Someone please help me understand addiction.

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone. It’s been ten months since my son passed away from an accidental overdose of heroin. We are trying to cope and find peace somehow. But I just wondered if anyone could explain to me what addiction is like? I still can’t believe that after 3 years my son chose to use again. It’s just so hard to understand when he was so healthy, strong, a Marine, so many friends so much love from everyone I just don’t understand what pull addiction has on people. I can’t wrap my head around it. It’s so hard to understand when he was free from it and living his life to the fullest. I just feel like it was such a waste to lose him when he had so much going for him. My heart is just so broken as well as his fathers. Thank you for anyone that can enlighten me.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Lovemyson, your situation is tragic and heartbreaking. There is no way to understand it from a rational perspective. Your son loved his life and he loved you. There is no way in the world he chose this. The addiction chose this, in a moment of weakness. This is why people who recover from alcoholism and drug addiction go for years and years to AA or NA. They understand that the risk is always there. And they do whatever it takes to guard against those moments of self-deception and vulnerability.

Had your child thought seriously about what would be, he would never have put himself into the position of vulnerability. The addiction fooled him into thinking he would be okay.

I am so very sorry for your suffering. I don't think that there is a way to understand what happened, that will ease your pain. Because I think what happened was truly senseless. Because your son was not thinking from his real self. He was hijacked by addiction from which he was not free. Maybe that is the answer. I don't think we ever get truly free and safe from an addiction. I am sorry.
 

runawaybunny

Administrator
Staff member
:hugs: I'm so sorry that you are dealing with such a painful loss.

Here are a couple of links:


What Does Addiction Mean To Me
 

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
Lovemyson, your situation is tragic and heartbreaking. There is no way to understand it from a rational perspective. Your son loved his life and he loved you. There is no way in the world he chose this. The addiction chose this, in a moment of weakness. This is why people who recover from alcoholism and drug addiction go for years and years to AA or NA. They understand that the risk is always there. And they do whatever it takes to guard against those moments of self-deception and vulnerability.

Had your child thought seriously about what would be, he would never have put himself into the position of vulnerability. The addiction fooled him into thinking he would be okay.

I am so very sorry for your suffering. I don't think that there is a way to understand what happened, that will ease your pain. Because I think what happened was truly senseless. Because your son was not thinking from his real self. He was hijacked by addiction from which he was not free. Maybe that is the answer. I don't think we ever get truly free and safe from an addiction. I am sorry.
Thank you Copabanana, I’m sure you’re right, I just can’t grasp the understanding of it all. It helps to read your explanation though. 💞
 

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
:hugs: I'm so sorry that you are dealing with such a painful loss.

Here are a couple of links:


What Does Addiction Mean To Me
Thank you. This is very detailed. I’ll need to take my time & really study this in hopes that it will help me understand.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Dear Lovemyson

I don't think we can ever understand this kind of loss. It will never, ever make sense to you, I don't think. Why? Because his was a senseless, tragic loss. He was a wonderful young man, in every single respect, except he had a monkey on his back that never let go. All of the gifts in your son's life seemed to have made him vulnerable to that demon that was hiding and waiting for him to slip up.

I wish you would keep posting here. As often and as many times as you choose. Even if it's to just come here to cry. Especially that. Love. I am so sorry.
 

RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Lovemyson:

I was just thinking about you the other day.

My close friend lost her son to a heroin overdose in July of 2019. It was just a year ago. She actually buried him on her birthday which just passed. I am not sure I would have picked that day if it were me.

She said she was glad to get the first year behind her of living without him. She too is heartbroken. Her son was sober for almost a year and working and due for a raise. He had moved home again and she drove him to and from work while he was saving for a car. He was 27. They became very close in those months.

He went to a party one night. She asked him to stay home and watch a movie with her and the last thing he said was "I'll be okay mom". She had a bad feeling.

Personally, I think addiction is the most evil thing in the world. I dealt with it with my mother who was an alcoholic and my son who by the grace of God is now doing well. I feel that all things are God's will and we have to make peace with things that we do not understand or it will destroy us. These are things that we have no control over and they are impossible to understand.

