How do I survive this?

I need advice, encouragement, whatever it is, from anyone and everyone on how to get through the ungetthroughable. My youngest son was acting weird for about a week and then had a complete psychotic event on Monday from which statistics say he probably won’t recover. How do I survive this? How do people who lose children survive? My son as he was is gone. And it was unexpected. He was an ordinary young man, funny, smart, loved making music. He smoked some pot now and then, tried mushrooms about a year ago, and took a little adderall. (It was the adderall that caused the psychosis. People should know about this drug kids are turning to recreationally (I did not know he had done it until this happened). He was acting odd for about a week, saying weird things and then he went over the edge Monday when I was at work. Of course there is tremendous guilt that I did not see signs earlier, didn’t do something more that day. I had a bad feeling, I should have come home from work. I feel like I have to keep myself together so I can best help him. How do parents stay alive when this is happening?

Please offer your advice.

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21 comments

  1. The best thing anyone can do is to pray, reach out for faith-based, friends and family, and/or 12 step support, i.e. Families Anonymous, Al-Anon, AA, or NA, etc. It may also help to find a mental health counselor or pastor as well. Feeling powerless over or responsible for someone else’s actions is normal under these circumstances, we all wish we could have made different decisions from the past, but we are not responsible for other people’s actions. The best we can do is to come to terms with accepting them and us, not “beating ourselves or them up” with shame and guilt, and moving into a place to grow, and change, and learn from our own mistakes, so we can continue to support others who need us, all the while not losing ourselves in the process. There is no quick fix, no easy answers, but we can find peace and freedom if we ask for help and have faith that God is in control and we are not, even though it is difficult to understand how and why sometimes, we can only ask what are we to learn from this and how we can help ourselves and others. Blessings and Peace, Mark

    1. I am praying and appreciate that so many are praying all over the place. I believe that FB is a new definition for “wherever 2 or more of them are gathering in his name, His Will is done.” We are gathering on FB.

      I know one thing already I have learned from this. When my son was in the first hospital in the ER, one orderly came in to check his ankle (my son jumped off the roof,) and he was not gentle and was rude with one son, made some comment about how would he know if it hurt or not, he was so whacked out on drugs. Well, it turns out my son was psychotic, not whacked out on drugs, but even if he was, he is a human deserving of respect. I stood up for him the whole time he was there and demanded good care for him. Its sad what would have happened had I not been there.
      I so appreciate your advice to turn my hurt into healing through some specific action.
      Also, I found out from my son who the big dealer in the community is (my son doesnt have a job so this nice person GIVES him pot and adderall. I used to say, Willie can’t be doing drugs, he has no money.) I want to do something to stop this kid. I will go to the police and see if they can watch him or I will go to his parents just in case they are not aware what their son is doing from the house they are renting for him. Of course they may be aware.
      I am also going to speak out to everyone about adderall. I dont think very many people know that it can cause psychosis.

      Thank you,

      Iris

  2. My heart breaks for you. I’ve often wondered how I would survive if something happened to my only child. And being from CT, I’ve watched the families’ of the Newtown/Sandy Hook victims and wondered, “how – how do you go on?”

    My only suggestion or advice would be to let yourself grieve, get yourself some counseling and do what you can to dedicate yourself to educating others on what can happen. Do not let his loss be in vain. Think of the impact you can have on others and those you can possibly save.

    My thoughts are prayers are for you right now. You can’t control what other people do, and sadly your son made a choice that you must now try to survive. You can’t only do so much. But I know you are aching and your heart is broken. Love yourself. And know he loves you.

    1. Several people have said go out and work towards stopping this from happening to anyone else. I have to find a way to spread the word about adderall to more people. I will continue to pray constantly and I appreciate everyone praying for my son.

  3. Pray for him and yourself as well. Don’t believe everything the doctors tell you. There have been cases of drug-related psychosis, where the people have recovered. It may take some time, but never lose hope. Keep positive, and keep loving him.

    1. Thank you, I am staying strong because that is how I can best help my son. People like you reminding me to be strong is like a shot of concrete into my body, making me stay a little bit stronger. I appreciate every one’s prayers.

