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B has been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol for exactly one year as of today! He moved in with us exactly one year ago today, too. I am SO proud of him. I already wrote about how proud I am of him and how much he's accomplished and all of that the other day, so I won't repeat all of that again right now. I really couldn't be prouder of him. We're going to dinner in a little while to celebrate. I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate, and he said he just wanted something small, like dinner with the family, his girlfriend, and his best friend. So that's what we're doing. He just had a big graduation party anyway, so I think a small celebration is good. But I was down for whatever he wanted to do. He is such a great kid. I know I always say this, but I think we're both really lucky to have each other. This friendship/brother-ish thing has been so good for both of us. But anyway, I need to go now. I just wanted to share his huge accomplishment with you guys.

B, Ella.

Apr. 3rd, 2012 09:44 pm
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Another update, because I don't feel like doing anything else at the moment. I love how chatty a lot of you guys have been on here today, haha. It's fun.

So, I haven't written about B for a while, aside from saying that he was really helpful and supportive through all the shit I was going through. I figured I should give a quick update on him. He has been clean and sober for almost 10 months. He's doing great in school, still likes it there, and he's still with his girlfriend. He's a bit happier now that she decided to give up her virginity haha. I can't say that I blame him, but I'm glad he was so patient, understanding, and respectful of her. I know it was hard for him, because he used to be like I was when I was younger (meaning promiscuous), so it was really different for him. But yeah. They seem happy. Ok, enough about B's sex life haha. At least he has one...lucky. ANYWAY. He'll be graduating in two months. He's going to be going to college nearby, and I insisted that he keep living with us. I want him here for as long as he wants to be. I think it's good for him. He needs the stability and the support. And like I've said many times before, he's part of the family now. I love him like he's my own brother. But yeah, B is doing great.

I kind of hope Ella gets here early. Not too early, of course. But they're full-term at 37 weeks, so any time after that. I'm still kind of nervous about her arrival, but at the same time I can't wait for her to get here. I know Jenny is more than ready. She's sick of being pregnant. I can't say that I blame her, haha. I feel bad for her. She's so uncomfortable right now. At least she's way better than she was during her first trimester. Not sick, just miserable. Ella keeps wedging her foot into Jenny's ribs, and I can imagine that isn't very comfortable. Jenny has back aches all the time, her feet and ankles get swollen, and she's just really fatigued. So she's ready. But she isn't due for a month and nine days (she's due May 12th). Evan was born three days after the due date. Jenny is REALLY hoping Ella won't come even so much as a day late. So we'll see what happens. You never know with babies. They're unpredictable. Jenny looks like she's about ready to pop though. She hasn't really dropped yet, but other than that she looks ready to pop. I have a feeling Ella will be at least a little early. But who knows. I just can't wait to meet her. I'm so excited about having a baby daughter. Jenny is really excited and eager to meet her too. And Evan is so excited about having a little sister. We're all just ready for her to get here already.

Man, I'm so tired. I should go to bed early, since I'm actually tired. But I don't want to. It's almost like I'm too lazy to go to bed haha. I just want to sit here doing nothing. Or rather, sit here talking about stuff. It's more entertaining than going to sleep. Besides, if I tried to go to sleep I'd probably suddenly become wide awake. That seems to be the way it goes.

I just put Evan to bed a little while ago, and he apologized and said he doesn't hate me. Then he told me he loves me. So that made me feel better. At least we're cool on that now, haha.

I want some chocolate. I don't have any though. That sucks.
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I am SO proud of B. As of today, he has been clean and sober for six months! Of course it hasn't been easy for him...it's never easy...but he has done SUCH a great job. He has come such a long way, and made so much progress in pretty much every way possible. Not just with his sobriety, but with everything. He's doing amazingly well.

Jenny and I took B, his girlfriend, and a couple of his good friends out to dinner at his favorite restaurant to celebrate. And since B is a sweet-aholic like Jenny and me, Jenny also got him a cake, so we had a little celebration. B is such a nice kid. At dinner he gave a little toast to Jenny and me. I thought it was pretty sweet that he gave this little emotional talk in front of his friends and everything. He said, "Chris and Jenny, I just want to say thank you so much. For everything. For taking me in, making me a part of your family, everything. If you guys hadn't taken me in, I never would have been able to make it this far. You guys saved me, and I can't thank you enough for it. I'm so lucky to have you." It was sweet. Then after dinner, he pulled me aside and said even more. He told me that I saved his life, and that he didn't know what he would ever do without me. He told me that I'm his best friend in the world, his confidante, and the brother he always wished he'd had. He actually got pretty emotional about it. It was really touching.

