My Truth: My son is an addict

Hi.

Let me preface this post, by telling you that the things I’m about to say are in NO WAY a marketing ploy, or a plea for attention.  I’ve thought a long time about when to share this, IF EVER, and I’ve come to the decision that I want to try to use my situation for good, if I possibly can. This is not a secret I want to keep anymore.  I’m going to step into the light, and you’re going to see my scars.

Several years ago, I wrote my break-out book, IF YOU STAY.  It’s the story of a broken man, plagued with drug use and issues.  Pax Tate’s story had a happy ending, and many of you fell in love with him.  Many of you asked me who he was based upon… and I have never felt like I should share.

Until now.

Loving someone with an addiction is a heavy burden to carry.  At times, you feel alone, as though no one else could possibly understand.   And most of the time, no one can, unless they’ve walked this particular path themselves.

My twenty-one year old son, my first-born,  Gunner, was a cheerful little boy, his smile like sunshine, his charm enough to talk himself in and out of mostly everything.  He was bright, he was bursting with potential, and he was beautiful.  He was rambunctious, he was all boy, playing with lizards and turtles and snakes from the yard.  His favorite show was The Land Before Time, and he  wanted to be a zoologist when he grew up.

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Then, as a teenager, he changed.   He became a shell of his former self, his mood mercurial.   He lied to himself, and to us, told us that nothing was wrong, that his disinterest in school was because he was bored.   That was a lie.

The truth came out soon enough.

He started out huffing aerosol cans in secret, and that branched out to other things, like methamphetamine and heroin, and pretty much anything he could get his hands on.  The Addiction hooked into him with sharp talons.  I address it in capital letters, like it is a thing, because it is.  Addiction is a palpable monster.  It grabbed my son, and it wouldn’t let go, and he didn’t want to let it.

It dragged him down, and we all went with him.

Loving someone with an addiction is like being on a terrible roller coaster than you can never get off of.  He calls me in the middle of the night, he calls me crying, he calls me saying he wants to die.

Then the next day, once the drug wears off, he calls and acts fine.  He’ll insist he doesn’t have a problem, and that he doesn’t need help.  Then the cycle begins again the day after.

He rages.  He cries.  He soars, he crashes.

People on the outside looking in think that I should be able to fix it. That if I FORCE him into getting help, he’ll beat the addiction.

That’s not the way it works.  I’ve put him in rehab multiple times.  It didn’t take.  Because he wasn’t ready.  He’s not a minor anymore- he’s over eighteen.  So I can’t MAKE him do anything, not even when he’s killing himself with this dangerous cycle.

This has been on ongoing struggle for several years now.  We try to make him get help, he resists at every turn.  The addiction makes him someone he’s not, someone who says hateful awful things, someone who tries to hurt those who love him.

It’s exhausting.

A while back, at two a.m, he called me.  I could tell he’d been high, that he’d crashed.  He was very, very low.   His speech was jumbled, incoherent.  Eventually, he said, “Mom, what time is it?”

I pulled the phone away from my ear to look at it.

“Two-thirty,” I told him.

He didn’t answer.

“Gunner?”

He didn’t answer.

“Gunner?!”

Still no answer.    I could hear some sort of ragged, gurgly sound in the background, and I knew it was coming from his throat. I hung up, and tried to call him back.

No answer.

So I did the only thing I could do.  I called for an ambulance.  I didn’t know if he was dying, I only knew, in my mother’s heart, that time was of the essence.  I waited by my phone, barely breathing myself, until I heard back.

He had overdosed, and the police had found drugs in his house.  He was lucky though. He lived.

He was treated, and arrested, and he was put into jail. He was eventually released, and placed on a list for rehab.  Finally, after several weeks, he’s now in rehab. Again.  All we can do is hope that this time it takes.  That this is the time he’ll want to get better and we can all get off this roller-coaster ride from hell.  He tells me he wants to get better, but he’s in for the fight of his life.  He wakes up in the night, in cold sweats and craving needles.  The cravings are stronger than he is, he thinks.  But I don’t think so.  I think if he concentrates, he is strong enough.  

Gunner is now twenty-one.  He’s got a sweet fiancee, and a beautiful infant son.  He’s got a lot to live for, if only he’s strong enough to see that.

gunner-with-damon

This is my baby boy now.  Do you see the dark look in his eyes?  The lines on his face?  The hardened expression?  The skinny arms and bony shoulders?  That’s what drugs do.  They take and take and take, until there’s nothing left.

This can’t be the end of my son’s story.  He’s got so much left to give.

If you are a praying person, would you mind saying a prayer for him?  Because I believe that the more people who whisper the same prayer, the louder the words are to God’s ear.  And Gunner needs God’s help to beat this.

I am a normal person.  My family is normal.  We live normal lives, and this has happened to us.  Once upon a time, I thought that drug addiction was something that happened to OTHER people.  People who weren’t like me.

That was not true.

Drug addiction can happen to ANYONE.

You can teach your kids right from wrong, and bad things can still happen.  Hug your kids tight.  They will make their own choices, and you can’t control that.

