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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > Things That Don't Help...

Posted by: MomNMore February 4, 2012, 11:54 AM
Recently someone asked me what I had done to help my daughter. The only thing I could think of was that I had finally stepped out of her way and let her help herself...allowed her to own her pain, and subsequently her joy. I found it was easier to think of those things I had done that had NOT helped her.

Here's my list (and it's a looong one) for what it's worth:

Things that DON’T ‘help’…

1) Anything we do for them that they CAN and SHOULD do for themselves.

-Running interference with schools or employers
-Making excuses for them (He’ sick, she’s depressed, she had a hard childhood, he has chronic pain, he really wants to be clean, he needs me, she’s so young…fill it in with your favorite)
-Paying debts to ANYONE…loans, dealers, bills
-Giving them money
-Calling hospitals, detoxes, rehabs, doctors
-Holding or doling out medications, especially risk-reduction meds like suboxone or methadone.

Being a whirlwind of activity helps us, not them…it makes us feel like we are doing something when in actuality we are spinning our wheels. It relieves of us of some guilt we may be feeling about how this could happen in our family, because really, this is all about us (NOT).

2) Pretending that what we do is for them when it is really for us. This is a hard one to get past because in the beginning we are absolutely convinced that our motives are pure and unselfish…we want to help…we MUST help. Upon closer examination however, we will discover that much of what we have done has been for us, to satisfy ourselves that we have done everything possible to stop this train, and to maintain the illusion that what we are doing is “helpful”

3) Watching.

The kind of vigilance some of us exercised in the beginning (and some still do) is painful to recall. Watching moods, checking phone bills and cell phones, counting pills, sitting with them watching movies or playing games to take their minds off things (as if!), asking 'polite' questions about their day or their feelings.

4) Monitoring meeting attendance…this one is a form of ‘watching’ and is big: Did you get to a meeting today? You said you were going to a meeting. Do you need a ride to your meeting? Isn’t this your meeting night? What step are you on? Do you have a sponsor? Here, I bought you a Big Book. How was your meeting? Did you like tonight’s meeting? Arrrrggggh!!!!

Even worse is going to meetings with them. If you need a meeting, get yourself to AlAnon. Going to NA/AA meetings ‘with’ them is a form of voyeurism and an invasion of privacy. The last word in the name of ANY 12 step program is “Anonymous”. The same is true of finding an online recovery community and ‘sharing’ that with them…icky.

5) Keeping score.

Scorekeeping is part of watching. You said you were going do X or Y but you haven’t. I thought you were supposed to A or B, have you? I have done A,B, and C, but you have not done X,Y, or Z. Score keeping can also mean counting sober time.


Try listening instead. Saying it louder, or saying it differently, or saying it more is all the same…eventually no one hears you. You will know when you are talked out because you will be as sick of the sound of your own voice as they are. Talking includes asking questions, lots and lots of questions.

7) Controlling.

You can’t. Stop trying.

“Control is central to the "MO" of the codependent person. They control their self-esteem by catering to others' needs. They control by their over-responsible performance, picking up where others leave off.” (Dr. Irene Matiatos) This gets back to doing for them what they should do for themselves. See #1.

8) Guilting.

This is just one more way to make it about us. How could you do this? What are you thinking? (Believe me, you don’t want to know.) What’s so hard about your life? Don’t you care about ____? Watching you do this is killing me. You wouldn’t if you loved me. (I can’t really love you because I don’t love myself.)

9) Picking up the pieces.

Allowing one to learn from one’s mistakes is one of the greatest dignities we can offer. Viewing “the wreckage of the past” is necessary and vital to growth. Every time we indulge in #1, of which #9 is a part, we tell them that we do not believe in them, that we do not see them as capable, that we have no faith in their ability to do the right thing,that they cannot take care of themselves. We send a message of incompetence and powerlessness, and chances are good they already feel this way, so all we do is reinforce a lousy self-image.

10) “Shrinking” or “Sponsoring”

You are not your loved one’s doctor, therapist, or sponsor. All of your so-called understanding is annoying and makes it about you again. Stop trying to get into her is not someplace you should be. Everything you are learning about addiction is powerful if you use it to help YOU, but once you use to be disgustingly ‘understanding’ or to try to 12-step your loved one, it becomes the tool of the devil. Instead ask yourself why you are so addicted to your addicted loved one...why it is so hard to tell where she begins and you end.

11) Having expectations.

