Roller Coaster

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ColleenB, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    So tonight I find out son has been using still, cocaine and alcohol plus weed.

    He is ashamed and very down. We are to fly out in the morning.... What kind of parent leaves their kid like this? He said he wants us to go, and has promised me he will try an NA meeting.

    I feel so bad.

    He is so down on himself, and feels he has ruined our trip now. He has promised to check in with us everyday. And his brother is aware of the situation. I feel bad leaving the 18 year old with this. They are good friends, and I know younger son will watch out for his brother. But it's not fair.

    Drugs are just horrible, I feel so bad for all the people who have been hurt by this life.

    My son is a good person. He isn't rude to us, he doesn't steal, he just hates himself. It breaks my heart. He has so much going for him. He feels " stuck" and that he will never feel happy.

    He doesn't have classes this week, so no pressure on him. Hoping he can rest and maybe a break from us will be good for him too?

    I don't know.... I'm not sure I can make myself get on the plane.....
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I wonder if he might not need more than an NA meeting. Is he still on your insurance? Do you have an inpatient benefit?

    Is there extended family with whom he can stay? Is there somebody who can come and stay with your two sons? To me, it seems a lot to put on your younger son.

    I understand completely how you must feel about boarding that plane.

    But the thing is to face that you do not have the solutions here, except to decide what you will fund and the conditions he might live in your home, and not. Which, actually, is a lot of control, if you use it.

    I think that it is time for you to make some decisions. And think about whether or not allowing him to remain at your home, with you funding his education is giving him a mixed message. Think about whether or not you need to confront the drug use as the most important and essential thing. College can be achieved once he deals with this.

    You have some choices to make, I think.

    I wish it were different for you. It is not.

    Take care. Keep posting. Stay with us. Please.

  3. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I've just contacted a family member to give them a heads up. She will check on them.

    Still struggling with going.... Ugh
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Maybe if you make a list of the pros and cons it will help. What are you afraid of? What do you think you should do and could do, by staying? What will be gained by going, for you, for your sons?

    Maybe if you think about what your role is here, and what you could and should do, it will free you up to go or to decide to stay.

  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Collen, the other aspect of this is speaking to your son, not about the trip, but about what he thinks he needs. And what he needs from you. Not specifically about the trip. The trip is not the real issue. You will come back to the same situation, and hopefully, things will not have worsened.

    I would be concerned too about leaving a depressed young man alone, one without the tools to deal with a serious addiction. Only you are in a position to evaluate whether he is depressed enough where you would consider not leaving, or whether he requires an evaluation by a mental health team. He might.

  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I agree that he probably needs a rehab and if he really wants to quit he would want to go too. Cocaine is the hard, bad stuff and mixing it with weed and alcohol and maybe other drugs that he did not tell you about means he has a serious drug problem. Usually we dont even know the extent of it.

    Looking in on him at his age and with what he is doing or skipping your vacation will not change what happens in his life. If he is using drugs as an addict he will become "dope sick" as drug users call it if he goes too long without using. This includes extreme pain and vomiting so they cant handle the withdrawals and get a fix so that they feel good again.
    This is why rehab is so important for actual detoxing. They help ease the withdrawal. N/A does not offer help in detoxing and most addicts csn not just stop.
    Your son will get clean when he is ready not before. Talk means nothing. Action means everything when dealing with a drug addict.
    He would be safer in a rehab than with you. As mothers, we want to think our love can solve everything, but this is out of our league. We cant help an addict.
    I hope you are nice to yourself and go on vacation. I would take the onus of trying to watch out for brother off of your other son. It may not even be good for your other son to be around him. It isnt your other sons responsibility to make sure his sick brother stays clean. He cant make that happen anyways nor can you.
    It is hard when our legal adult kids get into drugs, but from first hand knowledge here i can tell you that changing can only come from him. We cant control our legal adult children. We can only control one person on
    Please take care.
  7. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    How long will you be gone? I would hesitate to leave the younger brother with him. I think it's too much....but I am not there. It might be ok, you know best. Hugs..
  8. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I can't sleep.

    I just feel horrible leaving. I know he needs detox.

    I know that going on vacation is selfish, but we as parents need a break from all this .... However it's not really a break.

    Maybe having the break from us is what he needs to decide for himself what is next. We have been so emeshed in this with him he needs to make decisions on his own. We talked last night, and I told him if after this week he is still struggling ( which he will be most likely) he needs to see our doctor and discuss what to do next. He did agree to this.