I feel really lucky to have B in my life, too. He has also become a best friend, brother, and confidante to me. I think this living arrangement has helped both of us a lot. B is just as much a part of my family as any blood relative I have. We're in it for the long haul together. I'm really glad that I have been able to help him, but he has also helped me so much.

I am SO incredibly proud of him. I think it's pretty amazing that he was able to buckle down and get clean at such a young age. I'm really glad he did it so young...it will save him from A LOT of hardships later on. He started really young, so I'm happy that he was able to end it so young. Our addiction timelines are pretty much identical, so that's just one of many, many ways that we can relate to each other. We can relate to each other on so many levels. We really understand each other, and it's really nice for both of us.

I have a lot of faith in him. I think he can stay this way for good. I mean, you never know with addiction, but even if he happens to relapse later on, I'll be here every step of the way to help him through it. But as of right now, things are looking really good for him. I couldn't be prouder of him.
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B had a triggering incident tonight. An old friend of his called him a few hours ago, fucked up out of his mind. He was wasted and on a lot of coke. This friend of his got in a fight with his girlfriend or something, and called B asking for a ride. B, being the nice kid that he is, agreed to pick him up. He asked me to go with him though, so I did. I'm glad he asked me to accompany him. I wouldn't really want him alone with this kid, especially with how fucked up he was. He's someone B used to do a bunch of drugs and drink a lot with. But B felt bad for him and didn't want to leave him stranded. Why he had to call B instead of someone else, I don't know. Maybe everyone else that friend hangs out with was too fucked up or something.

Anyway, B and I went to pick him up and take him home. I had only met this kid once before, and he was coked out that time, too. But not nearly as bad as he was this time. I can tell if someone's on coke instantly, even if they have only done a little bit. But even someone who can't easily tell when someone's on it would have been able to tell with him. His pupils were huge, he was extremely talkative, really fidgety, couldn't sit still, and kept sniffing a lot and messing with his nose. On top of that, he was really drunk. I hate being around people who are on coke. I can usually handle being around drunk people, but not people on coke. It would have bothered me a lot more if B wasn't there. But because he was there, I was thinking about him, and kind of pushed my own shit aside. It bothered me, yeah, but I didn't start craving it really bad or anything. I know I would have if I hadn't been so concerned about B.

I wish this kid would have called someone else, but I'm glad he didn't drive himself. He was WAY too fucked up to drive. Mostly because he was completely wasted, but he was high out of his mind on top of that. Most people can drive on coke just fine (at least in my experience...I know I can), but this kid was EXTREMELY fucked up. B and I are alike in so many ways, right down to our inability to say "no" to people, even when we know we should. We both feel the need to help people, even when it's not in our best interest. I knew B was going to go pick him up whether I agreed to go or not, so I figured it would be much better for him if I did go, especially since he asked me to.

We took the kid home, and almost immediately after he got out of the car, B started freaking out. Well, maybe freaking out isn't the right way to describe it. But he was very upset. I got out a cigarette for both of us, because we both needed it after that. Seeing that friend, especially in the fucked up state he was in, really bothered B. It brought up a lot of memories, and made him start craving coke and alcohol, but especially coke. He said the cravings weren't unbearable, but they were bad enough to upset him quite a bit. When we got home, we sat in the car and talked for a little while. Talked and chain smoked. He was upset but held it together for a while, but after a few minutes he broke down and started crying. I felt really bad for him. I know better than anybody how much it sucks to be in a situation like that, and how hard it is to deal with all the addiction shit and triggers and all of that, so I could definitely relate to him. I know how difficult it was for him. I hugged him, and he clung onto me and cried for a while. Then he said something that really touched me. I remember it word for word. He said, "Thank you so much, Chris. Not just for coming with me to pick him up, but for everything. I don't know what I'd do without you. You saved my life. If it weren't for you, I'd be out there doing the same shit he was doing, if not worse. There's no way I could stay clean without you. No way in hell. I owe you everything, man. You're the family I never had, and I really don't know what I'd do without you. I love you so much, and I really appreciate everything you do for me. You saved me." I just hugged him, told him I loved him too, and that I was also thankful for him, and then he cried a little more. Once he calmed down we went inside. We went in his room and hung out for a while. We talked a little bit, but we mostly just sat there halfway watching TV. I stayed with him until he was ready to go to sleep.

