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People, Places & Things
Posted: July 16, 2013, 7:59 AM


Posts: 17
Joined: July 15, 2013



I had posted a question about the value of changing the people, places & things in the Heroin section not realizing there is a "Family" section. I am new to this!
I have a son who is a heroin addict and has been in and out of detox & treatment since March 2013. In this time he has been through detox 5 times, completed 2 30+ day in-patient programs and did brief stays in 2 other in-patient programs(he left 1 program because there were actually people using in the residential home & he walked out AMA from the other) I do not even count those 2 lost weeks as any part of his recovery. With that said, my son DID successfully complete 2 programs and the reports & conversations with his therapists from both places indicated that he was a very willing participant in groups, did all of his assignments and was not combative or disruptive. The problem starts when the professionals suggest he still needs IOP or some other follow up care after he gets out of treatment. My son does go to halfway/sober living and this seems to be the problem. We live in S Fl. which is a hub for recovery. My son is VERY connected to this area and I'm sure has numerous drug connections which I am sure are triggers.
We have told our son - who is getting out of detox tomorrow- that this next try in residential treatment is our last involvement. We are hoping that by sending him to Minnesota he will be AWAY from the people, places & things that are making it so hard for him to even feel,what sobriety is like outside of a residential facility. He is very excited about going to Minnesota and has always been willing to go to treatment. We have never had to force him into treatment which makes it so hard for us to understand why he completes treatment & then relapses immediately and then puts himself back into treatment immediately!! He is not the type to be gone or out of touch for weeks - he relapses and then the next day puts himself back into detox. I am thankful he stops himself before it gets really bad but a relapse is a relapse.
Any advice from others out there is greatly appreciated. We love our son and want this so badly for him but do know that HE has to want it and do the hard work.
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Posted: July 16, 2013, 1:30 PM


Posts: 9
Joined: February 9, 2013



Hi Thirdson,

Although I have been "creeping" almost daily on this wonderful board for over a year, I have not posted much. But your letter has moved me to reply, as our experiences with our sons are very similar.

My son, too, has been to 4 rehabilitation centers and 2 sober living homes, both in South Florida. It does seem to be the mecca for recovery. He is there now, and after completing another 30 day program, has moved into a sober living home..... again.

People, places, and things are a certainly a trigger for my son. He returns home, with I believe good intentions, relapses, and goes back to PHP. Thank heavens our insurance has been covering these stays. He has been in wonderful places. The folks are kind and understanding, always keeping me informed of his progress.

His last time home, only a month, he came to us and said he had to return to rehab. Relapse again. We had a long talk before he left about his bouncing back and forth. He told me at this point he only feels safe in the world of recovery. I honestly think he is addicted to rehab. He promised to speak to his therapist about this. Hopefully, he did. I don't know, as I have decided to step back from his recovery. I am still his biggest cheerleader, but for my own sanity I cannot be so involved anymore. There was a point where I was just a lunatic over this, probably sicker than he is.

He actually seems happier this time. His phone calls are positive. The home he is in has a more mature clientele with a lot of sobriety. So I encourage him and tell him I am proud of his hard work. But I try not to get my hopes up, just thank God for the good days.

I just don't know, thirdson. I can't believe this has happened. I go about my life, and suddenly it hits me again, like a punch in the stomach. And I cry for the kind, funny boy I had. And I pray for all of our kids, and I pray for all the parents and families. And the people who care for our children in recovery. I pray a lot LOL!

The most important things I learned while "creeping" here is to take care of myself and to step away (with love). Its so very hard, I'm using the baby-step method. Whatever works. Take care of yourself and keep reading here. Amazing people with incredible advice.

love and peace


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Posted: July 16, 2013, 6:36 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



Your son sounds like one of those who is afraid to function 'on the outside'...much the same as people who become repeat offenders to get back into prison where the routines are predictable and safe. If I had to guess I'd say you've spent a bundle on getting and keeping him clean, but sometimes the best thing we can do is withdraw financial support and keep the spiritual support in place...love them from afar and let them fall all the way to where they are sick and tired of being sick and tired and reach for real recovery on their own.

