Last year at this time my oldest had come out of rehab, determined to clean himself up from the drugs he was addicted to. I had made the hardest choice of my life in throwing him out, and was left to wonder how did that happen? To my child. We had never done drugs and constantly warned them that we would not tolerate them using them. Bipolarism is nasty. When others use drugs for recreational purposes it is to get ‘high’, either to laugh or sleep or be different. For him it was to get normal, or as close to normal as he could be with bipolar. To have those moments when he didn’t feel like a passenger on a fast moving train he didn’t want a ticket for. He was out but I had my fears. We have really spent the last year beating off the last of the demons that come with it. The lure it holds for them and the promise of levelness.
His outlet had been music. But his addiction led him to sell every guitar he owned and anything else he could get his hands on. Always with some cover story of he left it here, or so and so borrowed it and lost it. He was mixed up still with the wrong people, and reaching him was nearly impossible. Then the wrong girl, who twisted him like a rag doll on a string. Despite our cries to him to open his eyes to who she really was. For her he gave up even his freedom and friends and even family. She became his newest addiction.
In the last 4 months since mom’s death a change has occurred. He realized how quickly life passes and how many people his behavior and choices affected. He raged at the memories of some of the things he did to mom to pacify this girl. The pain he inflicted on all of us and himself. The realization that he was never going to be enough for her and he needed to get his feet on the ground.
It started by checking out colleges then I bought him a guitar with our taxes. Instead of focusing on the screaming stuff he had been doing he turned to changing stuff to acoustic. Giving it his spin. The more he went to his music, the less she has been able to affect him.
Last month he gave his first public performance. All the talking we had done, everything we told him he could achieve if he would just slow down and try, came to the forefront. An audience full of people saw the talent he had. Not his family, not his friends but absolute strangers really liked him.
Today he is working on coming out with a CD, he is going to Nashville this weekend to see a producer. One that is interested in him. He is registered to start college. He did it all on his own.
A year ago this was my son:
This is him today:
What a difference a year makes. What a great God we serve that can make this change. Slowly but surely he is softening my son and molding him, though my son will say he is angry at God for taking his Memaw, and we all miss her. I shudder to think where he would be if not having had to face that tremendous loss. Where all of us would be. We pulled closer. We play harder and love stronger. He turns to music instead of drugs. He turns to music instead of anger. He turns to music instead of the need to fight. He puts it in sound and song. This is an addiction I know will serve him better, and take him farther. He made time for his gift and God made room for it in the places he least likely expected. Isn’t that just like God?