Rules Are Rules
Posted: November 18, 2019, 11:43 PM


Posts: 1585
Joined: June 27, 2016



After 2 months my son was discharged from a 3 month program that would have transitioned him to housing and a job. He was caught hiding his hair clippers in his room and cutting other people's hair. which is against the rules. It seems like a benign rule that had a large impact.

The lesson behind this is that in the life of addiction there is a lot of rule breaking. The person in recovery has to understand that they are not privileged to break the rules. The can be doing 99 things right, but breaking one rule is wrong.

His counselor was upset that he was discharged bc he was doing well in the program. But she did say he knew he was breaking the rule, for two months. part of this was his need to fill his ego that he was well liked by others.

Another part of this is in the life of addiction there is a lot of trading and borrowing, making deals. cutting someone's hair can be seen as making a deal. maybe the other person gives him something. When my son was in jail, I realized I was putting $$ on his account too often. and sending care packages of ramen noodles and snacks. (thru a program that delivers them) I justified that there's so much time in the day and small yucky meals. the snacks were a good thing in his day. he said the flavors he did not like, he traded for something he liked. so the bartering goes on.

I think the programs try to extinguish that behavior.

At a professional job he will have to follow the rules. honestly punch the time clock correctly. not steal anything. follow the employee handbook (something i'm sure he has never read). to keep your job, your apartment, you have to read the contract and follow the rules.

Once when he was living in florida, renting a room at a condo, he purchased a motor cycle. and then found out motor cycles were not allowed. he didn't read the contract.

I started a new job 6 months ago. shortly after starting I was sick for 3 days with a flu. It was a temp job. I called my recruiter. I didn't have my manager's phone number. On the second day, I emailed both of them. later on the 2nd day my manager emailed me saying I needed to phone in, that emailing wasn't acceptable. he gave his phone number. On the third day, I phoned both of them. When I got back to work, there was a written warning waiting for me. My recruiter never told me this rule and had not given me a handbook. I don't think he even cared. I don't think my manager cared either. idk who decided to enforce the rule. They all said 'don't worry about it'. I understand how quickly one can be on the wrong side of the rule, without knowing it. I still have this job, but still worry that something will come up that I didn't see coming. I should read the hand book again!

The handbook also says we are not allowed to make personal calls during work. Another woman in the office has a disabled child. she is making and receiving calls every day.
Another woman comes in late every day. she is out sick a lot, leaves early, makes up time on weekends. I just try to ignore it and hope I don't break any rules!

That's what our kids need to learn.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on November 18, 2019, 11:51 PM
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Posted: November 19, 2019, 6:44 AM


Posts: 18
Joined: November 10, 2019



Very good points about rules. My daughter has always broke rules, not because she is rebelious, but because she really thinks she's an exception, they don't apply to her...Then, when the consequences occur, she is completely surprised and shocked. "She didn't do anything wrong".

From the outside, it's pretty mind boggling to watch. It is so obvious what is going to happen....and she is completely surprised??

Addiction messes with all functions of the brain. She makes poor decisions, has little to no insight, poor problem solving skills, and limited coping skills. She can't function enough to meet her most basic needs. Its very sad....

I have seen enough glimpses from her and I know with the right help she could do it. She needs to be in a treatment environment for at least 3 months. She needs to stay motivated to change. I know recovery isn't easy and it's very hard work but people do it. I hope she gets to where she needs to be.
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