What I've Learned
Posted: January 4, 2020, 1:52 PM


Posts: 174
Joined: November 10, 2019



I have been a mother of an adult child with an addiction for about 6 years now. My daughter is almost 27 years old and is an IV heroin user and she's added another drug to her addiction about a year ago. Not sure what it is, I don't ask and really don't want to know.

What I have learned in these 6 years is I still love my daughter very much. I help her out when I can which is very limited and I try to use my best judgement. She has gone from having everything in life she needed to having nothing. All due to her addiction. I have learned no matter how much I help or advised her in a kind way, she always does it her way (which has negative results, then she is surprised every time??). I have learned she has to want sobriety for herself otherwise it's not going to happen.

I have learned I have to keep living my life and to not compromise it for another person. I have to have clear and spoken boundaries so I'm not constantly bombarded. She knows the answer so she doesn't ask. I learned to keep open communication so she knows I haven't deserted her and she knows I care about her. She knows I want her to get off drugs and have a good life.

I have learned I am not alone in this struggle. There are other people who are dealing with this very sad and tragic life of addiction. It helps to share and to have a place to feel understood and safe. I have learned I will never stop loving my daughter and I will always pray and have hope for her. If you'd like, please share what you have learned.

This post has been edited by Sallyana on January 4, 2020, 2:02 PM
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Posted: January 4, 2020, 5:23 PM


Posts: 224
Joined: December 21, 2018



Sallyanna you've learned, supported and taught us on this board. For that I'm grateful. Not only have you learned you passed with flying colors.

Problem is as you noted is that the addict has to want to quit or change. But that takes 'learning' something new, a different way of living and approaching life. The ball is in the addict's court. You've done all you can do.

To a happy and better new year!
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Posted: January 4, 2020, 11:38 PM


Posts: 8
Joined: December 30, 2019



i find myself reading this and hoping that i can help my son before its too late but i realise im living in fantasy land as he will only change when he wants too. No matter how much i say or do,infact the more i do i think the worse things are. Am i becoming whats known as an enabler? The awful thing is ive watched my parents go through all this for the past 20 years. (my brother is an alcoholic who lives with my parents still) Sometimes i wonder should i kick him out as while he is living with me i dont have the resolve to say no. But would he just go worse as then he has free rein. I need to learn what others here have
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Posted: January 4, 2020, 11:56 PM


Posts: 174
Joined: November 10, 2019



Thank you samegame I am grateful for you too and appreciate all your posts and insights.

Manty it is a very individual choice about letting our addicted adult child live with us or not. For me personally, I can not live with my daughter. She knows she can not and through poor choices and her addiction she is now homeless. It's very, very sad. She has opportunies and options for getting help but she "doesn't like" any of them. I don't know how she can be so picky after she has literally lost everything
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Posted: January 5, 2020, 1:25 AM


Posts: 224
Joined: December 21, 2018



Manty39 I saw a parent tolerate let an alcoholic adult child live with them for over 20 years. They'll work the softy or work/manipulate the other emotionally. Here he tries to shame,guilt or sell you like a used car dealer. He was given an in inch and he took 10 miles. They become entitled and dependent.

Any decision you make ensure it has boundaries if he lives with you. Adult addicts/alkies never matured/grew up. They are also the toughest to change because they've been doing it so long the life/routine is as hard to give up as the substance.

Stay safe good luck
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Posted: January 5, 2020, 1:40 PM


Posts: 60
Joined: December 17, 2019



Sallyana, thank you for sharing your heart and your experience here. And thank you for offering words of encouragement when those of us who land on this site feel overwhelmed and hopeless. Day by day I’m learning to let go, that I can not control everything and I don’t want to. I appreciate you and the reminder that there are good humans in the world. Thank you for being one of those souls! Sending love.
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Posted: January 5, 2020, 3:14 PM


Posts: 8
Joined: December 30, 2019



hi sallyanna and samegame. First of all i would like to thank you for replying and your words of advice. I have a reasonably large family but do not want to burden them with my problems. Thankfully my parents are still with me but like i said they have problems of their own with my younger brother which they have dealt with for nearly twenty years. Both are elderly and my dad health is really not good(my parents are fantastic parents btw) I know deep down that whatever i say or do is not going to make one bit of difference to what my sons does. Im just hoping that i can get him the help he looses everything as iam extremely close to throwing him out( i have done so before and he was out for two weeks then my sister talked me into letting him move back ) i know i should have stuck to my guns. I feel alone in this as my friends dont understand as their kids are all doing well and such so when i speak about it to them its like oh hes just being a teenager throw him out! Me and his dad split up years ago and he is no value to us and never has been i raised him myself,working full time.
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Posted: January 5, 2020, 8:00 PM


Posts: 1678
Joined: June 27, 2016



Sallyanna, Everything you said in your post, I could say the same. except you said it more gracefully and to the point than I would have ! Thank you !! It needed to be said!

