13 Comments

This was amazing--I think the insight about nothingness unlocks so much. Civilians have a hard time understanding our behavior and maybe it’s because we addicts and alcoholics have been fighting that feeling secretly our whole lives. The way you put it into words is so, so moving. Thank you.

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I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I'll be honest, the more I've thought about what Christopher revealed, the more it feels like a hidden burden that I've certainly never understood. I hope it is able to reach the right person and help them express it and face it with someone who can best guide them toward a different place.

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The other gift is that Christopher was able to articulate it in a really insightful way. And you wrote about it beautifully.

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Jul 16, 2022Liked by Matthew Moran

Thank you for sharing. I’m an addict and it’s also profound and moving for me to hear the perspective of the parents of addicts.

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Hi Jamee. Thank you for commenting.

I am thankful that Chris shared with me - often more than I would like to hear. But it helps me understand a little about his experience on the streets. I hope it has made me more aware of others who have or do struggle. I think a shared perspective provides a small chance a meaningful and helpful change for the individual and perhaps, for policy.

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This was touching. We don’t get to hear about the experiences of “those on the other side of the coin” as often as we should. These are the stories that bridge the gap between pre-conceived notions of addiction and the reality of it. So thank you for sharing!

And of course, thanks to Christopher for being so open and honest with his experience. That’s an incredibly hard thing to do for anyone.

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Hi Matt. Per one of my prior post, Addict Son | Addict Family, addiction is a family/community affair. I am fortunate in that my children and I are close. Even when he was on the streets, we tried to visit Christopher. My oldest son was instrumental in helping me stop trying to fix or correct Christopher. Rather, continue to show him that he had a family that loved him.

We've always been pretty open with each other - not an easy thing to know even a fraction of what he experienced on the street. And while I try NOT to burden him with my fear or anxiety, we do have those conversations as well. I try to balance it with letting Chris know that his recovery is his focus. I will, as much as he allows me, be a resource and, when necessary, a sounding board.

Thank you for taking the time to read and to comment. It is appreciated.

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Jul 15, 2022Liked by Matthew Moran

Such good news! Be well.

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Jul 15, 2022Liked by Matthew Moran

Matthew, for the relatively short time we have known each other and the few conversations we have shared, this is your most profound post. Your transparency and trust is so strikingly honest and authentic. I am particularly moved emotionally and spiritually. Keep counting. It is less about counting days of sobriety, and it is more about counting your son as worthy, as a human being to be noted and respected. You are a good Dad.

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Roderick. I am always honored that you take the time to read what I write. Even more so, you've always provided a special insight and encouragement. You see past the veil that many pull up and compassionately help them lower it safely.

Thank you.

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Sorry this is so long:

A few things:

1) You said that he was due for another round of back surgery.

This made me stand up and take notice.

What sort of back surgery. I have spinal stenosis and disc herniations, and these are often "remedied": with laminectomies and anciliary procedures. These surgeries are very often hit or miss. Sometimes they do a great job: I have known people who were DRAMATICALLY hurt by them,.

Of course, Chris may be due for an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BACK SURGERY, one which is not necessarily fraught with such dire risks. If you want my input, tell me what sort of back surgery has been proposed and what illness or malady the surgery will allegedly help.

2) Tell Chris that I would be happy to speak to him and am available. I don't want to sound like a self-important snob, but I know a few things about emotional agony, and I know it from several vantage points: A) As someone who represented mentally ill people in Court, B) As someone who had many c;lose friends who suffered from various emotional deviations, C) as someone who has been in the mental health mill as a patient, and D) as a serious student of psychodiagnostics and psychiatry.

I think I have really had more insight than various psychiatrists. I had a friend, a guy whose verbal SAT was 780 and whose math SAT was 770. He went to Columbia University in NYC , dropped out and ended up in miserable, filthy, crime-ridden homeless shelters. I spoke to his psychiatrist at Belleview. She said, "he's just a schizophrenic and nothing can be done for him."

In any event, he allegedly was psychotic because of delusional thought. But I had remembered reading one psych researcher who said that psychotics often have a double entry system in their minds, i.e., one part of them spouts the delusion, but a saner part of themselves knows that their delusion is BS.

I spent a of time with Scott, I took him out to dinner and had long talks with him and I GOT HIM TO ADMIT THAT HE DIDN'T REALLY BELIEVE IN HIS DELUSION AND ONLY PROFESSED TO BELIEVE IN IT TO GET ATTENTION (HE ALSO FELT ALONE, AS DID OR DOES CHRIS). So I, in a sense, CURED HIM OF HIS DELUSION. WHY ? I spent hours with him. The shrink at Bellevue was a gum-snapping bitch who considered him a drippy intellectual faggot and couldn't care less.

Scott was the sweetest guy. I think we were a bit in love with each other. However, he needed so much help and I didn't have the energy to give it. He wanted to move in with me, but I feared that while I was at work, at my old law firm, he would sell household appliances to get CRACK.

He then entered a ruinous, cruel mental health facility known as "The Bridge," which took patients' SSI benefits and herded them into a tenement in Spanish Harlem. Shortly thereafter he fell off of the roof of the six story tenement and HIS NECK WAS IMPALED ON AN IRON FENCE ON THE GROUND.

I got a call from his Father at my law firm. While his Father was utterly distraught, his Mother was quite complacent about the whole things. She said, "Well, there was nothing anyone could do. He was "sedrate." (Yiddish for crazy)

WHICH REMINDS ME: DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS FROM THAT OLD LOU REED SONG, "THERE'S ALWAYS AN EVIL MOTHER."

3) You related that Chris said that doctors may talk to him not because they care but because it is their job. I don't think this comment is necessarily false, and it is certainly not indicative of paranoia or disordered thought processes.

In fact, very often members of the "healing professions" are adept and well-mannered liars.

THJIS IS MY DISPOSTIVE PROOF:

I represented a client in an eviction action. The landlord had alleged that my client turned the home into a disgusting dump, attracting rodents, etc.

I thought I should talk to his shrink to persuade him to clean his apartment.

HIS SHRINK SAID: "Is he really getting evicted. Of course, I don't listen to him that much because he is such a nut. "

I stopped the eviction action.

Best of luck to you and to Chris

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You are correct David... pretty long comment. ;-)

That's okay - you're allowed. Verbosity is a gift we both seem to possess.

I write you privately as well. Suffice to say, I have no interest in serving as Christopher's therapist. We talk about this quite a bit.

As far as his back surgery. This dates back to 2020 - an infection that spread into his spine and destroyed a vertebrae and a couple disc. He had to have a titanium cage and a fusion. Long story made short, due to him relapsing and being on the street prior to his back fully healing, the screws near the top of his fusion have pulled loose. They are currently stable but need to be re-fitted.

It is both necessary and desirable.

Talk to you soon.

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I didn't think you had any interest in being his therapist. I just feared that you could insidiously be drawn into such a role. After all, you want to help. Rendering therapy is a form of help, and parents, I think, very often assume a quasi therapeutic posture without having any intention of doing so.

From what you have said about his back, the surgery seems unavoidable. I am sorry. I wish him luck

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