He wants to try again...


Active Member
So my son texts me that he is going to stop cold turkey tomorrow.. Yes, we are going out to help him with his move and were going to break ties. So now he says he will stay with us in our hotel room in case he goes into seizures from stopping cold turkey.. Says he needs someone to back him up on this because he is sick??
Seriously, he is moving to a new apartment place that has a bar in the basement... I want to ask him how he plans on staying sober.
The apartment is on the same street as all of the famous bars....

I don't know what to say or do about this situation. We wanted him to do sober living and stay in the IOP but he refused. Now a week and half later we are back to wanting to stop. He keeps going in circles.
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Well-Known Member
I dont think he means he wants to quit. Words mean NOTHING. He had the chance to quit just last week. He clearly doesnt want to but he is trying to maybe gain your favor by throwing this out there for brownie points, even though I dont feel he means a word of it.

I feel he is playing with you, probably getting ready to ask you for something that costs money so he is messing with you. Frankly I would tell him, "If you seriously want to quit you know where to go. I have no way to help you detox and if you have a seizure, I would rather you be with a medical professional. So you cant stay with us. It wont be helpful to either of us" And I would mean it.

Hate to bring this up but your sons ACTIONS matter. His words are just gobbly gook. He means he will quit when he acts the part of quitting.

You already know that his new apartment location is the absolute worst place to be for sober living and your son knows it too. He chose the bar spot on purpose. He is smart. He did it for his convenience. And his actions show you he wont quit at this point in time

I do not beloieve that to his face you will acconplish being done with him. He will cry, act sorry, promise, use meaningless words to hook you in and because ALL of us want to believe them, you will go home believing he is quitting and you will be reinvested, maybe even paying his rent. Face to face is hard even if we know they are lying...we try to tell ourselves "but this time maybe its true" even as they dont behave as if they will be getting sober anytime soon. Thats why I thought going there is a bad idea, amongst other reasons.

I hope I am wrong, but actions usuually speak louder than words. Words are just babble. Do it, dont say it.

Good luck!

Love and light!
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ttbs, Sorry you're going through this. Key.. he says he's going to quit tomorrow. Why not today? Why does he want you to have to deal with seizures in a hotel room? Bars in the basement, bars on the street.
A while ago I was trying to get my son in a detox for heroin they said it wasn't life threatening. They did say alcohol was covered because detoxing is life threatening. When he's ready, he'll be ready, but making you feel bad seeing him detox in a hotel room just isn't right. If you do not support how and where he is going to live, it might be better not to go. Easier said than done. I wish you luck and support.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
These adult kids of ours seem to have a radar for when we decide to pull away. They know how to get at the heart of us and keep us engaged.​
Hard words to read, but I do agree with Swot that your son is “ toying” with you. I have read that detox from alcohol can be dangerous and needs to be medically supervised. It is cruel of him to expect his parents to sit there and wring your hands while he “may go into seizure.” It is emotionally abusive. You have already paid for him for treatment and he threw that money out the dang window. “Okay, now I really mean it” just doesn’t cut it. But how much does he mean? Living by all the fancy bars?
Trying, I am so sorry for all of this. It is hard. How does your husband feel about it? When hubs was alive, he wanted to stay connected with Rain. That meant he ended up after a long day at work, doing her laundry and making her a bite to eat. She dropped by weekly. It made me angry and sad, feeling like she was taking advantage of his love and kindness. He was so sad that she was homeless and on drugs.
I felt that the more we did for her, the deeper she dove.
It is hard to know what to do when we are gripped by fear, obligation and guilt. Our kids know just how to keep us sucked in. We all have been there, in different scenarios, trying to be strong, but in despair over our kids choices, caught up in their consequences, not knowing what to do. I am sorry for the heart ache.
Whatever you decide, we are circling the wagons and hoping for the best. For you, your husband and your dear son.
I have to say that it would be absolutely insane for him to detox in your hotel room. Geez, really? If he really wants to get clean, he will find a way. But that? That is torture and extremely unfair to his parents, who have given him chance after chance.


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This is just theatre.

Do not go near this.

He refused stopping. In any way that would work.

You are not equipped to deal with detox. Are you in any way equipped to provide medical supervision? Let alone what you would suffer. The degradation.

I am angry on your behalf. This is ludicrous

He is toxic and dangerous for you to be around for right now. Of course it makes no sense to live at a bar.

