update

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Every change you make that helps you cope is good. It helps him too. I humbly suggest that maybe he gets more dramatic when you let him complain about his life. Obviously his life isn't good. An addicts life isn't good. But the hard life of being an addict can motivate the person to change. Perhaps listening to him complain, as he doesn't do the hard work, holds him back. Remember that a lot of what addicts say is just toxic words meant to get us to react and be unhappy with them.

Please keep going to AlAnon. It may help! Helped us.

Love and.prayers.
 
Hi tryingtobestron, I am fairly new to this site but I think we may be at similar stages with our sons. Though our stories are a quite different. I understand how hard it is to step back as I have made the decision to step away from my son altogether as the madness of his situation over the last couple of months has made me have a bit of a mental breakdown. Even though I know I have to be strong and walk away from him it does not make it any easier. I'm not saying you should walk away completely from your son, as I am, but from what I have read on these threads is that you are having trouble setting boundaries and I just want you to know I know how hard that is to do and you are not alone in this. But the advice I am reading on this thread is good advice and what I also need to hear, so I guess I just want to let you know I feel for you and what you are going through and you are not alone here.
 

Nandina

Member
Hi Trying, I’m glad you answered Busy that you do read the posts because I had the same concerns as she did and that she so so eloquently expressed. Thank you for responding. I hope that more of a “dialogue” can be established so we know where you’re at, so to speak.

One piece I get from one of your last posts is that you said not a single person understands what it’s like to have an addicted child. I have felt the same way and it is devastating—wondering if I’m going to be judged for being a bad mom...or knowing that my child is suffering and what if something bad happens to him, will I ever forgive myself? How can letting go of my child be good for him or me? It is a lonely existence having these thoughts in isolation and no one who shares the experience of dealing with a substance-addicted child to understand or encourage you. Most of us on this site have experienced similar thoughts.

But having read previous posts, I know you have been referred to Al Anon and I saw that you attended a meeting. I’m not sure if that was your first time or if you even liked it, but I do know that it is a place where literally everybody in the room “knows what it’s like.” In my opinion, just having relatable people to talk to and perhaps to become friends with takes some of the weight off.

How did you find the experience at Al Anon? Would you consider going back? I think having the companionship of those with similar experiences would be a huge plus for you right now. Of course if Al Anon is not your thing, there are other options. The point is, try and find someone, somewhere, who understands addiction and can help you through the steps necessary to disengage from your son so that he can at some point face his addiction and heal in his own time. And you can begin to heal as well.

And of course, please keep posting here. We want to hear from you.

Many hugs and prayers.
 
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Copabanana

Well-Known Member
having relatable people to talk
That was a beautiful post, Nandina, on a thread of posts both beautiful and deeply felt and expressed.

This is my own experience. Many, many mothers feel alone with their grief, guilt and loneliness, regardless of the circumstances of their adult children. If we begin to speak of our experience truly, even if it appears that the other mother would not, could not understand, we create the safe place of "relatable people with whom to talk." To have a voice, to be heard, to feel together begins with risk, imagining that one other person may understand. I am finding that in my own life, by taking that risk with people whom I would not have believed, would understand, I help them to find that place in themselves, to do the same: To risk, and to feel, about themselves and for me.

Without here, this virtual experience, I would not have had the capacity nor the will to try.
 

RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I agree; this forum, believe it or not, gave me more strength than anything else.

Or maybe it was truly a combination of my then newly found faith, this forum and my therapist. I did not find that AA or NA helped me because it just made me feel more hopeless with other's stories where HERE and at my therapist it was more about sorting out MY own story with others that had been in the same place I was currently in with no judgement!

Trying I feel so deeply for your pain. I just hope that we are helping you gain some strength and SELF-COMPASSION.

You have so much compassion for your son, what about yourself? I think it's worse for us as mothers than the actual addict. My hair went totally gray just to give you an idea of what it did to me......
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
Trying,

I see so much of my "past" self in your postings. I was married for 30 yrs. to an alcoholic. We think they are they only ones who are "sick" from the disease and it's not true! We have slowly but surely enmeshed ourselves so much in the alcoholic's life that the lines become blurred as to what's their responsibility and what is ours... where their breath ends and ours begins. Trust me until you step off the merry-go-round and begin to take baby steps to care for yourself you will never find where you begin and your son ends. As mentioned in prior posts from others, you have become addicted to your sons "life" with all that it entails. You are in a fog and you need to reach for the life-line people are sending you through their posts. We have lived what you are going through and we know how blind we were.