Expectations are disappointments waiting to happen. On the other hand, having low expectations leads to excuse-making (see #1).

12) NOT working on ourselves.

It sure is easy to look at the addict and believe that all would be right in our worlds (and more importantly in our interior lives) if only….

Instead, try looking at what you contribute to the dynamic. What is it in us that makes us need to project-manage them and their disease? What is the sickness in me that I feel that all positive outcomes hinge on what I do or say? Once again, it's all about me.

13) Seeing your situation as ‘special’ or ‘different’.

This has a name in 12 step settings: terminal uniqueness. We are all terminally unique. In codependents this most often takes the form of “She’s so wonderful, sweet, funny…when she’s not using.” Yep, they are all terrific, sensitive souls when the drugs have not robbed them of that. Your addicted loved one is no more or less special, spiritual, kind, creative, loving...(fill in the blank) than any other addict, including those junkies you see outside meetings or in line at the clinic.. Everyone is someone’s father, wife, child, friend. Your family member may just more fortunate in education, economics, community support, or family structure. None of us are more special than another. There but for the grace of God...

Posted by: cowgirl February 4, 2012, 1:51 PM
I think that most of our experience's with our children have been close to the same. It's how we choose to deal with it..I just went with my gut. It wasn't always the right way but somehow, we made it to the other side. I did all of the things you're not supposed too. Asked for advice here and put some of it to use. Mainly, I never gave up while at the same time trying to save myself, a little at a time. I don't think any mother here ever gave up, they just changed the way the approached it. And every situation is unique. Not every family is the same, not ever child the same. The disease, however, is. Am I happy? That's my gauge. If I'm not, something needs adjusting. It's not rocket science, it's motherhood. You do the best you can.

I love what you wrote S. Your wisdom is so beyond what I could ever hope for..thank you for teaching me.


Posted by: MelissaLynn February 7, 2012, 12:00 PM
That was an amazing list. Thank you. Especially liked the part about not being their shrink or doctor, etc... I have to remind my boyfriend of that. Sometimes it feels invasive..he tends to try to get into my head and I don't want him there! He also does the "question" and "watching" thing which drives me insane. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote, thanks again. :)


Posted by: NewMom2011 February 7, 2012, 7:04 PM
I am still struggling with a lot of those. This past weekend I caught myself in the Big Book trying to find "his story" for him. When I caught myself doing this I closed the his book and grabbed my Al-Anon book and started looking for MY story.

This week is not going as well as last week. I am struggling struggling struggling with wanting to manage him. You need to do this, you need to do that, why are you doing this or that... I can feel myself starting to get snippy and short fused. Not to justify it but G has another ear infection so nobody is sleeping which I am sure has to be contributing to the short fuse somewhat (it would already be there I know but it feels like it has almost been cut in half).

Thinking I need to get a hold of my sponsor maybe to talk out some of the frustration.

Just before lunch today I called to check on G and nobody answered. I feared that maybe he had taken him out and walked down to the card store so I drove home to check. I SNUCK OUT OF WORK AND DROVE HOME... BAD BAD BAD... He was there, watching nerds play video games on the internet while G sat on the floor playing. I snapped, bit his head off about him being on the computer and not playing with G or cleaning... All that seemed to accomplish (as it always does) is both of us being angry and resentful at each other.

These are the weeks where the "work" portion of working the program really comes in to play:s

Posted by: NewMom2011 February 7, 2012, 7:05 PM
Oh MNM hope you don't mind buy I am going to copy your list and print it off for myself.

Posted by: MomNMore February 7, 2012, 8:19 PM
Just so you know, Newmom, the reason I was able to compile that list is because I did every single one of the things on it...I was not well. So I remember being where you are and let me just tell you, the sooner you can let go, the happier you will be...wish I'd done it sooner. I listened and learned as quickly as I could because I wanted the hell out of the dysfunction and I didn't much like who I had become, not only as a mother, but as a wife, a friend, an employee...I was a white-hot mess. Each in his own time, but try not to let too much pass you by focusing on him and what he is or isn't doing. Your anger hurts you.

By all means, print it and maybe use it to jump start a conversation with him...

Peace ~ M&M

PS Hope the little man is feeling better soon.

Posted by: NewMom2011 February 7, 2012, 8:30 PM
The progress I see in it for myself is that a majority of it is just thoughts and I'm not saying it. That is probably what is eating me up a bit but I keep chanting to myself, "it's not mine to handle, its not mine to manage, its not mine to control. