Addict’s Mantra- ‘One Day At A Time’

I finally broke down and called Kay today. Mikie has been at sober living 4 days now. So far so good, I’m glad to report. She gave him the homeopathy but doesn’t think he’ll try it. She, on the other hand, did try it, and said it reduced the morning, what she called ‘butterflies’. She seemed a little nervous talking about it so I moved onto Mikie.

Several good things;

  • He took a bike ride from sober living to the house where he did his 30 day inpatient program, to say “hi”. Granted he felt like shit after biking in the hot sun but the fact that he chose a healthy activity as well as a healthy destination is outstanding.
  • His sponsor picks him up regularly for   meetings and seems to be always there for him.
  • I encouraged Kay to pick up her son and drive him to the day patient program to register and get started, as well as assisting him in calling a very good therapist she found who specializes in addiction but wants a direct call from Mikie. Kay agreed it would be good to give Mikie the ‘support’ he needs until he gains back full self motivation rather than leaving these tasks entirely up to him and risk  her son missing out on vital services.

One day at a time, Mikie.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol Vose
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 21:14:58

    I’ve been reading all the new posts. I lost your email, would you give it to me again? Glad things are going well at this time. Update on my son, the program I wanted for him was too expensive and also…had a long wait list. Seems here in Maine it is not so simple to get your child, in our case, adult child, into a treatment program, especially if you are low income, like us. So, my son opted to do the CARA program through the jail where he was originally going to have to spend 3 days for his OUI. He opted instead to spend 5 weeks at the jail, in this highly innovative, first-of-its-kind in our state program. Look up CARA program, Augusta Maine Kennebec County Jail. He hasn’t contacted us yet, as that comes at week 3. We’ve heard he is doing well. However, I’ve been doing alot of thinking about the next step, after this program.

    Have you heard about the Delancey Street Foundation? It is a self-help community run program for drug and alcohol abusers, people with a history of crime, poor education, inter-generational poverty, poor employment history. While my son did get a GED, he has a ten-year relationship with substance abuse and illegal activities. This program is not a therapy group, but a learning by doing experience. The participants agree to enter for a minimum stay of 2 years, the average stay is 3 1/2 years. Over time, participants learn life skills, learn to relate with others, develop a good work ethic, gain education and work skills, and they can even get a Bachelor of Arts degree.

    My son does have some mental health issues, and this program does not accept seriously mentally ill persons. I think they do not allow medications, but I’m not sure. (The program my son is in just now limits the type of medication he takes.) There is no “staff” as the program is run by the residents. Nine types of vocational educational schools offer certified skills in a wide variety of areas, and the newest location, in Stockbridge, MA is to train participants in the arts (after they complete their first two years). Locations are in California, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York and Massachusetts. 1,500 clients are served, with a recidivism rate of 35%, which is really low, especially compared to AA’s rate of 90%. All programs are at no cost to the client or the taxpayer.

    I don’t know what my son will think of this program, but I hope he considers it and checks it out. As I’m writing to him, there are no perfect programs, life is not perfect. But, we expect that he will make far-reaching changes that will give him back his sense of dignity and self-worth, and that he will no longer be a burden on us or society. That is said with hope and love. With all the skills my boy used to sell drugs, “get by” us and others, he surely has the intelligence to transform his life. It will depend on what he will chose, what his mental health will allow, and the luck of the draw regarding the program he enters. I don’t know if this Delancey Street program will appeal to him, or if they will accept him into it…but, I hope for the best. Being in this program that may offer him the opportunity to create a positive future certainly beats living on disability and drifting back into a life of crime and substance abuse. He wasn’t a hardened criminal at all, but he imitated the thug lifestyle and broke the law at will.

    When I called to speak with someone at the Delancey Street Foundation last night, a young man took my call. He said something so honest, and true of my son. He said, “We’re a bunch of very selfish people here who are learning to care about ourselves and others.” I’ve often been struck by the absolute self-absorption of my son…Aspergers, ADHD or no. It is always all about him. I always have thought it takes a long time for a child to think of the parent’s feelings.

    All the therapy in the world is still not a substitute for living in it. I’m still exhausted and lame from cleaning out my son’s apartment from which he was evicted two weeks ago. In that mess I saw “life according to” my boy: chaos. As my husband and I labored six hours (after a 3 hour drive one-way) and worked half the next day at cleaning out and storing his things, we both said, “No more!” and, “Enough!” We found needles, a baggie of white powder, spoons, small bowls of water, tie off straps, scissors… all scattered about, mingling with his favorite stuffed animal from childhood (tucked in the closet), piles of dirty laundry and the pillows I made him from an antique quilt. What a picture.

    I’ll keep you posted. Very Best, Carol

  2. thependulist
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 22:47:25

    Carol, does your son have Aspergers? I was really ill when I first replied to your comment- sorry- I have not heard of CARA but have heard of Delancy St. Programs are costly everywhere and the waiting list for free is extensive. I have been at this juncture before with my daughter, so I wait with baited breath! Feel free to email me and I”ll give you my phone # and we can chat. I can’t say everything I mean to say in my blog!