Hi Laura- I'm the original poster and I know exactly how you feel. Same boat here. I haven't posted anything since that last post, lots has happened. I finally had enough of the behavior (what you are currently going through) and had to give him a deadline to find and keep a job, or to start doing something productive with his life instead of being a zombie in his dark room playing video games and eating all my food during the night. He wasn't able to keep his end of the deal by my deadline and I had to ask him to leave. He lived on the streets (well, actually chose to roam aimlessly through a wooded part of town), then decided to move 2 states away where all of his high school friends are (where we used to live when he was in school). That is where he has been for about 1 month now. It has been so difficult because I went from practially babysitting him day and night, dealing with deep depression, talking of not wanting to be alive, to now nothing. I text him and he never responds, however I still pay his phone bill so can check his phone activity online, so I can see he's alive and using his phone. It's the weirdest feeling that this is my only connection to my son, my little boy that I had such hopes and dreams for. Now resorting to stalking his phone account every other day just to give me peace of mind that he's still walking the earth. I'm sure he is mad at me, but it kills me that all I did for him, he lived with me for 2 years. 2 years of daily torture watching him detiorate and not able to function or find joy in life, and now I don't even know him. Very sad.
So I know exactly what you're going through. I had to stuff it all down and go to work every day, smiling and acting so chipper. I'm an administrative assistant and my job is to be cheerful and greet and help everyone all day. But it does get easier, with the help of detachment, as everyone recommends. It has made all the difference, I have just given everything to God and pray he will watch over my boy. I have literally done all I can do for him. Offered him everything under the sun that would make him happy, he stayed in a clinic for 2 weeks, tried every anti-depressant, currently not taking anything. He just had zero motivation to do anything, at least while under my roof. perhaps because I was enabling him, feeding him, making sure he would get up and do something. Like your difficult child, mine would help out but only if I asked him to, never on his own. He developed such a social anxiety from being locked up in his dark room for so long, so that now was an issue. How do you find and keep a job if you can't even be around people?! I would ask God every day what did I do wrong, where did I fail him to make him end up like this. It does no good to try and blame yourself, although it's just a natural thing to feel as a parent. But they are young adults and need to find their way. You can say you have done everything you possibly can, and now it's their turn.
I hope your difficult child finds their way. Although I haven't commented or posted on here in a long while, I read almost every day to bring me comfort that I am not alone and many difficult child's really do turn their life around! After years of being in their dark place. Just be kind to yourself and try to focus on you (for a change!). I know how difficult child's take over our daily lives. I try and picture my thoughts/feelings for my difficult child as a light switch. And when I get in those moods where I start thinking of him as a sweet little easy child, before high school and college and his spiraling down happened, I picture myself reaching over to a light switch on a wall and turning it off. And I say it's time to turn this off for now, to save my energy. That is just my silly way, but it helps me. I do allow myself time during the weekend when my 10 yr old easy child is not around to let myself cry and get those feelings out. Then I feel better. Time does heal, prayer, meditation, all the suggestions that other parents on here provide. They are a blessing. Keep reading and know you aren't alone. But there comes a time when it's their turn to get better. We can't be there forever to help them.
oh and you should be able to just copy/paste your original comment into a New Thread. I'm sure you will receive more comments and advice. good luck to you and be strong! it does get a little better day by day. And when you get a setback, just start over on your journey