He is making you responsible. Please get angry.

I agree with new leaf one thousand percent

I would in writing write out the steps for him to take, in an email or text. I would tell him the offer still stands . Medical detox. Treatment. Sober living. But with professionals. Not parents.

Personally I would not involve myself in the move. Why?

The only participation that makes sense is to facilitate entry into a certified detox facility.

He is not going in circles. He is trying to disorient you. This is a coherent plan by him. He may not realize it, but it is. There is no other intention or commitment here

I don't want to see you hurt. Nothing good will come of this. Your gut is telling you that.

I am sorry
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Well-Known Member
If he's detoxing from alcohol he might have to be hospitalized. Depending on what substances he is using and how long he has taken them, going to a detox facility where there are medical professionals might be best. You may not be able to handle him. There is a good chance he might go running out of the hotel craving that substance. Some people have to be weaned. You don't know how severe the withdrawal could get.

I'm guessing he wants to stay with you in the hotel because he is afraid. He probably gets nervous thinking about being in a facility with people he doesn't know. He sounds clingy and needy, which I think will improve once he has been sober for a couple of years. Withdrawal is a scary experience, and sime people have to have their hands held.

I hope he's truly ready and has his mind made up. That could change once the withdrawal symptoms kick in. The window of opportunity (when a person thinks he or she is ready to quit) can be fleeting. That is why they say it's best to get the person into detox within the next hour, if you can find a facility that can take him that quickly. If he's going to spend the night preparing himself and meditating to get himself emotionally and mentally ready for this, and is very determined that tomorrow morning is going to be the first day of his new life without drugs, maybe tomorrow really will be a new day. I'm thinking by Sunday, he may consider giving up.

I would be cautious of getting your hopes up.


Well-Known Member
Detoxing from alcohol is more dangerous than detoxing from heroin... so yes if he needs to detox he should be under medical supervision and you absolutely should not have that responsibility. It does sound like he is playing you. I am not sure why you want to break all ties with him? Can you really do this. I know it sounds good in the moment I have felt that way at times with my son......but is it realistic for you? It is probably not the best thing for him. I know others do not necessarily share my opinion. My feeling is that addicts have a mental disorder and that includes despair, self loathing and sometimes what they need is to know they are loved. Our stand with our son has been for a long time we will help you when you are helping yourself. So we have let him be homeless, he has been on the streets, we have let him sit in jail and not bailed hiim out. So I totally agree with not rescuing him..... but we have always let him know we love him and are there for him. When he has been in a place where he has wanted help we help him. Sometimes I think the love of his parents is the only reason he is still alive....

Thinking of you today,



100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Trying to be strong:

I am so sorry for your heartache also. This is the cruelest side of life.

We are not trying to be cynical with you but this doesn't sound right to me either. That would be torture for you to see your son suffering to detox. Ugh just the visual and the thought of it.

I have to agree with the others, he needs to be in detox/rehab for this. We are not medical professionals. We are not experts on addiction. We are parents. We don't have all the answers.



Well-Known Member
I agree with t.l.above. The importance of support with boundaries. She is very strong. Me. Not so much

I came to a point where I had descended to the same level as my son. I followed him down.

It was not so much that I saved myself. I did not. But I had to take responsibility for what I had become. And that that was about me.

My center of gravity. My locus of control had become him. I had to disengage.

My heart is broken.

There is an old children's book. I think the title is:. The places we'll go.

There was another book. Runaway bunny. Where the mama reassures her baby bunny there is noplace he can run where she will not follow.

The book reassures both child and mother that their bond holds as the baby explores the world while wanting to hold mama's skirt.

This is where we are.

There are places we cannot go. We know that now. Do they?

Part of this is they need to know that. That when they choose that life, they lose us for a time.. Because they have gone somewhere we cannot go. That is not wrong. It is real.

They leave us. We cannot go.

We are still there. But they must return to us..

This is the hardest thing I have ever gone through.
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Copa....I dont think I am any stronger than you. I know for me there are times when I am clearer and stronger than other times. I have found that it is easier to be strong when I am angry and fed up with my son than when I am just sad for him. Anger propels me to think about what I need, sadness just makes me sad and makes me want to save and protect him. The truth is I have both feelings and I cant save or protect him. I can only help him when he is doing what he needs to do to help himself.

And I loved the Runaway bunny story!