He said that in the future he's just not going to accept calls from that kid, even if he feels compelled to help him somehow. He said his "friend" kind of guilt tripped him into picking him up. He doesn't need people like that in his life, so I'm glad he realizes that. He said he just didn't know what else to do, since he did answer his call and knew this kid was stranded and fucked up out of his mind.

I hope B will be ok tomorrow. I checked on him a few minutes ago to make sure he was still ok, and he was asleep. I'm glad he was able to fall asleep. He needs it. He's trying SO hard, and he has been doing so well in every way possible. I'm really glad he trusts me as much as he does, and that we're so close. I'm happy that I'm able to help him. I have said this many times before, but he really has become part of the family. Our relationship is mostly a big brother/little brother type thing, but in some ways it's kind of like he's a son to me. I'm not old enough to have a kid his age, and I don't really feel like his parent, nor do I try to take on the parent role with him, but he's still like a son in some ways. I feel the need to protect him the way that I feel the need to protect Evan. Plus I provide him with guidance. I have to. He needs it. Not guidance in the parent way, really...except for the few rules I've set. I don't know how to explain it. But I'm really glad I can help him, and I feel lucky to have him in my life. He deserves the very best, so I'm happy that I'm able to help him out. He needs a support system, and a family who loves him and looks out for him. I'm glad that my family and I are able to give him that. It's not just me, Evan, and Jenny who consider him part of the family; my siblings, mom, grandma, etc. feel the same way about him. He really is a good kid. We're both lucky to have each other.

This whole thing will probably bug him at least a little bit for the next couple days, but I'm hoping it won't be too bad. I think tonight was the worst of it. He's a really strong person...he'll pull through it just fine. It just sucks that he was triggered like that.
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The Smurfs are a lot more annoying than I remember them being. I watched the original series when I was a kid, and I loved it back then. Evan watches the reruns now. So they're the exact same episodes I used to watch, just way more annoying now that I'm not a kid. Using "smurf" in place of another word every single sentence isn't cute and it isn't funny. It's annoying. So, needless to say, I really do not want to say the movie. But I have to tomorrow. Evan and I are having an "Evan and Daddy Day" tomorrow. Like the "Mommy/Daughter Day" thing Jenny does with her daughter. We do it quite a bit. We did when it was just the two of us, too. I spend a ton of time with him at home, but we have our special days to go out and do something, just the two of us. On those days and/or nights we go out to eat wherever he wants to, then go do some type of activity, also usually of his choice. Well, he wants to go see the Smurf movie. So that's what we're doing. Lucky me. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be going with him. I love having these days with him. I'm just not happy about the fact that I have to sit through that movie. Oh well, maybe it won't be as bad as I'm thinking it will be.

Anyway, onto another topic.

B is doing much better today. We talked a little more, and then just spent the day hanging out. We ordered pizza and sat around watching movies and South Park for most of the day. It was nice to just do something really laid back, because we were both pretty tired today after talking all night last night. He got some sleep last night, but I didn't. I did manage to take a short nap though. Good thing, because I felt like I would have died without it. I'm really glad he asked me to talk rather than keeping it to himself and letting it build up and eat at him even more. Both of us have a hard time dealing with and talking about emotions. Our addiction problems make that pretty obvious. I've been working on the whole dealing with emotions thing a lot the past few years, but I'm still not very good at it. I'm even worse at talking about emotions. I can talk about other people's just fine, but it's harder to talk about my own. I've definitely made some major strides though. I'm like 100 times better at dealing with all that stuff now than I was before. B is working on the same thing. But he's newly sober and really young, so he has a lot to learn. We both do. So it's kind of cool to be able to help each other with that. Even though it sucks that he was feeling the way he was feeling, I think that conversation strengthened our bond even more.

