had thrown them across the room.  It was 4:30AM.  I was scheduled to sing two church services and had bought a lovely new dress.  All three kids said they’d join me at church.  The family was coming for dinner.  But now… Was this real?  My boys?  Heroin?  It was so far from my comprehension; I felt like I had been assaulted. 

Easter has always been my New Years — the day I considered my new start.  No matter what had happened the year before, Easter wiped it clean and reminded me of our potential to begin again.  

Now, I do my best to see each day as a beginning.  Sometimes each hour.  I am not the addict.  I am the parent of addicts.  Five months from that first phone call, I am just able to claim this and not nearly close to understanding what it means.  This is my story.  Our story.  One Mom Talking.