Sliding backwards


Active Member
Just wanted to share that I was able to speak to my sons counselor last weekend. He signed the release. We spoke for over an hour and it was stated that my son has almost made a 180 degree turn around. He was smiling, laughing and building relationships with the fellow guys that are there.
I felt so good....
Then Sunday came and my son called. I could tell he was irritated. It was the day when visitors could come but he didn't have any because we do not live near him. He only has a few friends from work and they don't come either. Monday came, and he was awful on the phone. Same old person he was prior to going to rehab. Everything I said was wrong. He was totally against IOP and sober living. Said the IOP's that have family night are a waste of his time since he doesn't have any family there.
I am a mess. If he refuses to go to sober living or IOP and just returns to his apartment alone, what are the chances of sobriety.... His attitude was awful.
I left the counselor know and was told that it most likely was from not having visitors. Others have said that the addicted one goes through ups and downs while in rehab so I am not sure but I am worried.
I don't know what to set the boundaries at if he refuses to go to sober living. It will be hard because his lease will need to be broken and his belongings moved to storage so sober living is no easy or cheap task.


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

I know how you feel. I have been there many times with my son.

I still hear the addict and he's been sober a year. It shakes me to my core.

There is nothing, I mean nothing you can do to make the way things are for him change. You have to protect yourself and get support for yourself.

If you do not have firm boundaries. NO - then he will end up back to where he started.

You doing anything one way or another won't change if he gets sober or not. You do not have that power. Only he does.

Don't cave now. Break the cycle. You must get tough for him and for yourself!

Hugs and if you pray, start praying because that is the only thing that got me through the past seven years with our son. That is the ONLY THING.


Well-Known Member
Trying, I think the ups and downs are very very normal here. Two steps forward one step back. Try not to let yourself get too caught up in the daily emotional swings. Hard, I know. But try to focus on the overall trend line rather than the day to day. He’s lashing out from a place of hurt and loneliness. It may or may not mean anything for the long term. Hang in there!


Well-Known Member
Ah the ups and downs of recovery and rehab!!! OK so first ups and downs are normal. Second a lot of times they will be doing well, making progress, but then to you show all their doubts and dislikes.... so you may be seeing the worst but not the whole picture. I do think you need to get very clear what your stand is about sober living, iop is and his lease and apartment are.

Personally I think his going back to that apartment should not be an option because I think it is a pretty sure thing that will lead to relapse. I think you know that which is why this upsets you so much. So you may need to accept your losses on that....... assume he will break the lease etc.

I dont think you should talk to him about your boundaries yet. First I think you should talk and get advice from his counselor. Let them know your concerns. Let them know where you stand. Work with them, be part of their team. Let them talk to him about sober living and IOP. You stay out of it. Get their advice about your boundaries. Once you get clear on what your stand and boundaries are stick with them.

I know I am giving a lot of advice here which of course you are free to ignore.... it comes from way too much experience with this scenario!



Active Member
I too have experience crushing conversations with my son when I thought he was on the road to recovery. His voice/words were like that of his previous addicted self that left me overwhelmed, hurt and sad thinking he had relapsed.
So true, when many have mentioned for every step forward sometimes it's too steps back. The small person inside them may respond to us from their hurt child like soul...give it a few days and the conversation may change back to an adult that he is. Yes, no doubt it's painful and hurtful and leaves you wounded.
When my son spoke to me that way it took a lot of control on my part not to respond back with anger. Instead, I turned around and walked out and said I will not allow you to speak to me that way. I set boundaries by ending the conversation. In his distress at the time (probably resulting from going through withdrawal) he was nasty and mean and his words cut through me like a knife. I chose ( like you do as well and have control over yourself not to engage in conversation with them when they are in that state) .
Your son has the power in himself to make changes but it must come from him. You can wait in the wings and provide encouragement and support but the willingness to change is his choice. Sometimes they react the most bitterly against the very people whom have always stood by them and yet resort to "temper tantrums" saying things that they may never say to strangers. Perhaps he resents your conversations with the councillor as if he were a child. I know my son does and may state that in anger that he's not a baby. Yet, at the same time they seek our help as if they were children. I think this leaves them angry and confused. Once they realize you are doing it not to seek control over his life but it's coming from care and concern they may round a corner in their path to recovery.
As for my son ...the bitterness, anger, and other things that were thrown out at me in that horrible conversation may have been his way of venting or releasing some anger issues. Not right to speak to me that way but I'm glad I didn't respond as it would have left both of us venting at each other. It seemed to be a breakthrough as a few days later his actions rather than words showed me his sincerity that he was sorry. I am still guarded by feeling hopeful. There is no right or wrong way for you and your son. I pray he finds the right path to choose and that you are comforted knowing that you are not alone.