Personal Thoughts

On Addiction, Enabling, and Letting Go

I began blogging when I was around 12 years old.  I blogged- or wrote in a “online journal”- as I called it then to process through my feelings and emotions.  I was hit with a deep, dark depression at a young age and writing was my only outlet.  Thankfully, I am no longer in that place, but writing is still my outlet.  It can be a difficult balancing act though when things are not going so well.  I’ve shared my grief journey here as I’ve stumbled my way through losing Kolby, breaking my leg & ankle, and losing other close loved ones in a few short months.  I’ve also shared about my father-in-law’s meth addiction on the rare occasion, but I’ve tried very hard to also protect the privacy of my family.

I’ve been unable to really blog here for weeks.  I’ve met my deadlines and posted sponsored content, but I haven’t been “me” because I wasn’t sure what to share or how to go about it.  With that said, I’m going to share a post that I published on my personal Facebook page on Friday, February 1.  I feel like I have to share it here with my readers and friends to be “released” and free to share our everyday life.

Stick with me, because this is going to be long. For 9 years, I’ve stood by my husband’s side mostly silent. Only our families know the Hell we’ve been through while dealing with addiction. I think that’s how it usually goes- the family of a meth addict keeps quiet while trying to figure out how to help. After 9 years and two terrifying weeks, I will no longer stay silent. We use to live on Sand Mountain, but now we live on Meth Mountain and everyone knows it, but no one talks about it. For 9 years, we have offered every kind of help possible- we’ve clothed, sheltered, fed, offered to pay for rehab, anything you can think of- we’ve tried it. For 9 years, we were enabling, but we did not realize it.

Several of you are doing the same. It’s time to stop. When you enable a meth addict, or a meth maker, or a meth dealer- the effects go beyond your family. They spread to other families- other innocent families. Families like ours.

Very few people know what has gone on the past two weeks in my family. For the first time in my life, I was terrified for my life, my husband’s life, our children’s lives, and the lives of my family. Within a 24 hour period, 911 was dialed 4 times. Each time, we begged them to hurry and we wondered if that would be our last phone call. I looked officer Greenwood in the face and I said “If you don’t do something, he is going to kill us.” For days, we didn’t sleep out of fear. When you have someone showing up at your house at midnight simply to terrorize you and let you know that you are not safe even in your own home, it is an unimaginable feeling.

For 9 years (this is how long I have been a part of the family), my father-in-law had a pattern. It was a pattern that we were all quite use to. He would get high, then hole up somewhere for days. We would pray and wonder if he was dead. My husband would go to his house thinking he was going to find his dad dead.

We had watched this pattern happen over and over again so many times that we thought it would never change. And then it did.

It changed in a way I never thought it would. The man we loved was just a shell and inside he was simply meth. Nothing else was there. He scared us and threatened my husband. He stalked my husband and even when officers were called, he continued to show up after they were gone. He had nothing to lose and was scared of nothing.

I’m sharing this, because you need to know that when you enable your husband or son or brother (or wife, sister, daughter), you are putting other families at risk. Our community has quit talking- they are too scared to share any information. That came straight from an officer’s mouth.

It’s time to speak up and stand up. If we as a community continue to keep quiet and watch the people we love do meth, make meth, and sell meth- we are no better than they are. Staying silent is not the answer. It never has been and it never will be.

Know that a family was terrified this week. I watched my 2 year old and my 4 year old cry and scream because they didn’t want their mommy to go outside where their Pop Stoney was. I watched my 4 year old son go into a panic, screaming as he watched his Pop Stoney shatter a picture frame over a mailbox. When I finally collapsed in the floor with both of my children in my arms, I cried with them and Bryson was shaking in my arms.

Our 4 year old saw the effects of meth and even he knows how scary it is. He knows it’s bad. My four year old is traumatized and he knows that his “Pop Stoney” is a bad guy. He knows the drill- if he sees his Pop Stoney come around, he is to go into a bedroom with his sister and lock the door. He also knows that for now, we are safe because his Pop Stoney is in jail.

Enough is enough. If you stay quiet, you too are guilty. You too are putting families in danger.

I would love to see Meth Mountain become Sand Mountain once again, but that will never happen if we sit quietly as we watch the people we love throw their lives away. Eventually, that pattern changes and they are no longer just throwing their lives away- they are putting ours live in danger too.

Think about my 4 year old the next time you decide to stay quiet.

So there is the post.  It’s very personal for me and not easy to share.  Currently, my father-in-law is still in county jail.  We have no idea when/if he will be released.  I would love nothing more than to see him clean and sober.  We haven’t given up on him, but we have realized it is time for us to let him go.

I hope that by sharing this here, I can now return to my normal blogging.  We would so appreciate your prayers for our family and for my father-in-law. Thank you for sticking around even when it isn’t all sunshine and roses.

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  • I’ve said a prayer for you and your family. I know first-hand that meth is one of the worst and most addictive drugs there is. I had a brother and a sister who were addicted years ago. I tried hard to help then disowned them when I learned I couldn’t. Thankfully, they didn’t go through the rages that your FIL did with you but they were just as bad in their own ways. Thank God, both got help and are no longer addicted to meth. Unfortunately, that’s a rare case.
    I also work as a 911 dispatcher and deal with the consequences of people who are on meth every day. It’s super scary being on the phone while someone is begging you to “please just get them here fast”. My heart reaches out to you and I wish your family healing.

  • Hugs Mama. I lost my BFF since childhood to addiction. She didn’t die but sadly her inability to break the cycle cost us our friendship. She started with pills and progressed .She lost her job as a nurse and has contracted HIV due to the multiple sexual partners she had to get the drugs she needed. I tried to hide and help her and on my wedding day my one request was to be sober. When another bridesmaid found her putting pills back in the bathroom I threw her out of my reception- in front of her parents. Her secrets were now exposed and she started rehab that next day. Sadly she would have multiple rehab visits and several section 12 admissions.

    In the end I walked away. The people around her refused to stop keeping secrets, making excuses, and allowing things to get worse and it was going to cost me my marriage. I still miss my best friend but that girl is gone. Even sober the trust will never be back. People need to speak up! Keeping secrets doesn’t help anyone!

  • This is heartbreaking that you’re dealing with all of this, but I am so amazed by your strength and how you have handled all of this with such grace and dignity. You’re a hero!

  • Addiction is a very hard thing to watch anyone you love go through. I am so sorry for all that your family has had to go through in the past few weeks, but so glad you all are ok.

 







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