Saturday, July 31, 2010

Number One

Just a little incident I wanted to write about. From the perspective of a mom, I have to say my whole world has changed. My priorities are my son now, and that is THE most important thing. Now maybe I was just finally ready, or maybe I just know what not to do from before...and maybe, it could all slip away at any minute.
Now, I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea here because I am no where near slipping in any way...but seeing a mother who has fallen brought up a lot of feelings for me tonight. Let me indulge you...

I met this woman tonight when I was at a concert tonight with my son. She mentioned she also had a son, who was somewhere around the age of three, I think. She was miles and miles from home, and she seemed like she was somewhat buzzed. And I just wondered how a mother could be so far from her kid, to be out partying. I just cannot imagine leaving him for even one night right now, and I could not be just off somewhere following a band around.
Which I, by the way, have done. I toured around the country a couple of times with Phish, and I really loved Phish tour. I still look back on those years with a fondness. I have often wondered if it all started then, was it my years traveling around that got me started spinning? Or was it a collision course I was destined no matter what. It is no lie that addiction can be genetic. I really enjoyed the freedom of the road, and we had to be responsible because we were traveling. We never ate X if we were not staying in that city, or somewhere real close by. We did not get really drunk and out of control...but, was it the beginning still?

I will never know.

Back from the reflection, I see this mother, and I see all these other mothers I have known. I do not know this mother I saw tonight, and she may simply be on a much needed vacation, who am I to say. It was when I saw the faces of so many other mothers I have known looking back at me through memory. When I think of those mothers I once used with, I often wonder how close I could be to being that mother. I am thankful I met heroin before I ever met my kid...and when I finally met my child, holding his precious little body in my arms, I had said good bye to heroin years earlier. I am just so thankful that when I held my child for the first time, my life began to cement a new path. Forever. I knew a girl who left her six month old baby with its father for a couple of months while she ran off and used dope. She hardly talked about the baby. And I think about a friend forgetting to pick her son up from daycare. I think about mothers who use, and all the sordid details that can go along with it. Before I had my son, it never really struck me one way or the other.
Now that I have a son, I really wonder how a mother could leave her kid for weeks to party? I wonder how you could forget about picking up your kid. And I really wonder how someone could chose dope over their kid. That is coming from someone who understands addiction.
And that is coming from someone who really does understand what it is like to abandon everything you believe, and to forsake all that you love. I just cannot imagine doing that to my kid. I am thankful that I had him after I got that shit out of my system. If I had a kid before I started using, and I still started dabbling with that shit...there is no telling what could have happened. I worry, somewhere in the back of my mind...did some of these mothers start off just like me, and by the time their kid is five or six...could it all change? I don't think so.
I will never go back to that hell. This is just too much like a piece of heaven. Yeah sure, we all have our struggles, but when I look into that angel's eyes...I am reassured. He is my number one now.


  1. since you are a recovering addict, you KNOW how it takes over your life completely. i don't think any of those women INTEND to forget their children, the dope just takes over and then nothing, NOTHING becomes more important than getting the dope, sadly, including their own children.

  2. I am also a recovering addict with just over four and a half years clean time under my belt so far..this time anyway...I am also a mother to two beautiful girls - no, women now - both of whom are in their twenties. Pretty simple math to see that I was indeed an active user at some point of their lives as they were growing up these past couple of decades. I make no apologies now, although I have and did many times over to reach my current space.

    Personally, I managed to abstain from everything except alcohol for the first ten years as a mother. Shortly after Sara's ninth birthday I ended up opening my own business which just happened to be a small live entertainment venue - a bar where the local punk bands had a place to get their first start et al...OK? Now, for the next two years a lot of my time was spent building my business and everything that this entails. Obviously I had to socialize more than I had previously and from this, everything else seemed to follow. I know I don't need to paint a picture. This lead to my first go-round with methadone.

    Spent five years completely opiate free until towards the end of 2003 when, after nine months of living my Dad's battle with cancer and radiation and chemo and then his death finally, I made the arrogant mistake of believing I would be the exception to the rule of just being able to do it one more time...

    To say this was an error in judgement would have to be the understatement of last century. And from there I am now here. Those couple of years of use during their early teen years I now regret very much. At the time, I was able to rationalize with the best of them cause I never, ever disappeared, I was always there when they went to school and again upon their return. I never ever missed an opportunity to volunteer at their schools and attended every single one of their school trips/outings even when they had started high school.

    But, honestly, I was probably just their in body and not really in spirit, but this topic still causes me a lot of discomfort so...I understand though, your feelings on this subject from the perspective of a new Mom cause this was one realm I simply was unable to understand - while pregnant and especially during your baby's formative years, you really can't be both an addict and a mother. Make a choice. Choose one. Stick with it. Don't be so bloody selfish that by your actions you end up creating one more victim of this disease that the world does not need, nor does this innocent deserve.

    Please, understand me, I was not at all suggesting that you would happen to fall into this category either. I get we both are very much on the same page regarding this issue. If interested, I ranted about this very topic over a year and a half ago but in much greater detail.

    Please, excuse my very long post. I apologize for carrying on as long as I did and I thank you in advance for allowing me to do this.

    peace, love and happiness...

  3. Sick Girl...I am with you 100%. I still fear that it could happen to me. It has happened to so many other mothers I know. I am so thankful to have had children after I got into drugs, not before. Had I gotten into it after children, I do think the path was somewhat inevitable for me, and the results could have been disasterous. I feel like I am safe. But, then as an addict, we know we are always close to the edge in one way or another. You can carry on with me anytime. Much Love.

  4. BMelons - I think you're wise to keep in mind that your active addiction can come back. I am not addicted to drugs (or at least the ones that I haven't tried) but I have a propensity to abuse alcohol & prescription painkillers. Oh yeah. Coke too. I got this all under control before having my kids. Really. I never use pills or coke (no access so no temptation altho I actually read those spam e-mails for pills) and hangovers keep me from drinking since I have to "be" there for my kids. But after 9 yrs of parenting 3 kids w/ the youngest one 5, the middle 7 & the oldest 9, I can see myself slipping back. I haven't done it yet but I *know* the possibility is there. Know it real well in my truest heart. When my oldest & 2nd oldest were younger this would have felt impossible. But it's been awhile & their needs are different now. I guess what I am saying is that certain personality types need to be vigilant. I hope I can continue to make it. I pray I do. MacKenzie Phillip's story is very powerful to me because she was clean for most of the yrs her son was growing up & then she slipped back onto drugs. That could easily be me. But I will cross that bridge another day.
    PS. Like your blog alot. Am going to bookmark it.