Trust us...even just a little bit to set some boundaries that are realistic to you but that will even for a day push you in the right direction and motivate you to keep going in that direction. You need to come up for air and love yourself even an ounce as much as you love your son so that you will begin to care for yourself.
 

amazeofgrace

A maze of Grace - that about sums it up
(((Hugs))) my difficult child 2 is home and I wish he wasn’t - he’s manic and abusive - but I know what it’s like when they aren’t home and the worry that comes with it - I wish I had the answer, sending positive vibes your way AOG
 

Fairy dust

New Member
Trying, right now and for awhile now you have operated as if your center of gravity is in your son. It's like his mouth is attached to your brain, and your brain is attached to his mouth. You react to him as if he plays you, runs you, like a marionette. All of us here recognize this way of relating to our child, because we have done it too. It never, ever works. Why? Because their brains are not functioning right. Why? Because their mouths are not attached to reason, to will, to logic. Why? Because you can't live your life with an umbilical cord connecting you to an alcoholic, unless you are an addict too. And that is the reason that most of us go on with this far too long. Because we have become addicted to the disordered life of our child and our sense that we can and should help them.

Oh. We tell ourselves all kinds of things. We're their mothers. They're our babies. They might die of (x, y, z). It is our responsibility to show them the right way to live and to guide them through the change process. And we say hundreds of more things that are just as irrational and foolhardy as the ones I just wrote. I know they are foolhardy because I was the fool.

Your son will keep doing the illogical, chaotic, inconsistent, dramatic and self-defeating things that he has been doing. There is not one thing that you can do to stop him or to make him do other things, which are better, smarter, healthier, etc. If you look back at your threads you will see the chaos which has aleady ensued. Of course there are disasters and health risks and losses, and more losses. Why? Because he is an alcoholic/addict. He has never seriously taken on recovery. Why? Because things have not gotten bad enough to motivate him. He does not want to recover, bad enough. If he did, he would try. Maybe he will never choose to recover.

And what will you do then? Will you do this the rest of your life? Will you throw away your life force and your money to keep going round and round with somebody who may pay lip service to changing, who extracts support and resources, by mouthing words that look like he wants to do this or that, who creates a three ring circus all around him over and over again? Is this the life you choose? It seems so.

There is a way out for you. You can get this monkey off of your back. The monkey is NOT your son. The monkey is your addiction to this circus, this way of life. Until you see that you are addicted to this, you will keep abusing YOUR drug of choice. This drama. This sense that you have control. This illusion you can save him. This fear that if you stop, something horrible will happen (please let me tell you. It already is.)This fantasy that your love and power and responsibility will make a difference. It won't.

For some reason you just don't want to hear it. I don't know who wrote it, but somebody did on this thread. We all have an inner timetable of how long we have to go on. And what it will take for us to put the burden down. You are already so sick and tired, Trying. When will it be enough for you?
What
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Thank you everyone. I so want to move ahead with my life, I really do.
I started going to Alanon again but honestly not getting much out of it. 2 weeks ago it was me and 2 others ladies, last week it was me and 1 other lady.
There is no PALs around me. The next closest Alanon is about 40 minutes away. I went there about a year ago and it was me and 3 others.

Today I read something very sad. It was a post from a lady who works for a company that hires those in recovery. She said this guy was 2 years clean and was the sweetest, smartest and hard working guy she ever met... She got the call they found him OD on his bathroom floor over the weekend. She was also told that he tried to go to an AA meeting on Saturday and was turned away because it was too full and the other one near him was closed. This breaks my heart. I told it to a lady at work who has no understanding about addiction and I got a blank stare. I said you don't get it. These addicts that are in recovery have to work on their recovery every day.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
So, one more thing... When he comes out of treatment, I don't encourage him to do sober living. I shall just say it is your life, you know your history, you choose. I am moving on with my life now. This was the last time we have helped with treatment or anything. Good luck?