How old is your son and does he come home when he gets out?

Welcome, and keep reading...lots to learn.

Peace ~ MomNMore

PS Rosemary, I was easily as sick as my daughter at the height of my addiction to her addiction...good for you for seeing it for what it is and stepping back, your observations are astute.

This post has been edited by MomNMore on July 16, 2013, 6:39 PM

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: July 16, 2013, 11:20 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: July 15, 2013



Thanks so much Rosemary & Momnmore! I appreciate your kind words of strength, hope and understanding. This journey has been VERY emotional and I have learned SO much about the disease of addiction through a family program at one of my son's prior rehabs and by attending weekly NarAnon meetings. My NarAnon group is amazing and has been a great source of information and strength.
I believe Momnmore asked where my son would go after rehab. My son has attempted sober living houses but has no success there. My husband and I have "drawn the line " and will NOT let him come live with us. I think my son has only been home once since mid- March. Our son doesn't even ask anymore. He already knows the answer. He has NO car, no regular source of income, no fancy phone - he has a very simple "flip phone" that only calls & texts a limited number of people. He had a great job with a very understanding boss but that is gone too.
I agree that I need to keep "detaching" from him to let him fall as far as he needs so that HE can pick himself up on HIS own. My head completely understands this and I WILL do what it takes. It's just so hard and my heart still breaks,every single day.
I am not sure my son is addicted to the safety net of rehab... He is always antsy towards the end of his treatment to move on... His biggest issue is not taking the advice seriously from his therapists about what he needs to do post treatment. I do think he gets completely overwhelmed with the change in routine, environment, etc.. and "using" becomes his safety net to not deal with all of these challenges. Thus the vicious cycle begins. He is quite smart and knows exactly what to do to get his insurance processed to get his treatment approved. He sets this up all on his own too. He is still young enough to remain on our family insurance. My son is not one to be belligerent or overtly rude or disrespectful. He is a master of manipulation, but we are on to his "stories" and now don't even entertain any of it when it starts.
My son leaves for a treatment center in Minnesota on Thursday a.m. I pray this entirely new environment away from everything he knows will be the fresh start he needs. He will be flying out on a one way ticket. My plan is to tell him no return ticket will be paid for be me if he does not heed the advice of the professionals. If he yet falls again the distance alone will hopefully bring to light the severity of his addiction and situation. I am always, always hopeful that he will want it this time. Time will tell. His life is worth it.
Thanks again for your kind words... :)

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Posted: July 17, 2013, 8:43 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



Well of course his life is worth it, but he's the one who has to reach for a life instead of waiting for you to keep handing over yours. Are you funding all these rehabs? I know detox is usually covered by insurance or can be had for free, but rehabs cost money and throwing money at addiction is seldom the answer. We funded long term rehab (15 months) and then cut her off when she relapsed ten days after getting out and getting an apartment (which we also funded)...she was 19 at the time, went into rehab 3 weeks before she turned 17. She not only relapsed, but was arrested and jailed for drunk driving, and lost her license for three years. We allowed her to come home where she stayed straight for about 6 months then not only relapsed but became an IV heroin user (her former DOC was cocaine).

I understand your fears, but keep doing what you've always done, keep getting what you've always gotten...nothing changes if nothing changes. He's not likely to change until you do...the codependent dance continues until there is no partner.

Establish some real boundaries, things you are comfortable sticking with, not things you will never really follow through on...they can always tell the difference.

How long are you willing to put your own life on hold? It's not only possible to be happy while they struggle, it's okay, necessary, and desirable...be a model for him of what it is to have a life, not waste one.