  4. I’m sorry to hear of your misfortune, but as has been said you need to be there and find a recovery system that works for your son! I’m a recovering Alcoholic with over 21 years sober, and I do it One Day At A Time! If you feel the need to contact me I am in Tampa, Florida and wish to help anybody and everybody possible. I’ve survived being hit and dragged by a semi truck and alcoholism and smoking(yes both cigarettes and Pot) plus doing a lot of other stupid things in my 53 years on this planet. How do you go on? Take one day at a time and do the absolute best you can. Sure there will be mistakes made and this is how you learn,
    and if possible counseling is of the utmost importance, My heart and prayers go out to you and your son and I pray everything will be satisfactory. Michael Anthony Boccio

    1. Your reply meant so much because you personally extended yourself. You find that sometimes on the FB community. Its especially helpful because there is some reassurance when someone has gone through it. It sort of offers more solid advice. Not that all of the replies aren’t appreciated. But if someone has lived through it, than that means there is a chance this situation will turn out okay. Michael, I am going to see how I email you off of this. Thanks!

  5. My heart aches for you. I watched my godson go through this. I was across the nation, but it wasn’t easy regardless.

    I’ve no idea about what grounds you – any community, church group, social network, or the like, but reach out and do get help because these things can make you feel like you are all alone. While ministers can be helpful, I highly recommend a good counselor or psychologist. You will likely be chatting with your son’s mental health care professionals, ask for a reference for you. They are covered by most insurances in this case. Find one you ‘click’ with – don’t be afraid to ask about backgrounds or references. You may meet a few before you find the right one.

    Also, learn to meditate. I grew up conservatively and in dealing with some recent stress (that I had no idea would span *years*), I began a meditation class in January. That, coupled with acupuncture has been *the most* effective in grounding me and giving me perspective.

    So. 1. Find some sort of support- a counselor, psychologist, Mom support group, etc. 2. Do find a tangible way to ground yourself. For me it was meditation and acupuncture. 3. Be kind to yourself along the journey. If you feel like going to bed at 6pm, go. If you want to lie on the grass and stare at clouds, do it. 4. Be prepared to hear critical things from people – they can be quite mean and abrupt. Before you go out, imagine a shield around you with a rose, something pure, yet protective. 5. Finally, know that no one can hurt or wound you without your permission. People are clueless unless they’ve walked your pathway.

    You will be strong and anchored again, you will deal with this in the best ways possible.

    Hugs, comfort, and peace to you.

    1. Thank you so much TS for such a generously thought out answer. I intend to search for a group once he is stable. Possibly NAMI because his is a duel issue…mental illness and drug use. Currently they are treating him for mental illness, have to stabilize that first. But the drugs have to end so as soon as he is stable for sure he will deal with the addiction.
      Thank you!

  6. Don’t forget who you are, his mom. Keep talking to him. You were and are the comforting voice that he know’s. Pray, ask GOD to guide you and give you the right direction. Listen. You can’t have all the answers right now your heart is broken. And find a soft place for you to fall. I just prayed for you. Bless you my dear.

    1. Jewel, your words are prayers were a comfort. I believe there is a lifeforce and it is powerful. And prayer is one if its methods. In the hospital the first day and a half he did not want me to leave his side. Even though he did not know where he was or what had happened to land him there, he knew me and wanted me to hold his hand the whole time. How I am coping is to tell myself that I still have my son!!! I could have lost him during the horrible things that happened during the episode. But I didn’t, praise God!!! He has a chance to get well and I am praying that he will be totally restored to us and to himself so he can go on and have enjoy life.

  7. I personally have gone through this same situation but it was my own fathernthat took his own life by abusing Valium then shooting himself in front of me! Yes, it killed him. I took my anger out. On him I grieved for many years and I am now 50 and still the hurt never goes away and it wasn’tmy fault I have become a follower of Jesus christ again and he has gotten me through to my adult hood with sorrow , grif loss but never , never think it was anything you as a mother did wrong! Unfortunately your son knew what he was taking or this would not have happened ! All my prayers and allot of strenghth to you mame for being strong enough to post this to keep it from happening to others, bless you and your family may the strength of God be with you. Always ,

    1. Michelle, I can’t even comprehend your sorrow. No , it is something you would never get over because you now have that snap shot in your soul. Just as I have the snap shot of coming home and finding 2 sheriffs and hearing what had happened and seeing the splinters of wood and realizing they were parts of my son’s beloved guitar. When I saw that, I knew madness had descended. Just like when I heard about that mother in Texas who drowned all of her children…people don’t do that unless they are not in their mind. So when I saw his broken guitars, I knew we were in hell and him worst of all. But I quickly told myself that those are things…he can get more guitars, and computers and cell phones and all of the other things he destroyed but he cannot be replaced so glory glory that he is ALIVE! Your situation ended differently so I see mine in perspective. I praise you for going on living. Amazing. And I thank you for your prayers, they meant a lot.

