Breathe. The anxiety is better when you take in deep breaths and hold them. Count in 1-2-3-4, hold 1-2-3-4, out 1-2-3-4.
You didn’t do this. It’s on the corner, in his school, at that party where you first met the parents. It’s an evil little devil, that drug. Doesn’t matter its name. That sneaky chemical masqueraded as temporary escape, tricking your boy into trying something he had no idea would imprison him.
Hold you head up, Mom. You didn’t do this. I saw you bake those cupcakes, cheer him on at his games, go to his parent teacher conferences. I saw you meet parents before he stayed over, heard you talk to him on his cell phone when he was out, saw you checking his messages and even making him clean his room; yes, he should clean his room.
You did it right, Mom, and I salute you. But the fact is, there is someone more addictive than your love, more dangerous than your wrath when he misbehaves, more loving when he’s sad and confused.
His name is Drug, and he’s much stronger than you. He’s much stronger than your son’s will. He’s a devil disguised as his best friend. And now he’s masquerading as your boy.
Drug is not your boy! Drug has taken him over, turned him into a thief and a liar, an angry and vile mess.
Keep loving him, Mom. Don’t give up. But when you need a break from the hell, you must take one. Clear your mind. Go for a walk. Go out with your friends.
You see, Drug will control you too. He will make sure you wither and fall; he will make sure you cry and shake; he will make sure you can barely take care of your other children; and he will try hard to break up your marriage. And you will succumb to those powers….if you don’t fight him.
Hold your head up, Mom. There is hope on the horizon. Keep loving your boy, keep encouraging him, but do not let Drug get his way. Be tough. If you must masquerade your love as distance, do it. If you must be uncomfortable turning your back, you must do it. The less Drug feeds off of you, the more he dies. Remember who is beneath the evil disguise. Your baby. Your beautiful, precious baby.
Stay strong, Mom.
Stay healthy, Mom.
You didn’t do this.
Hold onto that promise of a new day.
There is hope in each and every sunrise.
Maureen Fitzpatrick is the author of Beyond Horizon Fall (edition 2 recommended as 1 is out of print), a poetry book documenting her thoughts during her daughter’s addiction and recovery.
Available at amazon.com or souljargon.com