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I never stopped talking to my kids and never could unless he or she was dangerous either physically or was out to ruin me as sime adults do. I kept in touch but did not help. And they knew better than to ask for money or housing. Love doesnt cost anything.


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I have been thinking about this thread all day.

I am not in contact with my son. My decision.

He was not observing any boundaries with us. Police were coming once, twice a week. Because he would not leave our house. He squatted in our other property. Neighbors told us he kicked doors, walls. He would not pay rent. He was stoned all the time.

I felt afraid. I felt unsafe in my house, on my property.

I was losing my own life.

I agree with tl in terms of support and boundaries. But with my son support to him was give a hand, take two arms and a leg. Set a boundary, and crash through that and six more.

To him, our support and we, ourselves, were toxic.

And then in time he became toxic to me.

My son's and my relationship was the greatest of love stories. Now. I dread seeing him. And have to entertain the reality that I will never want to be around him. I am facing that now.

My love seems to have been a bad love. I can tolerate writing that now. There was a time I could not.


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I am so sorry Copa for your heartache. You have loved and do love your son so much.... and you absolutely have to protect yourself. It sounds like you had to stop having contact with him for your own safety. If I was in that situation with my son I would do the same thing. I am not afraid fo my son. When he is really using I do not like him at all, because he is a total jerk to us. And I dont think I will ever let him live with me again because he has stolen from us and I dont know if I would ever trust him.

I do think there is a difference between setting boundaries and having no contact because of your own mental and physical safety.... and setting boundaries to try and get them to change. I think the two can get confused sometimes. One thing I have learned is that I have no control over my son or the outcome.

I think you are very clear in your boundaries and they totally make sense to me, And it is heartbreaking that you have to do that.


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Yes, tl. Thank you.

It took me a long, long time to get to this point. Because I did see boundaries as a way to have control over him. I see that now. My support was contingent. That he change.

You know how that goes. I taught him how to manipulate. I lost any personal authority I had vis a vis him. He has contempt for me.

I was willing to sacrifice everything. I did not matter. I was expendable.

Until I had to see that I had hit bottom.

Even then I hoped that if I valued myself, it would have an effect. Still thinking strategically.

Now. I see I have no control. I feel it. And I feel what it would be like to live the rest of my life in this place.

Love does not go away. But it changes when there is fear. Yes. And disgust.

When I was my son's age I decided to never again see my own father, who was a drunk and used drugs. I had to accept I was degraded by him. And when I cut ties, he grew to hate me and hated me for the rest of his life.

And now? The same.

There was a crushing pain until a few weeks ago. Which has morphed into an ache, with moments of horror that break through.

I am going to start up therapy again to try to deal with my father, now dead 35 years.

This poor mother who started this thread has not been back. And I seem to have hijacked her thread. I do not post new threads about this, but it leaks out every now and then. I am sorry.

You see.. Now I know there is nothing I can do.

I guess that is why this is so hard. Thank you tl.


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I think Trying may be out visiting her son hoping to help him. I hope she will be back and read our posts and find them helpful. I too did a lot to try and control my son... and I also think he may have learned some of his manipulation skills from me. He was always so difficult that I was always trying to keep him on track even before the drug use started. I think being controlling is somewhat natural for me and one of the things I really have learned from alanon is to let go of control. That has helped me in my other relationships as well. So although I sound clear now about not setting boundaries and limits to control or to try to change him..... I definitely did not start out that way. But after all these years I have finally gotten that I cannot control his drug use whatsoever. If he wants to use then nothing I do will make a difference..... and in fact I am not sure anything the legal system does makes a difference either. I think it is a deterent.... but if he really wants to use he will despite the potential consequences. So the motivation has to come from within at least to some extent.

And in the meantime all we can do is love them, either directly or from afar... whichever is better for us.



Active Member
Wow, that's a hard read copa and tough. That we taught them manipulation. But what came first the chicken or the egg? My son has always used his education as a power struggle since he knows it is so important to me. I have pulled the plug on that one yesterday when I dropped all of his classes for this fall. I just can't go thru that again. He uses it as an excuse to contact me since he has a lot of trouble with the practicality of the classes, getting logged on, finding assignments, etc. I was hoping if he took live classes (not online) then things would be easier but it seems everything is online these days. I'm sure he will throw this back in my face that I am a phony and a fraud, that education must mean very little to me. But it is his disdain for it that motivated that action. But I digress and hack this thread as well.

