What would you do?

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
Most of you know the history of my son with the alcoholism... Tried getting him help when in college and he refused. Moved away and the drinking escalated. Got a DUI, spend a night in jail, 1 year probation. Once off of probation, sold his car with the excuse it was too expensive to have the breathalyzer in ...
Went back to drinking and longterm girlfriend left him in 2018... He spiraled down rapidly and then went to rehab but quit after 2 weeks, a few weeks later - detox and IOP only to get kicked out because he kept smoking weed and drank because of the death of his friend... 4 weeks later- detox and inpatient for 28 days. It was recommended he go to sober living and do IOP. He refused sober living and did IOP- quit that after 4 weeks said he didn't need it and was getting nothing out of it. Made it a total of 88 days sober and relapsed in 11/2018. December 2018 asked if we would help him get into sober living because he was so bad into booze and cocaine that he was afraid to die... We dropped everything, flew 1700 miles, rented a car, hired movers to put his belongings in storage, paid $3k+ his rent to break the lease, he lasted 30 days in sober living and refused to do their IOP and quit... Got himself an apartment and started drinking all over again.
4 months later was so bad he went to detox and did a PHP... not sure how long he made it after that... Then in Sept 2019 was missing work and drunk and was told he was going to get written up if he didn't get into work so drove a bike drunk and hit the curve and smashed his face against the curve... concussion, bruised face so badly eye was swollen shut. One would think that would have got his attention... Nope, right back to drinking, called me in Jan. of this year and said he didn't want to live that way anymore.. sweet talked my parents into helping him with his credit card debt...didn't stay sober more than 3 weeks... fast forward to now... lost another girlfriend. Is saying he is not going back down that road but is refusing to go to sober living, to go to IOP. He says he will do AA meetings... Doesn't want to break his lease but doesn't want to stay there because he wants to look for a roommate so he won't be alone. Was asking us to break the lease so he could look for a new place with a roommate. If we don't help, he will never be able to move on since his lease is another 8 months..
I told him I am not going to put out more money if he isn't working a program... I get well AA is a program... There is no accountability with AA. He has lied so many years that he was sober and wasn't ...
He talked about breaking the lease and moving home...UGH so he could save up money and then move somewhere.
I am not sure I can tolerate him living here again. There are no friends here for him either. He never listened to rules when he was here before.
Just wanted your thoughts.
I feel like if he worked a program where there was accountability and did it for 6 months, then maybe we would help with a down payment on a car but no way would we buy him a car.

Last night he was on the phone with my husband and talked like he would consider it and then 15 minutes later told me no way.
Last night he sent me a nice picture with a Bible verse on and then today the conversation got escalated very fast when I refused to foot the bill for the lease break. It is not safe for him to be alone in his apartment. He is having high anxiety with that. I guess the reminders of drinking there and the girlfriend and how he treated her... I get that he wants to move.... I get that he is strapped for money but that is because of all the booze he was buying.
I don't know if there is a way to get out of lease if there is a medical condition. If he doesn't get help or stop drinking he won't be here long. The work from home really affected him as well. Depression and relapse. His company won't be opening up until 2021 so that is 5 more months of sitting alone in his apartment working.
Just looking for thoughts, ideas.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
First, I am unclear what you seek here. Do you want to know what we think about your sons's behavior and situation? Or do you want to know what to do, and how to do it? Because I am unclear, I will answer based upon what I think in general.

Trying. I recognize how worried you are. I recognize how your son tries to get you or his grandparents (and others) to handle his life, the consequences of his actions, and his feelings. I know how this works because I did my own version of this. I also know that there is no way out of this cycle unless we back out of it.

From my own experience with my child, and with hundreds and hundreds of other people (it was my work) I have seen that the only thing that works in these situations is for the addict/alcoholic to do their own learning. Their own learning comes from their having to live the consequences of their choices, including the illness that results. The psychic illness as well as physical illness. I have felt this to be intolerable, and I still do. Typing these words is almost unbearable to me, because my son has a chronic illness and requires treatment.

While you continue to see your decision-making as about your son and his life, I see it as about you, your psyche, and your life. I have written here before that I believed that you took too active a role in your son's life, and he was too much in your own psyche. He manipulates, he punishes, he terrorizes you. He begs and pleads, and tries to extract every ounce of energy, worry, money, help that he can. He seems to play family members against each other. This is a lifestyle that has worked for him, and he does it well. His aim seems as much as he can to get his suffering into you and his Dad, and secondarily his grandparents. This is what an addict does.

It pays off. He has more of his own money for booze and drugs. He abdicates more and more responsibility for himself and his life to others.

More and more he can deny the real source of his problems, which is his drug use and drinking, and generally unhealthy lifestyle, emotionally, physically, socially, etc.