Peace ~ MomNMore

This post has been edited by MomNMore on July 17, 2013, 8:43 PM

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: August 12, 2013, 11:18 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: July 15, 2013



Update- well my son has been in treatment in Minnesota for 3 weeks and is in his SECOND rehab! He got kicked out for using in his first rehab at the end of 2 weeks. He had not even left the rehab yet as he was still on the mandated 2 week "lock down" part. Apparently a visitor snuck "stuff" in and well... You can figure out what happened. My son was kicked out and dropped off at a homeless shelter on a Friday afternoon in a city he knew NO One and knew Nothing of his surroundings. As you can imagine it was a HORRIBLE weekend! He did have his phone for 2 days before it was stolen at the shelter. Luckily he was able to make some arrangements to get into another program before his phone disappeared. I know for sure my son was terrified! I did remind my son that the stipulation for "earning" a plane ticket home was to SUCCESSFULLY complete treatment & any follow up plan the treatment center advised- sober living, IOP, etc... I DID stick to that decision and reminded my son nicely when we spoke. He did not even attempt to argue so I do believe he is understanding the limits & boundaries we have established. My concern now is he just going to bounce from rehab to rehab in a different state?? How can ANY of this be productive? My son is currently on my health insurance which has been pretty good about covering his rehab stays. The rehabs that are "out of network" have been willing to take what my insurance is willing to pay. He does have some bills that have come in HIS name - meds, etc, which I am saving for him. I have told my son that at age 26 this will all be GONE and his dad & will NOT touch our retirement or remortgage our house, etc... He says "I know" "I am really trying mom..." I DO NOT get how he keeps relapsing and then IMMEDIATELY puts himself BACK into treatment! I know he is getting somewhat bored of rehabs because he says the "work", groups, etc... All are very similar. He does say all of the rehabs have some aspects that are different but that in general they follow a very similar format. It just does not make since especially this last time. To risk being kicked out in a city where you know NOTHING & NO ONE??? I KNOW he was REALLY scared this time.
My son is in is 2nd rehab in this new state. He has been there for 1 week. He was supposed to call last night with some info about this facilities rules for sending money/store card for weekly shopping for personal incidentals. Have heard nothing which is very suspicious as I know he will eventually need a few dollars to get some basics. I know this is HIS problem and it is- but when the calls stop this has usually meant trouble is brewing. :( Does a rehab have to inform you if they have kicked out your loved one?
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Posted: August 13, 2013, 8:25 AM


Posts: 26
Joined: August 13, 2011



Is he just going to bounce from rehab to rehab in another state? Maybe, if that’s what works for him. Sure, you don’t understand it because he doesn’t think like you, has different priorities. Not only that, but he may well be acting out of compulsion, over which he has no logical control. He's an addict, they don't think like normies.

"I don’t know how he keeps relapsing and going back into treatment."
I think you know HOW, I believe you want to know WHY, and with all due respect, it isn’t yours to know. That’s his business, and trying to make it yours, even by just trying to make it make sense to you, is keeping you hooked in the long distance codependent dance.

“How can any of this be productive?”
I think you know that it can’t, according to your standards, but it’s producing something for him, and if you are going to remain detached with love, just what that something is, well it isn’t yours to know.

From where I sit, the “no plane ticket home until you behave” boundary seems like more of another attempt to get him to toe the line instead of a boundary. You were thinking he would never cross it, because YOU wouldn’t put yourself in the position he has. You were thinking that stipulation plus being in a strange place was what HE needed to finally "get it". But maybe it's what you needed to "get" that he's going to do what he's going to do, wherever that is, until he's done doing it.

Does a rehab need to update family members? No, and that’s appropriate. This is his to figure out. I know how hard that was for me. I remember – oh, so very well - the kind of heartache you are feeling, the fear, the agony of not knowing. I hope you are continuing to go to the Nar-Anon meetings, they can really help with the kinds of questions you are asking and the struggle you are having.

