Friday, April 30, 2010

A Change of Perspective

Eddie came to The Coleman Institute last week after a couple mis-starts. He’d relapsed and found it extremely difficult to get the 7 clean days off opiates for us to safely place a naltrexone implant.

He was with his Mom, Eleanor who was calm, pleasant and self-possessed. She admitted that a month ago it was a different story for her. Eddie’s Mom had become so depressed and despondent for yet another relapse on his part, she felt suicidal. If her son couldn’t be off heroin, she felt that she no longer wanted to live. It was just too painful to watch him destroying his life.

Ironically, the following week Eleanor went to see her doctor and was told that her recent mammogram showed suspicious lesions and a biopsy was necessary. Eleanor’s world as she knew it spun around on it’s axis and suddenly she experienced a clarity she hadn’t known in several years. She came to the realization that she desperately wanted to live. She realized how much she loved life, loved her son and especially how much she loved herself. She was able to hold in both hands the grief and the joy that come with loving an addict. And she realized Eddie’s choice to use heroin is Eddie’s business. Eleanor’s business is to love herself first; that loving Eddie and anyone else in her life has to flow from this truth.

The biopsy results will be available early next week, but regardless of the outcome, Eleanor has found a peace inside herself that “passes understanding”. The prayer now is for Eddie to find his own.

Joan Shepherd - FNP

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