PSA: No one told me life was gonna’ be this way

I’ve heard every possible response to my chronicle, my testimony as my Nonnie would have called it – from compassion to flat out hellfire judgement. I welcome all of it, because you never know who might hear you, who might tip the scale.   The hard and undeniable truth for everyone, including the haters, is that the chances of personal experience in your own addiction nightmare are increasing exponentially.  When the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. is drug overdose, it can’t happen to me or mine is dangerously naive.

We are in a heroin epidemic.  It has finally been demonstrated, validated, proven once and for all, that  addiction is a disease, not a choice, and I can personally add a guarantee it will permanently change every day of the rest of your life, whether you are the addict or not.  Without universally available addiction and mental health, medical, and behavioral treatment, in creditable rehab facilities for a proper amount of time, addiction will continue to spread and kill our children, our people, our beloved.  While Narcan is all in the news lately, it is kind of a defib equivalent for overdose – it can only keep an addict breathing after the fact– without follow up treatment in rehab, nothing but rinse and repeat.

I write about this because I can, because I want you to understand it could be you and yours in the beat of a heart, because it’s lonely and isolated and scary as fuck hecant-see-tears-in-the-rainre, and because I don’t do voiceless or invisibility, and I absolutely reject the addiction stigma.  We don’t say screw those losers, let ‘em die about any other group of people suffering a raging, potentially fatal disease, do we?

While it sure as hell hasn’t been my day, my week, my month, or even my year, it’s still life, I’ve kept it together for another day, and I’ll try to be there for you, when the rain starts to pour. Testify.

First Trimester

Caveat – I don’t usually use the term junkie, but just for today, I’m giving myself permission to howl a bit….

smaller-heart-limeBeing the mother of a junkie is a shit show.

Being the mother of a junkie in early recovery for the umpteenth time is a shit show on steroids.

Being the mother of a junkie in early recovery who is also newly pregnant is a rush of shit-to-the-heart, a flurry of howling and hoping I am trying to wrap my head around.

Losing it is what I did at first blush – it was a brand new way to panic while yearning for my mother – deeply and profoundly.  Alternately, and probably in a sanity safeguard attempt, I have a death hold on the notion that perhaps this is finally  where my beautiful, fragile daughter leaves Hell behind and is reborn as the beautiful, fierce daughter I once knew.

Some good news (you take what you can get) – my daughter is six months clean, physically healthy, and I anticipate a clean, safe pregnancy.  She is committed to this, and she is home, our home, with Rambo and me, by mutual decision…which coincidentally violates the hell out of my carefully constructed and guarded boundaries, and which has not always gone well in the past. And which is frighteningly but utterly irrelevant – there is an innocent, helpless passenger this time.

In not-so-good but also not deal-breaking news, she is not self-supporting; her relationship with the accidental daddy is not only new, but tenuous; and he too is without resources and has serious baggage.  I’ve pretty sure we are not in imminent danger of his prompt support – although she waffles on this topic, and that area of contention is already fraught with land mines and chest pains.

The rest of the family, and her best, dearest, loyal friend and dragon slayer, are all crawling out of their fox holes, in varying degrees of now WTF.   When your loved one is an addict, it’s hard to remember that the rest of us are allowed to be human, allowed to feel whatever we feel, allowed to react genuinely, to be angry, frustrated, sad, and even to have debilitating mood swings at the mere thought of possibly having to push reset and end up the oldest PTA mom ever.

What we are NOT allowed, what I will not stand for, is to abandon this child, our blood, this first-born of my only daughter, regardless as to the conception circumstances, and whether or not retirement might be completely off plan.  My daughter will have to suck-it-up and run that rapid learning curve gauntlet all new mommies face, while staying clean, and we will all have her back.  This kid is deserving of our love and our protection, and will be collateral damage over my old, dead body.

So today, this.  It’s still life, and there’s new life at hand, a most unexpected blessing, perhaps a guardian angel, although trusting this baby to save his or her mother’s life is a lot to pin on a kid who is only the size of a lime right now.