He lies to you about drinking, money, drugs, treatment to keep his game going. It's a scam. It's a con. He has no intention of quitting ever. All of it is words. This is not to say he won't someday enter into treatment, but it's not his intention now. At least I doubt it is. His intention is to abdicate any responsibility for his life, and to continue drinking without responsibility. It is also about power. He has a great deal of power over you. He likes this.

I will say it again. Nothing will change until you decide to change. That would begin, firzt, with boundaries. Not allowing him to dominate your life, your thinking, your emotions. I would strongly recommend online Al Anon meetings.

To me the issue that is most important is you. How to change you. How to get off the Merry Go Round that is your relationship with your son. This is your addiction, Trying. You are addicted to his Merry Go Round. Until you begin to face this, you will keep suffering. And the paradoxical thing is that you will be enabling your son's various addictions. It's not your fault, but it is your responsibility, to help yourself and to stop assisting your son, to live so badly.

I am sorry this is so painful and difficult for all of us, and each of us.
 
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HMBgal

Well-Known Member
I don't know if I'm allowed to post a youTube link to an amazing video addressing this very thing. It helped clarify my thinking so much. It's from a page I follow called "Juggling the Jenkins." She's a funny woman. I have a 43 year old daughter who is a meth addict, and now is really loving alcohol, too. And she's basically homeless. I'm raising her children and I won't let her live here.

This is about enabling. From an recovering addict's point of view.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
I know I have said this before.

I am so sorry for you.

It never worked to have my daughter at home. I am not sure that works well for us and them.

I do think it's time to think about you first. Al Anon is an online option.

Love and hugs and many prayers. Please keep us posted.
 

RN0441

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

Copa said it better than I could have. Until YOU stop helping he will never get better.

He will be doing this over and over again until the day you are no longer on this earth.

Please listen to what has been said here before and just stop enabling your son. It is not helping him. It is certainly not helping you.

How does one stop enabling? It is the hardest thing you'll ever do in your life. We all have done it differently. I thank GOD EVERY DAY of my life that he gave me the strength to stop enabling my son. I don't think I could have done it without divine power. I tried to do it on my own and I could not.

You have to do it your way but you must do it because it could save your son's life. It could make him want to save his own life. Until then, nothing will change.

Please get off the hamster wheel.
:hamwheelsmilf:
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
I agree with the other comments here. They are spot on.

You must take the focus off your son and work on you. When I first started "detaching with love" I remember saying to my therapist, "but if I don't take care of my two (adult) sons, who will?" I felt the total burden of their lives was for me to run. How would they eat, where would they sleep, how would they work if they had no where to sleep and eat? etc. etc.

This detaching with love so that your son can have a chance at managing his own life someday will take a lot of work. It took you a long time to get this way (enabling) and it will take a long time to get better. I feel you have to take the focus off of him, little by little so that you can get stronger. If you don't, you may set boundaries but you will be too weak emotionally to stand by them and keep them. Remember, as you set the boundaries, if you fail, don't beat yourself up. You are not the bad guy here. Be kind and loving to yourself. You can do this with little baby steps that prove to yourself and maybe-possibly (but not for certain) to your son that you are getting stronger. It doesn't matter what he thinks, it's what you think.

I had to allow my adult sons to try to figure this out (which they're still doing) so that some day when I'm no longer around they can take care of themselves.

There's a saying..."give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime."
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
My issue is if he doesn't have $3k to break the lease he has to stay out there alone with no family/friends.
How did sober living go for those who had sons/daughters in it? Did they stay long? Was it life changing?
He flies back to his apartment on Sunday... alone
Says that all that area where he lives has nothing for him anymore except bad memories. He is giving up weed. Feels that where he lives 1700 miles away is just not for him anymore. When he looks at his life he sees he has absolutely nothing now due to the alcohol addiction.
Praying when he goes back he can be strong enough to get through and figure something out.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Feels that where he lives 1700 miles away is just not for him anymore.
Good morning trying. Consistently, I have marveled at your son's talents and strengths. He has a great job and it seems he's valued by his employers and co-workers. He seems to always land on his feet. In the time you've been here, there have been so many falls, and so many resurrections. He is an able communicator. He always seems to find new girlfriends. He is well-schooled in resources. He is able to rally family to his side.

This is an able man. Who is an addict. Let him handle his own life. If he doesn't like where he lives, let him move. He has the resources. He chose to be far from family, and for so much of the time you've been on this forum he has been rejecting of both you and his father. He didn't want to even speak on the phone, unless he wanted something from you.

I am sure he loves you, but how is it different now? He's juggling balls in the air, and you are the balls.

He needs to handle his own life. If he wants to move closer, he can do so, but let him fund it. I continue to believe that you are too involved in his moment to moment, blow by blow life.

