122) In the Tunnel

Our son Stevie had slashed his wrists badly but didn’t lose enough blood to put his life in jeopardy.

Nadine and I had rushed him to the ER at Poudre Valley Hospital, where they stitched him up and stabilized his condition before releasing him three days later to Mountain Crest Behavioral Healthcare Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Psychologically, Stevie didn’t express any desire to make another attempt on his own life but we were all concerned that the conditions that led Stevie to make the decision to injury himself had not substantially changed.

That is, he had lost all hope that his life would ever be normal.

On the topic of  hope, I considered myself somewhat of an expert – savant even.

Our immediate concern was his withdrawal from opiates. For this, after a few days, he was prescribed suboxone. This is a narcotic that is used to control chronic pain and sometimes head off opiate dependencies such as dilaudid and oxycodone, each of which Stevie had been abusing for quite a while.

The intensive behavioral and physical treatment Stevie was receiving while at Mountain Crest was only short-term. Any longer term programs were both difficult to  find and, due to limited funding in Larimer County, necessarily self-funded, so really expensive. This became another issue for Nadine and I as attempted to bring  a team together to support his rehabilitation, if Stevie’s condition would hold together long enough for a plan to be put in place.

Still only a few days away from his attempt of suicide, this was anything but certain.

After discovering we were not able to afford the most prominent local substance abuse treatment programs, Nadine, Jenna and I decided to subsidize an apartment for Stevie and initiate regular visits for him to The Larimer Center for Mental Health. In addition he would see a psychiatrist with experience in cognitive therapy and later, a life coach – if our plan proceeded as we intended.

If someone you know – this  is especially true if its your son or daughter – has tried to commit suicide, you don’t consider statistics. In hindsight, I can fit Stevie’s cry for help in the larger context of drug addiction and the hopelessness that sometimes accompanies chronic pancreatitis.

In 2009, according to suicidology.org, 922,275 attempts were recorded.

Here are some others statistics: http://www.suicidology.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=248&name=DLFE-540.pdf

Stevie’s bad health and drug addiction drained him of hope. And nothing Nadine or I could say to him seemed to help.

In the next post I will share with you a critical mistake I was making during the years of Stevie’s drug addiction, why I thought I was helping him, and why I kept repeating it.

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