I decided since it was highly likely that he relapsed, but he swore up and down he didn’t, that I would say, in my mind "he has been mostly sober”. At AA meetings, when he tells the group he is 270 days sober, I always silently change it to “270 days, mostly sober.” What else could I do? Insist that he start over at number one, when he insisted that he didn’t use? I was glad that he thought of himself as being sober.
He was about 280 days mostly sober when it was time to start the new school year at the high school.
I did not want him to go to that high school and I did not want to let him out of my sight.
I was so afraid.
During the entire summer, I felt like I spent my entire existence making sure that everything was just as right as it could be for him.
And now I had to let him go.
He said that since he hadn’t had hardly anything to do with any friends over the summer and hadn’t seen any of the kids he used to hang out with, straight or sober, for the last nine months, that he didn’t know what he would do when he went back to school.
I didn’t know what to think.
School alone has every trigger that there could be for relapse, but him saying that he didn’t know what he would do just made me feel so nervous.
I wanted everything to be just the way it should be so that he wouldn’t have a reason to relapse. I know that sounds ridiculous and totally absurd, but every single part of my being does not want him to go back to using drugs.
And High school is the den of iniquity.
I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like for him.
Would he say, “I finally have some freedom and this is what I am going to do with it,” and then go right back to using drugs as if he had never stopped?
That’s what he did last fall after he was sick and stuck at home for 3 weeks. His first day back at school, he was right back on the weed and whatever else he could get his hands on.
He went to his sophomore orientation day. He had no one to go with and no one that he could count on to hang out with.
He had to be nervous, but he acted tough as if it were no big deal.
I surprised him with a cell phone. I knew it would make me feel better if he had one. And he had said that if he had one, he could call his sponsor or me, if he felt that he should talk to us rather than do something stupid.
He was excited about the cell phone for about two minutes. As soon as he found out that it was restricted, he decided that he didn’t need it or want it and that was it. He had been told many times that if I ever got him one, he would only be able to call or text certain people, and that there would be no internet access. I guess he thought that was all right in theory, but not all right in reality.
When I tried to talk to him about it, he decided to strike out at me and hurt me.
He said as sarcastically as possible, “Oh right, and when someone says, ‘hey man, give me your number,’ I can say, ‘No, I am not allowed to call anyone but my mom because she is my best friend.’”
Well, so much for thinking that for the most part, over the last few months, that we were pretty good friends.
It seemed like we had gotten back to normal in the past few weeks, even though I felt very cautious about letting myself open up. I didn’t want to get stabbed in the back again.
But, there is no such thing as normal.
Unless normal is knowing that he has an underlying thread of animosity about everything in his life. And he was not afraid to let us know how mad he was about anything at any time.
I know I have to stay detached and I know I have to not let what he does get to me. But, for me, that seems to be impossible!
He went to his half day orientation.
And didn’t take his phone.
Then, he got out early. But, he couldn’t call me to come and pick him up because he had no phone!
While I was driving to the school, he was walking home. Then, I waited and waited and he didn’t come out.
The longer I waited, the more nervous I got about where he was and what he was doing. I thought my heart was going to beat right out of my chest.
He called me from his only friend’s house and said that I wasn’t home when he got there, so he went to his friend’s house to call me and ask if he could hang out with him for awhile. (This friend is one year younger than he is and still goes to the Middle School).
I was so relieved to know where he was and that he was okay. But, I was also mad because at this point I feel like HE NEEDS TO BE WHERE I KNOW HE IS GOING TO BE and if I am going to pick him up from school, then he better be there for me to pick up!
He didn’t see what the big deal was.
He hadn’t even had one full day of school yet and I was getting attitude.
The first day of school just broke my heart.
I got this text message during his lunch hour:
“Everyone is either a stoner, a jock, or a straight up nerd. The only ones I fit in with are the stoners.”
I felt so bad for him.
I wanted to run right to the high school, take him out to lunch, and protect him from feeling like that.
But, I just texted him back and told him that HE is not a stoner anymore and that he WILL find friends who are in none of those categories because there are all kinds of people at school and in time, he will find good non-nerdy, non-stoner, non-jock friends.
We texted back and forth all during his lunch hour!
He actually used his phone!
That felt like progress.