Did you ever feel hopeless or want to give up on your child’s drug abuse?
I have. When my kids relapse, I have a hard time understanding why they choose to use again knowing they will have to go through withdrawal again. How can they want to go through that again knowing how bad they are going to feel? Or not knowing whether they are going to overdose again. How can they take that risk? But the call of the disease is so strong, they can’t help it until they have all of the tools. And even when they have the tools, they may not be able to prevent relapse.
I don’t think I ever wanted to give up. Frustrated, yes. You feel like you are running this marathon and you’re just like, “when is thing going to end?” And you are pretty sure there was a goal out there. The statistics aren’t great for long-term recovery. They’re getting better, but they are not great. I guess there were periods of hopelessness because there were periods when we were like, “ok, what are we going to do to get this thing fixed?” We weren’t sure if we were going to find the right answer. You know that analyzer thing you plug into your car that tells you what is wrong with it? Wouldn’t it be great if we had a port on the side of us that we could plug in and see that “my problem is _________”? And that you need this to be fixed and whole and perfect. And what works for me might not work for you.
No. It’s not hopeless. And it’s not giving up. For example, when I wouldn’t let Bailey come home because she was using, that’s not giving up. I also let her know then that I would be willing to take her to detox. So I’ve never said don’t call me again or I can’t take this anymore. I have felt relief when she’s been in the hospital or when she’s been in recovery because I can breathe. I don’t have to worry about what’s going on or I don’t have to worry about what is going out the door. I don’t have to hide things.
Shelly: We never gave up. I think there were lots of times we felt hopeless. Even in our actions going to church and trying to get help, they gave us no hope most of the time. We finally found a church where we currently attend where the pastor actually put time and gave into Tyler’s life. But the first church we went to — we got nothing from the counseling pastor to the youth pastors. They didn’t understand it.
Travis: There were times we felt hopeless. And hopeless to the sense of not knowing what else to do. But never hopeless to the point that we would ever stop fighting or that we would ever stop believing in Ty.
Christy – I don’t ever feel like I was hopeless. Just … exhausted. I never felt like I wanted to give up. It exhausts a family. The stress is incredible.
Wayne – Tyler was our oldest. He was with us 5 years before our other two came along. He was super successful. You could have 10 of Tyler and it would have been easy. So when Tyler was going south, we had two other kids that have normal daily activities that you have to be part of. One was a senior in high school. And we couldn’t spend enough time with our younger two so that was causing stress in the house and animosity towards Tyler. Our home was like a pressure cooker all the time.
Christy – Any home that has an addict is like that, even if the addict doesn’t live in your home and they’re off at college. The worry and the stress it brings on you … like where are they, what are they doing, who are they with, are they in danger, fear … it is so incredible. You can’t even explain it. It is very very stressful.