My son was harmed by marijuana and he suffered psychosis and has not held down a job since. It started around age 14 and he is now 24. He has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety & bipolar and bipolar schizo-affective disorder (depending on the psychiatrist).
He is medicated and like a zombie. He lives at home with us and just gets up and eats, wanders around, and then sleeps and keeps odd hours. He is not getting into any trouble or anything like that, so I guess that is a positive, but I miss him. It’s been 10 years of this now.
He is on anti-depressants and mood stabilizer and quit pot for about 8 months and then started up again. He doesn’t smoke as much and as often as he smoked it before but it still worries me very much. He goes to counseling for a brief period and then quits. He just stays at home all day and rarely leaves the home. His psychosis was about 18 months ago and the scariest time of my life as there is no one out there to help you. The police do a “wellness check” and only ask him if he can tell them his SSN and birthdate and determine he is ok and leave.
No treatment center will take him unless he agrees to go and no ER will help him unless he attempted suicide and is bleeding. One time he jumped out of a car and went to the ER for that and then they released him as he said he was ok and did not need to be admitted. He got put in jail for a DUI (for pot) and I had him sit in jail for 2 days while he would call me hysterically and beg me to come get him out. They put him in a straightjacket in a room by himself.
I almost filed a restraining order to protect me and the rest of the family. My son saw the order and that I had almost served him with it and he was very upset with us all but I think this “woke him up” that things were bad and had to change. I was with him through the court system with his DUI. I helped him with all of the hurdles once you enter the penal system of losing your license and all. I think this is when my son knew I had his back and he could trust me.
He had a psychotic break during this time after two of his friends committed suicide and he was smoking pot all day long and all night long and that is what triggered all of this behavior. He thought he was a gifted musician at this time and posted videos on YouTube all the time of him playing the piano with spoons. We all thought he had lost his mind and we were so scared. He had so much anger and rage and was so delusional. He started preaching to homeless people and thought he was “Solomon” from the Bible. This was a kid who was always exceptionally bright and witty and very athletic – things came easy for him.
I was a single mom since the time my son was 8 years old. I think my son needed a dad during this time and he wasn’t there for him. My son was searching for some friends to fit in and he fell into the “pot crowd”. Life spiraled downward and he has had jobs and lost them and now we are here and the hope and glimmer in his eyes is gone.
My other children have felt cheated at times because my boy has required so much of my attention over the years but there is only so much of you to go around. I tell them I love them equally and would fight to the very end for each of them. One of my teens still feels anger about it and that I never paid enough attention and has panic attacks and now I hear this child started smoking pot and the nightmare continues.
I get so upset with the system. Recently a mentally ill person committed a crime here and the mother and brother had reached out so much for help to subdue him, but no one would help until he acted out and now, he has criminal charges. I hate this how they do not listen to the parents and those that love these kids and allow us to protect them before they are in a state, they can’t protect themselves.
We have all been there or are there now. I am happy Moms Strong is still fighting the pot industry and I am with you.
We have to educate people so they know that the choice to smoke pot may be a “life sentence” for themselves and their family so think carefully about that choice and arm yourself with all the information you can get because your body is a temple and you must protect your soul above all things that can harm it.
I wrote this poem recently to get out some of my emotions.
A Mother’s Prayer
A shell of what you once were
I can’t see you anymore
The boy who used to make me laugh
Has left and shut the door.
I don’t know how to reach you
To guide you through this pain
The boy who used to warm my heart
Stopped reaching out in vain
We share this space together
Interact as if all is just ok
But the boy who used to love me
Is not the man I see today.
The air is always heavy
And the mood is rarely light
The boy I used to love so much
Has left me in the night
I hope one day to waken
And to find you back once more
The boy that had a spirit
Please come knocking at my door
I ask for God to guide me
And give me patience for this day
That the boy who used to love life
Will find you God I pray
I don’t know when it happened
When your spirit slipped away
But the boy that used to call me mom
Simply passes through the day
I sometimes catch a twinkle
Or a glimpse within his eyes
From the boy trapped in the darkness
Saying “help me mom” and sighs
So I go through the motions
And function as I must
For the boy that I once knew
Will come back to me I trust
A mother is only as happy
As her most troubled child
So her son so full of agony
Slowly kills her deep inside
For when you become a parent
And give your heart and soul away
To the boy that used to fill my heart
Come back to me I pray.
Patrice is a mom from Montana. She wrote this poem on 3/28/20.