Friday, September 21, 2012

Things are very good

Just dropping in to say that things are very good right now. My son is still clean and sober. I think it's 79 days today. He's got a girlfriend now, too, which is something he's been longing for. She's also clean and sober. We haven't met her yet, but our son seems very happy. So that's a wonderful thing. My wife and I look forward to meeting the young lady soon.

Other than that, there's not much to report. My wife and I are just going about our business as empty nesters. Last weekend, we spent most of our time helping my parents move from their upper flat into a smaller first-floor apartment. This weekend, we just plan on taking it easy.

Last but not least, our younger son is doing well--and having fun--at boarding school. In two weeks we get to go up for Parents Weekend and bring him home for a week-long break. We can't wait to see him. I'm sure he's going to seem like a different kid after being off "on his own" for more than a month. We shall see.

To everyone who reads this blog: Thanks again for your continued support. If I (or my wife) can ever be of any help to you or someone you know, get in touch with me through the Comments section. Addiction is everywhere and is nothing to be ashamed of. You are not alone.


Thursday, September 13, 2012


The other night, my wife and I rode our bikes to our city's downtown area so we could have a dinner out. We're pretty much "empty nesters" now since our older son is in a sober house and our younger son is off at an amazing boarding school. So going out for dinner spontaneously is kind of a new thing for us.

While we were in the restaurant eating our meal, there was a young family sitting in a booth two away from ours. The husband and wife looked to be in their early 40s, and their two sons were maybe 9 and 11 or so. The husband had been having a negative, "humorous" conversation with the waitress about the city of Detroit, which is very close to our city. (The Detroit border is actually at the end of the block we live on, which is only about 10 houses away.)

I didn't think much of the conversation that was going on until the guy got up to go pay his bill and continued to joke with his waitress. "Yeah, that's where I go to get my heroin. Didn't you know that? I walk over there to get my fix. I pick up a couple of bags and I'm all set."

At that point, I was just shaking my head on the inside. Part of me wanted to say to the man, "You know, I'm the father of a recovering heroin addict and I find your conversation offensive." But I didn't. I just figured the guy was totally ignorant and really had no clue that what he just said offended someone in the restaurant. I mean, how could he have possibly known that he was just a few feet away from a dad whose son used to pretty much exactly what he was joking about? So I just let it go.

For the last few years I've felt pretty much the same way about people who jokingly refer to people as "crackheads." You know: someone does something stupid or crazy and someone else says, "What a crackhead!" I find that offensive, too, but I just let it roll off my back. Crackhead is just another word that people use without realizing that it may offend someone. In my mind, it's in the same league as "gay" or "retarded," two other words people often use in a derogatory, "joking" manner.

It's just ignorance. That what I keep telling myself. But that doesn't mean that ignorant people can't get my blood boiling a wee bit every once in a while.

Monday, September 10, 2012

4 years sober

It was 1,461 days ago that a family therapist at my son's second rehab facility--Brighton Center for Recovery--told me: "Be the change you want to see in your son." And 1,461 days ago, I quit drinking; not only to set an example for my son--and his little brother--but because I knew I had to, before things spiraled out of control for me, too.

I am the son of an alcoholic. And the father of an addict. But today I am 4 years sober, and incredibly grateful that I was given the power to change.

Sobriety? It's badass.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The best birthday I can remember

Today is my birthday. Normally, that wouldn't be such a big deal. Once you get to a certain age, birthdays are kind of like any other day. If you wake up and you're breathing, that is something to celebrate. But this birthday feels extra special for a couple of different reasons.

Last year, my son was in rehab out in Palm Springs on my birthday. This year, he's living in a sober living house in Detroit and has more than two months of sobriety under his belt. Not only is he clean and sober, but he seems to be making excellent progress in the game of "life," too.

But the main reason this birthday feels so special is this: When I woke up this morning and turned on my computer, I had several birthday greetings awaiting me on Facebook. I was appreciative of all of them, but there was one in particular that actually made me cry tears of joy. It was from my son:

"Happy Birthday Dad. Thank you for never giving up on me. I love you."

That is the best birthday present I could've ever asked for.

A happy birthday phone call from my younger son, who is now away at school in northern Michigan, was the icing on the cake. He sounded great and said he loves his new school. What a blessing.

Tonight my wife, older son, and I will go out for dinner to celebrate my birthday. But it's already been the best birthday I can remember.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Why my blog is called what it is

Just a quick post to explain the meaning behind the name of my blog, because a few people have asked me about it.

It's pretty simple, really. My first, middle, and last names all start with the letter "D." Over the years, lots of people have called me "3D" or "D3" or "Triple D." "My Life As 3D" is kind of a twist on "My Life In 3D." That's why I have the "3D-Mensional Musings" and "No special glasses required" phrases in the subtitle.

Not real clever or subject specific, but when I started the blog a few years ago I really didn't think it would go anywhere. Knowing what I know now, I probably should've named it something more straightforward. Something to do with being the parent of an addict. But when faced with naming the blog, I just went with the first thing that popped into my head. And I'm not going to change it now.

Anyway, that's the story. Just in case you wondered.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September is National Recovery Month

I just wanted to spread the word that September is National Recovery Month. According to the Recovery Month website, "Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover."

Most of all, I think Recovery Month is about hope. That no matter what your mental or substance use problem is, help is there for the asking. If you or a loved one needs help, don't be embarrassed or ashamed. You are not alone. Please gather up the courage to reach out and ask for assistance. And never give up hope.

People who work in the recovery field seldom get the credit they deserve. Their jobs are often thankless and go unrecognized. So in honor of Recovery Month, I would like to thank all of the professionals who have helped my son. From Michigan to California, I appreciate everything all of you have done to help my son in his recovery, which is still very much in progress.

I would also like to take some time to celebrate my son's recovery. Sixty-one days clean may not seem like a long time. But it is for my son. And I'm confident that that number will grow, because I sense that my son truly wants it to.

So take some time this month to acknowledge National Recovery Month. Check out their website. Check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. Reach out to someone you know who's in recovery and tell them that you're pulling for them. Or help someone you know who needs help find the help they need. Don't be afraid to try and make a difference.

People with mental health and substance abuse problems are not freaks. They are not contagious. They are just human beings who are "wired" differently. And contrary to what some people might think, the parents of these people are not bad parents who don't care about their children. They just happen to be the parents of some uniquely wired kids. So don't judge or be afraid of a parent of an addict. They are not contagious, either. If you have children who are wired normally, be grateful for that. But don't think negatively about those of us who weren't so fortunate.

Do I wish that my son wasn't an addict in recovery? Absolutely. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. But I've come to the conclusion that everything happens for a reason, and maybe I was put in this situation so that I can make some kind of difference in the world. If dealing with my situation helps just one other person deal with theirs, then I'm good with that.

National Recovery Month: Celebrate it. Hopefully by doing so we can all help...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

60 days clean (again)

Congratulations to my son, who is 60 days clean and sober today. I am so incredibly proud of him and love him with all my heart. He's really hoping he makes it to 90 days--and beyond--this time. (He relapsed at 89 days the last time.) But right now he's focusing on 61.

One day at a time. And they all add up.

I am truly grateful to my higher power for watching over my family right now. Life is good.