Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Remembering Richmond

We got back from vacation on Sunday afternoon. It was a vacation that was supposed to be relaxing and fun. But it turned out to be stressful and heartbreaking. A couple of stupid decisions by my son and the whole vacation blew up in our faces. Not only that, but I'm almost positive that there are now two more families shaking their heads and wondering what the hell is wrong with us.

To make matters worse, not 20 minutes after we got home from vacation, things blew up at home. It was so emotionally and physically draining that I had to take a sick day on Monday instead of working at home like I usually do. I just needed some time to clear my head.

I long for a day when things in my life are relatively normal, but I don't think that day will ever come. I think being the parent of a recovering addict is forever. I think it's just something I have to get used to. That's unfortunate, but when you have kids nobody guarantees that it's going to be easy.

Last night, I went to a Little League tournament game with a friend of mine. Our league's 11-year-old tournament team is in the state tournament and going to watch them play was my therapy. The weird thing is that the tournament is being played in Richmond, Michigan, at the same Little League complex where my son's tournament team won the state championship when he was 12. It was my first trip back to those baseball diamonds since that magical night in 2002. Back then, I never could've imagined that just seven years later we'd be in the situation we're in now. My, how things have changed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Some things don't take a vacation

I'm on vacation, staying at my in-laws' cottage on Duck Lake in Grawn, Michigan. My wife's cousin from Phoenix and her family were here, too, until this morning. Now we're waiting for my wife's brother and his wife and two girls to get here tonight. They're flying in from New York City.

Even though I'm on vacation, last night was one of the single worst nights of the last few years. My son did something he shouldn't have done, and when confronted about it he pretty much went ballistic. The whole incident was physically and emotionally draining, and incredibly embarrassing. I don't even know if trying to help my son is worth it anymore. I mean, at some point I think I have to just cut the cord and let him fly solo, even if it means he crashes and burns.

We're at the cottage for two more nights, but I wish to God there was a way for me to be home right now. It's almost impossible to relax and have fun after what went down last night. Especially in the company of others.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

Yesterday my son said he was running out of cigarettes and needed money to buy some more. My wife and I made the crazy suggestion that he do some chores to earn the money to buy his smokes. Then I remembered that he had returned a bunch of empty bottles earlier in the day, so I suggested he take that money and buy his cigarettes. His reply?

"I don't want to waste my money on cigarettes."

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July explosion

Today is the Fourth of July and I heard enough firecrackers and fireworks going off last night to last the entire weekend. Unfortunately, there was also an explosion of sorts inside our house last night. An emotional explosion.

My son was really struggling last night and it resulted in a mass outpouring of emotions. All of the things that are affecting him negatively seemed to rear their ugly heads at one time and it was tough for him to handle. He told my wife and I how much he wants some basic things, but can't seem to find them: Friends. A girlfriend. A job. A social life with kids his own age.

We tried to explain to him that in order to find those things, he needs to get out and about and look for them instead of staying cooped up in the house all day and night. But venturing out is so hard for him, because he is not a very social person and still suffers from all kinds of anxiety. I'm telling you, to see your child so emotionally distraught over wanting (needing, really) things that most kids his age take for granted is beyond difficult. It's downright painful.

I hope my son wakes up today in a better place emotionally. He deserves it. Just like he deserves all of those basic things he's longing for.