Have you gone to any type of grief therapy? My friend did for almost a year and she said it did help her but I don't know if the pain every truly goes away. She is trying to be happy for him because she knows that is what he would want for her. We are all here for such a short time.

💝💗
 

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
Dear Lovemyson

I don't think we can ever understand this kind of loss. It will never, ever make sense to you, I don't think. Why? Because his was a senseless, tragic loss. He was a wonderful young man, in every single respect, except he had a monkey on his back that never let go. All of the gifts in your son's life seemed to have made him vulnerable to that demon that was hiding and waiting for him to slip up.

I wish you would keep posting here. As often and as many times as you choose. Even if it's to just come here to cry. Especially that. Love. I am so sorry.
Thank you. I need this.
 

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
Lovemyson:

I was just thinking about you the other day.

My close friend lost her son to a heroin overdose in July of 2019. It was just a year ago. She actually buried him on her birthday which just passed. I am not sure I would have picked that day if it were me.

She said she was glad to get the first year behind her of living without him. She too is heartbroken. Her son was sober for almost a year and working and due for a raise. He had moved home again and she drove him to and from work while he was saving for a car. He was 27. They became very close in those months.

He went to a party one night. She asked him to stay home and watch a movie with her and the last thing he said was "I'll be okay mom". She had a bad feeling.

Personally, I think addiction is the most evil thing in the world. I dealt with it with my mother who was an alcoholic and my son who by the grace of God is now doing well. I feel that all things are God's will and we have to make peace with things that we do not understand or it will destroy us. These are things that we have no control over and they are impossible to understand.

Have you gone to any type of grief therapy? My friend did for almost a year and she said it did help her but I don't know if the pain every truly goes away. She is trying to be happy for him because she knows that is what he would want for her. We are all here for such a short time.

💝💗
Thank you RN. Your words do give me some comfort. I’m so sad for your friend. If there is one thing I wish it would be to have my son back that last day and hold on to him & never let go. We had no control over his decision that night. We prayed with him & asked him to drive safe & let us know when he got back to base. We never got that text. Truly a nightmare. I miss the sound of his voice.
No, we haven’t had any counseling. My husband and I just talk to each other about the things that make us sad and the things that remind us of him and just everything together. There is a grief counseling through the military that reaches out often but it just makes me more sad when I talk to them. The other thing is, not many people we talk to know how he passed away because we’re very private people, in some ways I feel guilty about this. But my son never liked us to talk about it I don’t even know if he ever admitted he was an addict. He once told me mom I was just partying I’m not an addict.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Dear Lovemyson

I am wondering if the secrecy makes this harder for you. My grandmother always told me that if you air things out it clears away what's stuffy and harmful. If the breeze comes in we have a chance to breathe free. I don't know what that would look like for you, but after typing these words, I have the will to push myself out of the house to walk, after feeling sorry for myself since I woke up. Sending love.
 

RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Yes stay with us and post. I think it will be therapeutic for you.

Also I'm sorry that you feel shame over the way your son died but I do understand. I don't think that people will judge you harshly though for being truthful and I bet you that they already know. It may set you free as Copa said.

We all know the shame of addiction in our families but I think that the more it's talked about the less shame that there is. People that are truly friends or are truly good people will NOT judge you and if they do then you are so much better off without them in your life!

We are all only human and we all make mistakes. We all make wrong choices. No one should judge anyone else. We need to have compassion for one another.
 

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
Dear Lovemyson

I am wondering if the secrecy makes this harder for you. My grandmother always told me that if you air things out it clears away what's stuffy and harmful. If the breeze comes in we have a chance to breathe free. I don't know what that would look like for you, but after typing these words, I have the will to push myself out of the house to walk, after feeling sorry for myself since I woke up. Sending love.
yes I hear you. We have each other & our daughters to talk to honestly about it. But I can’t help but think of my son and how he hated me bringing it up so I want to honor him.
 

RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
That is understandable.

Do what makes you feel the best. There is no right or wrong answer.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
One place where I think you could get real answers is to go to an AA meeting and ask beforehand if it is okay to talk to people after the meeting. Likely somebody, hearing your story, will be happy to talk to you.

