Thoughts

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Been very depressed lately. Just wondering how everyone gets through this. It feels like there is no hope. We have tried pulling back and don't help financially with rent, etc. He is on my healthcare plan for a few more months than that is his responsibility.
My son is thinking of getting a new job... with that comes no FMLA because he would have to be there one year before that kicks in. He is looking for more money. He does do well for his company but right now the company is doing a wage cut across the board. However, if he stopped smoking weed like he said and would not drink all the booze he would have money.
Switching jobs would add so much more stress. I researched the company and they have social gatherings and have a cocktail logo by it, etc. Also states that must be flexible because job description could change.... He hates to do cold calls and that is what I see on the reviews... His position he is applying for isn't doing cold calls but if he has to be flexible to change....who knows.
Just on edge.. knowing in my heart he lies and says he is going to meetings but then I see calls to the liquor store.
Another issue is he only calls us when there is an issue with the insurance. When I see his name on my phone, I want to vomit. A call from my son never is good. When will that fear go away?
I am just so down. My counselor told me to change. Between my marriage not being the best, my son and working for our family business and struggling to get help, etc. the stress is so bad.
sorry for rambling.
We are to go visit our son in a few months.... I dread it.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Dear Trying:

I see you making positive changes. The hard thing we have to face is this: much of the time our changing does not result in our adult children deciding to change. We have to come to be able to tolerate this. Being better, safer, healthier ourselves, having healthier and less conflict-ridden lives, while our children continue to suffer and to be mired in their problems. Often our kids get worse when we pull back and get better.

You are very clear here about what your issues are:

--The visit to your son. You don't want to go.
--How calls from him make you feel sick.
--Needing to have his insurance, his life and well-being, separate from yours.
--That you feel very bad when you monitor his activities, such as calls to liquor stores.
--Being involved in his choices, such as work, or deciding (or not) to seek medical help.
--Feeling or thinking that you have a role and a responsibility in his decisions about drug and alcohol use, or treatment for same.

You have come a long, long way. You know what to do and what not to do. You've told us in your post. The thing is to follow through consistently. This takes time and support. I think we need help to change, not just from a therapist but from others who are on the same journey. This forum helped me. And others are helped do this through Al Anon or Codependents Anonymous.

We, all of us, have down days. I see you making real change, Trying. Why not stay here and post everyday with us? I found what helped me the most was to post on threads of others. With others it was far easier to see the right thing to do FOR ME. I got stronger as I channeled a stronger voice.
 
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tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Thank you, I was on another forum and everytime I posted they told me that I am constantly posting and they seemed annoyed. I didn't want to do that here.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
I also feel that even though he will make the decision on staying or leaving his current job, it will circle back to us again if he were to lose it due to a bad relapse because there he would not have FMLA until a year has past. I remember him texting me that he wanted us to be "in this together, that he needs to know we support him"... That upset me but I was afraid to say "well, we can't help you if you lose the new job". We seriously should have a nice savings at this time in our life and we don't. A few years ago we spent how much on trying to get him help through rehap copays, in and out of network fees, etc. With his own insurance, I sure hope he realizes he is on his own with everything.
He gets himself into credit card debt as well. Charging everything so he has cash for weed... Now that he supposedly stopped smoking that, he most likely will turn to the booze in excess again... (If history repeats itself).. I need to know look at the past but focus on the future.. However, every time I had my hopes up that this time he got it, he didn't. Heart shattered again.

I have bad thoughts as I am sure most parents of addicts do. They are not motherly thoughts and they make me feel really terrible. It is just we have been through so much and want our lives to be normal not always having this heavy weight on us.

He suggested that he had some vacation days and said if we wanted to visit when he was off. I thought this was nice but now I am so nervous. Hard enough hearing his voice on the phone let alone seeing him in person and having to make conversation and walk on eggshells.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Trying. I changed here on this forum. I posted sometimes 30 times a day, I think. There is no such thing as posting too much. When you post you read what you write. We reflect upon ourselves this way. But the way I changed most was to post on the threads of others. Really, really, that helped me. Because I saw what I felt and thought about other people. And if I saw what was right for them, I had to change. And I did eventually. I think I was the slowest learner on this board, but eventually I changed.

