My son graduated high school in 2013, he didn’t seem much different from the rest of his brothers except that he was hooked on hockey. He wanted to eventually play for the NHL. He and his father had a strategy on how to proceed. He would live at a junior hockey camp and continue with that until picked up by a college for their hockey team. It was the end of his first year in 2014 that we were first faced with the THC addiction.
We had a horrible summer ahead of us. We went to the emergency room after a week or so , I thought he might die. The doctor did blood work and said he was saturated with THC. Told us there was nothing they or anyone else could do. Hospitals wouldn’t take patients like him as they were too much trouble. Our family doctor put him on an antipsychotic and checked his blood and urine every week for the rest of the summer. He got settled enough to take 2 jobs – not that he was ambitious – but we were forcing him.
Come the fall he and his father decided he could go back to Junior hockey. I was not at all wanting him to go but I really never expected that anyone would go through what he did and do it all over again. He would continue to go to his doctor once a month.
Same old same old nothing changed, he was a great hockey player even under the influence. 2015 is a blur for me. The fall of 2015 he changed teams and things got much worse, the coach didn’t trust him so he never got played, by January of 2016 he was traded to a team that really needed him. He was fabulous in the beginning then down the hill he went. In spite of himself he got picked up by a college team and a good one.
2016 and 2017 were the worst years of our entire families life. He was delusional and every other mental condition you can think of. He was very angry, but he was up against his mother’s unshakeable faith. My moto is NEVER NEVER NEVER give up.
I managed to get him to go to World Youth Day in Poland with me. He was violent but wanted to go, no drugs, which made for serious withdrawals. The absolute grace from God was that he would sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. He says to this day that it was a very good experience. It did not change the insanity, he was dabbing at this point and supposed to be ready for college at the end of August. I couldn’t get it out of my head that he couldn’t play college hockey, so we went ahead and set him up a at reputable college. At our first meeting the college master and psychologist told incoming freshman parents that the preferred the students smoke pot rather than drink. The pot smokers were much less likely to get in trouble for being loud or hospitalized for being sick.
He was still psychotic, lasted 3 weeks and asked to be picked up.
We went to a few more doctors and realized that if the THC didn’t stop his life was over. He went on some kind of medication, and we got him a good job with a man who knew how to handle him. He worked construction for almost a year and the mental fears and anger were back. I could never smell anything. He was always home by midnight or 1am.
Words from Jesus, they are legalizing the death of my children.”
He told me one night that a friend of his had a great mix of liquid THC and he was going for more. I tried to stop him, and it got very messy, my husband, my middle son and I drove to our vacation home 2hours away just to get away from him.
He ended up out of state on the highway out of gas. The police recognized his situation and took him to a hospital. His brother came up from Florida and took him back to Florida. His brother was very strict. Wouldn’t give him ten cents. He went to an AA meeting just one. He and his brother fought, and he sent Justin out on the streets of Miami, no money no home. I had people all over the country praying for him. We tried to get him into several rehabs, but he would not cooperate. He finally got some medication to calm him enough to get himself a job. After a few months my son got transferred to San Francisco and couldn’t take his brother. We got him back. He got a job in a restaurant and continued on the medication. His brother set him up with a good job in San Francisco so off he went. Made lots of money, after a few moths he went to a pot festival and his mind was gone again. Brother beat him up and sent him on a plane to us only he stopped midway and decided he was no longer Paul but Jerome his middle name. When he didn’t arrive on his flight, I had to tell the airport that he was mentally ill and could they look for him. I sent a picture.
They found him and hospitalized him. We could not find him as he was in a complex of hospitals that had 6 emergency rooms. We sat in one of the lobbies and kept asking people where he might be as the EMT’s assured us that he was in the ambulance #14 and sent to the ER. Finally, a woman asked for his middle name and so it was he was there in another part of the hospital tied to a bed. They wouldn’t let us see him as he was so angry, finally they gave him a shot of something to put him out for a good long time. He was transferred to another hospital. We didn’t see him for at least a week. More craziness, he fooled the councilors at the hospital into thinking he had been diagnosed with mental conditions and would go home and be good as long as he kept up his shots of Abilify. That drug was the first good thing that happened. It wasn’t good enough for us to take him home so much to his surprise and there’s we told the hospital they could drop him at a homeless shelter. He went from there to the airport and then to LA, to become an actor.
After about a week he came home, so full of anger I threw him out with only his clothes. It goes on and on. He was living with a man who had already spent time in jail and could warn him about why he needed to go straight. He got a job and has been digging out ever since. We had moved to a different part of the country. This also helped as his friends were not able to take him in. He did not give up the pot right away. His cousin came for a visit and took him to hospitals and finally found a clinic he agreed to be supervised by. Back on shots of Abilify. He came home but it was still to difficult. Between his cousin, the Abilify, his friend who turned out like a brother he is normal and has been for over a year. He has a very nice girlfriend, no drinking no drugs not even Abilify. He is preparing to run a Marathon this fall. Somewhere in all of this he read Alex Berenson’s book, “Tell your children about Marijuana and mental illness,” and when he put it down, he said, “I was only surprised by the murders.”
Nothing surprises me anymore; he has a good life but who knows.
May God Bless all of you who read this, my husband and I pray the Rosary every morning, my husband has a special prayer to the Sacred heart of Jesus for him.
Many more things of a bizarre nature went on, but it would take a book, I am not ready for that.
One Reply to “Betsy — July 23, 2021”
Wow that is not an uncommon story and recovery is forever. I prayed the Memorare everyday for my brothers. Three of them have been clean and sober for a total of 80 years.
Alex Berenson is doing a lot of good after he believed marijuana was harmless and then did the research!!!