Friday, February 18, 2011


This is my son Charlie.

I have received so many emails from so many mothers who have sons and daughters that are addicted to drugs. So much pain in their words. So much heartbreak between the lines.   My heart goes out to each and everyone of you.

Only going through it can anyone understand the desperation and total sense of helplessness that is felt when you see your child - no matter how old he or she is - killing themselves a little each day.

Only going through it can you understand the mental process of preparing yourself to bury your child while at the same time attempting to live a "normal" life.

I hope my sharing these things with you helps you in some way.  At least to hold on to hope.

Charlie left for California yesterday.  I wanted to accompany him but he insisted this is something he had to do alone.  The night before he went out and came home almost unconscious - drove himself home that way.  He came home at 6:00 am yesterday.  We had to leave for the airport at 11.  I was terrified I would not be able to wake him or get him to get up. It's happened so many times before.

I went downstairs to his apartment at 10:00 expecting the worst.   When I got there his brother was sitting on the couch (he is 22) and Charlie was in the shower.  His suitcase was already in the living room and packed.  I knocked on the bathroom door and his response was - "it's okay mom - I wont let either of us down."  I had to walk away from the door so he would not hear me sob.

He was ready at exactly 11.  Hugged his brother and gave him his last paycheck.  He said he didn't trust himself with money.  Gave his brother his cell phone.  I asked him why he was not taking the cell phone... what if he needed to call?  He said he didn't want to take it because it would be too tempting to call people or have people call him and he didn't trust himself not to back out.  He was totally and completed high.  But he was so damned determined.

We got to the airport - I had no idea about his flight because it was all prepared by the rehab.  He was flying from Ft. Lauderdale to Phoenix where he had a one hour stop and then catching another flight to California.  I totally panicked.  He was in such bad shape.  Would he get on the second plane?      I watched him go through the gate and I thought I was going to go into total hysterics.  What if??? What if he didn't get on the second plane?   What if he just got off in Phoenix and went looking for drugs???? What if.....  But I just hugged him and told him how proud of him I am.  I begged him to take advantage of this and get his life back.  He just hugged me back and started sobbing.  There are no words to express the fear of letting him go.

That was at 2:30 pm.

The plane was to land in Phoenix at 6:30 and then he would take a 7:30 flight to California.  I guess I expected him to call me from Phoenix.  He didn't.  Those were the longest hours of my life.  He was to land in California at 7:30 their time, which was 10:30 our time.    At 11:30 I still had not heard from him.  I was in a total state of panic.  My oldest daughter, who has a much clearer head than I do called the airline - the plane had landed an hour late.  Okay.  Breath.

But another hour went by and nothing.  I called the center - they told me that they had people looking for him at the airport - he was supposed to meet them at baggage claim - but they could not find him.  My heart dropped to my knees.  Of course I imagined the worst!  How could I think anything else?

Finally, almost 3 hours after he was supposed to have landed, the wonderful lady from the center called me to tell me he was fine.  He was already in detox and was going through intake.  She said the counselor told her he is absolutely "determined" that he told them he was not living like this any more.  I couldn't even breath at that point.

A little while later one of the counselors lent him his cell phone so he could call me.  Hearing his voice totally broke me down.  He was crying too.  His exact words were "Don't cry mom.  I swear to you that you will never have to cry for me again.  I love you."  

The counselor got on the phone and told me that he would be in "black out" for the next 10-15 days.  They literally keep him sleeping the entire time so that he can get through the withdrawals.  I would give my life right now to save him from that.  If I could take his pain and make it mine I would.

And all of this happened while outside the bedroom door a party was going on in my daughter's house for my grand-daughter's 4th birthday.  Throughout the entire day my other 3 children did not leave my side for a minute.

For the first time in 15 years I have hope for him.  I have hope that he will be able to win this battle he has brought on himself.  I have hope I will have my son back.

Don't ever lose hope.  Don't ever give up.  Nothing - NOTHING is stronger than a mother's love.


  1. this made me cry! I so know how you feel. I have "prepared"(as much as possible) for the call no mother wants to get. My heart is with all of you! This gives me hope..if only my daughter were here to read it.

  2. This is so awesome to hear! I'll be praying for Charlie and your family. It sounds like he hit rock bottom and is determined, that is a great sign. Take care! Shari (cricutrookie)

  3. Elena-
    If I can quit sobbing, maybe I can see enough to type you a note. I will keep you and Charlie in my prayers... I truly feel the angels are with you and with Charlie on this one. This time is IT.... and you are so right! There is nothing stronger than a Mother's LOVE and you are living proof of that! You know your love and support through so many trials where a weaker person might have walked away, have given Charlie strenght and brought him to this final step! God love you and Charlie, my friend!