(Sober living costs half the price of his rent but you are not allowed females over while you are there. Saving all that each month on rent seems like the logical thing to do but it is his life.)
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Trying. Why not try online Al Anon groups. There is also Coda or codependents anonymous. Or there is personal therapy. Some mothers have been helped also by themselves going to addiction counselors. If I am correct, RN may have done this, as a way to set limits with her son.

You are still focusing on absolutely the worst case scenario. Yes. There are very sad and tragic stories involving drug overdoses and other horrible life circumstances. One of these is the fact that your son is an alcoholic and with alcohol he is drinking himself into poor health and worse, while he suffers and everybody around him suffers. Death is not the only bad outcome. 'Where there is life there is hope.

I wish you would try to work with your own mind and life. What we put into our minds effects our lives and how we feel about our lives. If we put toxic junk in our minds, we will feel like a toxic waste dump.

By filling your mind with thoughts of suicide and death, you are creating a mindset and a life that is unecessarily tragic. Just becase you think it, doesn't make it so. People work on their mindsets. This can be a personal choice. There is nothing inevitable about what we think. We can have a great deal of control, if we choose to.

If you are depressed, why not seek out treatment for yourself? Have you thought that perhaps your over focus on your son may be a means to avoid facing your own depression about your life and your marriage? If this is the case, you're not the only one.
 
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Copabanana

Well-Known Member
When he comes out of treatment, I don't encourage him to do sober living. I shall just say it is your life,
Trying. Your job as I see it is to stay in the present. Right now. This moment. And to stay in yourself and in your life. Not his.

Who knows what will be when he gets out of treatment? That is his job to figure out, not yours.

Right now is for you to think about how you feel, what you will think and what you will do. That's a full time
job for most of us, who have neglected outselves, our feelings, our bodies, our lives.

We become so estranged with ourselves we have to schedule a "meet and greet."

There are so many things that can be done. There are online meditation groups. (I do one within my faith.) There are online yoga classes. There is internet therapy, now. There is yoga online. There are art classes. There are religious services. Are you a reader? Do you do needlework? Do you like to walk?

What do you like to do? What in the past has brought you joy, a moment's escape?

Why not introduce you to us? Tell us who YOU are. Please.

These things can move much more slowly than we would want, than we expect.

Now is your time. NOW.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Yes, I have seen many therapists. One that was a recovering addict.
I love animals and going for walks. I am starting to read books parents wrote of their stories through the life with an addict child.

I love the outdoors but my husband doesn't. I love to kayak but have to go alone which is fine.
I love to travel but don't have hardly any time off to do that because of our work plus we help my daughter who is going to grad school with some of her bills so her debt is not over $200,000 when she graduates. Plus we do help with treatment for our son which will soon be off of our insurance.
I love palm trees and island vacations... my husband doesn't.

Positive! My daughter said when she graduates and gets her real job she is taking me on an island vacation! So looking forward to that!
 

Nandina

Member
Trying, it was such a pleasure reading this from you! So far, most of us know you only as how you relate to your son, so it‘s good to hear this positive side of you that has been overlooked for so long. Is there something that you can do for yourself today, whether by yourself or with someone else, that can bring a little bit of joy into your day? Then, please do it and tell us about it. Maybe it’s reading a passage from scripture, or a good book, a long walk in the woods, spending time in nature or with animals, learning to meditate... (that kayak ride sounded pretty cool!)

Each little thing that you do for yourself will help you heal and gradually take your focus off of your son. I am so looking forward to hearing more.

Many prayers and hugs.
 

RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
So happy to hear these great things. You do have a lot of blessings in your life.

If husband doesn't like the things you like, that's okay. We are all different. Find things that make YOU happy and give YOU peace.

It sounds like your daughter is wonderful and appreciates you. She is doing something good with her life.

We all have pain and sorrow in our lives - if not now, we've had it. You have to focus on the good as we all do. One foot in front of the other and before you know it you'll gain some emotional strength.

I pray for your spiritual strength. God is listening and he will help you if you just let him in.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
It was a blessing to read your post, trying, that you have such things in your life that you love and love to do. That's your job now. (And mine, too.) To make a life centered around our own well-being, and joy.
I love animals and going for walks
Me too.
I love to kayak but have to go alone which is fine.
That's great.
I love to travel
Me too.
My daughter said when she graduates and gets her real job she is taking me on an island vacation!
This sounds marvelous. If you could be there right now, today, where would you go?
 