You wrote some wise and true things here:
it will circle back to us again if he were to lose it due to a bad relapse
This is true.
I remember him texting me that he wanted us to be "in this together, that he needs to know we support him
This is true. But support does not mean money. It does not mean 100 percent his terms. It does not mean doormat. To me support is love and an attitude of hope. And an attitude of hope does not mean expecting that he change in ways that you want. An attitude of hope, to me, means letting go, and letting G-d.
We seriously should have a nice savings at this time in our life and we don't.
That's right. Why not hold this as an intention?
He gets himself into credit card debt as well. Charging everything so he has cash for weed.
Yep. It's quite likely he'll continue this way, until he takes responsibility to change. Over this, you have no control. I know I don't with my own son.
Hard enough hearing his voice on the phone let alone seeing him in person and having to make conversation
I feel exactly the same way about my son who I love with my whole heart and soul. I dread seeing him and I can't bear speaking to him most of the time. That's okay for now. He is living far from me and he is self-sufficient. I am happy that he's learning to handle himself and his own life.

I realize, now, this is the only thing that works. My son has health issues. That's my biggest worry. But I can't decide for him if he lives or dies. He has to, and G-d. I accept that now. I have bad moments, like right now, as I type this. But that's a true thing. I don't control whether or not my own son lives. How hard that is for me to feel, and to accept.

PS Trying. I forgot to tell you that I am sorry you're feeling depressed. Keep posting. You'll soon feel better. I know it.
 
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Deni D

Well-Known Member
He is on my healthcare plan for a few more months than that is his responsibility.
Trying, oh I so get this. I counted down to when my son was no longer on is fathers health care plan, dreading it so much. And so now he's not. No health care as far as I know. I tried to encourage him to get on disability, which I knew he would qualify for considering his history, in between him calling me the C word in all of those conversations the last year or so. We, but our adult children don't look for those safety nets, FMLA, insurance in general, the ones we would naturally look for for grounding. I'm starting to believe the safety nets we always consider so important maybe are not as important as we believe they are, as long as we are not thinking we need to provide for them when our adult children fail to provide for themselves. What's the worse that can happen? And will it happen? I spent a huge amount of money trying to "launch" my son with a program in Utah, and then lots of copays and costs for rehabs back east here after he ran away. And half way houses and not so half way houses and such through the years. Plenty enough for me to outright own a nice place down in Florida for the winter months. One thing, but not the most important thing, I have discovered after those crazy days is there are other resources for him, if and when he is ready to take charge of his life and advantage of them. There are organizations, recovery and mental health organizations available to support emotionally and financially for those who are ready to take the reigns to change their lives. For people who are unemployed and employed, in patient, out patient. But the main thing, the most important thing, is for people who are ready to take responsibility "the reins" for themselves, which frankly are really the only type of people who will make progress.

I think your son will make it, I do. I think he has been making it, maybe not up to what you know his intellectual and emotional abilities are but with what his challenges are he's done good. And yeah, I expect his life will continue with less of a safety net than you or I would consider reasonable but maybe just okay for him.

I hope your depression lifts for you, and as far as posting, in my case and I'm pretty sure for most others here, who read often, even if we don't respond, your posts are heard and you don't annoy us in the least bit.
Love and peace to you.
 
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RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Everything written here is the 100% truth.

It's so funny but I now that I work from home I"m able to catch some daytime TV. I watched part of a Dr. Phil yesterday which was about a man (very nice looking man actually) that was a pretty severe alcoholic. His wife left him, his kids didn't want to be around him etc.

Dr. Phil made him see WHY which he seemingly could not before. Didn't think he was "that bad".