I hope this all doesn't sound harsh. You've made an important step in coming to understand - in your head - that you need to lovingly let go. Your heart will get with the program if you keep working the program.
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Posted: August 13, 2013, 8:42 AM


Posts: 9
Joined: February 9, 2013



Oh gosh, Thirdson, it's like you and I, along with the majority of the families here share the same child. Everything that you are going through with your son, we have gone through with ours. He's been kicked out of a rehab and sober living. Both times this happened, I was informed by the facility. My son is an adult, but he did list me as his next of kin, maybe that's the reason.

I agree, moving from center to center cannot be productive. They are not thinking normally at this time, and waking up in different places every few weeks, new people, new rules, must wreak havoc on their poor brains.

And waiting for the phone call that doesn't come, it used to make me crazy. Worried about him, angry that he didn't call, suspicious about why he didn't. He would call the next day, "Hi Mom"! Ugh! Once, after I hadn't heard from him for a couple of days, I called the center just to ask his therapist how he was doing. She told me he was fine, at that moment he was doing yoga!

Finally, I realized that if he was out on the street again, there wasn't a thing I could do about it. He had to find his own way..he is still in sober living, this is the longest period of sobriety he has had. He is looking for employment, does not want to come home. Deep down I'm so happy he's doing well, I could never give up on him. But I still try not to get my hopes up, wonder if that will ever go away?

You are doing the right things setting boundaries, etc., hope you are doing things for yourself, and I hope all will be well....

Love and prayers for you,
Rosemary

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Posted: August 14, 2013, 12:10 AM


Posts: 17
Joined: July 15, 2013



Rosemary thanks for your kind words & support! Our addiction nightmare came to "life" 6 months ago. The severity of my son's addiction was a complete surprise not only to us but to his co- workers and cousins whom he is very close with and who themselves do not use. I am trying every day to practice the things I am learning in NarAnon but it is still hard! My son has probably been "living" with his addiction problems for much longer than the 6 months I have! He has lost SO much in the past 6 months- car, apartment, credit, great job with a fantastic & caring boss & trust of good friends & some family. His brothers are so torn between worry & complete anger for the havoc he has created. I know I cannot give up hope for him. And I do have faith that some way and some how HE will figure this out for himself. I have heard the tiredness in his voice and he has said "I miss how I used to be". Thanks again.

Yankeegram- your post was a "smidge" direct but that's ok- I must assume you mean well as you don't really know me or my overall parenting style, I know I cannot control what he ultimately does or does not do regarding his addiction or any other life choices! Trust me I have 4 kids- all adults and they are ALL very, very different people with very different dreams, goals, etc... The main things we truly tried to instill in them all were to be kind, forgiving, non-judgemental & hard working people.
You were correct in saying I do know HOW this rehab rollercoaster is still continuing. I do want to know WHY and I know I may never know and really if my son begins to understand why this keeps happening & wants to use this to help himself that is all that matters. My son recently told me that at this past rehab(the one he got kicked out of 2 weeks ago) he made a BIG break through with his therapist! I guess this therapist was able to help my son discover something(s) that were at the core of his troubles. All my son said was he had this "Ah ha moment of clarity". I did not ask what it was because I know that if he wants to tell me he will or he won't. Doesn't matter. It was the first time he has EVER said anything that positive about a therapist. So all the "bouncing" around did serve him an unexpected purpose until he used & got kicked out... Again.
I find it curious that you viewed our stipulation - rather it was an agreement - for a return ticket home as a condition of what WE expected of him. I view this agreement as a boundary especially since my son asked to leave our state for treatment. HE wanted to get away from the people, places & things HE said were making his recovery so hard for him. If my husband & I have to pay for an airline ticket TO the treatment I think it's fair that we expect our son to heed the advice of his new treatment center & therapists- which is something he has NEVER truly done or perhaps been ready to do. I think if we had bought him a ticket home after getting kicked out we would rescued him from the consequences of his choices- I know his addiction is the cause of his choices. Believe me it was MUCH harder to live with the knowledge that he had to figure out how to make it through the long weekend with very little money, or a phone (it got stolen at the shelter) in a totally new city & state. The small suitcase of belongings he did have he had to guard 24/7 . He did NOT like it and was able to see & experience that first hand.
I do admit I am still dancing the codependency dance somewhat... I can't help feeling sad & overwhelmed at times that my beautiful son has such a horrific disease. I do know that I am doing ok and that I will only get better at this. I can tuck my sadness away to enjoy my other kids, husband, friends, etc... As much as I love & believe in my son I will not let him rob me or my family of our good times. It's just sad... We miss him.
Again, thanks.
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Posted: August 16, 2013, 1:34 AM


