Restoration – Part 4 – New Materials


I have purposely let sometime pass from my last post before writing again.  I wanted to drive home the fact that…this takes time… Not one parent or loved one of an addict will all of a sudden have the answers or tools (materials) needed to heal or even to begin the process.  Many of us will come to realize we in fact suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  Seeing our loved one as they have succumb to an overdose, finding them living in a car or in a parking garage, or we have spent months and years hiding our purses, wallets, trying to protect their younger siblings.  One day we realize just how much trauma our hearts have been through and we will take the much needed and warranted time to start looking for help.

The rose colored glasses eventually fall off, and we will eventually reach for a pair of glasses that will help us deal with the realities before us and they will also help us gather the much needed materials we as loved one will need.  For me that list began with the “new tin” to patch the holes.  As I stated in my last post, the project vehicle (or my mother’s heart) once the rust had been completely cut away was left pretty desolate.  The new tin needed wouldn’t be just a couple of small patches; it would need whole fenders, doors, hoods and roofs.  That new tin was found literally in my faith.  I gathered it on my knees before God, crying out in desperation for help.  The wounds I had ran deep, and there was no self-help book or group that was going to get me through.  I needed the Great Physician.

He provided the new tin.  He would become the support and strength needed to get me to the next step.  There was nothing I could do to fill the holes; all the patches I had tried in the past didn’t last.  They we very temporal and had caused even greater overall damage.

If you are like me and have come to the place where your heart’s so full of damage from the years of living in this… just like our addicts, we need to come to the place of acknowledging that there is a Higher Power that we must turn to for strength and peace.  I urge you to begin in the same place.

Whatever It Takes.


For months I have prayed the words.  “Lord whatever it takes to turn my son’s life around”.   My personal version of the well-known verse from the Lord’s Prayer ‘Thy will be done”.  I have battled with my momma’s heart hoping, wanting to be part of the healing process, and vowing to stand alongside him to help show him the way.

All of which failed miserably.

God has clearly shown me I WON’T be the one or even one of the one’s who will help him.  I was perfectly ok with that abstractly.  It is my desire to see him living a sober life, moving forward, taking another good step each day, submitting his heart and life to God.  I say those things to myself, to him, and others all the time.

I will have to admit this morning when I saw his post on social media thanking another person, another “mother figure” in his life for guiding him, standing with him… all the things I vowed I would do as long as he stayed clean… it STUNG.  (Confession is good for the soul… and I am confessing).

And moments later I heard that still small voice in my heart say… “Whatever it takes… I AM using the WHATEVER… so Stand aside and let me.”

What I DID and DIDN’T DO

What I did
I did teach you to walk ~ But I didn’t teach you to walk all over others

I did teach you to eat with a spoon ~ But I didn’t teach you to use one to cook heroin

I did teach you how to dress yourself ~ But I didn’t teach you to dress to cover your track marks

I did teach you how to tie your shoe-laces ~ But I didn’t teach you how to use them as a tool in shooting up

I did teach you to stretch your muscles ~ But I didn’t teach you to use them to bully or intimidate

I did teach you how to ride a bike ~ But I didn’t teach you that one day it would be all that you have

I did teach you how to manipulate numbers, to add and subtract ~ But I didn’t teach you how manipulate others.

I did teach you that love is a gift ~ But I didn’t teach you to use it as a weapon to get what you want

I did teach you that the door is always open ~ But I didn’t teach you that one day we might have to shut it.

I did what all parents do… but I have to do what no parent wants to do.

Teach you that I have to shut the door.

No News is Good News

Or in other words… absence of information to the contrary justifies continued optimism.

However you decided to word it; I have yet to hear anything from my son who now resides in a 15 month voluntary Drug Rehab program.  He left Monday afternoon on a Greyhound Bus out of Boston headed for Vermont.  The first 30 days of the program require no communication with family and friends.  For the record he tried this program back in April of last year, not the one in Vermont but one here in MA, under the same umbrella organization.  On day 4 he called me and said he was leaving the program.

Today is day 5… I have yet to hear any news.

Just like before he seemed to be out of options.  He has cycled in and out of Detoxes, Rehabs, sober living, friend’s sofas, and home.  As of late nothing was sticking, he has yet to retain more than 5 months of sober time.  Just last week he learned that his insurance had been Red Flagged, there wasn’t a local Rehab that would be taking him anytime soon.  And staying at home indefinitely wasn’t an option.

