Shatter Proof : “Meth versus Gremlin”
(Music written and composed by my son with the use of therapeutic arts)
“What it takes to shatter stigmas and reshape modernized thinking”
I’ve found many challenges in my life when asked to elaborate on unmasking “Meth” and the disorder in the brain of my AS (Refers to Addict Son in Supportive Networks) to be complexed. To explain how my AS (whom is an adult now) functions without labeling him with a stigma, the severity of it still troubles my heart to this day.
For one to understand the person with addictions, we must shatter proof illusions and become unglued. Like a web of false notions, unmask the illusions of defining what makes a person go to such great lengths is the question one must ask themselves. How we unmask the addictions as to why one may become self-destructive with potentially life altering behaviors and possibly death resulting from self-destruction requires absolution, breaking down the stigmas.
Family dynamics; living with a loved ones addictions.
Meth, my AS preference of drug addiction is a powerful source of evil within the potent chemicals and poisons that produces havoc in society. All it takes is 1 or 2 hits of meth and the person may fall deep into what may appear to be a never-ending battle from this drug addiction. Sadly most addictions to drugs will prey on anything to attain and continue to use at great lengths to get this fixed “high” to mask what might otherwise be overwhelming emotions; the inability to see change and causes a person to spiral downward.
The capacity of what a person will do to feed into ones addiction becomes difficult to comprehend at times; beyond what might otherwise be self-destructive. A person addiction mode can falter and drift subconsciously, yet oblivious state of the reality in which present moments become a way to create their next escape, to run perhaps from themselves.
On the run; the road to chaos
Changes within family dynamics didn’t happen overnight as this continues to be ongoing circumstances in our lives. However, time and patience are virtues of all things. A healing process for many can take a toll on family and love ones. Sometimes spending decades searching for solace, surrender to much-needed peace to move forward in life.
My AS has been a runner most of his life. Running from himself in fight or flight modes from a very young age prior to adolescence. He’s emotions to this day are very troublesome within the reality of his state of self-destructive behaviors and actions. I came to realize that on many occasions that trying to describe my son’s addiction created a lot of emotions and turmoil. The terror within the addiction was simply not going to make what I had to say any easier to describe how horrific this addiction had become.
My tolerance level was certainly tested on many occasions. The paranoia created from years of meth use had began to test my love and loyalty in ways that were difficult. My reactions to what my son was looking for were through his turmoil and his suicide gestures, his threats when he would become overwhelmed? He would send me on a mission long enough to get a location to dial 911. Only to find out that he was not where he stated, but rather he would test me to see what my response would be. He knew from past experiences that my reaction would prompt me to dial 911. These test often would resolve by what he simply may have wanted (a ride, money, food or items) or to know that I still loved him and cared about his well-being.
Enabling in crisis modes
A crisis can condition a person to stray far from stabilization in any manner within cause and effect, creating an avalanche effect that may continue to build regardless. Many individuals at one time or another have come across circumstances in their lives that sent them on a mission in an overwhelming emotional state. This doesn’t necessarily change or modify another person’s elevated emotional state of mind, but rather dysfunction may occur.
One may at times mimic or draw conclusions to reflect on their own emotional response conditioned through a belief system right down to personal and core values. One may find within their own personal habitat that their own state of mind may react spontaneously when in a state of panic (rescue mode) to rid unwanted emotions or problem solve.
We sometimes become compelled in stressful situations to place ourselves in the driver’s seat of a vehicle. Only to learn that when one is in overdrive with their foot floored to the gas pedal that one may be based in a state of emotions to React! Respond! Do Something!
Retrospective; putting the brakes on enabling
I learned long ago that I couldn’t give him cash or items worth much because it would already be gone towards his addiction. I cannot stress enough how enabling intends to feed more consequences that simply are not helpful, but rather it creates a never-ending cycle. Making the decision not to enable is much easier said than done. The pain which is felt can consume a person’s thoughts and emotions when it is our loved ones whom must face these circumstances and render their own decisions to understand their addictions.
[Addiction is not a task easily understood by the addict themselves because addictions do not shed lightly when rages appear without warning and the aggression that soon follows the accusations made against the addict.]
Meth Versus Gremlin
I was beginning to have difficulties understanding how to separate whom my son had become. It had become difficult to describe the meth addiction without associating my son’s name to the addiction itself. As I was talking to someone regarding addictions to meth the word “Gremlin” appeared. This person described meth and the many behaviors and emotions as a compromising comparison to the word “Gremlin.” One where I could separate “Meth and Son” as two very different individuals. When his gremlins appeared we were able to define his addiction. When my son was sober, we could relate to the kind, gentle and compassion that came with his demeanor as genuine love for others.
