My oldest son has had a hard time for the last few years. The story is in my book, but is really his to tell. He was a talented motocross/Supercross rider and gave it all up for a different adrenaline rush. Bottom line, he is clean and sober taking it very seriously. However, with a felony still to be worked out (a crime he committed to only himself) and this wonderful economy, finding a job is almost impossible. Guys with PhD’s are not being hired at Wendy’s. He has reduced his enormous ego to wave signs on the road while dressed in a turquoise robe illuminating people where the best place is to hand over what’s left of their savings (otherwise known at getting taxes done). He’s done day labor, pulled weeds at mental hospitals, worked for Doggy Doo–doo business. He was hired for the census and starts in three weeks.
Now he is helping to paint and remodel our house. He refuses to take money from us, because he says he did all the damage (which is true, but a huge leap in his recovery to admit that). He reminds us that we don’t have to be alcoholic to go to 12-step meetings and maybe I should attend to deal with my anger at UPS. He is peaceful, gracious, and happy. Really happy, a Ray of Fucking Sunshine.
I love it, but in his blissful, calm, sober state, he is hungry. Ravenously hungry. He now weighs more than my husband does. I showed him how to use the food bank, the local church outreach that offers one hot meal a day and the Dollar store. Part of MY recovery is to show him how to help himself and not enable him by filling up his cupboards. When you have an addict in the family, everyone must learn to recover.
His probation officer told him to apply for food stamps. He asked if that was the right thing to do. “Wasn’t that system set up for Moms with three kids that were starving,” he asked. Probation guy told him that it was just as important to feed him and to get him back on track with nutrition. Restoring his health was part of the recovery. They gave him a small amount of stamps for the month and the first day he went to Von’s and shopped like a king. Hand rolled sushi, fresh potato salad, brand name chips with Pace. This was his loot and he was ecstatic. He ate every bite, all before 10 am and promised that his next visit would offer more restraint. Our government at work, making people happy, one at a time.
I know my republican friends will get pissed off at this story, but that food and the food stamps built some kind of respect that the drugs had taken away. He is not getting any more than I spend in one night out for dinner and it is the habit of picking out, purchasing and preparing his dinner that will help to make him heal. Then I promise he will make millions of dollars and pay it all back in taxes and helping the poor.