The balancing act

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone,

    So yesterday I went to a funeral of a young woman who was a classmate of my sons.... and they were close when they were in 7th grade. She most likely died from a heroin overdose. It is such a tragedy. Meanwhile my son is in detox which is good, but its unclear where there will be a residential bed etc.... and he needs to get his stuff from the sober house... and it is all such a hassle and dang I am just so sick of this ride we are on. Like this time he really has to get it.... we cant keep doing this dance we keep doing......

    and I am haunted by the death of this young woman.

    A couple of years ago some family friends who had dealt with serious addiction by their son for years and years (he got clean after 25 years of addiction) told me that sometimes you just do what you can to keep them alive.

    And I think about that. Right now I dont know where the balance is between saying we have done enough....and helping him stay alive.

    I really dont know how as a parent you deal with losing your child.... so so tragic.....

    My son tonight started talking about options.... and I told him straight out that we are not paying for anything that is loosey goosey....that he doesnt like structure, but needs structure. We let him do it his way with a sober house with more freedom and it didnt work... we are not doing that again. He commented that after a while the structure gets to him and he goes downhill.... and I said your pattern is to go downhill after a certain period of time anyways.... and you need to figure out what that is about and deal with it. We will only support a sober house with a lot of structure..... he accepted that but i really just dont know anymore.

    I am so thankful he is still alive....but really I hope he gets it this time and really stays sober and finds a job and starts supporting himself. I am not sure we can keep going through this.... and yet I just want him to stay alive.
  2. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    So sorry, how heartbreaking...
    My best friend lost her son 3 years ago December 29th..She did everything humanly possible to help him. No rhyme or reason to who gets clean and who doesn't, and who lives or dies, so scary. She has worked and is working very hard to get survive this unspeakable loss...I am in awe of her, that she is surviving...
    This is the toughest thing to deal with, no doubt...I have a son who is totally blind and severely autistic and it is a cake walk compare to dealing with the roller coaster ride we've been on with his brother.In fact he is a joy and a gift in our lives.
    The addict is also a wonderful guy and he has lived a tortured life...We have been told by professionals many times that it's quite amazing that he is still alive...He is 39.
    I, too, try to live each moment at a time and see what is good and have gratitude..
    There are times when I can do that and times when I am merely trying to survive.
    I am praying for you tough lovin' and your son. You show amazing strength with all thst you are dealing with.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL hardly a month goes by that someone associated with my daughter during her past drug life doesn't die from overdose. Shortly after she left rehab one of the girls she got really close to was found dead in her car with a needle in her arm behind a gas station on a dark road off the highway. That hit us all because we got really close with her family and she was just 19, like our daughter. Last month a young man that she was in rehab with was shot and killed by police after robbing a pizza store. I could go on and on, they were all kids just like yours and mine. I too use to say we had to just keep her alive until she could do it herself. And yet I know that I could not keep her safe unless I kept her locked up in a room.

    You have done everything within your power to help your son and keep him safe and alive. You must believe that with every fiber of your body. So while I understand the thought I also know that none of us has that power over someone else.

    I am wondering if part of your son's going downhill after a while in structured environments has to do with his cravings for drugs/alcohol. Growing up with an alcoholic father I watched him when he was unable to drink, either form being in the hospital to trying to withdraw. He was fine for a while, very friendly and agreeable. But then we always knew when the cravings were getting to him. His mood changed, he was no longer agreeable, he was antsy and demanding. I'm wondering if it's the structure or the inability to get his drug of choice that really brings him down. Just a thought I had.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I dont believe it is the structure at this point.... last time I wanted to give him the chance to do it his way because he had gotten himself to detox and rehab and seemed internally motivated....but he relapsed in an unstructured environment.... it was not the structure that made him relapse.... and in fact the lack of structure may have made it worse and he played us in the process.... so this time we will not do that. If he goes into sober living it will hopefully be the one associated with the treatment center or one they approve of with a lot of structure!! He needs that even if he doesnt like it.

    I do think the craving to get high is one piece.... I also think another piece for him is the want/need to push the limits and break the rules. He has got to face that tendancy in himself or he is going to end up in prison.

    My son has also lost a lot of people he has known in rehab to overdoses.... I told him the other day he needs to honor those he has lost by learning from their mistakes... and he has to honor the couple of folks (older guys) who helped him by listening to what they taught him. We shall see....
  5. Tymica

    Tymica Member

    TL, my son's best friend all through middle and high school (the one who he really started this road to addiction with) was going down the same road our kids were going. In and out of rehab, jail, etc... Through all of the drama in our lives and in his, he lost touch with us and with DS. Last March he came over to see DS (not knowing we kicked DS out because of his drug use). He was clean, looked amazing, had plans for the future. We visited for over an hour. We loved that kid really almost like one of our own, and hubby and I were so proud of him for pulling things together. We told him where DS was staying and he said "Well, if he's not living right, I can't afford to go see him now anyway. I have to put my sobriety first. But please tell him I love him and I said it's much better on the other side." He left. In August he overdosed on heroin. It was such a mystery to us, how do they go from clean and sober for months and months to death? It really just is this dance our addicts do, and pull our strings right along with them.

    We don't have a lot of money. His family did. We have a stable, "normal" family life (both parents work, go to school functions, involved in the community, haven't moved in 11 years, etc...) His family did not. They both played sports and did extracurricular activities, and all of the other things "they" tell you in HS to keep your kids out of trouble. Yet, he's in a grave and DS is in a jail cell. It really makes no sense who gets out of this and who doesn't.

    I hope that this is the time your son gets out of it.

    And GOD FORBID the unthinkable happens to any of our kiddos, we all know it was a choice that they made, not a reflection of our commitment to them.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thanks of the real problems with heroin relapses is people get clean, relapse and use heroin at the same level before they relapsed and their body no longer has the same level of tolerance and they overdose. It is so darned tragic when this happens.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL is correct, I know of several young people that were sober for months, relapsed one time, and died. Tragic.
  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for this senseless loss, TL, it hurts.
    The path my Rain is on......I just don't know. It has been too long.
    I hear you. It is frustrating to see our d cs in this struggle.
    The dance, it is a dance, yes you are right, a dance.......

    I feel for you TL, at least he is still so young, I am praying for this to work for him.
    Praying for all of our d cs.