Of course all there is in his life is alcohol. That's because he has not stayed in treatment. People who stay in treatment, in sober living, are more likely to remain sober. Repeatedly he has chosen to leave treatment and to be indifferent to what will help him. The answer to your question is, yes there are some people who stay in sober living a long time. And they change their lives. They only do so when they decide. Not their parents, nor their counselors or anybody else, can influence them if they choose to leave. You have no control here. None.

All of your hand-wringing has no effect. Nor does mine. Our sons will do what they do.

Conversely, there is nothing that anybody here can say to you, that you would choose to STOP agonizing about the choices of a grown man. Only YOU can choose to back out of this.

As long as your son can continue to act to make you suffer, and you do it on cue, this dance will continue. I fear you may be helping him stay the same, by choosing to participate in all of this.
 
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JayPee

Sending good vibes...
You need to pull away from your son and stop feeling his feelings. Gosh, I know exactly what you're going through but remember you are not him. He is his own person and has his own identity just as you do. We mother's tend to blur the lines and forget where they begin and where we end.

I think this is possibly the first step in your recovery as I it was for me. Let your son be who he is, failures, accomplishments, sadness, worries, happiness and all and you need to be You.
 

Albatross

Well-Known Member
The answer to your question is, yes there are some people who stay in sober living a long time. And they change their lives. They only do so when they decide. Not their parents, nor their counselors or anybody else, can influence them if they choose to leave. You have no control here. None.

All of your hand-wringing has no effect. Nor does mine. Our sons will do what they do.

Conversely, there is nothing that anybody here can say to you, that you would choose to STOP agonizing about the choices of a grown man. Only YOU can choose to back out of this.
Well said, Copa.

I have come to believe that we are incapable of making that choice until we are ready. We must each “put the time in,” so to speak.
No one can “make” us ready — though how I wish they could! Maybe spare some of the many hours I wasted analyzing and agonizing over everything Son said and did...maybe avoid some of the erosion in my relationships with Hubs and Daughter when *I* made the choice to short-change them. But no one could have told me any differently. Some things we have to see for ourselves.
 

JMom

Well-Known Member
Trying,

This is 100% avoidable...from HIM. He has to decide not to put the alcohol in his mouth. Until that choice is made, your choices are to live your life, not his. You didn't choose the alcohol. You are choosing consequences...HIS consequences. He's very capable of dealing with this. Please step back and don't make it easier for HIM to choose alcohol at your expense.

Hugs,
JMOM
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
He is giving up weed.
he sees he has absolutely nothing now due to the alcohol addiction.
These are magic words, Trying. Abracadabra. Your son knows exactly what to say to influence you and to pull on your heartstrings. He even deceives himself. More than this he knows how to open your pocketbook. Most of our kids are like this.

Your son can do this. He has the resources and talents to make the life he would want, and is willing to work for. He and your family have our prayers.
 

Fairy dust

New Member
First, I am unclear what you seek here. Do you want to know what we think about your sons's behavior and situation? Or do you want to know what to do, and how to do it? Because I am unclear, I will answer based upon what I think in general.

Trying. I recognize how worried you are. I recognize how your son tries to get you or his grandparents (and others) to handle his life, the consequences of his actions, and his feelings. I know how this works because I did my own version of this. I also know that there is no way out of this cycle unless we back out of it.

From my own experience with my child, and with hundreds and hundreds of other people (it was my work) I have seen that the only thing that works in these situations is for the addict/alcoholic to do their own learning. Their own learning comes from their having to live the consequences of their choices, including the illness that results. The psychic illness as well as physical illness. I have felt this to be intolerable, and I still do. Typing these words is almost unbearable to me, because my son has a chronic illness and requires treatment.

While you continue to see your decision-making as about your son and his life, I see it as about you, your psyche, and your life. I have written here before that I believed that you took too active a role in your son's life, and he was too much in your own psyche. He manipulates, he punishes, he terrorizes you. He begs and pleads, and tries to extract every ounce of energy, worry, money, help that he can. He seems to play family members against each other. This is a lifestyle that has worked for him, and he does it well. His aim seems as much as he can to get his suffering into you and his Dad, and secondarily his grandparents. This is what an addict does.

It pays off. He has more of his own money for booze and drugs. He abdicates more and more responsibility for himself and his life to others.

More and more he can deny the real source of his problems, which is his drug use and drinking, and generally unhealthy lifestyle, emotionally, physically, socially, etc.

He lies to you about drinking, money, drugs, treatment to keep his game going. It's a scam. It's a con. He has no intention of quitting ever. All of it is words. This is not to say he won't someday enter into treatment, but it's not his intention now. At least I doubt it is. His intention is to abdicate any responsibility for his life, and to continue drinking without responsibility. It is also about power. He has a great deal of power over you. He likes this.