I know an addict quite well. He has been sober 30 years but his son is a severe addict. I can ask if he would speak with you. He is good at explaining addiction however I need to see if he will talk to you. He is in Narcotics Anonymous for himself and Nar Anon for his son. If interested let me know here. I will ask him if you are interested. Otherwise I do think a meeting is a good idea.

Prayers to infinity and beyond. Hugs and love too.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I can ask if he would speak with you.
This is so kind and caring of you, Busy. Lovemyson, I agree with Busy 100 percent, that speaking to and being with other parents, in real life, in time might give you some solace.

I will say something hard here. I will say it because I recognize this in myself. I wonder if your struggle to understand is a way to make time stand still, the fear that if time passes, and you move on, you will move farther away from your son. This happened to me. I found that the connection is not related to linear time. That letting go freed me up to connect in my heart, in a place beyond time and space. Where souls connect.
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
Lovemyson1,

My heart goes out to you. Some of us here experience the loss of our adult children, while they are still alive, and that is so painful. I cannot imagine experiencing the loss of your son on a permanent level. God's grace and strength be with you.

Addiction is an ugly monster and makes people sometimes, I believe, what they really don't want to be, but perhaps due to some psychological issues are not strong enough to climb out of it and stay out of it.

Besides, issues with my sons, I was married to an alcoholic for 30 yrs. He tried many, many times to stop cold turkey and almost died. He ended up losing, me his wife, our home, his job and his relationships with his two sons. Wouldn't one think that as these things started to crumble it would have awakened him? It didn't. It's been 3 yrs. almost since our divorce and he has been sober for about the last 6-8 months. He has so much guilt I'm not sure how one person can live with all that. He's working on himself daily but I asked myself over and over how come he couldn't have changed sooner when he knew all would be lost? I don't have the answer to that but what I started to do was focus on my well-being.

I would recommend Al anon (when that opens back up). I joined several years ago and it helped me immensley. You get to share your "secret" with others who have experienced similar things as you and do it anonymously. You get to share at your pace, discuss what you want to discuss or not discuss and listen and learn from others. Try several different groups because you might find one that fits your liking more than the others. I was so broken when I entered those doors of Al anon and I didn't even realize it. You see, we learn that we are "sick" from the disease of our loved ones. We'd like to think it's all about them but it is not. Ourselves and the 5 closest people next to the addict have been affected. The program works to the degree you work it. You will have to soul search and learn about yourself and the beauty of it all is that you can feel better and be better. To me, your son would want you to honor yourself as well as him.

I understand that you don't want to discuss it with others to respect him but your son wouldn't want you and your husband to stay in the state of mind your in, I'm pretty confident. I had a lot of shame and embarrassment from being married to an alcoholic and I had to work through that. For me that's part of why I didn't want to share because I felt ashamed that I couldn't have fixed the alcoholic. We learn that we didn't cause it, we can cure it and we can't control it. When you finally reach the awesome understanding of that, it is quite freeing.

I also saw a therapist for a couple of years and had my faith. In my opinion, don't isolate yourself. There is no healing there.

Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.
 

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
This is so kind and caring of you, Busy. Lovemyson, I agree with Busy 100 percent, that speaking to and being with other parents, in real life, in time might give you some solace.

I will say something hard here. I will say it because I recognize this in myself. I wonder if your struggle to understand is a way to make time stand still, the fear that if time passes, and you move on, you will move farther away from your son. This happened to me. I found that the connection is not related to linear time. That letting go freed me up to connect in my heart, in a place beyond time and space. Where souls connect.
Your words bring me to tears because yes, I never want to let go. I miss him. I miss his voice, his laugh, his smile. I grieve for what could have been. His future. I grieve because this never should have been his destiny.
 

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
Lovemyson1,

My heart goes out to you. Some of us here experience the loss of our adult children, while they are still alive, and that is so painful. I cannot imagine experiencing the loss of your son on a permanent level. God's grace and strength be with you.

Addiction is an ugly monster and makes people sometimes, I believe, what they really don't want to be, but perhaps due to some psychological issues are not strong enough to climb out of it and stay out of it.