  8. I am sorry for your pain … You have no idea. Please feel free to contact me…I have far too much experience with this, first hand.

    Stay strong and don’t blame yourself ,

    Mary

    1. Thank you. I am going to try to figure out how to contact you. It helps to hear from others who have been thru similar circumstances. It is hard not to blame myself as there are things I missed, things I could have done differently but I know that none of that matters now. What is is. I have to help my son get back to health. I am spending the evening googling different drugs and dosages etc to make sure that what is being done is the best thing. No body can advocate for a child (even a grown one) like a mother.

    2. Mary and Iris – if you would like to get in touch with each other, just contact me on the Facebook page and I will set you up. ~ Gia

  9. My heart goes out to you. While I have not experienced this personally, I think each one of us has or is going through something that seems “ungetthroughable” First Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” This Scripture teaches us a powerful principle. If we belong to Him, God will not allow any difficulty to come into our lives that we are not capable of bearing.
    With that being said, that does not mean God personally makes these things happen, we as humans by choices we make or those around us make, causes us pain. He wants us to draw closer to Him through these times so He can help us through them. So other advice about seeking out friends and family that have deep faith, a relationship with Christ is good advice, also local pastors from bible believing churches. Not all churches believe in the bible, be sure they do. Also, God is the GREAT PHYSICIAN, do not let dr’s be the “gospel truth”. God can and will heal if HE wants. He does not promise to heal us all on earth, He can use illnesses and other tragedies for His good. We were created by Him and have a choice to accept His gift of salvation or deny it. Things that happen due to human choice often leads to people choosing to accept that salvation. So in the tiny minuscule of time we are on earth compared to eternity eithr with Him or in Hell, is not really that long. People make choices and live with consequences, others live with consequences who did not make choices, they were innocent bystanders. Parents often are when children make bad choices, could we have done something different? If we dwell on the couldda shouldda’s and if’s we will not heal. When there is a loss of any kind we grieve, there is a time for mourning and a time to heal, Go through it and move on. Look up the 5 stages of grieving, there does not have to be a death to grieve, people who are diagnosed with life long illnesses or become paralyzed all go through the grieving process whether they realize it or not. It is best to be aware of it and grieve in your own way, remember it is for a “time” not forever. It is best to look at this as what can I do to……. fill in the blank. Do something that matters, something that you will grow from, and that will help others. Become a speaker at schools about the risks of taking drugs, write a book about it, speak to youth groups at churches…even kids who belong to youth groups can be victims of peer pressure and decide to take drugs, be a volunteer with others that have been through what your son is going through, start a support group, locally or online. Find something that you can do to CHANGE someone elses life. Even if you reach one person in a lifetime that is one life saved from the same heartache. In short do not be a VICTIM, be a SURVIVOR an ADVOCATE to change things. My heart goes out to you and my prayers also, your son is still here, love him, pray with him, for him, help him to also not be a victim but a survivor that can help others from making the same mistake. God may heal him, He may not, either way use this situation for the positive, don’t let those who push the drugs win, just one life saved is that much closer to winning the war on drugs. FIGHT BACK!

    1. I do plan on doing something once we are a little further out of crisis. Right now I have to concentrate 100% on my son. But all of your suggestions are good ones. Thank you so much for your reply. I am trying to remember it all.

      Pam

  10. Dear Survivor,
    The fact that you have reached out for help means you already have a better chance of getting through this. You will need to take it one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. A good day for him, some days, will be getting out of bed and eating. Allow flexibility for him and your expectations…and for you!
    Remember that you haven’t lost your son totally. It’s hard. It’s not easy. But try to find things to be thankful for.

    1. Oh I do so much feel grateful. I realized that first day when I saw all his things he had destroyed,things that financially I can’t replace, I realized none of them matter because they can be replaced. But he can’t. So we still have HOPE!!!