We had a rather serious conversation last Thursday and I brought up the 15 month program, he didn’t shrug it completely off, I saw a ray of hope that he just might commit to it.  Armed with the testimony of someone who completed the program in Vermont, in the heart of snow-boarding country (yes I threw that in there) his interest took flight.  Calls were made; a placement was secured as was a bus ticket.

I made a call to the program on Tuesday morning to be sure he made it all the way there, I was assured he did and that they would take good care of him.  So as day 5 begins, (whew) I am thankful that today is a good day, and will continue to be thankful for everyday that…

No News is Good News.

For Heath ~ and Whitney

While the world mourns the death of Whitney Houston who apparently died a drug related death, a mother by the name of Linda mourns her son Heath who just like Whitney died in his hotel room all alone from drugs on Saturday.

How ironic that both the famous and the non-famous died the same way, the same day.  Whitney’s name is all over the headlines, in the news, memorialized at the Grammy’s.  But Heath’s name appears no-where.  There were no reporters with camera crews who gathered at his hotel room to get the news out that he had passed from this life after battling with addiction for over a decade.  No one interviewed his mother Linda and asked her about his last days or last words.

Heath, just like Whitney (Michael Jackson, and Amy Winehouse of late) each battled a demon that had ensnared their life.  One that is ravaging many in today’s culture.  So many of our children; sister’s, brother’s, husbands, and wives are caught up in addiction.  Just as the world watches and waits for the outcome of the famous; such as Whitney Houston, Lindsay Lohan and Demi Moore, we the parents of addicts wait.  Not with cameras and reporters amassed around our every move, but we wait none the less.

Heath, just two weeks ago, after being estranged from his family for nearly a decade trapped in a world of addiction, sought out his mother in desperation,finally reaching out to her for help.   I don’t know all the details of how the last two weeks of his life went.  I do know Linda reached out to a friend of mine for help, this friend who’s life had never been affected by the ravages of addiction in turn came to me to ask if he could give my name and number to Linda as she was in need of help and support.  I waited for the call, but it never came.  Sunday morning I received an email instead letting me know that Heath’s battle had ended.

For all the Heaths out there, whose names will not appear in the headlines, this blog post is for you.  You were loved dearly; our hopes have always been that you would beat this demon.  That you would somehow find the road marked Recovery and embrace it.  That your life would find New meaning, that living in the day no longer meant hunting out your next fix, but it would mean enjoying once again the life you have been given by an Almighty God who loves you.  That you could be embraced by your family as they encourage and support you on that road marked Recovery.

I pray that the world will sit up and take notice of the Headlines, not just for Whitney’s sake… but for the sake of all the Heaths out there, and for all the sons and daughters like my son, who is still fighting the battle,  that we will take serious what is happening out there and come together to fight and maybe one day find a way to put an end to the demon.




T’was the Relapse before Christmas…

T’was the relapse before Christmas     

In my son’s corner of the house

Addiction was stirring

He’s acting like a louse

I handed him a drug test as he said I don’t care

I told him to take it if he wanted to remain here

He swung back the covers and climbed out of bed

And pulled his Hoodie up over his head

I told him he knew the rules about hoodies and caps

I watched and wonder what might make him snap

I told him I didn’t have to time for fighting and chatter

I clean drug test to me was all that would matter

On to the bathroom he slinked, not exactly in a flash

I opened the drug test, putting the wrapper in the trash

I had a feeling which lines on the test would not grow

For a clean test you need one line above and one below

It was no surprise when two lines did not appear

His addiction had relapsed it was perfectly clear

Much money he had and it was gone way to quick

He spent all he had because he needed a fix

Out to the porch he went to smoke his butt

I took a minute to remember the line in concrete I had cut

No Drug use, No Stealing, No abuse of any kind

The Simple Boundaries I set all came flooding back in my mind

I joined him on the porch and simply stated my thoughts

I now knew where his money went, all the drugs he had bought

The result had showed both heroin and coke

He said nothing just listened as I went on and spoke

You have till days end to make your choice

No crying or trembling were found in my voice

A Rehab or out, I hope you choose the first

I hate what is happening… Addiction be cursed!

I rose from the porch and touched him on the arm

Heroin and coke you’ve cause our family such harm

Last Christmas my son spent the Holiday in Rehab

Looks like this year we’ll be hit with the same jab.

©2011.  All Rights Reserved.  Sole property of Susan J. Silva