Tough love dating show
When the first two or three attempts at rehab only resulted in escalating heroin use, I became desperate for solutions. Rehab counselors urged me to "detach with love," explaining that his only hope for recovery was to "hit bottom." Desperate and exhausted, I complied.Interactions with my son became wrought with an excruciating internal debate—providing a bus pass, shoes or a cell phone triggered the inquiries of "Is this enabling? "At the conclusion of another failed attempt at rehab in 2009, a trusted counselor relayed a message that she had undoubtedly expressed to many parents before me—the best thing I could do for my son was to immediately, as of that day, not allow him back into my home.—ubiquitous in American culture—are tossed about casually by self-help gurus, armchair psychologists and well-meaning friends. I choked back every maternal instinct that screamed at me to protect my son as I left him and his suitcase sitting on the side of a county highway next to that rehab, like so much discarded debris.As I cautioned him to please not use alone, to obtain his drugs from a known source, to "taste" his dose first (inject a small amount very slowly to test the drug Doubt overwhelmed me: "Is this only encouraging further drug use? " I'd recently abandoned the tough love approach, but I wasn't sure this was better. As a child, my son was rambunctious and full of energy, although, at times, shy.Focusing in class was a struggle, yet he excelled in sports—little league baseball, soccer and hockey. He spent hours embracing the smooth cedar of that Ibanez, learning new tunes which he played with an earthy, mellow ease all his own.The last moment of peace I would know ended abruptly on a bright spring day in 2008 with a call from the police informing me that my son had been apprehended with a needle.He was well into the throes of heroin addiction and whatever warning signs there may have been, even with my background as a nurse, I had missed them all.Flirting with death became a daily routine; yet even death held no bottom.
A single glimpse of my sond been given a death sentence, and had hopelessly resigned himself to it.
If the daily potential of death had no power to deter him, the thought of shooting up sludge from a ditch wouldn't either.
Would it not make more sense than tough love, not to mention be more humane, to offer my son tools and options to keep him alive and safe until effective help could be found?
Instead, for the next six harrowing years he only became increasingly isolated and entrenched in his addiction.
He repeatedly suffered near-fatal overdoses in dark stairwells and public restrooms as he cycled between rehabs, jail and the streets.
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I can only imagine the pain and conflict he must have felt when he pawned even that love to buy heroin.