Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"All I want for Christmas is.... Heroin" ~a confession

Last night I was left in an awkward situation. Me and Bryson and my 11 and 9 year old were at Bryson's cousin's house. Our 2 year old was with Bryson's sister (we are in the middle of moving and half at each house and settled nowhere). His cousin is in his early 30's and has a 7 year old daughter that he has primary custody of. I will call his cousin K and I will call his daughter J. J's mom has not been present in our interactions with K and J very often. Her and K manatin a civil relationship for the sake of J and we see her when she is picking up J from time to time.

I have not asked a lot of questions, but from what I gather, the sexual encounter that led to J, was pretty spontaneous and a relationship was never really an option.

Last night we had planned to stay the night at K's since we are not really settled. We all had a few drinks since we didn't have our 2 year old. J's mom was there and I wasn't sure why. She has a boyfriend that she lives with. Sometimes she comes to K's house to watch J, but not to hang out. I just figured it was none of my business and didn't ask- assumed maybe it was to spend time with J for the holidays.

J and my daughter Aliviya were already asleep. Bryson, K, and my son Destin were going to the complex's rec area to drive golf balls and I planned on turning in. It was just me and J's mom and I didn't expect to have to socialize with her since we have never been close.

Within moments after the boys left she was teary eyed and asked if she could tell me something. I wasn't sure what to expect or how to feel. I am a helping person by nature, and I was aware that there must be a reason she felt she could talk to me. I was not prepared for what she told me.

She has been using heroin for over a year.

I am pretty aware of what the right things to do and feel on my end are. We had a very good conversation (in light of the circumstances) and she is already going to a methadone clinic. No one knows except for her and her boyfriend and the "friends" they use with.

Her major realizations are:

  • she cannot continue to live like this
  • she is risking her relationship with her daughter
  • it is not safe for her to be using when she is caring for her daughter
  • her boyfriend does not want to get better or see her get better
  • she has HepC because of her addiction
  • she cannot continue financially supporting her and bf's methadone and drug habit
  • her drug habit and lifestyle do not allow her to provide for her basic needs, much less provide for J
  • she is lucky that J has a Dad like K and she wants his support in her recovery
Here are some of the really scary things she told me... Out of habit, even though the methadone keeps her from getting sick and keeps her from feeling high off the heroin, her and bf still use 1 time a day because she doesn't know how to face her day without the act of using. She is addicted to the dance of the drug addicted world (stealing, getting money, connecting with dealer, scoring, physically shooting up) and does not know what to fill that void with if she stops. She has sold herself for drugs and her bf is aware of it. Her bf is much sicker than her, and is dying from his afflictions. 

She has some really good awareness for someone who has faced this alone for so long. She had some really good  realizations that she is enabling her BF and that she is afraid to have any "help" because she knows it would really just cushion her recovery and enable her. She feels she needs to face the music alone. She also has a lot of guilt and an unhealthy relationship with bf. 

She really wants K to know, because he has been there to take care of J when she couldn't, but is afraid he will not let her see J until she is completely clean. She is afraid that without J in her life, she will not have the strength to keep going, but she is afraid for what she is, as an active user in J's life. 

She basically said that she wants me to "do what I think is necessary" because she knows that I have recovered from an addiction. (She was present sparingly during our meth addiction) She asked me to talk to Bryson and get his opinion on telling K. I asked her if she wanted me and Bryson to sit with her while she told K, and she conveyed that she connot do it and said that she "would not be mad if we told him." I know she is reaching out for help.

This morning was an agonizing wake up call for me, when I discovered that she was still there and had not got up in time for her and bf to make it to the clinic. I was still the only one in the house who knew. I tried to get her up but she said she was ok and continued to sleep. She woke up at noon and was very "dope sick." This made me wonder if she had missed going to the methadone clinic before today. I am not naive when it comes to drugs and had to consider if her desperation is because it is 2 days before Christmas, she got kicked out of the clinic or cannot afford to go, and or cannot afford dope. She laid on the floor in front of us all, curled up in pain, nearly crying. I asked if she needed anything and she replied that she had just taken some "medicine" and would be ok in a minute, she just needed to leave. She left in a hurry, telling J not to hug her because it hurt her and it was going to make her throw up. She rushed outside, leaving her phone behind and then threw up all over in K's parking place, and left.

