Q: Why is your blog called ‘In God Me Trust’?
A: I truly believe that God is my guide and, sometimes, he speaks to us in a very clear way. Before the blog, I was not computer savvy at all. I’m still not. However, I kept getting a vibe, if you will, that I should start one. The words ‘In God Me Trust’ kept playing over and over in my head for months until I finally decided to do it. To be honest, I’m still not sure of the purpose but I do believe God instructed me to and who am I to argue with Him.
Q: How old are you? How old is your son?
A: I’m 50 and my son is 30.
Q: Are you a cop?
A: No. My husband is a police officer. (And with the way things are going ‘out there’ I wish he’d retire!)
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I am a retired Youth Corrections Counselor for the Illinois Department of Corrections. For those who think that addiction could never happen in their family – mine is living proof that addiction can happen in any family.
Q: You have talked about struggling with depression; do you take medication?
A: Okay, this is a bit of a trick bag. I’ve wanted to blog about this for ages but there are some extreme views in the addiction community and I don’t want anyone to think I’m promoting drug use. Having said that, depression is a serious illness and there is no shame in seeking help or in taking prescribed medication. So yes, I am on an antidepressant and occasionally take medication for anxiety. I had been struggling with depression for a couple of years prior to my son’s overdose in 2014 but that day…whew, that day was so horrible and scary and surreal…I don’t know, my nerves were so completely unraveled that day and trying to pull myself back together, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stop crying for weeks after that. My hands trembled constantly and even the sound of my cell phone ringing felt like sensory overload. That’s when I sought help and got on medication. Honestly, it saved my life and I’m not sure I’d be here today if I hadn't.
Q: Is your son still using?
A: You know, life has changed so much in the past six months. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring for any of us but at this moment my son is clean and doing really great.
Q: When is your grand baby due and have they picked a name?
A: My granddaughter is due in June. Yes, they have picked a name. No, I’m not telling what it is, lol.
Q: What would you do differently if you were starting this journey with your son today?
A: Ugh, when I think of all the stupid things my husband and I did in the name of ‘helping’ our kid. Lord, I don’t know what we were thinking. If I had a do over, I’d let him feel the consequences of his actions right off the bat. We were so afraid he’d die that we made using easy. That certainly was not our intention but that was the result of our actions, for sure.
Q: If you could give other parents of addict’s one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: See above. So many parents have a ‘yeah but’ mentality. We were that way, too. If you begin a sentence with ‘yeah but’ when you’re talking about your addicted loved one, you are probably part of the problem and not the solution.
Q: Do you still think menopause is fun?
A: Hahaha. Okay, this goes back to a blog post I made ages ago where I talk about how freeing menopause is. There are bonuses for sure and with age I feel less apologetic about who I am. I’m much more confident and way more forgiving of my imperfections. (and hopefully others, too) As far as the hot flashes, insomnia and weight gain? Oy!
Q: Do you have any other children?
A: Do dogs count?
Q: Do you think marijuana is a gateway drug?
A: The easy answer is yes.
Q: How do you know if someone is using drugs?
A: Lying, lying, lying and lying some more. Sweating, dilated or pinpoint pupils, excessive thirst, unusual cravings for sweets, track marks, black smudges on hands or fingers, burn marks or blisters on lips, nodding off or passing out, slurred or thick speech, anger and outbursts, paranoid, loss of income/employment, bad grades, skipping school, loss of friendships, isolation, feelings of hopelessness, depression, weight loss or gain, dental problems, sores and scabs on face and arms from picking at skin, excessive itching, changes in appearance/grooming habits, burn holes in clothing, car upholstery/furniture and bedding. Addicts usually have some sort of dope kit, as well. Some items to be concerned about: chore boy scouring pads, small glass tubes, cut straws, plastic baggy corners, Imodium, syringes, spoons and foil.
Q: How have you maintained your marriage throughout your son’s addiction and do you and your husband ever disagree on how to handle your son?
A: You know what, I’ve got his six and he’s got mine. Thankfully, we have always been in agreement on decisions regarding our son. (and most other stuff, too) Not that our decisions have always been right, mind you.
Q: Do you believe addiction is a disease?
A: I believe drug use is a choice and the choice to use leads to an addiction which changes the landscape of the brain. I believe addiction should be treated as an illness and covered under all health insurance plans.
Q: You don’t talk about your mom much anymore; do you have contact with her?
Q: What keeps you from going insane?
A: Do you know something I don't, lol? 😜 I didn’t know this in the beginning but the only way out of this nightmare is to focus on living your own best life. I started feeling better when I started living my life and stopped trying to fix my son’s. Today, I’m back to doing the things I used to enjoy and I’ve picked up a couple of new hobbies, too. I feel best mentally when I’m active so I trail run, mountain bike and as of last year I started kayaking. Some of my favorite moments are eating Chinese takeout in bed with my hubby and binge watching Netflix. Sometimes, you just have to find comfort in the little things – a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, a trip to the mall, some new makeup, a new pair of running shoes. A double fudge layer cake…
Q: Do you think my daughter/son can get clean?
A: Yes! Recovery happens every day. Please don’t ever give up hope
Well guys, that’s it for my Q & A. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. If you feel like posting your own answers to these questions, I'd love to read them!