Hi, my name is Donna and I am a Mother of a recovering drug addict.
I first became aware that my son was using serious drugs when he was 19. I didn’t want to believe it. initially and was in denial. I soon realized after he overdosed that he had a huge drug problem. Not knowing anything about the drugs he was using or addiction, I didn’t know how to help him.
I had him sectioned and I thought he would hate me for this, but I had to try and help him. When he got out 30 days later he thanked me for trying to save his life. I didn’t realize at the time but he went right back to his drugs of choice within days of his release.
In searching for possible reasons for his drug use I turned inward and thought oh my gosh, I must have done something wrong as a parent. I became severely depressed and there were many days I didn’t want to go on anymore. What kept me going was that my son needed me.
I was so filled with fear of the unknown that I had anxiety 24 hours a day. It was debilitating. I tried to reason with him, make demands of him or issue ultimatums and he would say to me “mom you don’t get it” and he was right, I didn’t get it. My husband and I had been paying his bills, rent, food, car payments, helped pay for rehabs, a sober house, etc., all along the way. It was my deal with the devil to try and keep my son alive.
I continued to contribute to Bobby’s lie for many years. I worked over 60 hours a week for years to take care of his needs. I am his mom so I can fix any problems my son has, right? Isn’t that my only job? That too I realized was not true, but I continued to try and help and rode the emotional roller coaster of his addiction. I was so scared I was watching my baby dying right in front my eyes and couldn’t do anything to fix it. If I had to choose only one word to describe watching a loved one suffer from addiction, it is “heartbreaking”.
For nearly 7 years of this insanity, I did not know my son. Although he called me every day, he wasn’t my son, he wasn’t my Bobby. He really only called for money with one story or another about what he needed it for. Each day his lies were bigger than the day before. When I wouldn’t give him what he wanted, he called me names that no one has ever called me. This was slowly killing me inside, that he could say such things to the one person who loves him most and never turned him away.
I would lay awake many nights, all night, wondering if he would be alive in the morning. My biggest fear was getting that dreadful phone call that no parent ever wants to get, that my son was dead. I could not picture life without him. I tried to be the best wife, Mom, Grammy and stepmother to my family but felt like I had failed and let them all down. I was totally consumed with my son’s addiction and saving him. I wasn’t myself and wasn’t emotionally available to the rest of my family, which made me even more depressed.
I finally helped my son get into to treatment for the last time January 25, 2016. Having gotten him home from Oregon he went straight to the ER hallucinating from crystal meth. I didn’t recognize him when he got off the plane. He was emaciated, had scars and sores all over his arms and had not shaved or had a haircut in several months. He went to 3 different rehabs after coming back to Boston. I had heard wonderful things about the Brady House in Weymouth from a co-worker friend and asked her for guidance to help get him placed there. The Brady house provided the network of people Bobby needed to survive and learn how to live without drugs.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank The Brady house and Danny Cleggett! Bobby has been there for 1 year. He has been clean and sober for 16 months! This is a miracle; he could have easily not survived but somehow managed to. I thank God for this daily. Bobby has worked the 12 step program and it has changed his life. He tells me often how he was reborn. He is one amazing son, father, brother and friend. I am so very proud of him and how far he’s come. He is loving, kind and respectful and he helps others in the program now. I’m so grateful to have my son back, even better than before. I always did the best I knew how and I never gave up on him.
Bobby, as your mom I could not be prouder of you. Love you to the moon and back!