bon vivant dog walk, melting neighbourhood, passersby smiling at each other, slushy lakes sloshed through joyfully in waterproof boots

bruised tailbone is sore, but it's okay and the point is not to focus on it, not on such an afternoon of thick blue presided over by a winter sun

spoke to my son by phone and he seems to be recuperating, says he feels physically alright although perhaps not quite so emotionally but things are fine

I'll see him during the week, when we can talk more
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I've woken with a different understanding of the last two decades with my son. In the pre-dawn darkness, I make notes, trace underlying connections, am open to what patterns are emerging.

The patterns are like deep ocean currents and not what the current weather is.

Do thoughts of accidents create those accidents?

Do you have these experiences? This afternoon I went to a mall to buy some groceries and on my return decided to walk the dog to free up the evening, when I had hoped to go dancing. Normally I wear snow pants to dog walk, but had leggings on under my jeans and that seemed warm enough. I undid a back button and slid my cell phone in, an HTC Touch I've had about a year. Doing the button up, I thought,

'What if I fall? The phone will smash.'

So I undid the button, took the phone out and slid it into a front pocket.

'That's safer.'

I can't remember if I've ever had 'a thought' travel through my mind of a potential fall before, not one where I've taken a precaution 'just in case.'

I did fall. I haven't fallen so harshly on my tail bone since my daughter was a baby, and that was skating on ice and it took a full season to heal. Eighteen years ago. Today I was playing with the dog in the snow and slid on a path that was snow-packed and icy. I lay in the snow for long minutes not sure if I had seriously hurt myself, no-one nearby. As the pain dimmed I carefully rose, on my feet, knees bent then straight, bent at the waist, then slowly lifting myself upright. Seemed okay.

Though sore. So I took Ibuprofen and stayed home and watched The Squid and the Whale, which was an emotional experience since my children also have lived/are living a bifurcated life between two households.

Back to the topic of this post. It happens. Falls in Winter. That's not the point. The point is that I moved my touch screen cell phone out of the back pocket for an event that I've never thought about before and which did happen. An accident - at the angle of the snow path to the sidewalk I'd gotten my dog way too excited and she raced towards me, careening into me and causing me to lose my balance.

Is it that we must immediately cross 'negative' thoughts with 'that won't happen' when we think them, otherwise... they happen?

My cell is safe, my tail bone perhaps a little bruised, and, yeah, lucky, but. Should I have dismissed 'the thought' of a possible fall when I had it?

Was it a premonition, or did the thought create the event?

If you've had these sorts of experiences, I'd love to hear.

Gradually I am coming back to the life that I live. My son has moved to his Dad's and except for a few short calls or times he's been by to pick up clothing and journals, there's been no contact between us. I feel bereft. Of course I do. But I understand his need to break with where he broke down is paramount at present. I trust him. He knows I love him, and that I am here for him, and that he always has a home with me. Unconditionally and without reservation, this love, this home.

Because I haven't any addiction patterns or problems in my background, I didn't recognize what was happening to him, nor was I much help, I'm afraid.

All I had to give was what I hoped was sustaining love, and through his being able to count on that steady love, the strength that he needed.

And who knows in the way of the mystery of things if his being here for a year, despite the difficulties, didn't also help to give him the courage to make the changes he needs to make.

I also hope his father is repairing their relationship, for that is very necessary for this young man.

He needs all the support that those who love him can give.

An 87 year old woman doing the Salsa

I found this at Phil Bolsta's site. An 87 year old woman doing the salsa. She is amazing, at that age or any other. It's breath-holding to watch her turns and flips and dives. This is a woman with rhythm! She certainly resuscitates 'old age' and wow, is she inspiring. Indeed she is.

Even in the midst of the bare aftermath of the crisis my family is still going through, there is still wonderment and so I wanted to share the joy of this video.
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My son is at his Dad's, recuperating. Since there is no communication between households, I have to rely on what my daughter tells me. Apparently they are looking into rehab for 6 months, which I feel is too long. Because the girlfriend's son is dealing with ongoing addiction problems, my son cannot live there. Adrian, my son, is, of course, welcome to live here, without any conditions or reservations. There is a whole network of support in Toronto for him, from my entire family, who visited him frequently in the hospital and have offered any and all help he needs, to friends of mine who have contacts in various organizations and can connect him to young men in similar circumstances, to the wonderful and loving friends he has made during his year here, as well as the various doctors and therapists he's been seeing in Toronto.

The room that became his in the basement has a separate entrance and so I could not 'keep an eye' on his comings and goings, but then it would not be 'my thing' to oversee him since he's an adult.

My approach is one based on trust. On openness. On a 'good enough' relationship where he felt he could talk to me.

For the most part, we have had this. The couple of weeks before his breakdown, he had become more distant, but then he was much busier with college, so the encroaching difficulties were masqued. The weekend of the binge, though, which began during the power blackout, he was nearly unapproachable and was obviously in emotional difficulty and would not call a distress centre. He was angry and depressed and questioned the meaning of life, how he felt trapped, how little he saw ahead in the way of positive change. The night he took the acetaminophen, I talked with him for 2 hours, and then his sister talked with him for another 2 hours, but I think he was just desperate to exit the vicious cycle of addictions that he had not been able to break out of with will power alone.

