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The Past Informing the Future

Keven, Anthony, "Kelly"

For many years I had a blog called "The Needle and the Damage Done" (yes, I stole that title from Neil Young's song).

I chronicled what it was like for Keven, Anthony and me during their years of using heroin.

I randomly went through it today and am sharing a few things I wrote over the years. Its a good thing we don't know what the future holds because I would have been devastated long before losing my boys.


I haven't seen Anthony since November because he was using, went back to jail, etc.  But he's in rehab now and asked me to bring him a few things (socks, boxers, etc. - he lost all his stuff somewhere). Keven went with me. When we were driving home he said something like this:

"I'll never say I will never relapse, BUT...I really think I'm done.  I think all the times over the last few years that I got clean, I was never done.  I always got caught after a short time of using and never got to just use as long as I wanted.  But last time, I did get to use as long as I wanted and be on my own and I got it out of my system.  Things went bad so fast for me but I kept going.  Then when I ended up in the hospital with my organs all fucked up, that scared me and I decided it would be a good time to just stop".

I thought this was interesting because it does seem like he's "done".  I can only hope, wait and watch.


Just got back from the hospital.  Anthony is in there with renal failure and liver failure, in an induced coma, with a breathing tube down his throat.  This is the THIRD TIME I've seen him like this.

I think he is an addict that will keep using till he dies.  He will never know what "normal" is.  He will never be sober long enough to figure out that he actually can stop using.

For the last 8 months he's been in jail.  He got out two weeks ago and was supposed to come see me within two days of his release.  He never did.  We all know what that means.

And for some reason, like Keven last time, he was using meth instead of heroin.  That stuff will make you psychotic - which is why his friends brought him in, he was out of his mind and uncontrollable.

Anthony is such an amazingly talented person with a great personality, good looks, intelligence ---- it just kills me to see this pattern over and over.  What does it take for someone like him to stop?

Keven went with me to visit him.  Of course Ant didn't know we were there.  They aren't close like they used to be, Keven knows he can't be near him.

Shit.  I just don't want him to die.  I don't know what the answer is.


Keven  almost died.  A passerby saw him passed out and blue in the car and called 911.  It took them 3 minutes to resuscitate.  I'm on my way to the hospital.


Looking forward to Bruce kept my mind preoccupied for the last week or so.  Now that it's over, sadness has settled into my heart.  My son is different.  He's not the person I thought he'd be when the drugs wore off and his real personality emerged.  I don't know if it's just jail doing this to him, but it seems deeper.

He's distant.  He seems dead inside.  He doesn't smile.

Is this the real Keven?  I hope not, I really do.  I feel this ache in my heart - like I've lost him even though he's still here.

The drugs have been out of his system for almost 3 months.  I was hoping the old Keven would re-emerge, but who IS the old Keven?  He's been using drugs since he was 15, and an addict since he was 17.  All of his behavior over the last four years I've blamed on drugs or the wrong meds etc.  But is this the real him?

I know he's in jail and that can harden you, I just hope when he gets out, he becomes a bit less aloof and distant.  He's not going to live with me, or his sponsor, he's chosen to move into a sober living affiliated with the ranch.  I am thrilled by that because I don't want him around.

This is not how it's supposed to be.  Parents are supposed to be proud of their children and look forward to spending time with least that's what I thought it would be like when he got to this age.

Seeing him today hurt.  I feel like I'm in mourning over who he could have been if he hadn't taken the detour into drugs (and who knows if he's done yet or not).


Keven had a lot of paranoia today (he kept thinking the cops were going to show up and take him back to jail, etc.)

He couldn't eat, watch TV or relax.  I brought him his favorite smoothie and he did drink it. THEN, "Kelly" called and wanted to hang out.   You may remember her from posts in the past since she was once Anthony's girlfriend.

But she and Keven were friends before either of them knew Anthony and she really is like a sister to him.  She LOVES our entire family - right down to the smallest of our pets.  We love her. She has a nice bf now and the three of them are in his room across the hall watching a DVD.

Keven told me he feels so happy when he's around her.  It's kind of hard not to be, she's a very outgoing (hyper?) and fun person.  Very down to earth.  She and Keven look alike too,  people usually assume they are siblings.

He ate when she got here.

I am thankful for her.  He's being so sweet, so loving.  Yet I sense how vulnerable he is, right under the surface he's a wreck.  I hope he gets stronger each day.  I see an innocence in my son that is touching.  He sees the good in people, he is so generous and goes out of his way to help friends or strangers.  He's funny too and has the cutest laugh I've ever heard.  His addict life didn't steal all of him.

(“Kelly died 6 months after Keven)

P.S.  A community of other parents started from my blog and others. Some of the people I met through that community are still in my life and I cherish them (Bob, Annette, Tori, Joy, Lacey, Lori, and the list goes on...)


Our blog community was the only thing that kept me sane and able to keep moving forward.


Wow! Bar - I never knew. My heart beaks for you and all you lost.


You’ve been through so much. None of it easy for sure. I grew up in a family of addicts, which I feel kind of kept me from becoming one in some ways. Not that I didn’t experiment (courtesy of the addicts in my family), just that I didn’t like the look or feel of it after watching it for so long. I hope going forward that things for you become at least less stressful. Continue your writing, you’ve been doing such a great job with it. I know you are probably still affected by the death of your sister most recently, but don’t give up the writing. You help so many people with too. We love you. ❤️


Those were such dark times. Mine too started at 15 and by 17 it was hard drugs. But we know our boys had a similar path. Maybe he started even younger smoking weed and taking pills. And the feeling of not even knowing who are kids are without drugs - I remember thinking the same thing. I do believe all the times they say they are done or hope they are done they mean it. Love you Barb.

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