Besides, issues with my sons, I was married to an alcoholic for 30 yrs. He tried many, many times to stop cold turkey and almost died. He ended up losing, me his wife, our home, his job and his relationships with his two sons. Wouldn't one think that as these things started to crumble it would have awakened him? It didn't. It's been 3 yrs. almost since our divorce and he has been sober for about the last 6-8 months. He has so much guilt I'm not sure how one person can live with all that. He's working on himself daily but I asked myself over and over how come he couldn't have changed sooner when he knew all would be lost? I don't have the answer to that but what I started to do was focus on my well-being.

I would recommend Al anon (when that opens back up). I joined several years ago and it helped me immensley. You get to share your "secret" with others who have experienced similar things as you and do it anonymously. You get to share at your pace, discuss what you want to discuss or not discuss and listen and learn from others. Try several different groups because you might find one that fits your liking more than the others. I was so broken when I entered those doors of Al anon and I didn't even realize it. You see, we learn that we are "sick" from the disease of our loved ones. We'd like to think it's all about them but it is not. Ourselves and the 5 closest people next to the addict have been affected. The program works to the degree you work it. You will have to soul search and learn about yourself and the beauty of it all is that you can feel better and be better. To me, your son would want you to honor yourself as well as him.

I understand that you don't want to discuss it with others to respect him but your son wouldn't want you and your husband to stay in the state of mind your in, I'm pretty confident. I had a lot of shame and embarrassment from being married to an alcoholic and I had to work through that. For me that's part of why I didn't want to share because I felt ashamed that I couldn't have fixed the alcoholic. We learn that we didn't cause it, we can cure it and we can't control it. When you finally reach the awesome understanding of that, it is quite freeing.

I also saw a therapist for a couple of years and had my faith. In my opinion, don't isolate yourself. There is no healing there.

Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.
Thank you for explaining all that. I’m sorry for what you experienced. I will consider going to a meeting. This is all just so very hard.
 

lovemyson1

Well-Known Member
One place where I think you could get real answers is to go to an AA meeting and ask beforehand if it is okay to talk to people after the meeting. Likely somebody, hearing your story, will be happy to talk to you.

I know an addict quite well. He has been sober 30 years but his son is a severe addict. I can ask if he would speak with you. He is good at explaining addiction however I need to see if he will talk to you. He is in Narcotics Anonymous for himself and Nar Anon for his son. If interested let me know here. I will ask him if you are interested. Otherwise I do think a meeting is a good idea.

Prayers to infinity and beyond. Hugs and love too.
What a wonderful thing to be sober 30 years. Thank you for sharing that. Would you be able to ask him for me and share here? I struggle with talking about it, especially to strangers.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I grieve because this never should have been his destiny.
I struggle with talking about it, especially to strangers.
lovemyson. Regardless of how your son died, he was a hero. To me, everything that you have ever written about him, from the time he relapsed when he was in Victory Outreach, I felt how loving he was, his dignity and his goodness. I hope you accept tht there is no shame in the way he died.

I am thinking here of the parents who have lost children in the school massacres. How they speak out and reach out to other parents who come to suffer in the same or similar ways. These parents have in common that their children were robbed of their destinies, and with that, the parents too. Your son was no less a victim than these children. That he was a victim of something in himself does not change who he was.

At the same time, while your son was robbed of his destiny, by addiction, he played a role. I am going to say something hard here, lovemyson. I wonder if you on some level feel anger at him. Your son by taking the drug robbed you of the future that could have been. You were robbed of your destiny, lovemyson. Of his marriage, of grandchildren. So many, many things. It is not only heartbreaking. It is wrong. It should not have happened.

Often the thing that makes grief and mourning so hard is the little bit of anger that we bury deeply. We're not supposed to be angry at the dead. Especially if that person we love more than we love life itself. And sometimes mourning becomes so intractible for this very reason. I don't write this that you hurt more. I write this so that your suffering lessens.

Deep inside of us, we hope that if we sacrifice ourselves we can somehow reverse what is. We would give our lives that they would be spared. By this, too, we can punish ourselves for our anger.

I wonder if there's anything more to understand lovemyson, about addiction, except that it robbed your son and you and his Dad of the destiny that should have been. And that is wrong and unfair and should not have happened. But it did. Your son took that drug because he was an addict. And at the end this horror overtook all of the other things he was and could have had and could have been. It should never have happened.
 
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