Thursday, May 17, 2007


I started this yesterday and then my computer sh*t on me and it all went away. I was so discouraged I gave up but have decided to attempt it again today. Someone asked in one of the comments how we were doing so I thought I would give you a little update on all of us. I'll start with youngest and move to oldest. Yes that means I will be last... please don't remind me!! :-)

Zack -

Still adorable. (No really, there are new pictures up on his site if you don't believe me.) Is there anymore update that is needed?

Okay, I'll give you a little more. He's spoiled AND adorable!!

He has absolutely no interest in rolling over or doing tummy time. If you lay him on his back he will happily kick his feet and babble to himself but he has absolutely no interest in reaching for that toy I put just out of reach (like they tell you to do).

If I put him on his stomach he happily lays there and chews on his fist. I have seen him lift his head up from this position a grand total of one time. Other than that... not happening. And as for putting him laying over the boppy, don't even think about it unless you want to hear the wrath of Zackary!!

He has been sleeping through the night for about a month now but he does so in bed beside me. At first he was in the boppy in bed beside me and then in his bassinet and now for the past two weeks he has started out in his own crib. However the end result is always the same.

Sometime in the middle of the night he wakes up and can't find his binkie so he begins to cry. I go in to retrieve said binkie but am tired and disoriented. In theory if I would stand there for 5 minutes or so he would probably go back to sleep and I could go back to bed but did I mention I'm TIRED and I like my sleep?? So into my bed he goes.

I'll let you know if this is still going on when he is 18, until then as someone said on my last post on this topic sometimes I need him more than he needs me and that is so true. I love waking up and being able to kiss his head and hug him.


He made it to his long-term treatment program on May 4th. We went one week without talking to each other because that is their rule. In that time, he wrote me a letter. I about fainted from shock when I saw it in the mailbox. Jake does NOT write letters. In fact any time I have asked him to write in one of my cards it has consisted of love ya lots Jake.

Once I did get to talk to him it was obvious that this place is unlike any he has ever been in. His attitude is great. He is very positive about everything and says he really feels so much calmer now that he doesn't have to worry about hiding his addiction or worrying about getting his next fix.

They go to two AA and two NA meetings per week and they also have group sessions as well as one on one's with a counselor. He has to write 100 interference statements (I interfered in so and so's life when I did) and he also has to write his life story (one page for each year he's been alive).

Both of these things require him to take a pretty deep look at his life and how he got where he is. These two things are what hold a lot of people up. It takes them a few months to even begin writing them and so the longer they take to start the longer they take to finish and they can't graduate until they finish. Jake has started his interference statements but not his life story.

On top of the treatment aspects they are also trying to teach them how to be responsible and to live a drug and alcohol free life. Every Saturday they have a car was to raise money for the community (that's how they refer to themselves as a community instead of a treatment facility). They have also helped someone move, babysat puppies, etc. All of this to make money that these people never see.

For addicts this is a big step. Addicts by nature are very selfish people and usually only want to make money if it is going into their pockets. So they are trying to teach them that when you live in a community it takes money to buy food and to go and do fun things so they have to make this money so that they can do those things.

And that is the final step that they are working on. They take them out into the community to go to baseball games and go bowling, fishing, volleyball, etc. All of this is to teach them that they can have fun without drugs and alcohol.

For the most part the facility is run very much like a community. They give them the freedom to mess up if they are not serious about their recovery but at the same time they monitor them for screw ups. They are all given a breathalyzer when they return from any outing and they have to take random UA's while they are there. Eventually he will be able to earn weekend passes and then he will also have to do both when he returns from that.

We visited him on Sunday and I was pretty impressed with the laid back atmosphere. We sat outside under a shade tree with a road 100 feet in front of us never once feeling like he wanted to run away or like there would be anyone there to stop him if he did. It was just a very relaxed community feel.

We are going again this weekend to celebrate his 60 days of sobriety but then after that we will be limiting our visits to every other weekend. Both because of gas prices and also because that is a long time in the car for my little guy (two and a half hours down there and two and a half hours back).

Overall I feel very lucky that we were able to find a program that seems to be such a great fit for Jake and where he finally seems to be taking his recovery seriously.

Me -

Amazingly enough here is where I draw a blank. I seem to be able to go on and on about everyone else but can't think of how I'm doing. I guess in the grand scheme of things I'm surviving. That is sort of how I've been doing it for the last two months. Yeah, you read that right, on Sunday it will be two months since Jake was committed.

I guess if I think about it too much I get overwhelmed so I try to just take it one day at a time. My friend Jess has really been helping me to get organized. Her philosophy is that if you get rid of the clutter your life will feel less hectic. For the most part it seems to be working.

There are days when she is pushing me to get "projects" done and I just want to scream at her but then once it is done I look back and I think wow, this is so nice. Like right now my bathroom and kitchen are organized and everything is put away. It is so nice not to have all the clutter lying around. If someone is coming over it takes me 10 minutes to tidy up those rooms as opposed to 10 hours.

Since Jake has been at the long term facility I have had a few moments of overwhelming stress and anxiety but I just write him letters or vent to friends and I seem to be able to deal with it quite well. My most recent thing has been a little bit of jealousy. (Actually I'm not really sure that's what it is but I don't know how else to describe it.)

Maybe it's more of a that's not fair attitude. You know, he doesn't have to work. He gets to go to baseball games and go bowling and play volleyball, etc. and I'm stuck here getting up at 5:00 in the morning and working all day and then going home and working there to try to get Jess's "projects" done. (Love ya Jess...)

However, once I really examined it I realized that those are things that he HAS to do to get better. If they don't teach him how to go out in public and not use he will just come back home and be tempted to use again. If they don't teach him to work at odd jobs and give the money to the community than that will be a battle that I have to fight.

