I Feel Very Very Sad Today

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by wanderingstranger, May 26, 2019.

  1. wanderingstranger

    wanderingstranger New Member

    I am not a new member. But i haven't been here in four years and couldn't figure our my username or email i used. Hence, it felt easier to start as a newbie.

    The child that has brought me back is a 26 year old son, turning 27 in June. I am a single mother who did everything within my power to raise a responsible and sensible man. But that dream never came to be. My son started innocently with weed, graduated to opiates a few years later, and now is using cocaine. The first time i signed up here for help was in 2012, desperate to find support to deal with son. Since then, he has been arrested five times and spent close to three years in jail. He has been to rehab three times and successfully finished stints at sober living twice only to relapse once he was living alone. Through all this, i have spent thousands of dollars.

    The last rehab stay was in 2016 three hours away from home. He finished two months and proceeded to sober living. In early 2017, he relapsed. I refused to help him unless he sought help and didn't talk to him or assist him in any way for two months, while he stayed in shelters and a friend's car. Towards the end of march, he was arrested in a gas station after somebody who observed him sleeping in the car right in front of a gas pump called the cops. He was under the influence of drugs and had fallen asleep after getting gas.
    Unfortunately for son, he is a legal permanent resident of the country but because of a prior drug charge he had violated his status, and the police called immigration on him. He was transferred to another state waiting to be deported. Meanwhile, i had been attending a parents' support meeting in my area around this time. When i talked about my son's trouble, many encouraged me to help him obtain an immigration attorney to help him stay in the country thinking that would be for the best. I also felt bad about the finality of him never staying here long enough to realize sobriety. Should have cut my loses then. But i helped him fight and 15 months after being in detention he was released and his deportation terminated. That was July 1st last year.

    When he came home, a friend of his lent him an old car to enable him work as a pizza delivery driver while he worked on a union apprenticeship. He was supposed to pay some money every week which would go to the car loan. That he did for a few months and contributed some money to the house - he was staying with me waiting to move to his place once he had saved enough (i was also putting away what he gave me to help him when he was ready). Sadly, the allure of drugs was too strong for him especially with the readily available cash. In March of this year, he started smoking weed and cigarettes. Slowly, that led to opiates and finally cocaine.

    He was able to work and hide it but i suspected something was going on. First he missed the deadline for the union apprenticeship exam because he forgot to pay on time. Then he started coming home late at night even on the days he wasn't working late. Then three weeks ago, i confronted him and he came clean. He said he had a plan to detox then seek help. Instead, he disappeared for a week and came almost two weeks ago looking very sick. We agreed he would go to detox the following day. That took almost four days because he wouldn't get up early to call for a bed. The Friday before last, he found a place. The following Tuesday, he called an ambulance because apparently, the dose they gave him was making him very sick. They kicked him out. The same day, he found a bed in another facility. Yesterday, he finished detox but instead of waiting for an inpatient bed there, he self discharged. Before this, we had agreed that he would go to teen challenge once he was finished with detox. However, one of the clients at detox had been to teen challenge and left after six months. He told my son that the program entails reading the bible and praying from morning to night and that didn't appeal to son. When i went home yesterday at 4pm he was waiting for me down the street. We agreed that i would let him in on condition that he would go to another treatment place this morning. This morning he refused to go and packed some clothes and left - to go "figure out his life."

    Well, i really did try my all. I enabled, detached, enabled again, helped, supported, talked tough, bawled out, wasted thousands of dollars, and nothing helped. He will 27 be in a week. I am spent!
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome back Wanderingstranger.......I'm sorry you're still struggling with your son, as you know, you've landed in a safe, supportive place.

    Like most of us, you've done the cycle a few times......and it is very, very sad when our kids slip back, I know exactly how crummy that feels. Your son has made his choice......perhaps it's time for you to make the choice to choose you now......to focus on your needs and wants......to remember that you matter, your thoughts, feelings, needs and desires matter. My experience is if you amp up your self care now, be especially kind and nurturing to yourself, the sadness will dissipate as your self care increases. Find supportive environments to engage in.....12 step groups, parent groups, therapy, anywhere you feel safe and nourished. Take excellent care of yourself. Keep posting, it helps.

