Faith ~ Hope ~ Charity

A message to my family and friends!
We use to smile, laugh, run, and sing. We didn't wake up one day and say, "Hey, I want to be a junkie or an alcoholic". We are people, a "person"! We made a wrong choice and gravitated to the wrong people. Realizing and knowing all the horror stories of the other people didn't deter me. I looked at them as foolish and that I would never end up like them! Wrong....Dead Wrong! ...........These are our stories and our families stories.

They say, "A picture speaks 1,000 words"! These people are addicts. Their stories are all the same! Drugs lead to stealing, prostitution, loss of jobs and relationships, etc. So instead of writing about the journey of each one of these people, see for yourself by looking at them while in Casa Matriz.

Recovery is always difficult! However, to know that your loved ones are safe and finding their strength through faith, that they are supported by their families and they find out that God is always there for them in their darkest hours, makes it possible. A future vision that consist of success, productivity, joy and love, is the goal.
From "Skid Row" in Tent City, Los Angeles,  injecting meth and heroin daily to the
         arms of his mother and sister!   
Sean: From severe meth use and inability to function or work at 23 years old.

Sean now is working 6 days a week, using his tools and feeling great!


This story is the hardest I have ever written.

I didn’t want to remember, but Cathy asked me and it is important for those who are still suffering to hear there is hope; that recovery does happen.

Cathy and I have been friends for a long time. We both learned of our sons’ addiction around the same time. We became a support system for each other. No judgment, no guilt, no advice, just love and someone to talk to who understands and has been there.

I found out my son and daughter in law were addicts the first time they got arrested. I knew they were using drugs; I just didn’t know to what extent. Their drug of choice was heroin, but they were using them all. Up to this point they were still able to hide it. They were going to college and getting good grades. They also were working part time jobs. Their addiction took over.

His father and I bailed them out of jail and tried to control them and the situation. It was a losing battle. The drugs had control of them. They would do things they would never have done. Fear took control of all of our lives. They would steal money, credit cards, checks and ATM cards from us. I started sleeping with my wallet and hiding my checks. They lied about everything; where they were going, what they were doing, that they were going to NA meetings, that they were clean. They even faked their drug tests.

They started getting arrested on a regular basis. Sometimes they would let them out, “a dry run”. Other times we would bail them out again, always on the promise that they would go to rehab and get help. We believed them because we wanted to believe them so very bad. My decisions were based on fear, a very bad way to make decisions. If I could do anything different, I wouldn’t have bailed them out of jail.

It was spiraling out of control. My husband and I didn’t know what to do. We lived in fear of them getting arrested or worst dying. They would disappear for days. We would go look for them, imagining the worst. We pretended to the world that nothing was wrong and hid their addiction. It was an endless torment of worry, fear and court appearances.

My daughter in-law was put on diversion with the courts. My son was sentence to six months in jail and diversion when he got out. However, the day before he was to remand to custody he got arrested one last time. It was the last straw for the courts and they sent him to prison for narcotics admit.

While he was in prison, my daughter in-law got clean and started going to NA. She only relapsed twice. She served her diversion and all her cases were dismissed. She went back to being the loving, intelligent, beautiful person she was and is today.

My son served two and a half years and then three months in rehab. My husband, daughter in-law and I would visit him in prison every time he could have visitors.  He had a couple relapses in prison but “got the miracle” and was clean and sober when he got out. My son also became the person I remembered: honest, trustworthy, and charismatic.

My recovery started the day he was arrested the last time. He was in jail. All I could do now was love him and visit him. The lying, manipulating, and stealing had stopped. When I visited him, I saw my son slowly start to reappear and the worry and fear faded.

My daughter in-law still lived with us. She already wanted to stop but couldn’t when my son was still using. The time apart allowed her to get clean and embrace her sobriety. My husband, daughter in-law and I would go to meetings, individually and together. We learned about the disease of addiction and the difference between enabling and support. Each of us found someone we could talk to who had been there before, who understood and helped us through the healing process. My husband and I stopped blaming ourselves and each other. We stopped feeling guilty and wondering where we went wrong. I now think of addiction the same way as I do cancer.

We started doing normal things like hiking, bike riding, skiing and going on day trips in the area. We started smiling at first and then laughing again. None of us liked going to the prison, but we loved visiting our son and made them part of our recovery as well. Now, both my son and daughter in-law are in college, working full time jobs, and living on their own. She has been clean 2 years 9 months. He has been clean 2 years 1 month. I know it is up to them. They know we are there if they need us.