I kinda feel like I'm part brother and part father figure. I feel much more like a big brother than a parent to him though. But there are some parent/child type elements in our relationship, for sure. It's not my job to parent him, but he needs some guidance and "parental support", for lack of a better way of putting it. I'm tired and groggy, so I can't really articulate very well right now. I don't tell him what to do or anything, so I'm not a parental figure in that way. He just needs some structure, guidance, and support, so I feel kind of like a parent to him in that way. In almost every other way I think I'm more like a big brother to him though. I think of him as a little brother, not as my son or anything. I'm not old enough to be his parent, haha. Well, unless I would have had a kid in 8th grade. So it's definitely more of a little brother type thing. I love the kid to death, so I'm glad he feels like he can open up to me and trust me. I really hope I can help him in the long run, and not just in the present. He's so young, and he has his whole life ahead of him. I don't want him to have to go through all the shit I went through. He's already been through A LOT. I didn't get it together until I was a decade older than he is. I'm hoping this early intervention will help him avoid a future like that. I'll do anything and everything I can to help him.

Sorry for babbling. Tired talk. I need to go to bed. Maybe I'll go do that now. Well, after The Daily Show is over. Lord knows I'm in dire need of sleep!
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It's almost 6:00 in the morning and I haven't even slept because I was up talking to B all night. At about 11:30 last night he texted me to ask me to come in his room and talk. I thought it was kind of weird that he would just text me rather than come talk to me, since I was just downstairs watching TV, but I didn't ask him about it. I just got up and went to his room. I found him curled up on his bed, crying. Something was obviously REALLY wrong, because B isn't the type of kid you'd really expect to see crying in the fetal position. I sat down next to him and asked him what was wrong, and it took him a minute to gather himself enough to even respond. He was practically hyperventilating, so he was definitely more than a little worked up. When he was finally able to say something, he said "I just don't think I can do it anymore, man. I'm not gonna last." Hearing him say that he's afraid he won't be able to stay sober was sad, but it wasn't as bad as what I was afraid he might say...that he'd relapsed. So I'm really glad that wasn't the case. Of course I'd be there for him if that was what happened, but thankfully it didn't happen. I asked him what brought all this on, and why he didn't think he could do it. He said that nothing in particular sparked it; he'd just been feeling a bit down and started thinking, which led to anxiety. He said it had just been building up the past few days, and it finally spiraled out of control and wouldn't stop eating at him. He told me that he asked me to come talk to him because he was really afraid that he was going to relapse.

He's still in the early stages of sobriety, so he's in a really tough spot right now. I mean, maintaining your sobriety is never easy, but it's insanely difficult early on in the process. B started coming to the youth center last year, when he got in trouble for a drug DUI and a possession charge (although he later got the DUI charge dropped on technicalities, which is really lucky for him because otherwise he wouldn't be able to drive until he's 21). He had to do court-ordered treatment, which is why he started coming. That was September 2010. He quit coming when his required four months were up and then relapsed. Almost immediately after that, he decided to come back on his own and try again. The fact that he chose to come back for help on his own at such a young age, with no support from anyone else speaks volumes about him. This happened at the end of January. He was doing really well, but he had a brief relapse a little more than four months later, on June 8th. That was when I asked him to come stay with us. So he has been clean and sober since June 9, 2011. Wow, I somehow didn't notice that four month pattern until now. I'm going to have to keep a careful watch on him when the four month mark rolls around this time.

But anyway, back to the conversation we had...

He said that he didn't really know why he was feeling so down or why he was doubting himself so much. There doesn't always have to be a specific reason. Sometimes it just happens. It was a LONG conversation (5+ hours), so I'll summarize the rest of it. He was depressed, anxious, and so upset that his thoughts were all over the place. So our conversation was kind of all over the place, too. He said that living sober just seems too hard, and that he didn't think he could do it forever. We talked a lot about his feelings behind that, and then of course spent a lot of time on the "take it one day at a time" thing. We talked about both our childhoods, since there are so many similarities. Seriously, B and I are so alike in so many ways it's crazy. Similar upbringings, same drugs of choice, similar hobbies, tastes in music, personality traits...he even looks like he could be my brother. The list of similarities is huge. But anyway, back to the conversation.

