Tough love dating show
The last moment of peace I would know ended abruptly on a bright spring day in 2008 with a call from the police informing me that my son had been apprehended with a needle.
He was well into the throes of heroin addiction and whatever warning signs there may have been, even with my background as a nurse, I had missed them all.
Yet the tough love concept became a terrifying and cumbersome tool, akin to bringing a chainsaw to a duel, when I was confronted with the idea that even providing my son with housing might contribute to his demise. In order to allow him any hope of recovery, any chance to survive, I felt forced to abandon him.
I was naive in hoping that a few weeks on the streets would snap him to his senses.
I can only imagine the pain and conflict he must have felt when he pawned even that love to buy heroin.
An experiment with marijuana at age 16 obliged him to a court-ordered 12-step program for teens.
When the first two or three attempts at rehab only resulted in escalating heroin use, I became desperate for solutions. Rehab counselors urged me to "detach with love," explaining that his only hope for recovery was to "hit bottom." Desperate and exhausted, I complied.
As other teens were in the church library chanting "keep coming back—it works if you work it," my son was down the hall in the restroom learning how to shoot up.If the daily potential of death had no power to deter him, the thought of shooting up sludge from a ditch wouldn't either.Would it not make more sense than tough love, not to mention be more humane, to offer my son tools and options to keep him alive and safe until effective help could be found?As I cautioned him to please not use alone, to obtain his drugs from a known source, to "taste" his dose first (inject a small amount very slowly to test the drug Doubt overwhelmed me: "Is this only encouraging further drug use? " I'd recently abandoned the tough love approach, but I wasn't sure this was better. As a child, my son was rambunctious and full of energy, although, at times, shy.Focusing in class was a struggle, yet he excelled in sports—little league baseball, soccer and hockey. He spent hours embracing the smooth cedar of that Ibanez, learning new tunes which he played with an earthy, mellow ease all his own.