    He is a good kid. A smart kid. I just pray leaving him is maybe the space he needs to figure it out?

    I will have family watching over so younger son doesn't feel alone.

    Thank you for your support and advice. Obviously if I felt as a mental health professional he was in danger of self harm I wouldn't leave. I am not saying he is well.... But I don't think he would do anything intentional. Could something terrible happen? Yup. It could.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    He is depressed and addicted to cocaine that you know about, and uses marijuana to excess. You may not know the whole story. There may be more.

    Neither depression or addiction are conducive to "figuring it out." Both conditions can and do overcome both will and reason. I might question whether reason or logic will apply in your situation either. Giving addiction and depression "space" as in time alone or space to think or room to relax...are not helpful responses, in my experience. By their very nature addiction and depression consume and overcome.

    You are a mother who has a depressed and addicted young adult son. This is a situation that has been terribly frightening to you. That your field is dealing with and resolving issues such as this may make it harder not easier.
    I do not believe a professional anybody has the neutrality to evaluate their own children when the situation is emergent or unknown or frightening. They are our children, not our patients, clients or students.
    I disagree with this.

    This is what I think: By maintaining him in college living at home, you have a certain degree of responsibility. You refer to enmeshment. He is relying upon you to set limits in your home and as parents, conditions, a bottom line, expectations. He will not be able to decide or think his way out of this. It is not about thinking. It is something else entirely.

  10. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Just had a conversation with son.

    He said if we cancel our trip that will make it worse. He is planning on attending some NA meetings this week.

    I don't know what choice I have. if I go I feel like I'm running away, but staying makes him feel like we don't have any faith in him.

    I have two hours to decide.

    He said to please go and let him do this on his own this week. I don't know.

    Copa, I agree with what you are saying.... I do. It's not possible for me to be an objective counsellor in this case, but I do know my boy, and I don't feel he is in danger of self harm as of now. I really would not play around with that. We lost a dear friends son to suicide this past summer.

    I will probably go, with a very heavy heart and a feeling of great anxiety. I feel either way it's the wrong choice.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I would respect that. I would respect his wishes.

    I would try not to be hard on myself, and really get away to get some perspective, and some peace of mind. With that will come knowing what to do. When we are too much in it, our thinking is distorted, I think.

    I think you have learned a great deal in these couple of hours. Have a good time. You earned it.

  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    First of all, cocaine isn't all that physically addictive. The mental addiction and cravings are the big issue with cocaine.

    The concerns I have are that he probably wants you to go so that he can go cold turkey the week you are gone.

    If he has been drinking heavily, he MUST detox with medical supervision as an inpatient. Alcohol and benzos are the two withdrawals that can kill by lethal seizures. Both also cause psychosis and other awful mental states during WD.

    He can do the cocaine withdrawal. That one is a matter of dealing with the depression and anxiety and having the willpower to get through that stage. The alcohol, and if he is addicted to that and/or benzos and plans on going Cold Turkey, could be deadly.

    Please talk to your son, explain the above and why you are worried,and see if you can get him to tell you the extent of his addictions and to what.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Tthe problem i see with thus, gn, is that addicts lie like breathing and you csnt ever know if they are coming clean. I was beyond shocked when ex addict daughter cleaned up and finally told me the whole truth. I had no clue it eas much.more than pot. Metf??? Speed? Ecstacy? She tried...heroin??????
    They lie. I was home always while daughter was so sick and we didnt see much and she was a minor. But she managed to get oit and use.
    Many times we wanted to admit daughter to hospital but they wouldnt take her because she would say she was not thinking about suicide.
    This young man will do what hs wants to do whether parents are home or not. His main influences now are his drug using peers.
    My daughter was diagnosed with bipolar while using drugs. Drug use mimics mood disprders and indeed do cause wild moods. Daughter is over ten years clean now and is clearly not bipolar. It is almost impossible to diagnose a drug user acvurately.
    You make your own decision. My own experience is that staying home doesnt chane them or help them. Others may have had different experiences. Good luck.
  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Colleen, I do not think you are being selfish, you are living your life.
    I will put a different perspective on this. My thoughts are that at least he is talking to you about his drug use. Whether or not he is being completely honest who knows? But, and this is a big one here, (maybe I am over reaching?) at least he is saying something, and says he sees it as a problem. My two, in the past, admitted to next to nothing and did not think they had a problem.
    I am just wondering about the timing of this.
    Right before you go on vacation?

