Avery called and said they got tickets back to Minneapolis and gave me the flight plans. I was so excited!!!! I called the police to let them know Brett* (not his real name) would be traveling to MN, where there was a warrant for his arrest. I gave them the flight information so they could intercept him at the gate when he landed. I called Avery's Dad and his wife so they could be at my house when I brought Avery back from the airport. I drove up in my minivan, and there was Avery standing at the curb with... Brett*. I was so scared and confused and angry - why was he still there? I found out later that Minneapolis Police and Airport Police don't talk to each other, inconveniently so. I got out to give Avery a big hug and they both said that they wanted to go to a hotel first and spend the night, just to ease into MN again. I was done with accommodating and told Av to get in the car, but she wouldn't get in without Brett*. I pondered having a huge fit and getting police involved, but I was so exhausted. I just wanted Avery at home. I said that Brett* could only get in the car if I dropped him off at jail. Eventually, I got them both in the car, but was worried about what was going to happen next. Brett* called his mom and she said she would drop him off at jail, so I dropped him off at his mom's house and took Avery home.
At this point, some of you might be thinking, "I would have handled things completely differently". And, you might be right. Here's the thing about life: you really don't know what you would or wouldn't do unless you walk a mile in someone else's shoes.
If you know someone who is reeling from the effects of loving someone who has a Substance Use Disorder, here are some things that are helpful:
- Bring over a dinner
- Put a pot of flowers on their front steps
- Come and sit next to them. Put your arm around them and don't say anything
- Call them. If they don't answer, leave a message saying you're are thinking of them. If they answer, ask them if they want to go for a walk or a coffee and tell them you will just listen. And then, just listen.
- Assure them you are a safe person to talk to and that you won't repeat anything that they have shared with you. And, be that safe person and carry their gifts of words alone.
- Do not under any circumstances judge. It is only by the grace of God that you are not that person.
- Most of all, hold their hope for them. Let them know you love them and that you are hopeful even when they are too distressed. Hope and love does wonders for everyone.