At the end of the show Dr. Phil said that until HE is ready to change, if ever, he will not change.

That's really the bottom line here for us all isn't it? Can we really get mad, hurt, etc. because someone will not be the way we think they should be? The way they should be to make us happy and content? I'm not talking about minors here, I'm talking about adults that happen to be our children.
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
Trying,

I'm sorry for your heartache. Both of my adult sons who have been living in their cars for almost 3 yrs. (off and on) have finally each found a place to live (that's decent) and younger son is beginning a new job. Older son, on unemployment because of COVID but I feel is motivated and headed in the right direction. Even as I write this I have a hard time believing this has come true and still worry it won't last. Day after day, month after month, season after season my heart has ached when they frozen in their cars or were hungry etc. but were unwilling to make any effort to better their lives.

Even with these positive changes that I never, ever thought I'd see, when they call I ask the Good Lord to help me because my stomach still flip flops. It's hard for us to not be anxious when we're around them or hear from them because we are so used to their behaviors and the problems they have that somehow become ours. Try prayer if you have God in your life. It has truly been what has helped me. I believe I've said this before but through prayer, I feel that I was changed. So even if my sons don't make it this time with all the opportunities before them, I can only hope I am strong enough, "changed enough" to handle it.

Also, try getting through even the next 15 minutes and then the next 15 minutes after that. Partition your day out to survive in increments rather than looking so far ahead and trying to find a solution to what may or may not happen. That is hard but the alternative is anxiety. If we think we can forsee the future and have a plan for every potential disaster that may happen, we will have spent so much time worrying when in fact we do not have control over the future and our solutions may not be the solutions accepted by our adult children. That has always been part of the stress for me. I wanted them to do what I suggest and they are only now listening to a few things I say. I believe it's just the way it has to be because it's their journey and their lives are seen thru their eyes not ours. We forget because we love them so much that they are not us but are individuals who also sometimes must suffer and make the wrong choices to hopefully learn and get through this life with some success.

You may want them to change with your whole being but until they are ready (which can take years and sometimes a lifetime) nothing will happen.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Thank you everyone! So many of what you all said I feel too. I can't beat myself up because my feelings are normal after being through so much what I call trauma. The calls in the middle of the night, the manipulative calls, the belittling and degrading calls, etc. I expressed my fears to my husband today about our trip to see our son and his answer was "cancel the trip"... All because I said I don't want to sit in the car and drive around for 3 days like we did 3 years ago because our son was extremely overweight and would not walk on the trails of the National park we were visiting.
I am not cancelling just yet.
I realize if he switches jobs I need to somehow say that he can't look to us to help him because we have our own bills plus we gave him enough of help all these years... (only for him to make the same choices over and over) Even if he doesn't switch jobs, we can't be paying off his copays, etc. He chooses to use and then needs the ER so why should we have to pay...

Sad, for how intelligent he is that he doesn't see what he is doing to his financial future and his health.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
if he switches jobs I need to somehow say that he can't look to us to help him
Even if he doesn't switch jobs, we can't be paying off his copays, etc
Trying, that I am aware of you've told him this before. Perhaps, many times. The person who needs to listen is you. The person who needs to hear you, is you.

His feelings, his thoughts, his actions, are his to manage. His learning is his to do. About his finances, his health, his weight, his jobs, his girlfriends, all his learning. Your learning is to listen to yourself, to your needs, to your wants, to your desires for security and contentment and to act for yourself, in terms of boundaries, self-care, and support.
Sad, for how intelligent he is that he doesn't see what he is doing to his financial future and his health.
I could say here, "back to you." With your intelligence, can you not see what you're doing to your financial future and your health, mentally and physically, by living your life located in him? Trying, it's not helping him and it's hurting you. Please stay here with us. I believe you are changing powerfully, but this process requires accountability. Accountability to yourself. By posting here, on your own threads, and on the threads of others you will find what you need. It's about muscle. This is a work out.
 
