Hi, I’m new here and hoping to find some perspective and advice. I am trying to figure out how to help my 32 year old son, C. He’s always struggled but is at a crisis point now and I don’t know whether the answer is ‘hold firm on the tough love/non-enabling line’ or ‘throw him a stronger life line.’ I know this is long, so thanks in advance for your patience if you are reading this. He is diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety and depression but is not currently in treatment. (Nor do I know how to get him in treatment with no insurance even if he agreed to go - we don’t seem to have any functioning social services, outside of a women’s short-term domestic violence shelter.) He is also an alcoholic and has problems with other substances as well. He is very bright but always had trouble functioning socially in school - he dropped out at 16 to stay home and read Neitzche and Chomsky. He has a GED but that doesn’t get him far with employment. And his employment is extremely spotty - lots of short term jobs, mostly in the restaurant industry. His father and I divorced 10 years ago after years of physical and emotional abuse. I stayed as long as I did because my three oldest children (including C, who is the eldest) are not mine biologically or legally. He was 8 when his Dad and I married, and his siblings were 6 and 2. We went on to have one more child together. Their bio mom was an alcoholic and not in the picture. I protected them all as much as I could, but couldn’t legally leave and take them with me so I stayed until my daughter S was of age and then fled with my youngest. I know all of the kids have a lot of scars and I feel terribly guilty that I couldn’t protect them better or get them all out. C, as the eldest, was also the black sheep and got the worst from his dad. Right now, my youngest daughter E and younger son N are doing well - both married and starting families and happy. N went through rough patches earlier in life (addiction, jail) but seems to have come through ok. C and my older daughter S are still foundering. S is diagnosed Borderline (BPD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression and ADHD. I’ve tried to walk that razor’s edge between helping and enabling over the years. None of them live with me. I’ve helped with rent on occasion when it seemed warranted, but they know I’m not going to do it continuously if they are just living obove their means. I buy groceries or give them meals when they are hungry instead of just giving cash. They know I don’t do bail, lawyers or legal fees. I’ve let them fall on their own consequences with evictions, loss of cars due to failure to pay fines, etc. they know I expect them to support themselves. S and C have seen their siblings succcesfully make it through college and trade school, find good relationships, and set up stable lives. But they can’t or don’t want to have those lives themselves, it seems. At 28 and 32, they are still partying, quitting jobs because the ‘boss had it in for me’, etc. I try to stay supportive and non-judgmental without jumping into rescue mode. Lately, C has expressed a desire to stop this cycle and get his life together. He’s trying to stop drinking and has cut drugs except marijuana, which he says he ‘needs’ to function with his anxiety. But he’s in a hole he can’t seem to get out of. His poor choices in the past have left him with no place left to go - he’s worn out his welcome with too many friends after couch surfing for years. He can’t keep a job without a steady place to stay and access to clean clothes and hygiene. He had a bike to get to work, but it was stolen and now he has no transportation at all. (He doesn’t have a license right now or the means to support a car, and public transportation is spotty here.) He recently decided to move in with his father temporarily to get sober (his dad has ‘found religion’ and remarried, though I don’t think he’s truly changed.) He was successful in his sobriety and held a job for two months, but things predictably fell apart between him and his dad and his dad threw him out earlier than they had agreed upon. He moved in with a friend, but the friend’s girlfriend wasn’t happy about it and it fell apart after a week. Now he’s out of options, extremely depressed, and potentially suicidal. He hasn’t asked directly to move in, but I sense that he’s dying for me to ask. I’m in a great place now and in a wonderful relationship with another woman. We bought a house together last year in the country. We’ve built a great and peaceful life - I started a freelance design business that has gone well, she’s a park ranger, we do wildlife rescue and garden together. It’s very peaceful here with our animals and gardens. We have the room, but I dread inviting drama and dysfunction into my life after working so hard to find peace at last. And it doesn’t seem fair to my partner, who didn’t sign up for this. Plus, there’s no exit plan here - no public transportation or easy access to jobs to help him get back on his feet. On the other hand, what if he is truly suicidal? What if he’s really on the streets? How can I not do whatever possible to save a life I love? What do I do? Bring him here for a night or a week or a month? Then what? I just don’t know what to do anymore. He seems more desperate than ever before.