First, I gave birth to neither heroin or snakes. Hopefully, the title of this post will clear itself up before the end.
I’ve been putting off writing a blog post about my older son. Not because I have nothing to say but because there are so many things to say.
Zach is a recovering heroin addict. He’s been clean for nearly two years. I cannot begin to describe the special kind of hell it is to be the parent of a heroin addict. I felt more pain and raw terror than I thought possible and there were days that I truly didn’t think I could endure.
There is so much more to my son than his addiction, but his addiction did define him for a very long time.
It defined me as well.
My son has a well of compassion that I don’t see in most of the other humans. He will share what he has. If someone is going without, it makes him sad. If he can help someone, it makes his day.
I watched him fret for an entire afternoon over a chickadee that flew into our glass door and was mortally wounded. He was 24 years old at the time.
It didn’t bother me that he was hurting over the little bird. In fact, I was COMFORTED by my son’s pain. I lived with his pain for years. I watched him withdraw. I watched his pain over being a junkie when he didn’t want to be one. I believed, for a while, that the look of despair would be permanently etched on his face. His drug related pain grated against me like a wire brush. When he felt pain that reflected his humanity, that felt like Christmas morning.
He is gorgeous and smart and funny as fuck.
He isn’t an overly cheerful person, he never has been. But put him in a room with his nieces and nephew and he will turn into a great big grinning jungle gym for as long as they want to climb on him.
Zach is making a life for himself. He’s working a demanding job and learning how to be an adult after coming out of a years long opiate haze.
He’s living with a lovely girl that he adores. I am grateful that he has found someone to share his life with. I am proud of him and what he has been able to overcome.
One thing, though, he and and girlfriend just bought two pet snakes.
Do I have to love the grandsnakes?
You know, there is a silver lining in dealing with his addiction. It’s given me instant perspective for just about everything and that will last my life time. Is it as bad as watching your kid go through opiate withdrawal? No? Well then..it can be dealt with.