For those of you new to this blog, it’s not what you think. You’ll have to read my last post, and maybe a couple more before that, to truly understand.
For those of you who have been following this sad saga, I’ve totally screwed up. And if after reading this you’ve lost faith in me, I understand. I’ve lost faith in myself as well.
I held strong for three days.
Three days of him begging me to drive him to town so he could buy some Methadone on the street to hold him over until he could get a prescription for Suboxane. We’d been trying to get a referral to a specialist to help him with his heroin addiction. But he didn’t think he could hold out that long. He needed something. Now.
Three days I held out, each day listening to him plead: “Please, please, please, Mom! You don’t know how I’m hurting here. If you don’t help me I’m going to call one of my buddies to pick me up and drive me into town. If I do that, who knows if I’ll ever make it back here, where it’s safe.”
“If you don’t help me, if you make me hitch-hike into town, I’ll be shooting heroin again. You know I will. But I don’t want that. I don’t want to OD again! Just help me get some Methadone. Please, please. Help me!”
When I still refuse, he looks at me like I’m crazy:
“I don’t understand! You want me to take Suboxane, right? You say I need it to get off heroin. But you won’t take me to get some Methadone to hold me over until I can get it? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s not my fault the referral is taking so long. It’s not my fault that the system is screwed up. That I can’t get the meds I need legally. Please, please! I’m begging you! I don’t want to die.”
Three days I hold out. Each day worried sick that he would leave. That he would shoot up. That he would die. He’d already OD’ed three times in the past six months. Once on my bathroom floor. It could easily happen again.
And if it did, if he died, and I remembered how he’d begged me, how could I live with that? How could I?
All the arguments he made replayed in my mind. He had a point. If he needs medication to keep from shooting heroin, and if he can’t get it legally because the system truly is screwed up, then what’s the harm with doing what he asks? Was I being too morally pure by refusing to help him get what he needs just because it doesn’t come from a doctor, just because he doesn’t have a prescription for it?
So it came down to this: Do I stick to my principles and stay morally pure? Or do I cave to his pleas and possibly save his life?
I caved. Twice. When his referral to the doctor got delayed, and we found out we’d have to wait another week for his appointment, I caved again.
Hating myself both times for doing it, hating him for talking me into it, hating our broken healthcare system for putting us in this position
I drove my son all over the county, taking him into seedy neighborhoods while he tried to find someone to sell him Methadone so he could keep from shooting heroin.
Or so I told myself.
The crazy fact is, I had no idea if what he was actually buying was Methadone. Or even if it was, if shooting that or snorting it, or whatever it was he was doing with Methadone, was any safer or saner than heroin.
Each time I watched him disappear into someone’s house, or down an alley, I felt like a pimp. Like I was pimping my son. Driving him around town, looking for drugs, selling him out.
I was letting his addiction, the thing that is ruining his life, that is killing him, talk me into buying him drugs. And all the arguments about how I was just helping him, saving his life, seemed incredibly naive and twisted.
“We’re just buying Methadone until he gets a prescription for Suboxane!”
“We’re just plugging the holes in our broken healthcare system.”
“We’re just trying to keep him from using heroin and dying.”
But I don’t even know if it’s Methadone he’s buying! It could have been heroin all along.
I see its skull-and-cross-bone face now, grinning. “Thank you, Mama!” it tells me. “Thank you for selling me your son.”