So tonight I was on the phone with my sister when my cell phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize, but since it was a Macon number I asked my sister to hold on and I answered.
It was Mac.
My friend who just three weeks ago told me he was done with his recovery and that he’d rather drink. And that I could forget him and he’d do the same.
My brother. The man whom my family loved as one of us. The man who shut the door, and I didn’t know where he was or how he was.
He is in a rehabilitation/detox program. Again. He’s been there since Monday. Before that he was staying by the river. They tell him they’re going to put him in a halfway house in town soon. He didn’t want to talk too much or answer any questions as he was in a public room and wasn’t being allowed to talk very long.
Okay. I just sat back and listened.
Visiting hours are Saturday. From three to four. He wanted to see if I wanted to come.
The same time that is already spoken for. Something else entirely but it’s something that I have to do; others are involved, and I can’t change the time. I don’t know if I would have been able to go see Mac had I not already had this obligation, but I like to think I would have. Could have.
I just don’t know.
He said he understood. That he’d call me when he knew more about the wheres and whens of them moving him. And he gave me his ID number so I can get information about his case.
I am thankful he’s getting help. I am extremely grateful he is off the streets and not drinking. The thing is I didn’t roll my eyes as he said, “I just can’t live out there anymore. I can’t make it. It’s not for me.” But I did listen unemotionally. There was no joy or “yay, way to go” in my mind or my heart. I’ve already heard these EXACT. SAME. WORDS. Last November to be exact. I’m just not sure I’m ready to get back on this roller coaster.
I’ve told my children, especially my teenager, that there’s no story you can’t bring home with you. No matter what, you can tell me. I will always love you. ALWAYS. There may be consequences and repercussions, but I will love you.
And Mac? He’s family too now. So does that apply to him? Can I listen to his stories and support him? I told him I would always love him, and I will. But can I do it at close range again? Can I watch him walk this path again? Can I support him as he does? Cheer him on? Can I put my heart out there? Again?
I wish I could say without question, Yes! I wish I could say I will. As many times as it takes. Yes. But I’ve seen the damage and destruction that comes from addiction–on more than one occasion–and I just don’t know. I’m tired and I’m scared for him, and I just do not know.
But I do love him and I always will, and for tonight, that will have to be enough.