Monday, June 04, 2007

What do you "do"?

At the moment, I do not have a job. I am not looking for a job. I have worked in the past but I can't remember what I did.

I go to business dinners with Nathan and people ask me what do I "do". My mind goes blank...I mumble that I walk on the beach and collect seashells. We joined a synagogue and I was asked what my interests were. I said that I walk on the beach. Once, I told someone that I was "in grief". They asked what I did before. I don't remember. On my customs form entering England, Nathan wrote Beach Environmentalist. He says collecting seashells is a good thing for me to do because it makes me happy.

Why does that question leave me confused?

Drugs. My life is consumed by the fact that my son died from drugs. It doesn't matter what he died from, but it was drugs, so I am furious at drugs. and dealers. and the media making it look "cool". and myself for not understanding drugs. and its' effects.

So for 20 months and 2 weeks now, my life has been irrevocably changed from drugs.

But it has been longer than that when drugs actually began to affect my life. Austin started drinking at age 13. I didn't know it at the time, but it had to have affected my life because it affected him. It was a slow (at least it was for me, because I wasn't aware of it) descent from there. Alcohol.....pot.....I don't even know how it got to Oxycontin.

The last few years I pleaded, begged, bribed, yelled, lectured...everything I could think of to get him to "grow up", "straighten up", "get clean" ...all that nonsense. I had no concept of what addiction really meant. So during that time, drugs consumed my life. That is probably why I don't remember what "I did".

Austin would be 26 years 3 months old. Half of that time, since he was 13 yrs old, I was battling drugs and alcohol. His drugs and alcohol.

"What do I do?" I am recovering from a 13 yr. battle with drugs and alcohol.

Lesli.....Ryan and Austin's Mom
Austin Nicholas Barthen2/26/1981 - 9/16/2005