    I agree, it is like an artist painting a large mural, up close and working on detail, one needs to step way back to get the full picture. I hope you enjoy your break Colleen. It has been a difficult journey. Even soldiers take R&R. I hope your son will get his act together and figure out his next steps. Perhaps this bit of time and distance will give everyone a chance to think about what to do.

    Enjoy yourself Colleen. It is not as if you are leaving for a month or two. Try to get your mind off of the current situation and let go.
    We all deserve to unwind and breathe.

    Praying for your peace of mind and heart.

  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    swot. I was just trying to point out the risks if OP's son is addicted to either benzos or alcohol, or both and tries to quit those without medical supervision.

    You are correct that if he is really ready to quit, he'll do it his way. I also agree that the OP should go on her vacation.

    Callous though it may sound, her son is an adult and an addict. The only one who can keep him safe is himself, and only he can decide whether or not to get clean. I just hope, for his safety, that he tries to get clean with the help of a good addictions specialist if he is addicted to any of the two drugs I mentioned.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    To me this story illustrates the need for boundaries and clarity.

    As long as son is in the house, addicted, without the mandate that he get treatment, above and before anything else, the parents have inserted themselves in some way as responsible. I fear that the boundaries are murky, the message is murky.

    We have seen this before, where we as parents, hang on to hopes and dreams, as the cover story, especially when college is involved.

    Addiction and mental illness, and the two combined, become the principal and dominant story no matter how nice the child, and how great the dream.

    The truth of it, is this child will do it his way. He already is. That is the elephant in the room. No amount of hope and love on the part of us, as parents, can trump that.

  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Looking back on when my two were in and out of the house, the pervasive mood that enveloped everything, settling like dust upon the furniture.

    It became the very air we breathed. None of us were in our right minds, especially my two. It was invasive, the addiction and using, it put us all into a frenetic state, while trying to have a sense of normalcy and carrying on with our work and daily lives.

    How can anyone begin to even think straight in this environment?

    I see an underlying theme here, that addicts are very clever at manipulating their surroundings and the people they relate with. Especially, parents. They use our hopes and dreams to be able to continue using. They are dependent on drugs, drugs drive them. It is easier for them to use when they live at home, because they do not have to worry about a roof over their heads, food on the table, where to store their belongings, etc. The focus is on how to stay at home, how to keep us involved enough to allow them to live at home and still use. Use....they will use anything and everything in their drug using toolbox to keep us enmeshed, tugging at our heartstrings to keep us dazed and confused. It is a vicious cycle. I don't think our intelligence, professions, abhorrence for drug use has anything to do with what we are dealing with. We love our children. We cannot think straight when all of this is occurring right under our nose. Our kids know us inside and out, up and down and sideways. We become pawns in the game, unwittingly allowing the drug use, while trying desperately to find a solution. What a quandary.

    That is why I wondered why your son would confess his use, right before you go on vacation. Your last post was about your son getting better. I am thinking his "confession" keeps you on the roller coaster, even as you travel. You are in this altered state, can't think straight, vacillating between going or not. This is a drug addicts tool, to keep us unable to think in our right minds.
    Even this Colleen, will keep you on the roller coaster. He buys your ticket here, because he is such a good person and he feels stuck. He tugs at your heartstrings and pushes your nurturing button. I am not saying your son is not a good person, but good people driven by drugs can be very clever and manipulative. It is a roller coaster ride, and the more we stay enmeshed and confused, the more perilous the ride. Before we know it it becomes harder and harder to get off the roller coaster.

    The question becomes how do we get off the roller coaster? If your son continues with his drug using, it will become more erratic for all of you, with him at home. Most of us have been through this, well I have, it continued for years. I am probably the worst one to give advice on this, because I was blindsided many times, up until six months ago, when I found this site. Oh, yes, I had my two leave many times, but they always managed to find ways back into my home, tugging at my heart, putting me back on the roller coaster.

    I finally realized that if nothing changes, nothing changes. It is not easy Colleen and my heart goes out to you.

    I hope with all of my heart that I am wrong here about your son, that he truly wants change. Just something to think about if the roller coaster continues for you. Getting off of the ride, depends a lot on how you are building your toolbox. If our adult children have more in their addict toolbox and ours is empty, then it is hard to fix anything about us.