Posts: 1008
Joined: November 19, 2005



Dear thirdson,
My heart goes out to you. I feel your pain through your posts. I so badly wanted to believe everything my daughter told me. She was sooo good at making her stories believable and I fell for them. I was driving myself crazy trying to find if what she said was true because her actions did not equal her words. My daughter would always say what I wanted to hear to get me off her back for a few days, hours minutes. I thought she was going to outpatient and working with a therapist. I am a recovering addict and she really had the lingo down pat. I got suspicious when her probation officer called and wanted to know why she hadn't gone to her appointments. Slowly I realized I was as sick as she was in a different way. These women her and the members of Alanon taught me so much.
I need those who are harsh and don't sugarcoat things. I believe it saved me from a lot of pain. It was difficult to detach. I had to leave my daughter in "Gods hands" and let his will be done. Many times I took it back because I thought I knew what my daughter needed. When I finally gave her to God, it was such an overwhelming sense of peace.
She had a sugardaddy to always fall back on. I let her go even knowing this was not a good situation. Today she still drinks. She has a job and now she has a place of her own. This would have never happen if I was still in the mix. She had to learn mommy wasn't going to save her anymore and she had to grow up. I have many here to thank for that. And I thank God that for today there is hope and peace.
Letting my daughter go was harder than getting off drugs. I feel for you and wish you nothing but the best.
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Posted: August 18, 2013, 8:33 AM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



The programs are all similar because they have found a set of principles that works for most addicts...if they work at it, which your son seems unwilling to do. He goes to rehabs, but is not a participant in whatever program is in place...he is an attendee rather than an active member of the recovery community.

It is sad for us, of course, sad and difficult. At 26 your son is well into adulthood and needs to own his addiction as well as its consequences...it's the only way for him to also own his recovery when he's ready.

Hang in there and keep taking care of you and those things you can control.

Peace ~ MomNMore

PS Dawn, I needed the directness as well, it was the only thing that got through to me.

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: August 19, 2013, 7:12 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: July 15, 2013



Thanks so much Dawn & Momnmore- I agree with everything you say. My son called 2 days ago and truly sounds defeated. He said "I am just so tired of living like this" and "I feel like I am not a part of what's going on" When I asked him about his last comment he said he feels like he has missed out on so much - especially since he did have a fantastic job with wonderful & caring people and that he knows he has a family that still cares. It's the first time he ever verbalized anything like that. I didn't say much... Just listened and said very calmly " Well I am sure if you want to figure this all out you will - you are smart."
I have definitely started "minding my own business" and only only give him my opinion if he asks. He knows I am going to NarAnon weekly meetings and that I am trying my best to learn & do what's best for all of us.
One day at a time, right. :)
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Posted: August 20, 2013, 9:41 AM


Posts: 2309
Joined: February 19, 2010



don't read more into his statements than it is, I used to pin my hopes when my son would have an epiphany only to be struck down with his actions. not saying don't have hope, but don't let yourself be disappointed. I hope like MNM's daughter, your son gets out of it and has a normal life, mine hasn't (he is 30) and some never do I don't know what the key is. I have learned over the years that most of the time my son says what I want to hear, and that makes it worse. Stay strong and have some peace for yourself
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Posted: August 25, 2013, 11:20 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: July 15, 2013



