The evening I was told that my son had overdosed and could not be saved I started running. Both literally and figuratively.
I remember vividly the sudden urge to run from the news. Run from the face of the Police Officer telling me the news. He looked so kind and sorry I didn’t want to see his face. I wasn’t angry or confused. I knew what he would say to me as soon as I opened the door.
I did run. I ran in my small apartment. My sanctuary of peace. I ran from the living room into the kitchen until I realized I would only go a few steps before I’d hit a wall. Then all of a sudden I lost my legs and felt myself fall.
I remember screaming and screaming “please God, No!”. Sometimes it was just sounds I made as I clung to a chair and the wall. The screams didn’t sound normal to me; but I didn’t care. I felt like I was dying too.
Finally I found my legs and I began to stand. But, I couldn’t steady myself and the Pastor I had never met before took me by the hand. I let him hold me while I cried and screamed and said “please make this not be true”.
I don’t know how long before I was able to sit down. We talked about what happened that day and how my son was found. I wanted all the details; they gave me only what I needed to know.
I sat there for an hour or so before I could start the calls. My family had to know. I couldn’t work my phone so asked the Officer to just call the number under “Bro.” I don’t know what words I said or how he understood. But soon my family was with me, I didn’t have to cry alone.
Since that day I have been running. Running from the pain. Not with my body but with my mind. Sometimes I feel my body is lame. My mind is the powerful one here always on the go. Even when I beg her to just go a little slow. I can’t go where she’s taking me and I just want to stay. Right here where I can still remember his voice so clear.
Running, running, running my mind goes through it all. Trying to take me farther from the day I took the fall. Some days I go with her and I look for joy and peace. Mostly though I struggle to understand who I am.
I am a Mother
I was the Mother of an addict
I have a son in heaven
I am a Mother who lost a child
These are some of the things people say I am and they are all true. But, when I see my face in the mirror I still ask, “who are you”?
In my mind I am still running. Running towards that wall. Afraid if I don’t get there soon I’ll take another fall.