I learned so much this past year.

Manty - I finally saw that our son was not going to get the help he needed with us parents standing in the way by 'helping him' . As others have said it is counterintuitive. I did not want to enable my son, but he constantly showed up to ask for $20, gas, car repairs.... he didn't even need to ask... the years of addiction in our son's life conditioned us to know he needed gas and give it to him. We thought we were helping to make life less 'stressful' so he wouldn't want to do drugs.... UGH... we kept helping bc we didn't want him to loose his job. In the end, he looses his job, his car, all of his stuff, every time.

This time he went to jail for stealing food, but stayed in jail bc of a previous dwi. He did the time instead of the probation. we did not take part in any of the process. he lost his license for 6 months. That is a good thing. He needs to learn how to work and get around using public transportation.

It was a process for us. Hard at first to say NO, but he did not make it too difficult for us. he went to rehab after 4 months in jail, he was able to say that he wants to get back on his feet by himself, and that our help was not helping, he knew he was taking advantage of us but when in active addiction he didn’t care

The two things I had to learn were that I was not helping and that if my son really wanted to quit, he would be doing so. Therefore I had to figure out how to get out of the way. Not an easy task when he is living with you.

I also learned there are a lot of programs helping out addicted loved ones... They just have to show up sober.

Keep letting us know how you are doing!!

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on January 6, 2020, 12:09 AM
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Posted: January 6, 2020, 9:29 PM


Posts: 8
Joined: December 30, 2019



hi nyto, i do realise he needs to help himself but like you say very difficult when they are living with you. However i have made the choice now to back off and let him fend for himself,being a single parent i did an awful lot for him when really he could have dealt with it himself. I also think i tried to over compensate for no father figure. I would like to thank you all for your advice,just sometimes feel a slight release talking to you all on here, I will keep you all updated in the coming weeks. best of luck to you all,thanks manty
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Posted: January 8, 2020, 6:45 AM


Posts: 130
Joined: December 30, 2018



Sally Anne umm what I have learnt, with my son think this is four years now in so called recovery, I am not a constant mess, not constantly worried sick every time he goes out, do not find the need to go into his place and search for eveidence, I have learned I don't need the evidence my gut tells me that, I don't want to search anymore, a counciller once told me I cannot be his counciller nor a detective nor looking after his finances I can only be his mother, as hard as it is , it is what it is, I love him as much as I love my other two boys, but he has to want recovery, still not sure to the extent how much he uses, but I know he does, he is an adult ( 26 ) and needs to sort himself out, and I will not let him drag me down, as much as it is really hard sometimes, still he is never disrespectful to me, and works but struggles, it is a good place to learn and another thing I have tried to cut back on reading as much as it helps it can also consume me, think this is why I haven't been on for a while, just drop in now and again but a great place to learn and get support hope all the love
Y people I follow are finding some peace in there lives thank you sad eyes
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Posted: January 8, 2020, 8:02 PM


Posts: 174
Joined: November 10, 2019



Sad eyes I have been thinking of you and have missed you. I understand about getting all consumed...so I totally get why you haven't been on the site...it can be too much sometimes. It was great to hear from you and thank you for sharing what you have learned...take good care!
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Posted: January 9, 2020, 12:27 AM


Posts: 130
Joined: December 30, 2018



SallyAnn, it is a struggle for all of us, I hope your daughter is doing ok, one of my other boys got married last month, my dream is I hope I get to see this son get married and recover from this evil drug
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Posted: January 12, 2020, 11:44 AM


Posts: 57
Joined: January 12, 2020



This forum is very helpful. I've been dealing with alcohol and pot addiction w/daughter for nearly 15 years. And now there is a small child involved which has complicated things a lot.

One little secret I am wrestling with is that I am not sure I love my daughter anymore. I am frustrated with her decisions, have been through countless do-overs with her, and she is rude and disrespectful. There is much distance between us, I I don't know exactly who she is behind all these unacceptable behaviors and decisions, and I am turned off by the person she routinely exhibits.

This post has been edited by Jupiter2 on January 12, 2020, 11:45 AM
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