    You did your very best for your son....now do that for yourself. Fill yourself back up. It's your time now.
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  3. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    I'm sorry you had to come back and that your son is still struggling. I hope you take some time to be good to yourself. There's nothing more you can do for your son. If your love and support could help him it would have by now. It's time for you to take care of you. Find things you enjoy doing, challenge yourself to try new things. Learn to be selfish! You deserve it. Sending peace to you.
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  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Wandering and welcome back. So sorry for your need to be here.
    Me too, all of the above and am spent.
    My two are 30 and 39. We had a revolving door of sorts for a long time, it took some years of pretty crazy stuff to accumulate to realize the insanity of it all. One daughter uses the term unconditional love, meaning she can do all sorts of awful stuff, and I should run to her aid, or allow her to live with us, no matter what."I need unconditional love, Mom, you don't love me the way I need you to."
    Sorry, not sorry, been there, done that, go to a rehab, straighten your life out.
    You have been through the wringer, W, I mean my two can barely mouth the word rehab. I can't imagine the hardship of watching and paying for rehab then sober living only to have them relapse and go right back into it. That is painful.
    We tried to intervene with my eldest a few weeks ago, after hearing she was hospitalized with sepsis, then refused to stay for the recommended treatment. (Her father passed three years ago fighting sepsis). I hugged her and told her I did not want her to die. She said "I've made my choice."
    That rattled me, and made me sad, mad, threw me off balance.
    But, it is a stark reminder that my adult children will choose as they wish and there is not much I can do about it.
    Wholeheartedly agree.
    I think the very best thing we can do for our adult kids is to lead by example. Show them the importance of loving and caring for themselves, by taking good care of ourselves. Embrace your feelings and let the sadness flow through you as long as you need to. Then, figure out what you need to do to strengthen your armor to live the best rest of your life. That’s not selfish, it’s self love, which is, after all is said and done what we want for our adult children, to find their true potential, love life, and themselves. That’s not up to us, it is up to them to figure out that drugs are not worth the heavy price they pay.
    Wishing you peace on this Memorial Day and each precious day to come.
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  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So sorry you are going through this.

    My son is doing well now. His final stop was Teen Challenge. He fought like hell and even ran out. He did not want to go there. He didn't want to do the God thing. He said it was a cult. He read it on line so it had to be true. Our home was closed to him. He had no money. He had nowhere to go so he went back. I prayed for seven years throughout the day and half the night that he would be saved from himself. I had tried everything else to save him. I often wondered if anyone was listening.

    Guess what? It worked. I sometimes wish we had put him there to start out but I do not think it was his time to go there. It was all a process and a journey. It was HIS journey. He tried many times to get sober but he always failed. At least I think he was trying. His biggest complaint was he was not with his family. I said no. I could not have him with me until he changed. It hurt too much.

    My husband promised him if he did the 13 months there he could return to live with us. I was indifferent but he had made a promise and husband said that he was going to stick to his promise and if son hadn't changed as we'd seen, he'd have to leave.

    He has been home since November and we've had our ups and downs but it now seems like we're settled into a groove. He does drink beer now, sometimes more than we like him to and we redirect, but he is working full time and starts welding school next week. We never have to wake him up. He's up and gets ready every day. Sometimes he starts at 6am. We don't talk about everything that has happened. I doubt he remembers most of it, out of his mind on pills, weed, alcohol but WE remember.

    I was always afraid he'd do permanent damage to his brain with the drug use. It is so terrifying how much it changes them, even during their periods of sobriety. I never would have believed it stunted their mental growth had I not witnessed it myself. Sometimes I see the addict but now he redirects and is able to use the tools that he learned in the program. I am forever thankful that my son was returned to us and has a chance at living a normal life and for us to be a family again. It can happen but I really think it takes our higher power.
  6. wanderingstranger

    wanderingstranger New Member

    Thank you to everyone for the the re-welcome. This is truly a safe place to rant because once you read and write it feels a little bit easier.

    thanks recovering for this reminder. I am trying my best and getting better at self-care inspite of the sadness. Life goes on...

    Yes eliza, this i now understand perfectly. Wringing my hands trying to find the perfect program or thing that would stick has been a losing game. Never thought anything would make me feel such despair as to realizing there is absolutely nothing i can do to make him well or accept care for himself.

    New Leaf, i am really sorry for what you are going through. Dealing with one is a lot but i can't imagine the torture of watching two destroy their health and life like our children do. An outsider looking in would be pretty amazed at the kind of craziness that we have put up with through the years.