    This is what is important, it is not about fixing them, that thought, focus and drive keeps us on the roller coaster. It is about taking steps to strengthen ourselves, so that we can think with a clearer mind, not in the dazed and confused state that we have been driven towards by all of the ups and downs of the horror ride.

    So, the vacation is good. It gives you a chance to let go, try to put things into perspective for you. Focus on you, you have value and you matter. Be kind to yourself and figure out what you need to help yourself get off the roller coaster. This should not be dependent on whether or not your son continues to use. It is all about building yourself up, no matter what your sons choices are.

    Maybe when you come home, you can start with small steps to work on yourself. Start to fill your toolbox. This site is really good, because it is a timeline of events, with comments from caring folks who have been on, or are still on the rollercoaster. There are suggestions for books to read, going to counseling, alanon, loving detachment, etc.

    The key is to try and change our pattern of response. Change our way of thinking, get out of the fog, then we can begin to make clearer decisions.

    We do not have control over our adult children, understanding this is paramount.

    I hope you enjoy your vacation, Colleen. Dealing with substance abuse with our adult children has to be one of the most difficult things known to man.

    It is not impossible for us to overcome, but it does take intense work to switch our focus towards what we can control, and that is, ourselves.

    This does not happen overnight, one day, one step at a time.

    In the long run, changing our focus, building and strengthening ourselves helps us to get off the rollercoaster.

  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    GN, I know why you posted that. It was good info. However having lived once with an addict I personally dont think this young man is ready to quit. I think he is more apt st.home while parents are gone, like my daughter did. We wanted to believe she had quit so we left.her alone to feed the dogs while we took our younger kids to a waterpark.
    We came home a day early to a pill party and many shady looking guests. Stupid us, but we desoerately wanted to believe.
    In hindsight we should have put the dogs in a kennel and told daughter to stay elsewhere or come with us.
    Young addicts are very all over the place. No guessing what they will do, but not trustworthy at all.
    At the same time the parents of addicts need and deserve to have breaks and lives. Even for addicts who live at home, they manage to get out and do it all, as if they were on the streets. They hanng with users and dealers whether thry have a place to sleep in our home or sleep under a bridge. Many climb out of windows or leave when we are asleep.
    I hope op enjoys a well needed respite! :)
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I agree that he doesn't sound ready yet. It sounds like he is more interested in rehab as a way to meet girls, and as a way to make new "connects".

    I'll keep posting that message about benzo and alcohol addiction and withdrawal. I lost a couple of friends to withdrawals from those two drugs, back in my "partying" days. Luckily, I never came up with a dependency or addiction during that time.

    It took a shrink prescribing me 2 benzos. One for anxiety and one for sleep, and keeping me on them for years, for me to develop a dandy benzo dependency. Not an addiction apparently, because I don't crave the specific drugs.

    The withdrawal is so bad, physically AND mentally, that my new psychiatrist is keeping me on the benzos this point because right now she doesn't figure I'll be able to handle the mental withdrawal. At least she's willing to a slow taper when she and I agree that I am ready. Then comes up to 6 months of active withdrawal and then up to 2 years of Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS, where my brain and mind (hopefully) recover from the damage the benzos have done
  20. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    We did leave for our vacation. Of course it rained all day yesterday ⛈

    We have heard from the boys. So far everything is fine, so to speak.

    I am hoping the time away lets us clear our heads in dealing with this. Honestly he can do anything with us there or not. He has.

    I know we have to be clearer in our boundaries, and we have to a point. We are pretty sure he isn't dealing anymore, as we have access to his accounts and he doesn't know that.

    We are more concerned with the addiction at this point. He has gone weeks without using, so I think he thinks it's not as bad. However our last conversation left me thinking he is staring to think differently.

    He has promised to go to meetings this week to just listen, it's a start. I know it's not detox or rehab, but it's a start. We can't force him to do anything . It has to be his choice.

    I know others have opinions, and I do value them, some apply to us, some don't. It's hard to give the whole picture in a post. I appreciated all replies, even if I don't think they Apple to us. I can take something from all of you, so thank you. Please keep posting.

    I may seem naive, and maybe I am, but I do believe my son in most of what he says. I have to. He is a good person, and he needs someone who believes in him. I had many of his issues with anxiety and depression when I was young, and I did some drugs, not to the extent he did. I have worked through most of my issues, and I have faith he can too. It just breaks my heart to see him so sad and down on himself. He said he felt good about himself when he was working as a teachers assistant last year. I'm hoping he can get healthy enough to do that again.
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