I will say it again. Nothing will change until you decide to change. That would begin, firzt, with boundaries. Not allowing him to dominate your life, your thinking, your emotions. I would strongly recommend online Al Anon meetings.

To me the issue that is most important is you. How to change you. How to get off the Merry Go Round that is your relationship with your son. This is your addiction, Trying. You are addicted to his Merry Go Round. Until you begin to face this, you will keep suffering. And the paradoxical thing is that you will be enabling your son's various addictions. It's not your fault, but it is your responsibility, to help yourself and to stop assisting your son, to live so badly.

I am sorry this is so painful and difficult for all of us, and each of us.
I don't know if I'm allowed to post a youTube link to an amazing video addressing this very thing. It helped clarify my thinking so much. It's from a page I follow called "Juggling the Jenkins." She's a funny woman. I have a 43 year old daughter who is a meth addict, and now is really loving alcohol, too. And she's basically homeless. I'm raising her children and I won't let her live here.

This is about enabling. From an recovering addict's point of view.
thank you so so much for this. I needed to hear this today.
 

tryingtobestrong

Active Member
I am very concerned for him. Maybe he is just pulling on my heartstrings but somehow I feel this may be his bottom. I mentioned he was staying with a coworker this week and they went to an amusment park this evening for his last night there... he text me he was having an awful time, that he felt hopeless. I didn't know what to say to that last text. When I wasn't home he called and was very upset on the phone. He was too heavy to fit on the rides and had to get off and watch his coworker ride them. Talk about a punch to the gut. I know he is embarrassed and devastated. He said before he has to lose weight so I guess now he will. As a parent I seen him get bullied in school because he was always the bigger boy. He goes back to his apartment tomorrow and has made it known to us that he is beyond scared for his life staying alone. He gets in his head. He literally has not slept a full night in 2 weeks. His mind races constantly. I am standing firm on not breaking the lease for him and having him move home but honestly if something happens I am going to feel like it was all my fault. I know I have spent so much over the past years and everytime he asked for help we did because we always thought this was it.. and well he never followed through.
We have tried encouraging sober living this time. No lease, month to month until he gets clarity but no he keeps saying he won't do that. So back to living alone...
I am going to watch the video now.
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
In my experience I feel you need to release the discomfort, loneliness, pain and hurt you are envisioning your son is experiencing to "him". Perhaps this is what he needs to want and desire something better for himself. If we cushion all the boo boos for them, they don't even know they need to get better.

Part of the way I "got better" (not cured) is to keep coming and reading other people's posts. Eventually, you will wake up from this "FOG"-fear, obligation and guilt. It doesn't go away completely and it's hard for us to believe we can ever get better from enabling but you have to be ready to accept the change in the role you will have to play. You see, you are waiting for "him" to be the change when in fact, it's YOU who has to be the change in the situation. It will be the "cherry on the top" if he does change someday but that could take a long time. In the meanwhile, you owe it to yourself to get better and be stronger. You can do it but only when you're really ready to pull away from making him the center of your universe.

Start with small changes. Only you need to know what you're doing. As you make these small changes you eventually get stronger and able to try to function as a separate human being. When you notice these things for yourself, you become empowered.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
it's YOU who has to be the change in the situation. It will be the "cherry on the top" if he does change someday but that could take a long time.
I think JayPee has said it all, in her post.

For years and years I could not separate from my son, because I believed that I was responsible to teach him, to save him, to fight for him. This created a life of pain and distress. I did not succeed in any way to change my son. The result for me was unceasing and worsenning conflict with him.

Not only did I not succeed in saving him, but I descended myself into chaos and terror. Because the only result that comes from battling where one has no control is defeat, and loss of identity. I became lost to myself. And I abdicated any sense of motherhood.

This is what I know now. These are adult men. They have the right and the responsibility to live as they can and live as they will. It is my job to handle whatever pain that comes up for me, in response to how my adult son lives. I handle this pain in myself, not through him. End of story.

I backslide, but I pick myself up and I return to the plan. For nearly 6 months now my son has lived independently of me. While he is not seeking treatment, he is speaking about his "addictions." That's a shift. He is not taking the antivirals he requires for his liver. This fills me with dread. But I recognize now, that this dread is my own to own. He will only save himself on his own terms, and his own volition. But I can save myself.

Life has ups and downs, wins and losses. People live and die. There is no other life than this. However impossibly hard it is to accept life on life's terms, there is no other way. This is your son's life to live, Trying. There is no other way. I wish there was. In my own experience, and I tried every which way to take onto myself, my son's battles, I had to let go. I did not let go of love. I found it.
 
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