    This is the worst because you detach and find some kind of peace then something happens and you are entangled again. The night before my son walked out, he wanted desperately to go see a certain girl he had been talking to and i wouldn't let him because he was scheduled to go to treatment the following day -as our agreement. He started crying mentioning that he is dealing with a lot of demons and i am not being sympathetic even though he is my only son.... He went on and on and at some point said he would kill himself to alleviate the pain he has caused me. SO i said i was going upstairs to call for help transporting him to the hospital since he was a danger to himself. That stopped the raging really fast. But for a minute there i was very unnerved.

    This is really hard because keeping calm in the midst of this craziness has not been my strong suit. But i am doing things that shows my health is important.

    RN, this is the time it was meant to happen. I applaud your son's courage because the program is long and the fact that he endured and graduated shows he was ready to change. I have met two pastors in my area who went to teen challenge and recovered without going back and now live a healthy and clean life. That is one of the reason i was hoping he would be open to going there. Your son will do well. Although religion is not for everyone which i respect, i believe faith offers a different kind of hope that addicts need and which my son would have benefited from. He was raised in church and attended services through end of high school and once in a while after, but he wants nothing to do with the program. His loss. Your son is on a better path and because he is youn any damage that may have been done by drugs will eventually heal.

    Well, my son's "finding himself"didn't last long. The following day, he called and said he wanted to talk. He came at my work (an informal setting) and voiced a desire to go back to my country of birth for a while. I am trying to figure this out through consultation with an attorney to see whether he could go and come back down the line. Where i come from life is laid back and he may do better because of access to more social support and being exposed to better mentors. Meanwhile he is staying with a girl that i have never met so who knows....but this seems like a better plan as far as i am concerned. We'll see......
  7. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    It sounds like going to your home country could work. Does he have family/anyone there that can guide him?

    If it's something you haven't tried and it is feasible, why not?
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Having lived in a couple of foreign countries I know how different it is when you change cultures and environments. Except you bring yourself there. If your son has close family there, like grandparents, aunts and uncles, I might support this. If not, I'd be worried. And finally, it depends upon the country. My son decided at age 18 to fly himself down to Rio de Janeiro (where we had lived.) It ended in disaster. He somehow lost all his money, was kicked out of where he was staying, slept on the beach, etc. I worry he was victimized there. That is when our problems started. I love Rio and we did have a friend who stepped in to help but my son could not have sustained himself there. He was quite vulnerable.
  9. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Someone recently gave me this prayer and I re-read it often trying to absorb it and live it. I hope it helps you and/or others. It resonates with me because I always think I'm the one who has to "save" my sons, as their mother I owe it to them to sacrafice myself and if it be, my well, being. Not so. God is the one in charge here ...not me.

    Do you believe that I am the Son of God?
    and do you believe that I died for all men
    and women and that I rose from the dead?
    Then why do you continue to be distracted
    and anxious about your loved ones?
    Would I refuse to work in their lives just
    as I work in yours?
    I have not put you in charge of saving them.
    I have already done that.
    Nor have I charged you to change them.
    Your task is to love, to forgive, to pray for
    them and to turn them over to Me.
    Come closer to Me yourself and I will do
    The rest. TRUST ME!

    (Author Unknown)
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome Back! I am sorry that you have been struggling all this time. I have been here for a long time, too. I don't check in as often these days as we are some of the blessed ones.

    Your son isn't a teen. He is an adult and is fully capable of supporting himself and finding his own place to live. It is time to work to focus on your own life and not his. Sure, that might be easy to say. It is super hard to do though! Forgive yourself for not being able to help him, or for being too soft, tough, nice, mean, inconsistent, overly consistent with him. NONE of this is your fault. You never woke up and asked yourself what you could do that would hurt your kid the most that day. HE made these choices. Often the ONLY way an addict gets help is that they get sick and tired of being addicted. Until then, no one can help him. All you can really do is to work to make your own life as happy as possible. Remember, no one (not even the Founding Fathers), promised us happiness. All we are promised is the pursuit of happiness. It is time you stopped working so hard to support an overgrown manchild and pursued your own personal happiness. Haven't you earned it?

    Letting go is so dang hard. Often it is the only salvation though. For all parties! If you don't go to Al-Anon, I recommend it. It can be a huge help in understanding your own thinking. You don't go there to help your kid, you go there to help understand yourself in this drinking/drugging dynamic.

    I am glad you found your way back here too!