Yes, copa, it seems our love affairs with our sons have grown toxic. Let's not forget the choices they made to bring this to bear. As if we could.
And yes tough, our sons will continue the drug use until....

Tryingtobestrong is probably helping her son, as we all have done. But we must realize that we do this to make ourselves better after the first couple of chances. To limit the damage to them and to ourselves. And we must realize that it doesn't really accomplish that at all.


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Copa be easy on yourself. You loved your son always. You did not teach him manipulation. He taught himself as they all do. As anyone can. Please do NOT blame tourself. The adults who bring us here did not learn to manipulate FROM us. They learned because they knew we loved them and did not want them to fail plus they did not want to change so they taught themselves mind games for our benefit. They are adults. They taught themselves to deceive us.

And its not just kids who do this Copa. Its about love. Anyone we love can play mind games with us and win until they overplay their hands. I use my sister, not to bash her, but to bash me. I let her cut me out of her life so many times call the cops yet still be in my life due to love. Was she wrong or me? Ok, I dont want to talk about her negatively ever again and am not doing so now. But love is powerful in ANY relationship. Look what others put up with for love. You are not alone by a longshot!

When one has more power than the other, the powerful one, if inclined to abuse the power, will do so. We let them back because of our love, in spite of outrageous behavior. Copa, this is NORMAL for those of us who love deeply. We give them so many chances. Until we cant. Until we burn out. Until it is survival.

Copa if you feel like it, you can always take your son out for a meal in a crowded restaurant just to make sure he is alive. Yes, that sounds silly, but it is an optuon with a reason.

Copa you did more than most for your son. He has to do it now. Or not. You gave him every chance to be decent.

Do what you must for yourself but dont blame yourself. Your son has a tough past and probably some unhealthy genetics that dont help him. That happened before you met him. You gave him many great menories and chances.

We cant control what they do with the gifts we give them. But you know that.

Love and light!
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Well-Known Member
Trying, I hope all is well. Regarding your original post, I too think your son is trying to manipulate you through threatening you with "awfuls," like seizures, in an attempt to control you.

You are not trained in medically caring for a detoxing alcoholic, nor should you be put in that kind of situation. It's not safe for your son, and it's not fair to you.

This is not even to mention that he WAS in an environment where he could safely detox. His detox would be a lot easier there too. He chose to walk away from that challenge.

His walking away does not make it YOUR problem. It's still HIS problem.

As far as the direction this thread has taken, it is very interesting to read.

Copa, I really think you need to be kinder to yourself. You didn't teach your son to manipulate. None of us taught our kids that.

When our children were toddlers, we treated them as toddlers -- maybe we made motor-boat noises to get them to eat their peas, or whatever.

When our grown men behaved like 13-year-olds due to stunting their emotional growth through bad choices, maybe we continued to treat them as adolescents. I know I sure did.

We did whatever we could, in horrible circumstances, to try to limit the damage. If it meant meeting them where we thought they were, that's what we did.

Then we saw that it didn't work -- because they can't be children anymore.

When we saw what we were doing, we learned how to stop.

Your quote about thinking strategically and t.l.'s quote about giving up control really ring true for me.

How freeing it is, to give up all STRATEGIC thought and all illusions of control, and just relate to others honestly. That's what I strive for.