She took some medicine? Did she shoot up in the bathroom? Did she have methadone with her? 

So I know that we need to tell K. Here is where I am needing advice. Do we tell him before or after Christmas? 


  1. I truly hope all your dreams for Christmas come true…

    Hope, peace and love…

  2. Well...after reading this...I gave it a little thought and if I was in your position, I wouldn't wait to tell K. But that's just me. I can't hold back on important things like that. Even a few days. I feel too guilty. Either way...I hope things turn out alright for you and your family.

  3. Scary stuff is an understatement. Not knowing your relationship with K or how he will react or whether the 7-year old is in any danger between now and Christmas, it's difficult to answer the question. What would be the outcome when there's a 7-year old anticipating Christmas? She has placed you in a difficult position. I wonder why she shared all of this with so much at stake. I pray for a hedge of God's protection around the child and for wisdom for all of you in dealing with this. Such a shame.

  4. I know it is not easy being the one that has the knowledge of such information. For some reason she knew she could confide in you. Something must have told her that you wouldn't judge her, that you would listen, that you would understand because you have been through addiction yourself and that maybe you would help her in some way. I think it's good she did since there is a child involved. I know it's Christmas but I also think that he needs to know now so that he can make an informed decision should she come back there in the near future. He needs to not only protect the daughter but be aware of her condition. I think you need to listen to your heart and what it's telling you. I pray all of this works out. May peace, joy and love surround you and yours. You deserve it. Hugs, Lori

  5. Hi

    This is actually very sad. I think you shouldn't wait. Maybe you should tell K as soon as possible. I'll keep you in my prayers.

  6. Very sad and difficult to manage. Tell K whenever your heart feels it is the time. I wish you and your family all the best for the new year coming.May all your dreams come true, you are a wonderful person.

    Love & Rainbow
    P.S.: I'll be away for a week.

  7. As a grateful, recovering member of Al-Anon, I've been taught not to do for another what that person should do for themselves or try to solve another person's problems. That helping only hurts the addict/alcoholic.

    It sounds to me like Js mom is trying to get you to do something she knows she should do for herself.

    If things are as bad as you write, it seems inconceivable to me that K doesn't know something is up.

    If that sounds harsh, I can only say, I know. It took me a long time to understand the wisdom of doing and saying nothing.

  8. Vancouver's landmark heroin study could transform addicts' lives January 1st, 2010

    Good luck with that Vancouver. Most people who are addicted stay addicted until they seek full recovery, Heroin has been around for a long time and will continue to do it's best for those who suffer from addiction. Methadone pretty much has the same effect . Thinking that we can use Heroin as a source of treatment to me is foolish addiction dictates the agenda, just like recovery it's one or the other. Below are a few people I interviewed and they share there experience with Heroin, methadone and Harm reduction,

    This first interview is with two recovered addict and one who is still struggling, talking about the methadone program here in Vancouver. we are all close friends who have had extensive histories with Heroin and Methadone

    Next I interview a young man who has used Heroin most of his life he recently relapsed after eleven month's clean time this video is quite graphic

    The Harsh Reality of Drug Addiction

    Next we have a woman named Lisa she has been on all the current Harm reduction program's available in Vancouver's Downtown eastside
    this is a sad sad story this poor woman only has her addiction to look forward to in her life

    Last but not least we interviewed more woman who talk about the pro's and con's of Heroin vs. Methadone

    You be the judge the whole reason for these videos is to bring some truth out about the addiction support services that are in use here in Vancouver. My research has been on a personal level for over twenty five years in addiction as well as these and many more video interviews. Thank you recovered addict