He said over and over again that he didn't think he could do it. I tried to shift the conversation a little. I asked him something like, "Do you want to stay clean and sober for the long run?" I may not be able to formulate my own thoughts into words very well right now or even construct a proper sentence due to lack of sleep, but I remember his response verbatim. He said, "I DO want to, Chris. I really do. But part of me feels like I don't really deserve it. Like...I'm not really worth it, you know? Like who cares if I'm all good and sober or if I get fucked up and ruin my life? I WANT to stay clean. But what I want doesn't really matter, because I don't really matter." That last part seriously broke my heart. He went on to say, "And even though I want it, I'll fuck it up. Sometimes I feel like I'm just wasting my time even trying. It's so hard, and I try SO hard. But sometimes I think it's just not worth it. I'm bound to fail. That's just the story of my life. I'm a worthless piece of shit and probably always will be. So I probably shouldn't even want it, but I do. I want it SO bad, man." Then he started crying again...a lot. Of course I told him all of those things aren't true. I told him that he absolutely does matter, and that he is worth it. And I made sure he knew that I cared. I mean, I know he knows I care. But I wanted to make sure to let him know how much I care, and how much he means to me. Not just to me, but to Jenny and Evan as well. Evan LOVES B, and vice versa. So I made sure to mention him. Things kinda started to wind down after that. We talked for a little while longer, until he was ready to go to sleep.

He seemed to feel much better after we talked, so I hope it helped. I'm taking the day off today to make sure he's ok. I don't want to leave him alone. Well, it's not like he'd really be alone...Jenny and Evan would be here. But still. I just feel like I should stay home in case he needs me today.

Fuck, it's 8:00 now. You know you're beyond tired and your brain is fried when it takes you two hours to write one of these things. I was fine for the first half...that didn't take long. The second half took me forever and is probably all over the place. If it is then I apologize haha. Maybe I'll fix it later, if I come back and read it and it's as bad as I think it is. Oh well, whatever. I need to sleep now. I have to get up in 3.5 hours for a stupid work meeting on the phone, but other than that I'm taking the day off. I kind of want a cigarette, but I'm so tired that it seems like way too much effort, so I'll just go to bed. A few hours is better than no sleep at all. And helping B is well worth the lack of sleep, for sure.

Edit to add: Almost 9:30 now. Sleep isn't happening. Fuck. Oh well.
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Jenny just found out that she has endometriosis, and apparently it's pretty severe. Not insanely bad, but nowhere near mild. She found out yesterday when she went to a new doctor, because she's been having really bad pains. I'm not sure how her old doctor missed it, because this one said it's pretty bad. Maybe she didn't have it before? Or maybe her old doctor just sucked. I don't know. I have no idea how that works. I know what endometriosis is, but I don't really know very much about it. I need to read up on it.

She asked if the miscarriages she's had could be related to the endometriosis, and the doctor said it might have had something to do with it. She's going to try some type of hormone treatment, so hopefully that will work. But her doctor said there's a good chance she'll need surgery, since it's pretty bad. So we'll see. Hopefully that won't be the case though.

We have talked about trying to have another baby, so I hope whatever treatment she has to do will help with that. The last miscarriage was pretty hard to deal with...especially for her. I think miscarriages are pretty difficult to deal with in general, but the fact that she was almost 15 weeks along made it even harder. I don't really want to go through that again, and I REALLY don't want her to have to go through that again. She took it really hard, and it was pretty traumatizing for her.

Now for some happier stuff...

We're having a joint Father's Day/Jenny's birthday BBQ on Sunday. I'm glad B is going to be there, rather than going to his parents' house for Father's Day. But then again, it's not exactly surprising that he's not going there, because he hates his dad. His dad is an asshole. Regardless of the reason, it will be fun to have him here. It really is like having a little brother. He has already kinda become part of the family. It's pretty cool. He has been doing everything he's supposed to be doing and more. He helps around the house a ton. He does WAY more than I would ever ask him to do. I guess I can't complain about that though...less for me to do haha.
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I talked to Jenny, and she willingly agreed to let B live with us for a while. It's open-ended...no set length of time or anything. Today we sat down with him and set some ground rules.