Thanks so much Momg. All is "calm" for this moment. My son is still in treatment in Minnesota and will be moving to Transitional Housing in about 2-3 weeks. He calls ever day and for the first time ever He said" I WANT to STAY clean". He has NEVER said that before! He has just started a methadone maintenance program which is causing me more worry, but there's nothing I can do about it, right? I guess because he has such a bad history of relapsing some type of assisted maintenance was deemed necessary.
All I know is that my son sounds good- clear, rational, making plans, etc. I know this can all change but for now I have hope. :)
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Posted: September 15, 2013, 7:01 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: July 15, 2013



Well, serves me right for hoping.... My son finished inpatient program on Friday and was arrested Saturday night for procession. He told me some ridiculous story which I have NO inclination to believe. He seems to not be able to function outside of a highly structured environment. He either cannot, will not or is delusional about the extreme nature of his addiction. He started a methadone maintenance program about 2 1/2 weeks ago. He will start feeling the effects of this withdrawal soon. I am not sure if jails provide any type of medical support. Because my son is in Minnesota, far from home, I have NO idea what is or what will happen. I have no intention to bail or bond him out. I literally do not know what to do. Changing his people & places seems to have been a failure for him... I am heart broken.
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Posted: September 15, 2013, 10:14 PM


Posts: 9
Joined: February 9, 2013



Thirdson, I am so very sorry this has happened. Take care of yourself, keep doing what is best for you and your family. And keep hoping...

You are in my prayers..love and peace

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Posted: September 16, 2013, 2:21 PM


Posts: 9142
Joined: December 1, 2005



I'm sorry for your heartbreak, Thirdson and I'm sorry things didn't go differently for you.

I have a son whom is lost in active addiction even though at this point in time, he's clean because he's currently in county jail awaiting trial from when he broke into my home last year. I could relate to a lot of your story, my son also does better when he's got the structure of an institution. It's crazy but to some, insanity is their way of life.

I know that because I'm a recovering alcoholic/addict and what I do want to share with you is my experience.

Pain is the biggest & greatest motivator to get clean. I know, I was there and believe me, you can ask anyone in recovery, if there hadn't of been severe consquences and feeling that pain we just had to feel, none of us would be clean & sober today.

QUOTE
He will start feeling the effects of this withdrawal soon. I am not sure if jails provide any type of medical support.
Good, let him feel all the effects from the choices he's made. Yes, the jails have medical support and they'll treat you so you don't die but they won't make you comfortable like a rehab does. But that's okay, maybe that's what he's going to need. Whatever he needs, you can't provide. This is his journey, he has to hit his bottom and the best thing you can do is stay out of the way.

Detach with love. Pray for him and take good care of yourself. Have you been to any Alanon meetings? It's a wonderful place to share your pain & your joy and learn how to focus back on the healthy things in life.

Keep coming back. You're among friends here.
xoxo
Stacey

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Happiness is not in the bottom of a pill bottle. It's inside you.
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Posted: September 16, 2013, 9:22 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



It's okay to hope, thirdson, sometimes it's all we can do. When my daughter was nearing the end of her heroin addiction and really was sick and tired of being sick and tired I knew I had to just do what a dear friend told me and give her to God...her HP had her and mine had me. Try not to future-trip too much and do those things that make you feel okay. He'll be okay in jail...

Peace ~ M&M

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: September 20, 2013, 5:46 PM


Posts: 2309
Joined: February 19, 2010



sorry thirdson, it is so hard to hope and then get smushed..we know at a rational level that the chances are there that rehab and our sons may or may not be clean, but it is like for gods sake, not even a few days, really? my son now has 2 felonies and 4 misdemeanor stealing since Ihe has been out may 31st! this morning the dogs go crazy, look out and my son is trying to steal our old work truck! my husband runs out my oldest son was here as his power went out, he called the police, they took him to court because he had a hearing, he is out on the street already. We as Moms have to let go for not only our sanity but to benefit the rest of the family, when we are so distraught over the addict we shortcahange every one else. I know what you are living through and don't ever feel alone, you aren't
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Posted: October 1, 2013, 8:24 PM


Posts: 9
Joined: February 9, 2013



thirdson, how are you?
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