In most ways, his life was going well. As he said in hospital, he was actually happy with his life. He liked his part-time job, liked the people he worked with, liked living in downtown Toronto, liked me, his sister, and our dog, liked his classes and the people in them, and liked the women he's dated and become good friends with, and was perhaps developing a closer relationship with someone who had become more special than the rest. He wasn't sure why he wanted to end it.

I don't know why either, since I could see that he was starting to come 'into his own,' and it was exciting to see him creating a new life for himself here. He's been seeing someone at CAM-h, an addictions centre, where the philosophy is 'harm reduction,' and it wasn't working for him. In fact, and I hate to say it, he seemed better before the CAM-h therapy, something his father insisted on as a 'condition' for visiting, because Adrian had been clear of everything for half a year or so and was working on giving up his 'vices.' Rehab is 'abstinence-based' and that would be a better approach. Once he starts on a binge, it's hard to stop. And I think that's what happened - and it spun out of control, and it was the addiction cycle that tore at him, made him desperate, rather than his actual day-to-day life here.

He was so mad at its control - the addictions, what they represent, which is very personal and very complex - that control over him, the addictions: a master who was a monster from within, the addictions: what he would do to annihilate inner pain, a cycle which caused more pain than it relieved, that he would sacrifice his life to it to appease it. Like destroying the host that the virus was over-running. Short-circuiting the process by removing the victim. Or so it felt through the days I spent sitting beside him in hospital.

And perhaps he has done the miraculous thing he wanted to do. Deep within. Where it counts. A true success that no-one can guess or truly know about except him.

As I write this, I find myself bowing to my beautiful son, in recognition and honour.
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Thank you to those of you who dropped by with a message of warmth, support, healing. I deeply appreciate...

My son will be discharged from hospital tomorrow or the next day, miracle that he is, and is going to stay at his Dad's for a bit until he can go into a rehab program. His Dad's is not an ideal place for him to go, and there is his Dad's girlfriend's son, who is not a good influence, but neither is my apartment ideal. While neither place is quite right or appropriate to his needs, I support his desire to go there, where he may find some inner healing from the unexpected, sudden and total rejection he received from his Dad at the turn of the year last year when he was banished and wasn't allowed to return even to pick up his belongings after the few days he was spending with me over Christmas. He slept on my couch for 4 months before we cleaned out a room downstairs. It hasn't been an ideal situation here, though we all tried to make the best of it that we could.

In many ways I felt helpless to 'fix' or 'heal' what the other household had done to him, and saw difficulties, or perhaps it's better to call them wounds, of the heart, of the spirit, that were scary and deep.

So, in a day or so I will bid him adieu with the hope that the 'other' parent may find compassion within to rescind some of what has passed so that this dear, intelligent, and sensitive young man may heal inwardly and find a greater peace in his world.
Comments (3)

Day Four at the Hospital

Today Adrian started sleeping, finally. But in hospital they wake you for so many things! Blood pressure. Bloodwork. Glucose tolerance test. Lunch. Dinner. This test and that test. Team of doctors here. Et caetera. In the midst of terrible worry, I had to smile - last night was his worst 'crazy' night and the guy on the other side of the curtain in the room they shared was growling, so my son growled back, and was moved into a ward. He ripped his IV out twice and escaped from the ward, going up to the top floor, where everything was locked before he was caught and brought back to the ward! He was only trying to go for a cigarette, apparently. So they moved him into another semi-private and have "a sitter" with him 24/7, and as his vital signs normalize he is calming down. He's enjoying the company of the various "sitters" too I think.

I'm at the hospital about 8 hours a day, have stayed over two of the four nights he's been there. I love my son. I am grateful he is alive. I am grateful for him. He is a beautiful son, a beautiful person. The worst of the crisis has passed, and it comes with jolting awareness. I knew my son was complex, often depressed, sensitive, creative, intelligent, generous, feeling, carrying far more than he ought to, responsible, and yet I thought with the progress we've made this year, after his father kicked him out and refused to let him even go to pick up his clothes or anything else, so humiliating, this year he's spent with me, that as we worked through everything he was okay. He'd enrolled in college, was working part-time, has been dating and become close friends with some fantastic women. He seemed to be stabilizing. It's been a hard, uphill struggle for him, but something cracked. I'm not sure what. He is as fragile as are we all. I don't know how to be there for him in the ways that he needs. But I will try harder. Changes are ahead, what or how we don't yet know.

Cell phone photograph taken on Jan 23/09 by Natu, Adrian's sitter yesterday.
Comments (6)

My son took an overdose of Tylenol while drunk on Sunday night. I wasn't aware of it. I didn't get him to the hospital until late Monday afternoon. I spent the night in a chair beside him at Emergency. He was still lively and talkative, though nauseous and couldn't keep even water down. They gave him the antitode, liquids, gravol.

He was admitted to hospital that night.

His condition today is much, much worse. He tells me he's drifting in and out of reality and is having trouble differentiating a dream-like state from where he is. He is barely audible on the phone.

I'll be going to the hospital after his Dad leaves this afternoon (I'm not allowed to be there, the father's girlfriend's rules), and don't plan on leaving unless he starts to improve. I'm taking a camping mat and sleeping bag and will stay beside him, hospital rules be damned.

He's 21 years old. He's a beautiful young man. Oh, my son..........

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my son is still in hospital, his condition worsening, but perhaps today will be the day of peak and reversal and of healing back to health
Comments (3)
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