Monday, July 18, 2011

Can you help my son?

I'm still in a funk today. Hopefully it'll lift soon. If not, I'll just keep fighting it off, one day at a time.

While I was eating lunch today, I thought to myself how cool it would be if I could put a classified ad in every newspaper, magazine, and medical journal read by mental health professionals. And on all the websites they visit, too. Maybe if I did that, that one person who could possibly help my son would see it. And maybe things could change a little.

I honestly believe there's someone out there who can help my son; at least with his severe depression and anxiety disorder (which I believe to be the driving forces behind his desire to self-medicate). We just haven't found him or her yet. So, if you happen to be reading this blog...

Can you help my son? For 6+ years my son has suffered from severe depression, anxiety disorder, and addiction. He has no self-esteem. No self-confidence. No desire to do anything. He feels worthless, unwanted, and incredibly lonely. There has been a suicide attempt. Psychiatric hospital and rehab stays. Countless doctors, therapists, and medications. Twelve-step programs. Three-quarter houses. Etc. But nothing has worked. There has to be someone out there who can help him. Are you a brilliant doctor who might have that one medication or treatment that might do the trick? Or a cutting-edge therapist who can reach into my son’s soul and pull out the wonderful, intelligent, loving young man who so desperately wants to see the light of day? I’m convinced there has to be someone out there who can help my kid. Please respond ASAP. We really need you. I feel like time is running out.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I'm going on hiatus for a bit. I'm feeing a bit overwhelmed by everything right now and don't really feel like talking about any of it. It's not a good feeling. Hopefully I'll get over it soon.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We are total wusses

Over the last several hours, the text messages between my son, my wife, and I have been flying back and forth. I know. That sounds strange. I can hear people asking, "Why don't they talk to each other?" And other people are saying, "Hey, you don't even have a cell phone. How are you texting your son?" Well, in answer to the first question, texting is just how my son prefers to communicate. (Maybe it's his anxiety disorder.) And in answer to the second question, I can send and receive text messages using my laptop. So, now that that's out of the way...

My son was digging his heels in for hours, saying he wasn't going to a shelter. He wanted a ride to his friend's apartment. We said no to the ride to his friend's, but said we'd consider giving him a ride to a shelter. So he continued texting us about how miserable he was. How he had this huge pile of stuff and was sitting in a park and had nowhere to go and couldn't even go to the bathroom because he couldn't leave his stuff to find somewhere to go. And how he had called a bunch of people, but no one could give him a ride. Etc.

After hours of this, he finally called at around 10:30pm and asked if we could come and get him. We could take him wherever we wanted to take him, he said, but he didn't want to spend the night in the park. At this point my wife called the homeless shelter in Ann Arbor that the program director had recommended. Unfortunately, the intake person at the shelter said they couldn't accept our son because he isn't a resident of Washtenaw County (where Ann Arbor is located). The person on the phone was very apologetic, but explained that recent budget cuts prevent them from taking in non-residents.

We did a quick Internet search for homeless shelters in Wayne County--where we live and where the three-quarter house is--but most shelters we came up with were located in Detroit. Now, no offense to the city of Detroit, but the three-quarter house program director cautioned us against sending our son to any shelter in Detroit. "He won't make it there," he told us.

Out of options, my wife and I caved. We decided we'd go get our kid and his stuff, bring him back home for tonight, and start looking for somewhere else for him to go tomorrow. He only needs to be somewhere else until Monday, assuming he refrains from using drugs or alcohol for the next four days. The program director said that if our son comes back on Monday and his drug levels have decreased--meaning he hasn't used again--that they would take him back, although he would be put in a different house than he was in before.

So, right now my wife is on her way to the other side of town to pick our son up. I'm home, feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, defeated, and physically ill. In fact, I've felt like throwing up for the last five hours or so. This situation is something no parents should have to go through. As much as we wanted to stick to our guns and be hard-asses about what happened today, we ended up wussing out yet again. I guess the thought of our kid sleeping in a park with most of his possessions, nowhere to piss or shit, no money, and no food to eat was too much for us to handle. Maybe we're just not strong enough. We have a lot of will power when it comes to certain things, but it turns out we couldn't do what we said we were going to do this time. For better or worse, the fear of what could've happened to our son got the best of us.

It's so fucking hard being the parent of an addict. Seriously. I do not recommend it if you want to keep your sanity. Please go easy on us.

I hope the buzz was worth it

You know that roller coaster ride "up" I was so appreciative of yesterday? Well, today's the "down." Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down.

My wife called me at work this afternoon to tell me that our kid tested positive for pot and had to leave the three-quarter house. Yup. That's right. Two days after we wrote a check for $420.00 for the next month's rent, he gets kicked out. It's just unbelievable.

Yesterday our son had jury duty. So my wife had to drive out to the other side of town, pick up him up, take him to the courthouse in downtown Detroit, and wait for him until he was finished. After he was dismissed from jury duty, our son came home for a few hours. During part of that time, he took off on his brother's bike, allegedly to go to the gas station to buy cigarettes.

I thought he was gone much longer than he should've been, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I guess that was a mistake. Because what really happened, according to my son, was that he rode to a friend's apartment, where they smoked a joint. This is because my son was depressed, because it was his old girlfriend's birthday, and he just wanted to get high.

So that's the story. The up and down continues.

As of right now, I'm not sure what's going to happen to my son. My wife and I told him if he got kicked out of the three-quarter house, he wasn't coming home; and we're sticking to that. The program director recommended a homeless shelter in Ann Arbor. Maybe that's an option. But my kid has a lot stuff with him, and no transportation.

I told my wife to tell our son to call his friend and have him drive him to the shelter. But our kid says he can't reach his friend. So evidently he's sitting outside, down the street from the three-quarter house, with his stuff. That's sad, and it breaks my heart. Maybe this will teach him a lesson, though.

I will openly admit that I may be a horrible parent for being so hard-assed this time around. But, you know what? Right now, I want nothing to do with my kid. He knew what the consequences would be if he screwed up. And he chose to smoke that joint anyway. I hope the buzz was worth it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No meeting necessary

Today was supposed to be "D-Day" for my son. Today was supposed to be the day my wife and I met with the director of the three-quarter house program to see if our son was could stay in the program or if he was going to get kicked out for not doing what he was supposed to do. But there won't be a meeting today after all.

Yesterday my wife talked to the program director, who said it appeared as though our son had "flipped a switch," and that he was now doing the required things he hadn't been doing before. Because of this development, he said we didn't need to meet today and told us our son could continue in the program. All we had to do was write a check for the next month's rent. What a huge relief.

Another huge relief: At no point during conversations and text messages with our son this past weekend did he say he wanted to come home, or that he didn't want to continue living in the three-quarter house. Could it be he's settling in and truly understanding the benefits of being there? We sure hope so. And we hope even more progress is made over the next 30 days.

So, the roller coaster ride continues. Up and down, up and down, up and down. Today, we're on an up. And we'll take it.