After 9 years of trying to help, we evicted our son from our house. Three months before his 26th birthday, my husband and I decided that having him live at home was doing him more harm than good. Over the past nine years he has struggled with heroin and meth, been incarcerated a handful of times, been through several rehabs, we’ve helped him keep his credit clean until we stopped and let him start accumulating his own bills, we’ve bailed him out of jail until we made him do it, we’ve paid for attorneys for him, until we didn’t and he used public defenders, we drove him to jobs until he was let go for his actions or past actions on his record. Everything he has been given he’s gotten rid of, every time he gets money, it’s gone. He’s abused our house, our sleep, our sanity. And yet, here I am, up in the middle of the night crying over this again. A 72-hour hold, PERT teams, police. Having to keep our keys, wallets, possessions in a safe, to blocking off half of the house to keep family members safe. They saw the light way before us and called the police themselves a couple times when we said, ‘wait a minute’. You all know how the story goes on and on… Over the past year we set limits and gave him a choice to do something, anything, to be able to continue to stay at home. We had excellent health care for him, told him to go to rehab or at least go to the psychiatrist or psychologist. We went to a couple appointments with him and he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and told there was new medicine that was pretty good, though he refused. Another choice was to at least go to meetings or get a job, anything! But he would take NO steps. Day after day, week, month, nothing. His mental illness may be primary or as a result from the drug use. My husband and I went to the NAMI program and our son even came to one because he wanted to see what was being said. We finally gave him eviction papers with 60 days to leave. We offered to help him find a place to live or go to rehab. He refused everything. It breaks my heart because in a moment of clarity he wrote some months back in a journal I gave him, over nine pages of talking about his poor decisions and wishing to know more about the family, ending with he is beyond the point of return. I tried so hard to help him before and after that. I admit, I really was in his business too much and gave him little privacy because I was so worried for him. Our son has been gone for almost 4 months now. The first month he called about every three days from a store or a stranger’s phone, then nothing. Some days and nights are more peaceful though I think of him so many times a day and some nights are so hard, now that he’s gone. I wish he would call and tell me he’s OK but it’s a selfish disease. In the last NAMI meeting, a presenter played this... R. E. M. - Everybody Hurts (Live at Glastonbury 2003) HQ My heart goes out to all of you and your loved ones.