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JayPee

Sending good vibes...
Copa, so very well put. I like the analogy "It's about muscle". You're so right. It's the muscle of hope, courage and strength that we have to use to better ourselves. For some of us that has become very weak and unrecognizable anymore. We get so over-involved, often times in an unhealthy manner at rescuing our adult children that we become weakened. We lose our ability to focus and care for ourselves but it's so important for us to take care so that when (and it could be a very long time in coming) our adult children wake from their sleep of unaccountability, addictions, lack of concern for themselves or others etc., that we will not be a puddle of nothingness that is sick with undue anxiety, hopelessness and despair. We will be unfit and unable to enjoy the fact our children have come out on the other side of it all because we will have lost ourselves along the way.

I recommend even if it feels, selfish, at first, take baby steps to care for yourself. Read a book, get a pedicure, visit with a friend and talk about yourself, buy something pretty, indulge in a nap. As we begin to do this we can take the focus off our adult children and begin to heal our own brokenness. Self-care is not selfish. Isn't this what we all strive for our adult kids to finally arrive at? Why not us too? We are worth it.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
I think I mentioned he was looking for a new job because he feels he deserves more money and also because his company made them take a wage cut until the end of the year. The current job he is there almost 4 years. Does a great job but with where he lives the cost of living is alot higher than other branches of the company. The company pays them the same rate no matter what state their office is in.
I had looked at the company reviews of where he had his interview today and just suggested he look at them as well and make a very sound decision on the move if he is offered the job. With his current job he has FMLA to protect him shall he need it again for rehab... This has saved him twice over the past 3 years. That is a big deal to me. Part of me feels that if he doesn't have this safety net than maybe he will stay on the right path for awhile, part of me is scared. Like all of you said, it is his path. I need to be strong and let him know I can't help anymore.
He sent me a text stating he did not like that I was downgrading his opportunity.... that he can't pay rent with his current pay .... that where he lives has an extremely high cost of living.... I don't feel I downgraded his opportunity and I told him that. I told him to make sure he thinks this through. Yes, he deserves more money for what he does.
I also reminded him that he had just said he will be able to save up now since he can't smoke weed anymore due to it making him sick... Guess what? No reply...
I know he is most likely back to drinking and weed. Charges all of his bills, pays cash for the booze/weed.. Credit cards get maxed out and he calls my dad for help. This happened twice now... My dad said no more so I hope he stands firm.

Someone mentioned on another post about writing a journal and putting in all of what has happened over the years. I know that when I read all of it, it will make me stronger and angry and want to stand up for myself. My problem is when he manipulates me, I cave. I need to be strong.
I am going kayaking tomorrow with a friend and have started reading a book. Thank you all.
 

JMom

Well-Known Member
Trying,
I hope you continue to post. I love to hear from you, your progress and appreciate the support that you give others by posting. Sometimes, I too, feel that I post too often. I try to be sly and put it in different forums (I joke-kinda). I am VERY happy that you are here reaching out for support. You will no doubt grow stronger boundaries, get better at practicing self-care and make some pretty awesome friendships along the way. This site has become my soft place to land. You will make it through. Perhaps you can practice boundaries if you visit your son or cancel the trip as a practice of self-care. You can love someone with distance. Just do what seems best and most kind to yourself.
Hugs,
JMOM
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
Trying...don't worry if you fail along the way. It's ok. We will have days that we are able to handle things better than others. I often find if I'm tired about other things in life I try to keep my distance from adult sons because I know I won't be able to handle their demands. Put those boundaries out there for yourself. Be aware if you are feeling vulnerable and wait to talk with your son if so.

All we can do is take one day at at time. Just being aware of the problems we have with our children is already a step towards healing. When we are aware of a problem to me that's the first step and then we inch forward trying to heal ourselves so that we can make our children the dependent people they need to be to survive life. We will not be around forever and we will want them to be able to care for themselves when we're not here.

Keep the faith.
 
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