As an author, that’s a tough pill to swallow, because I’m accustomed to creating worlds.  I control what happens in those worlds, and I control the choices my characters make. I control everything with keystrokes from my keyboard, or a red pen on a white page.

Real life isn’t like that.  My son is killing himself, and I can’t do a thing to stop it.  So, to deal with it, I do what I do best.

I write.

I’m writing another book based on Pax Tate.  I first created his character because of my son Gunner.  And because real life has shown me that stories evolve,  I feel as though Pax’s story has to continue, to show that sometimes, happy endings must be worked for, with blood and tears.  But if you work hard enough, and pray and hope and HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE, a happy ending can be had.  I have to believe that.

Writing is my therapy.  I write to live.  I’m going to write more of Gunner’s struggles through Pax, and I’m going to give Pax the ending that I want Gunner to have.

If God is willing, it will be so.

Dare Me is Live! (a Nocte Hotshot novella featuring Dare DuBray)

Dare Me

 

Did you love Dare DuBray from the Nocte Trilogy?   Did you love love love the story, but you wished there was some more steamy scenes?

Well, guess what?

Dare is back in Dare Me, a novella featuring he and Calla… and some steaminess to be had.  🙂

I hope you like it.  No, I hope you love it.  🙂

It’s available exclusively on Amazon, and even better, if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read it for free.  If not, no worries- Dare Me is only $.99 pennies.  (And even if you don’t usually use Amazon for books, you can download the Kindle for PC, iPad or your phone for FREE to read!)

The hotshot novellas are the perfect length for a lunch hour or bedtime.

You can buy on Amazon here.   

***

They say she’s crazy.

She’s not.

They don’t know the truth.

She does.  The problem is, she doesn’t always remember it.

But I do.

My name is Dare DuBray.

I’m in love with a girl who is is erratic and beautiful, and a little bit mad.

But that’s ok.

We’re all a little mad, aren’t we?

Love couple

Day 2 of IYS Two Year Anniversary Shennanigans!

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Happy Day two of the Two Year Anniversary of IF YOU STAY!

Woohooooo!

Today, we’re having a graphic meme contest, which I have to tell you, is usually my favorite of all contests.  I love seeing the artsy things that everyone comes up with!

For today, create a graphic meme using one of these quotes:

  • “She’s a breath of fresh air.  I may be the big bad wolf, but even wolves need to breathe.”
  • “You’ve seen me at my worst.  Maybe you should see me at my best.” “And when are you at your best?” “In bed.”
  • “I need him to breathe.”

You can share the meme on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but make sure to tag it with #LoveNeverFails so that we can find it when we’re choosing winners.  We’ll choose Three winners next Friday, so this contest will last for a week.  🙂

Good luck!  I can’t wait to see your #LoveNeverFails memes!  🙂

NOCTE is on sale for $.99!!

Hey guys,

Just thought I’d tell you… NOCTE (book one in the Nocte Trilogy) is on sale for the first time!  It’s only 99 pennies!

If you’re in the mood to have your mind bent, download it now!

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My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole.
My other half– my twin brother, my Finn– is crazy.

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.
He has the power to destroy me.

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.

Why? Because of a secret.

A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.

You won’t either.

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Also, don’t forget… VERUM, book two in the Trilogy, is coming on February 2!!  Are you scared?  I am.  🙂

Merry Christmas from Courtney Cole

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I’ve been seeing so many sad posts on social media lately, for some reason.  There are a lot of folks out there who are going through hard times, who have lost their jobs, or a family member, or who life is just knocking around a little bit.

It made me reflective as I sat down this morning to write my husband our annual “Christmas Letter.”

Our Christmas letter is a tradition.  It stems from years ago, back to the first few years we were married.  We simply didn’t have the money to buy each other gifts.  We were just starting out and trying to build a life and money was so tight.   But we had paper and pens, and so in lieu of gifts, we wrote each other a letter… telling each other what we loved about each other, what we were looking forward to, etc.   Christmas felt bleak back then, because we didn’t have anything to open on Christmas morning, but we had each other.  And that always kept us going.

These days,  things have changed.  I’ve worked hard to achieve my dreams, and so far, it’s working out for me.  We DO have gifts on Christmas morning, but more importantly, we still have each other. And an amazing family.   We’ve built a life that we love, and that is more important than any gift under a tree could ever be.

So, I just wanted you to know.  If you are having a hard time right now… it will pass.  Keep working toward your dreams….keep building your life, keep reaching for the things you want the most.   Because trust me, one of these days, you’ll grab that dream.  You’ll have it in your hand, and all of the sacrifices along the way will have been worth it.

I leave you with this.   We opened up an early Christmas gift here at Casa Cole, and my daughter chose to open up her brother’s gift to her.  It was a bracelet that he tooled from leather himself– a handmade gift.   The result?   A Christmas miracle.   A sibling hug.  🙂

T and Elle Christmas

No matter what your religious affiliation is… I hope this season is beautiful for you.  I hope you are able to reflect on the people who matter…. on the things that make you happy.

I hope you have a beautiful Christmas, and that 2015 brings you amazing things!

XOXO,

Courtney