Almost two months into Lock Down and it’s definitely feeling like my new normal. In the same way as many people, my life revolves around home, walking, the odd shopping trip and now, happily, seeing friends and family in a limited way. I also feel lucky that we’ve got amazing key workers who are selflessly keeping our country going while the rest of us have the luxury of sitting it out.

Things have taken a difficult turn though as my addicted son Ryan was sent back to prison a couple of weeks ago for various counts of shoplifting and assault. He’ll serve 10 weeks and get out around my birthday (second time that’s happened). He phoned me from the police station to say he’d been before a virtual court and he was being sent down that day. He could only call me because the police have got my phone number on their system. Even though he says he’s not bothered about it, I felt upset and tearful because it’s not what I want for him. My husband and other son are pragmatic, commenting that at least he’s got a comfortable bed and regular meals. They’re right but they’re not me.

Writing this:

I feel disappointed – he got the thing he’d wanted for ages, a boat, but that hasn’t changed his lifestyle one bit. Another wasted opportunity.

I feel worried – coronavirus is spreading through prisons and I’m not sure that his drug-abused body would cope with getting it. Would I even find out if he got it? Maybe not.

I feel concerned – he might lose his boat, then he’ll be homeless again. Back to square one with something that keeps me awake at night.

Mostly, I feel really, really sad – Ryan’s gone backwards again which puts more space between us. There was a little chink of light when he moved onto the boat but that’s been snuffed out again.

Two weeks ago, I said I’d phone him on his release date but I’m now wondering if I should break that promise. Despite all the boundaries I’ve put in place – he doesn’t know where I live, he hasn’t got my phone number, I’ve blocked him on social media sites – I’ve always kept in contact. I’ve tried to be there for him as much as my own mental health will allow. But perhaps now is the time to take what I see as the most drastic step. Cut all contact to see if that would make him think about the consequences of his lifestyle. It’d be very hard, I don’t know if I’ve got it in me, I don’t know if it’d make things worse but it might be a wake-up call. I’m in a dilemma and any advice would be most welcome.