1. No drugs and no alcohol. This rule is zero tolerance. If he breaks it, he can't stay here anymore. I refuse to have any of that shit in my house. It's dangerous for me to be around it, and I don't want my son or Jenny around it either. And obviously it's in B's best interest as well. Not only can it not be in the house, but he can't be here while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I hope he won't use at all, but if he does, he needs to go somewhere else until he comes off of it/sobers up. I'm not going to tell him that I'll throw him out if he slips up and uses, because I don't think that would be a good idea. Addicts sometimes relapse. That's a fact. I hope he doesn't relapse again, but if he does, I'm still going to be here for him. Slip-ups/relapses if and when they happen are one thing, but continuous use is another thing entirely, and I won't put up with that. If he keeps using, I'll have to kick him out. And although I wouldn't kick him out simply for relapsing, I WOULD kick him out if that relapse involved him bringing any type of drugs or alcohol into my house. I'm ok being around people drinking most of the time, but I wouldn't be comfortable having it in my house...too easily accessible. And coke? Forget about it. I absolutely cannot be around it. So any alcohol or drugs of any type in the house is unacceptable, no matter the circumstances. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

2. Nobody over past 10:00 pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends. If he wants to have a friend or two over occasionally, that's fine (as long as they're sober). But I have a 5-year-old, so I can't have a bunch of noisy teenagers keeping him up at night. Otherwise I wouldn't mind, since I'm a major insomniac and up all night all the time. But I don't want them disturbing Evan.

3. Midnight curfew. That might sound kind of Nazi-ish, but I think it's for his own good. If I had a teenager his age who wasn't doing drugs or anything like that, I probably wouldn't make him have that type of curfew on the weekends. But because he's an alcoholic and drug addict who just barely relapsed, I don't think he should be out and about really late at night. No good could come of it. He'll be 17 in about a month, and honestly, I think a midnight curfew for a 17-year-old is a little ridiculous (at least on the weekends), but these aren't normal circumstances. So the curfew sticks, at least for a couple months. I'll have to see how things go after that. If he stays clean/sober and does everything he's supposed to be doing, maybe I'll change it on weekend nights. But for now, it's midnight.

4. He has to pull his own weight around the house. I think this is kind of a given when you stay at someone's house, but I included it anyway. I'm not asking him to do much...just clean up after himself and help with household chores if we ask him to. I'm not making him pay rent or pay for his own food or anything like that, so I think asking him to do little household tasks every so often is a fair request. The only things he has to pay for are personal expenses, like his phone bill, spending money, etc.

5. He has to keep his job. I don't think he'll have trouble with this one. He has a part-time job, and he's worked there for over a year. If for some reason he loses or quits that job, he has to get another one. Obviously the money-making part of having a job is important, but I also think it's important for maintaining his sobriety. It will keep him occupied.

6. When school starts again in the fall, he has to go. He'll be a senior this year. He's not planning on dropping out or anything, but still...I want him to know that's not an option.

I think having B live here will be a good thing. He's a really nice, smart, and respectful kid. He has just had a hard life and has a lot of problems to work on. He has made a lot of progress in a few areas since he started coming to the center. He just needs to kick the drug and alcohol problems. I really hope that staying with us will help him. I think it will. It will give him some much needed stability, in addition to constant support and a little supervision.
He willingly agreed to all of the above conditions, and thanked us profusely for letting him stay with us.

It will be fun having him here. He seems to be good with kids, and Evan took an instant liking to him, so that's definitely a good thing. I'm not trying to be B's parent. Like I said, I think of him more as a little brother, and that's the type of relationship we have. But he needs some guidance, so I guess I'll be parenting him in that way. The role of his parent is not the role I'm trying to play though.

If anyone has any input or other suggestions, let me know. I'm new to this whole "adopting" a teenager thing, haha.
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I've become really close with one of the kids at the youth center I work at. I'll refer to him as "B". He's been coming to the center for quite a while now. Originally it was court-ordered because he got a drug-related DUI and possession charge, but now it's voluntary. And it's definitely on his own will, not his parents'. They don't really play an active role in his life, or at least not a productive, supportive role.

