Russian Roulette




Such a maddening disease addiction is.  Just when we start to think our children are getting along down the road of Recovery, something enters that road, that catches their eye or lands on that one area inside of them that is still broken, and they pick up that “gun” (their drug of choice) and wonder if they can just play with it this one time… and little did they know it was loaded with a lethal dose and they are gone in a blink of an eye…

In a matter of two short weeks my son has lost two friends.  The first clean for nearly 9 months, and the newest of losses, had completed Teen Challenge.  Both of these young men’s lives had been ravaged with addiction, both had seen many days of victory over it.

When the news came to us on Saturday of this newest loss, it hit harder than the first.  This was a young man who our family knew well.  My adult children grew up with him, had been in youth group with him, he had spent a lot of time with our family over the years.

As I stood with my son giving him the news, I watched his face go white as I told him.  This hit too close to home for him.  He had just seen this friend a few days before.  He told me he didn’t look so good on that day.   We talked about how choices that we make can have life changing and even life ending consequences.

I don’t think any of our loved ones caught up in addiction think they will be the one to lose their life.  When actually every time they partake of their drug of choice they are in fact playing Russian Roulette with their very life.  Especially for those who have had a good stretch of clean time, overdose and death can hit them quicker than those who are still caught up in it on a daily basis.

As of this writing my son has been clean now for just over 2 months.  He has been able to stay so, even in the midst of some pretty difficult circumstances, such as living in an environment with an active user.  (He has since left that place).  His strength and resolve to stay clean seem apparent today, and it is my honest prayer that he never chooses to play Russian Roulette with his life ever again.






If you’ve been around in the recovery world for any length of time you will know that we are always told to keep it about TODAY.  But the title of my post is about Tomorrow.  I am usually one who steps outside the defined box people like to place around things, like Recovery.  And I end up stepping outside the box usually because something happens that makes me think, and when I start thinking the walls around those boxes start either falling down or at the very least cracking.

So why the focus about tomorrow

Saturday morning at about 9AM I received a call from my son, his voice was low and tense when he said;

“Mom I got some bad news”

Now usually those words have been followed with something like:

I just got kicked out of….

Or I lost my job… or

I don’t have a ride and I need one.

This time it was followed with:

“My friend died this morning from an overdose, mom he was 9 months clean, we were supposed to go the beach tomorrow…”

And my son began to cry.

We talked some more about his friend, about the choices his friend had made over the last two days, that he had picked back up with the idea that he would only use today, and he’d stop tomorrow.

I asked my son  this question:

“So what can you take away from this?”

He answered;

I don’t know what made him think he could just stop tomorrow.

Just two days later I offered those words to a friend of mine whose daughter is back at the door of addicition; the mom wondering if she should give her the “rehab or out” push because she has two more weeks to finish a much needed class.  I asked her if she could know for certain that tomorrow her daughter wouldn’t be dead due to using drugs and alcohol.  She had to answer NO, I don’t know… then the priority should be about today.

None of us know whether we have tomorrow, even those of us who do not fight addiction.  Because today at lunch you could walk out to get your coffee and get hit by a car and all those things you hoped would come true tomorrow will be left hanging, with no tomorrow to come.

Parents; loved ones of those battling addiction: Always keep the fact that we are not promised tomorrow right in front of you as you make the hard choices for today.  And those of you who read my blog who have personally battled addiction; please, please, please know that the choices you make today could erase any hope for tomorrow.

So as I crack the box a bit that surrounds around the “keep it about Today”… understand that what we do or don’t do today helps us wake up tomorrow.