Tag Archives: Substance abuse

No I Didn’t Leave Grandson at a Rest Stop

Thought I would explain why Mr. Grandson suddenly dropped out of the picture. He was the whole reason for my wild camping adventure in the first place. He flaked out at the last-minute and announced he was quitting the National Guard. And no I didn’t forget him at a rest stop 🙂

Now on the face of it, you may think hmmm that’s not a wise move or even hoorah. However, that was our main condition for him living under the roof of Mr. Husband and myself.

3 months ago he arrived at the airport here in Big D. He was 23 years old, broke, skinny, tired, scared, had a variety of unaddressed medical issues and a substance abuse problem. I knew all this from the beginning. We were hoping to help him get on his feet.

We had 2 conditions for his remaining here. 1) no substance or alcohol use and 2) he had to honor his commitments to the National Guard. We wanted this second condition because we thought he needed the structure in his life and his insurance was dirt cheap. A much-needed benefit considering the state of his health.

Over the next months I chauffeured him to countless doctor appointments, substance abuse counselling 3 times a week and so on. He cleaned up, gained 35 pounds (our grocery bill almost tripled), and even began to speak in a respectful alert tone of voice.

So he got big and healthy, regained some self-respect and then went to the other extreme and got all cocky. The day before we due to leave to drive him to Guard duty in New England he announces he was quitting. Mr. Husband and I were heartbroken and felt sort of suckered. I don’t think Mr. Grandson thought that the reaction would be immediate. He hasn’t experienced much of that in his life. I told him quitting was a deal breaker and that we would take him to the bus station.

As he was packing his bag, we approached him and asked one last time, “why are you doing this?” He straightened up, looked us in the eye and said “you told me you wouldn’t be behind me if I quit the Guard, every action has a consequence.”

Wow, he had come a long way. He had enough mental acuity to take a concept we were trying to teach him, turn it around, and throw it in our teeth. At that point I decided that he had to leave immediately, not 6 hours later. He finished packing and we drove him to the bus station, sporting a ticket that we purchased, of course. Haven’t heard from him since.

I was heavy hearted, emotionally whipped, and all packed up with nowhere to go. The next morning my mom said “why don’t we just go instead of sitting around the house moping.” And so we did.

I hope that Mr. Grandson got something from his 3 month stay with Grandma and Grandpa. There is another way to live and life doesn’t have to be a constant stream of melodrama, emotional pain, and failure. Maybe someday he will look back at this time and think that it did him some good. All I can do is hope and pray for him.

Amy Winehouse RIP

Amy Winehouse RIP

Well, another musician has gone to Rock n Roll heaven. It’s a crying shame, in my opinion. I know many have voiced sentiments to the tune of “so what if another rich, spoiled brat celebrity overdoses?”  The fact that anyone dies from a drug overdose is a big deal.

Ladies and gentlemen, addiction sucks the big one! I’m not going to get into an argument of whether addiction is a disease, a moral weakness, or indication of possession by demons. No one really knows the answer. When someone dies from drug abuse it is a tragic death, regardless.

Amy Winehouse is dead. She was a human being, with a huge monkey on her back. As a celebrity she could pretty much do or get whatever she wanted or thought she needed, with little or no reality check. She took advantage of this and paid the ultimate price.

To me drug addiction is a curse. There are several with this curse in my own family. I’ve watched them struggle with it for decades. None of them have died from it…yet. There are times when I tried to talk myself into detaching to protect myself from the pain. But that doesn’t work.

I lived in New Orleans for over 20 years. For much of that time I worked the night scene. Almost everyone I knew from back in the day is dead now. All directly or indirectly from drug related violence. I visited friends dying in a hospice from Aids caught from by sharing needles. Went to a funeral of a beautiful woman, with a heart of gold, shot in the head on the stairs of her apartment building by a dealer. My brother in the neurology ward of a hospital with possible permanent brain damage from taking a fall while drunk out his mind. My mother transforming from an intelligent, articulate conversationalist to a slurring, cursing sot on a regular basis. My beautiful daughter lost in her own personal nightmare of drug addiction and all that accompanies it.

It’s a miracle I lived through all of this myself just from wandering around the French Quarter at night while all this craziness went down. But, most people who die from drug or alcohol abuse don’t go out in a blaze of gunfire or a quick overdose. They spend decades spiraling downwards into degradation, poverty, and a slow death. For the people who love them and watch this, it is a slow torture that is beyond my capacity to put into words. But I’m giving it my best shot today.

Miss Winehouse, rest in peace. I shed a tear for you today and for all those fighting addiction and the family and friends who love them.

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