My son entered the 6 month residential rehab yesterday. Yeah. Whew. I drove him. Then I spent the day crying. I don't even know why.
I invited him home Sunday and decided to let him stay the night to take him to check in in the morning, he was grateful. I cooked a nice meal and our immediate family was there to support him. His clean and sober girlfriend joined us as well and I let her stay the night. It all went very well. He was somber. It wasn't some joyous celebration. Just some close time together to let my son know he is loved and supported when it comes to recovery.
His clothes were so dirty and yet he didn't wash them - he just didn't care. As if the filth would remind him of his nightmare as he entered rehab. His dad had me give him a few pairs of his clean socks to take and I gave him a few packs of smokes. He was appreciative. His hand was swollen from an injection site gone wrong. He looked bad. He smelled really bad. Even after a shower the smell wouldn't go away. I drove him to the city with the windows down for 2 hours. I reminded him he promised to give consent for me to get information this time and again how hard it was for me last time went he went missing. He agreed again and assured me he would. He also assured me he wasn't leaving this time. We said little on the way. I mentioned his 29th Birthday would be next week before his 14 day no contact period is up and I guess I wouldn't get to call him on his bday. He responded so down that - yeap 29 years old and look where he is. Heroin has him so beaten down.
I walked him in, hugged him goodbye and he reassured me again he would be calling me in 14 days when he has earned his phone privileges and he is not leaving, he is ready. I choked out the words - I never stopped believing in you. I got in my car and drove away and that is when the tears started.
I cried for the relief I wanted so bad to feel - yet wouldn't let myself feel it completely.
I cried for the hope I want to feel - yet I'm so afraid to hope.
I cried for how bad he smelled, how bad he looks. I cried for the loss of the son I had imagined he'd grow up to be. I cried for the hope that maybe he could still be that son.
All day images were flashing through my mind endlessly..back and forth. The little boy on the skateboard. The junkie on the street. Back and forth. The little boy in the little league uniform. The long stringy hair. The little boy with the Lego cities, the swollen hand.
It's been a long time since I have had a day like that. I came home from work and lay down on my bed exhausted and cried some more. I don't think I'm done yet. I can still feel the choking of the tears as if the past 24 hours has created some sort of post traumatic stress disorder.
Maybe it was time I let the tears come. And today I think I will allow myself to hope a little. After all - my son has entered rehab yesterday and that is an amazing thing to be hopeful for. And maybe there is a chance he will make it this time...