Deni D

Well-Known Member
Trying ~ It's so hard to accept we just don't have the control to make our troubled children do what's right for themselves, or stay out of trouble or danger. We just don't. I used to jump through hoops, flaming hoops, trying to help my son. And then all of the mental gymnastics, what does this mean from him, should I have said something different, did I use the right tone of voice, should I do this or not do this? Over and over, day after day, week after week until it turned into years. With no change on his part, just more of the same.

I don't think it's abnormal for an adult child to call their parents when things get difficult, vent a little (respectfully), and get some empathy, some actually seek and take advice. But what's abnormal and does no one any good is the extremes ours go to. The chaotic and drama filled lives they lead, the same stuff over and over, like ground hog day. He's in a bad place for sure, but only he has the control to get himself out of it.

Right now the roller coaster is quite a wild ride for you, so many rapid ups and downs. One of the things that helped me, but not while i was in the thick of rapid change with my son, was some of the Eckhart Tolle readings and youtube videos. Other authors too but he's a gentle who I like.

Picture one of those long hugs that makes you forget everything that's happening around you for a minute. I'm sending you one of those.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Thank you everyone for the hugs and kind words. I have been blessed over the years and I do still see many blessings even amongst the storm with my son. We were fortunate that when my children were young we were able to go on many family vacations and I look back to those special times. I remember my children smiling and having so much fun. I do remember when things started to change with my son and those trips hurt so I try not to look back at them.
What I did today that brought me joy and smiles.... I took one of my co-workers home because she doesn't drive and I played for her the song by Casting Crowns - The Bridge- It immediately made me forget everything and I blared it for her and told her to listen to the words. I forgot how I loved to blare my Christian music when driving. Oh my, I can't sing but boy do I belt it out anyway.
I think she seen a side of me she hadn't seen. Wow, how I forgot all the turmoil for that ride home.

If I were to go on a vacation right now, I would love to go to Hawaii, Bahamas, St. Thomas, or somewhere along those lines. I was fortunate to be able to go to Hawaii with my daughter when she graduated high school. Such beautiful memories. The year prior to that her dream was to go to The Mall of America. We had a blast. I just love reminiscing on our fun times. It was a short trip there but so much fun.

Really trying to hold back on giving my son my opinion for when he is released from treatment.. He mentioned his apartment today when he called and I asked if he was going back to that and he replied "I need to have another week or two to dry out before I make that decision".
Trying to stay positive.

Going to read my book now and walk on the treadmill.
Thanks everyone for sticking by me through these tough times.
Blessings to you all!
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Thank you everyone for the hugs and kind words. I have been blessed over the years and I do still see many blessings even amongst the storm with my son. We were fortunate that when my children were young we were able to go on many family vacations and I look back to those special times. I remember my children smiling and having so much fun. I do remember when things started to change with my son and those trips hurt so I try not to look back at them.
What I did today that brought me joy and smiles.... I took one of my co-workers home because she doesn't drive and I played for her the song by Casting Crowns - The Bridge- It immediately made me forget everything and I blared it for her and told her to listen to the words. I forgot how I loved to blare my Christian music when driving. Oh my, I can't sing but boy do I belt it out anyway.
I think she seen a side of me she hadn't seen. Wow, how I forgot all the turmoil for that ride home.

If I were to go on a vacation right now, I would love to go to Hawaii, Bahamas, St. Thomas, or somewhere along those lines. I was fortunate to be able to go to Hawaii with my daughter when she graduated high school. Such beautiful memories. The year prior to that her dream was to go to The Mall of America. We had a blast. I just love reminiscing on our fun times. It was a short trip there but so much fun.

Really trying to hold back on giving my son my opinion for when he is released from treatment.. He mentioned his apartment today when he called and I asked if he was going back to that and he replied "I need to have another week or two to dry out before I make that decision".
Trying to stay positive.

Going to read my book now and walk on the treadmill.
Thanks everyone for sticking by me through these tough times.
Blessings to you all!
Forgot to add that my son also said that his counselor is pretty positive that he has PTSD. He was talking about that. Just don't understand what happened though. I feel like he will say it was when he was at the teen mental hospital on the 72 hour hold that I didn't get him released from...
 
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