Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

I haven't posted here since before Christmas, so I thought I'd check in.

My son was home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Unfortunately, it didn't go so well.

On Christmas Day, right before dinner, he said he was going for a walk. My wife and I told him he couldn't go, because that was one of the boundaries we had set prior to his visit. Our son insisted that he didn't have any money, so there was no way he was going to do anything bad. We stuck to our guns, though, and he was not at all happy about it.

Well, later on we found out our son did have money. It turns out my mom had given him some because he told her he had to buy a Christmas gift for someone. Another lie. More manipulation. Same old bullshit.

After dinner, our son admitted to us that he had wanted to go get "fucked up" because he was feeling "fucked up." (His depression is really kicking his ass lately. He needs to get back into therapy, which is something we're working on.)

Needless to say, the Christmas Day incident kind of put a damper on the whole weekend. My son was also very distant and quiet the whole time he was home. Given the chance to do it all over again, my wife and I would've picked him up on Christmas morning and taken him back to his sober living house on Christmas night. Having him stay at home for two nights just wasn't a good idea. Live and learn.

When my son was getting ready to have my wife drive him back to Ann Arbor on Monday morning, I broke down in tears and hugged him tightly. I told him that I love him more than anything in the world, but that I hope he'll realize someday how much pain and hardship he's caused the family. I also told him that he has incredible potential, and that I hope he gets on the right path soon so he can take advantage of that potential. It was a very emotional moment for me and I cried like a baby for about an hour straight after my son left.


So today is New Year's Day. Goodbye, 2011...Hello, 2012. It's been almost seven years since my son started battling addiction, and every New Year's I hope the coming year will be better than the previous one. Today is no different. My wife and I will try to stay strong and continue to work on our own recovery. Letting go is hard, but I think we're slowly making some progress.

Progress, not perfection. One day at a time.

Happy New Year to everyone who reads this blog. And thanks for your support. I wish nothing but good things for you and your families in 2012.


  1. I'm glad he confessed. Sorry that he had something to confess. Glad you stuck to your guns about the walk. Will he consider returning the money to his grandma, since he got it under false pretenses?

    Here's to a new year of progress, for all of you.


  2. My heart goes out to your family as you find ways to heal, Allison XO

  3. I'm also glad you stuck to your guns. The day could have been much worse. Stay strong.

  4. i just found your blog, and it looks like we are neighbors or sorts. I am also about 40 minutes outside of Ann Arbor. My son is 21 and a recovering heroin addict. He currently lives in a sober living house in south Florida, but we are considering moving him back to Michigan. I have added you to my prayer list. Feel free to visit my blog.

  5. Over the years, while reading your posts I've had to stop midway and yell at the computer "here we go again, stop giving him soda/cigarette money and letting him walk out the door to use!!!" but I didnt' feel right proffering advice since I've never come close to walking a mile in your shoes.

    I noticed his pattern: beg small change; go for walk; use.

    This may sound silly, but I had a similar pattern. I had a 'comfy' chair that I would sit in and over eat. I ended up weighing around 300lbs. Even after I lost half that weight I would get a flood of hunger pangs from just sitting in that chair-even after eating a normal meal. It was part of *my* pattern: work/school/over eat in chair. Here's the silly part: moving that 'comfy chair' out of the room I think helped really break the pattern of my over eating.

    I'm glad to see that you're helping/forcing him to alter his money/walk/use pattern...and it sounds like it worked: he didn't use.

    I know in the past he's been at home with no job, no license, etc. just sleeping away in his room and I thought that was sad-but also another sort of pattern/rut that would lead to him using again. Even small changes (like my moving my too comfy chair) can help: get a part-time job; take a class; repaint or rearrange his bedroom. I guess he's past that stage since he's in a recovery house now, but once he gets out he'll need something new and positive to help break this cycle (in my admitedly inexperienced opinion).

    Anyway, I'm wishing you and your family a better 2012.


  6. Dean, sorry things didn't go so well at Christmas. As always, however, it's obvious to all who know you that you and Kathy continue to make the right decisions and do the right things. And really, how can you do more than that? The rest falls on your son, and I pray that someday soon, he'll reach the point where he can see that so that life for you and your very strong spouse can regain some form of "normal." Keep fighting the good fight every day Dean. And here's to a happier new year.


  7. Hello, friend. I'm grateful for you all that he didn't go use. It could've been SO much worse, as I'm sure you've thought of already. Holidays are very stressful for all of us in "disfunctional" relationships/families. After 18+ years of working on my recovery, I'm sorry to say that I still mostly look at "getting through" them. (Family is still in varying degrees, SICK)
    But, tomorrow has hope for positive changes in all of us.

  8. hang in there my friend...effin addiction totally can kick us in the ballz ( the other 99.99% bloggers of addict madness are of course women ) however you get what I mean. It is lousy..tough to read but no way shape or form is it GAME over or even a two minute warning. You are in the first quarter..fight! and hang tough

  9. Hey, why did it take me 4 days to read this? Hmm. I hope your son gets his depression under control, but the good news is you stuck to your boundaries and had a good reminder of why its best for your son not to live with you.