So to those who still have their children here on this earth--get HELP today! Don't wait. Don't think you have time.
I’m the parent of an addict. That phrase used to hurt so much to say. HOW did I let things get to this point? And Why? I realize now, after years of therapy, that it’s not ALL my fault. But I didn’t always think this way.
I was ashamed. Ashamed of my parenting. Ashamed of myself. Ashamed to say that my beloved son Nick was a heroin addict. How could I be ashamed of my son?
Drugs, addiction, heroin–they CHANGE you. They change the family dynamics. They change the way we think, act, and feel. They change the way we function and the way we look at our loved ones. They RIP apart our lives and leave nothing, not a single good thing, in the wake.
Nick was a great kid. I miss him SO much.
He grew up in a small, suburban town. He went to a prestigious school. He got good grades. He helped around the house (most of the time). By all accounts, Nick was a good boy.
He had a good life…at least, he did until he decided to try a “perc” one day.
Percocet to Heroin
Nick didn’t think what he was doing was “WRONG.” In fact, he believed that using prescription drugs couldn’t possibly be as dangerous as people were saying because, after all, they WERE prescribed by a doctor. What my poor Nicky didn’t realize was that each day he took those pills he was digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole that he didn’t know how to climb out of.
I caught him using the pills when he was 20. He was in College and studying to be an engineer. He said that the pills helped him to relax after a long day going to school and later working at a local coffee shop in the evenings. He insisted that I don’t harass him about it because it “wasn’t a big deal.” But to me, it WAS.
At 21, Nicky came home for a weekend and looked pretty rough. When I asked him what was wrong and if he had been sleeping well he said that he had been struggling to sleep through the night. I accepted his answer, but my gut was telling me that there was more to the story.
That Sunday I was washing his laundry and found a small bag with some powdery residue inside. Shocked, I began rummaging through the rest of Nicky’s belongings. I don’t know what I “THOUGHT” I would find, but I knew what I didn’t want to find–needles.
Sadly, I found a syringe cap in his jeans pocket and fell to the floor in tears. Could it be? Surely it couldn’t be true–my poor baby boy was NOT using heroin….was he?
I confronted Nick and he lashed out. “Why were you going through my stuff?” and “I can’t trust you at all, I knew you would snoop.” The words stung as they came out of his mouth but I knew deep inside that it was the drugs and not my poor baby talking. I was DEVASTATED.
No parent wants to believe that their child is using HEROIN. What did I do wrong? Why am I not enough? Where did I mess up so bad that my son is using these hard drugs?
I spent weeks trying to find the answer…I asked around. I sought help, and I begged my son to get the help he needed…but he refused.
6 weeks after I found the heroin in my son’s laundry I got a phone call from the College. I needed to get there quickly. I knew…in my mind, I knew that my son Nicky was gone.
When I arrived 3 hours away from home to Nick’s school I was confronted with campus law enforcement. I fell to my knees and begged God to give my boy back but it was too late.
The words, “I’m sorry Miss,” Stung so incredibly bad and I can still hear them being said like it just happened yesterday. It’s been two years and each day is a mission to get through. Without Nick I feel like my world is gone. The loss is so deep.
Help for Other Parents
There is one thing that I wish other parents could know and that is to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. No matter what your kid says, no matter how much you think it’s hurting them or you, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES to help your child if he or she is using drugs. Don’t just expect that it will get better in time. Don’t wait until the “semester is over” or until “they have free time off work” or whatever it is–don’t wait to get help.
For Nicky, he had agreed to get help after the semester was done and I thought that would be good enough. It wasn’t! My SON, my precious SON is gone and all because I thought we had time to get help.
So to those who still have their children here on this earth–get HELP today! Don’t wait. Don’t think you have time. Don’t let them tell you what you want to hear so that this all feels better–GET HELP.