(Captured moment in city papers. His love for skateboarding)
Long before the “Gremlins” arrived was a very loving young man. He valued his family more than life himself but struggled with severe depression and an anxiety disorder. His depression kept him home in bed most days when he should have been in school. On more pleasant days he spent time doing things he loved. I often encouraged positive interaction to do things he loved as a way to build on memento’s. This would include his love for music. He could spend hours at home writing and composing his own music. I always encouraged him to follow his passions.
The road to recovery
Long ago my son had been a victim of horrific assault at a very young age. We all know these things happen, but when these things hit close to home it becomes most complex and agonizing with many days of tears and sadness. No parent can acknowledge these circumstances without some sort of emotional breakdown. To this day I still feel the pain he suffered, asking myself sometimes filled with anger and/or sadness “who does these things to children?” There are some days where the memories of my sons sadness, pain, and suffering to live in this world still hit me without any warning and I begin to have emotional reactions of anger, sadness and despair. But I had to learn to sit with my emotions and allow them to pass. My sons perpetrator passed away before justice could catch up to him. He can now face justice with the man above.
I had to come to a point in my life when I found out my son began using drugs at a very young age. This was going to become an uphill battle because the anger and hatred had already began to appear masked within his deep depression. Mental health factored so much into our lives to the point we were all in therapy trying to recover from chaos that appeared to follow us everywhere we went. Our family became quiet dysfunctional I’d say to the least.
Throughout the years my son continued to struggle and was placed in several mental health treatment facilities. When I learned the severity of his addiction I placed him into “Dual Diagnoses” programs for mental health and chemical dependency. He entered several treatment facilities throughout the years, inpatient, outpatient and lastly, a long-term treatment facility. It never seized to amaze me how hard he fought to come home. He ran from every inpatient treatment facility and was kicked out of each single one. He couldn’t manage his emotions in treatment because he wanted to come home no matter the consequences he would face from the county and juvenile justice department.
He was truly miserable, but our final last effort and hope was his approval to a longer term inpatient treatment facility. I was absolutely grateful he had been approved because my concerns for him grew quiet fearful for his future. He proved to be relentless with his efforts and determined to run away over-and-over to make it home. It didn’t matter if he walked home for miles on freeways or in the middle of the night jeopardizing his safety. I’d hear him throwing sticks and rocks at my window, pleading for me to let him in. The following morning, I would drive him back to the treatment facility.
However the severity on his condition was troublesome by many facilitator in his long-term treatment program. The day came when I was summoned to attend a meeting at the treatment center only to be told that I needed to take my son home because they labeled him a “Liability.”
The irony still burns through me to this day that children/teens have the ability to contest and/or given a choice to whether would like to attend or engage in treatment options, allowing them to make adult decisions on their behalf when they are unable to engage in healthy decisions. There is no doubt other than to believe that the system is somewhat broken and bias. Whereas, I can acknowledge that punitive and cruel punishment from the justice department to utilize incarceration as a tool towards their war on drugs. These laws have various loopholes that waste a lot of tax dollars.
These notions carry very little merit as incarceration does more harm than good when it comes to lack of initiative towards positive reinforcement and education on an alarming rate of substance abuse crimes. It certainly hasn’t proven to be a solution, one that backs up with statistics as an overall solution to humanity. A solution would be to define to a certain extent that many substance abuse crimes went awol because the justice department didn’t carry much understanding when it came to the substance disorder in the brain versus the crime that brought them to such extreme measures in the first place.
Traditional methods of recovery programs simply will not suffice. Times have changed and we need to acknowledge and learn new ways to think outside the box.
The pain and sadness seem at times to never fade other than the occasional calm in-between emotional storms from the resentments and anger that have shattered all around us to this day. But we continue to move forward and make progress towards understanding each other with willingness to be open-minded. Addictions and mental health are very real circumstance. They do not stagger far from the reality of one’s situation but rather life has fiery closes to one’s heart whom suffers. It is the fiery within itself that appears when mental health and/or addictions go unnoticed and/or untreated..
Finding spirituality carries complexity for many with addictions. When someone is struggling to find reasons to believe things will get better. Most often a person’s addictions can spiral into a path of destruction, leaving one’s self-worth, personal core values to plummet downward. One’s spirituality may have already been hindered collectively through emotional duress without the ability to reason and/or see things differently. For some spirituality may falter so far that even an avalanche couldn’t persuade one to find shelter.
[It is often said when it comes to addictions, mental illness, one may strive at a bare minimal in times of struggles. One’s ability to maintain a faction of hope strays far, just enough to keep a person on solid ground; living moment-by-moment in any given circumstances where there are shadows of doubts…]