As for how the rest of me is doing I would say alright. I don't really get lonely at night because I have a really cute man that keeps me company. He's a little demanding at times but he gives the best cuddles and the most wonderful kisses.

My mom has been helping me out with the money situation and so I don't feel like I'm drowning too badly yet. Although I had to begin tapping into my savings this week and that was sort of depressing. Once that runs out then I will really feel like I am treading water.

I try to stay strong for my son and also for myself. I've never been real good with falling apart. It's not really my style. So for now I'm just kind of hanging out.

Anything you want to know that I missed?


Krista said...

Great update Heather, sounds like everyone is doing well, including you. I think your feeling of resentment that his treatment is sometimes fun is normal. And taking it one step at a time is all you can expect from yourself. And good for you for getting yourself organized (with help!), that always makes us feel better, once it is done!

Off to check Zack's site now.

Jessica said...

HA - Good for *you* for getting *yourself* organized?! I am only teasing; you try and that's great; I can tell you are learning all sorts of new things.
Like last weekend when I was at Heather's house getting some stuff done, I had my hands full and was having a heck of a time so I asked Heather to go get me the step stool; she went and got it, only she left it at the front door. GEE - Thanks! I'll get it from there. :)You are too funny sometimes!
I do believe the less clutter the better especially with how much chaois you already have in your life. If you don't use it or LOVE it get rid of it. I also try to organize so that everything has a place; that way when Heather needs to clean she knows where everything goes. Before you could not clean because nothing had a home it just kind of went where ever it landed. Last but not least, I think it should be easy to put things back after you use them.
During my organization...I will stick to my overall phylosophy and I think Katie's too....I work better when you are not there. :) (Love ya...Heather) LOL-
I am glad that Jake seems to be doing well. AND aren't the letter's awesome? Shane use to write me letters every day from the military...I still have every last cheesy one of them!

Hang in there dear...You are doing great! I feel so fortunate to have this time with you and Spikey!

Anonymous said...

I will share a motto that I learned about a year ago that I try to live by. It is to keep yourself out of the AON mindset and stay in the SIBTN mindset.

The AON mindset is "All or Nothing" thinking. When you find yourself using words like, "unless I can" or "until we have" or "only when" you are in the AON mindset.

The SIBTN mindst is "Something is Better than Nothing". It is pretty self-explanatory and can apply to many aspects of life. I commonly use it for cleaning. It used to be my bathroom would be grungy and I would cringe every time I walked in and saw the counter and sink covered in muck or hairs on the toilet (ick). I would lament to myself about how I really needed to get in there and scrub.

Now I think SIBTN. Take a piece of TP on wipe off the toilet. I take a sponge I keep under the sink and rub the scratchy side all over the counter (no I don't worry about getting the 409 and shining it up). It's amazing what SIBTN can do for you.

What a lucky boy Zack is!

Jessica said...

I agree with that motto. In fact I wish my mom would be a little more SIBTN.
However when you have a person who is already the extreme SIBTN than you have to find a little more AON; don't you think?
Well - that's my opinion anyways.

OMH said...

Here's the thoughts that went through my mind as I read.
1. My son did not sleep with me until he was 18 (or ever until he was 2) so snuggle it up while you can.
2. As I was reading the Jake part I thought "Gosh I should get into a program like this so I can spend days doing nothing" it was a fleeting thought and I know it is hard work for the addict, but I'm sharing this with you so you know you are NOT the only one that feels that way and I'm not even the one having to handle everything why he is gone. I'm glad he is getting help - I'm glad that he will come home a NEW person and therefore should make your life BETTER!
3. While reading your section I ws thinking - I WANT A JESS! NO seriously I WANT A JESS! (Jess I would even help you - or tackle another room while you did ummmmm say MY GARAGE! - so let me know when you want to come to Florida :) You have a FREE place to work ummm I mean STAY!) H - hopefully all this organization does 2 things for you - keeps you busy (or Jess busy hehehe) and gives you some sense of being in Control while everything is out of your control.

As for the anonymous comment - SIBTN is how we get in the messes to begin with but maybe your right it is a good way to get out of them, because we never get to the point we can accomplish the ANON therefore we don't try.

Anonymous said...

The AON mindset will keep you from accomplishing things.

I strongly disagree that the SIBTN mindset is what gets you into messes.

What happens when you are in the All or Nothing mindset?


What happens when you are in the SIBTN mindset?

Something! Something happens.
Something is better than nothing.

There will always be logical reasons for not doing things...
"Until I have time to..."
"Unless we have enough money to..."

I'm telling you it works!

MSP Alumnae Association said...

Heather - I had only an inclination about what was happening, heard through the grapevine early last week. Yesterday Lindsay told me I could read all about it on your blog, so I've spent the last two hours reading your entries since March. Wow. I had no idea that he was back into drugs and that you have been having such a rough time. I commend you on your strength and hope that you can continue to stay strong for you and Zack, keeping in mind what's best for both of you. He was so cute and adorable yesterday! I'm so glad I came down to meet him. One question I have for you is if you ever heard back from the NA people? I know it can really be helpful to talk about your problems, especially with a therapist. I know, I know, I have miniscule problems in the grand scheme of things, but sometimes it takes a therapist to point that out and help you deal with them. So bottom line, I think everyone could use some therapy, so if your insurance covers it, go see a therapist, and maybe even a physchiatrist. Enough of my rants. I applaud you for being strong, and commend you for forcing Jake into treatment. It was the right thing to do, no matter how hard it was. If you ever want to talk, just email me. It was great to see you yesterday.