Active Member
Just wanted to update .. Got here a few days ago, went to his apartment, no answer. Luckily I have a key... went in and he was sleeping. small liquor shots all over the floor plus many unused ones in the bag yet.. waited an hour or so and then woke him up. Now that I think about it, he was most likely still feeling the affects of his drinking because he talked and shared a lot of his feelings. Says he wants to stop and be sober but it always seems to draw him back in after 12 days. He said the thoughts he has when he is sober are very dangerous and he thinks of suicide at those times. He feels a lot of shame and guilt for his past actions with his long term now ex girlfriend. We told him that he needs to put it in the past and focus on the future and changing himself. Focus on positives and retrain his brain. He said that when he does something good at work and his supervisor compliments him he feels terrible. Like he isn't supposed to feel good about himself. I spoke to a guy from a rehab about that and he said that the addiction has made him feel so worthless that until he retrains his brain he will continue to feel worthless.
He doesn't eat only drinks... He said that he has been on a binge for 2 weeks now. Really upset over getting discharged from his IOP because he related to those guys.
Said the other night he was that drunk that he sat in the parking lot of a food place and was surprised no one called the police on him. Unbelievable. college graduate and this ....
Talked about the death of his best friend and how that set him back...
HE tried on Friday not to drink.. When he was done at work we took him out to dinner and he was saying how badly he wanted to drink and that the was having withdrawals.. we didn't give in and then he told us he drank after work.
He isn't going to change. It is so awful seeing someone so bright and who was once full of life so down. he said he no longer plays his playstation which he used to enjoy. He said that his entire outlook on life has changed. he no longer enjoys anything. I do feel that he will take his life because he is so unhappy. we went to see his new apartment and then were going to get some things for it.. he said he didn't feel good so we took him back to his place and left.. Yep, you all know what we found when we went back.. he had got a lfyt and went for booze. Was asleep when we got there but seen the empty bottle. When he woke up he was not nice like usual so we left. It is obvious he didn't' want us there and hasn't called or text us since we left. He is probably drinking himself into a coma.

I don't know why I sit and cry. I feel numb when I look at him. I feel like there is no love there but I continue to try to help, try to find him IOP's to go to, etc. I cry when I think of him alone at Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. If he lives that long. He has no friends because he has pushed them all away. He is no fun to be around. So very depressed.
He is drinking himself to death.
He mentioned he thinks he can only make it 6 more months with his bills, etc. Not sure what he plans on doing then. We have told him he will be homeless if he loses his job. he went in late twice this past week because of how much he drank the night before.
so young and so wasting away.
his new place will be no different. The are bars all around, he will isolate himself again.
So when the inevitable happens, not sure what to do. I feel so bad for his cat. He rescued him 2 years ago. The cat had a rough past and now his future sure doesn't look so good. If my son ends up in the hospital which I feel will be next or in jail for disorderly conduct, the poor cat will suffer.
Not sure what he will do with his things in the apartment if he decides to go into rehab once he loses his job which seems too that will be on the horizon.
sorry for rambling. so upsetting being so far away when we go home when you know what is coming.
He says he doesn't want to be this way but it controls every thought. feels like he will never be able to get out of it.


Well-Known Member
trying. Did you ever see the old movie, Lost Weekend? It is about alcoholism. What you describe is the nature and the reality of addiction.

People every minute decide to go to AA. To recovery. There is the concept 90 meetings in 90 days. Your son could do this. I have been to those meetings. They are wonderful.

What you did in your visit was descend into the reality that is your sons life. Of course you feel horrible. But what has to happen is your son needs to choose to rejoin you in your life, or to build a different and better life. You cannot do it for him.

Have you been to Al Anon?

All of the stuff about dying, is drama. I am sorry to be blunt. But why not changing, instead? Dying is not necessary. Changing is necessary. For him. For you.

The cat. I agree. The cat deserves better. If he will not care for himself, he does not need a cat. He needs to surrender the cat to a place where the cat will be cared for by people committed to the cat.

Hopeless alcoholics are committed to their liquor and their destruction. At any moment he can climb out of this despair. It is a question of one day at a time.

I think by visiting him in this circumstance you not only do not help yourself, you do not help him.

You can choose to reinforce change or not. You do that, we do that, by changing ourselves. Both in how we deal with our children, and within ourselves and our own lives. I am choosing to do both.

But it took me a long, long time to do so. I focused on my son, completely. I lost myself. I came to feel the hope for myself was tied to his changing. I went all the way down. This, I see, was a choice. I can choose differently. So can you.

I sound judgmental. I am not. I am in the same place as you. Except in some aspects, worse.

My son is homeless. He has never had the success that does your son. He is older. He has not worked in 7 years. My son too had things he loved: video games, studying language and culture (he is fluent in 3 languages), martial arts, working out. He is indifferent to anything now except his drug.

When I dwell in this place, I have no hope either. I cannot permit it. I have cut off contact because I know that my son has all of the power to change his life, and I have none. I can only deal with my own life. Yes. It is heartbreaking. And I have been heartbroken on your thread.

But there is more than heartbreak. There is choice. Choice to protect myself. Choice to make my own life rich. Choice to put responsibility in my sons hands, not in my own.

I know how despairing you are. I feel that way too. But despair is a feeling. We can act apart from our feelings. He can too. He has achieved things in his life. He can again. Believe in him.
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