He has become like a little brother to me, almost. I'm not his actual therapist, so I don't have to keep it to the minimum client-therapist relationship. I'm licensed to do drug rehab counseling, but I'm no therapist. I'm a "mentor"...at least that's what they call it at the center. He doesn't really have a support system, so I try to give him support as much as possible. I gave him my cell phone number so he could call me if he ever needed to talk, or needed some type of help or support. I also told him to call me if he gets into any type of trouble, God forbid, or if he gets into a situation where he needs someone to pick him up.

He reminds me so much of myself when I was younger. He's almost 17, and he's into punk...you can tell just by looking at him. He's into punk music, and he has the punk look and the attitude to go with it. He looks like he came straight out of the old punk scene I used to be so involved in. He's a good kid, but he has made some bad decisions and gone in the wrong direction. But he hasn't really had the guidance or support that a kid needs. We have the same drugs of choice, too: cocaine and alcohol. Neither of us kept our drug use to those two things, but those were the preferred substances for both of us. But both of us would go for pretty much anything.

He got clean about 8 months ago, then relapsed like 4 months or so after that. He got clean again, but last night he called me and he was definitely fucked up. He sounded really upset and was slurring his words like crazy. He'd been drinking and was on Somas and oxycodone. As soon as I answered the phone he just said "Chris, I fucked up. I'm so sorry. I just couldn't be sober tonight." I know all too well how it is to feel like you just can't be sober at the moment. He sounded really upset, so I asked him where he was and went to pick him up. He was definitely fucked up. He drank a ton, took six Somas, and I'm not sure how many oxycodone, or what strength. Dosage details aren't really important...the fact is, he got fucked up. I guess I feel a bit disappointed, but I'm more concerned than anything else. He was doing so well and had made so much progress. He told me he was afraid I'd get mad at him for it. Getting mad isn't going to do any good. I'm not his parent...it's not my job to get mad at him. That's not what he needs, anyway. I'm here to help him and support him as much as I can. The combination of the Percs and the Somas caused him to nod off a bit...he was kind of passing in and out. When I got to the house he was at, he was sitting in a chair, but was totally passed out, head hanging down. I woke him up and walked him to my car, and we started talking.

I took him back to my house. I know this would be a big no-no if I were his therapist, but like I said, I'm not. I didn't want to take him home. His home life is similar to how mine was growing up. Except instead of his dad being the abusive one, it's his step-dad. His dad walked out on his family when he was really young. His step-dad is an abusive alcoholic, like my dad was. Unfortunately, his mom isn't as loving and supportive as my mom, so he really has no support system at all. I thought it would be better to take him to my house, rather than home to an asshole who would probably knock him around. He's obviously going through a lot of shit, and that's not a good environment for him to be in right now. So he's asleep in my guest room.

I'm thinking of letting him stay with us for a while. His home environment will only hinder his progress, or cause him to further regress. I think it would be nearly impossible for him to succeed in being clean and sober if he stays there. If he stays here, there will be a strict no drugs/no alcohol policy. Not only for his benefit, but because I can't be around that shit, and I don't want Evan or Jenny around it either. Especially Evan. Maybe I'm stupid for even considering letting B live with us for a while, but I think it would be in his best interest. Like I said before, he has become like a little brother to me. I have taken him under my wing, and I feel compelled to do anything and everything I can to help him. Obviously I can't do this with all the kids I work with, but B is different. He comes to the center on his own will now, which is a really good sign that he WANTS to change his life. I believe he can do it...he just needs support, and I can give that to him. Well, support and ongoing help, obviously. But a strong support system makes a HUGE difference. The environment he currently lives in is toxic, and he needs to get away from there. I've been working with him since he started coming to the youth center, and I want to see him all the way through.

This is getting long. Sorry. Sometimes I go on and on. Bottom line: I really care about the kid, and I want to help him any way I can. If that means having him live with us for a little while, I'm more than happy to let him stay here. Because I'm not an actual therapist at the center, it wouldn't be breaking any rules...at least not according to the official rule books.

He has had a hard life, and I really hope that he'll be able to turn it around like I did. If I could overcome my addiction(s) and all the hardships I've had to deal with, I'm sure he can too. It will just take a lot of time and effort. He's still young, and the earlier the better. I didn't get my shit straight until I was like 10 years older than he is, so hopefully he can do it a lot earlier than that.

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April 2013

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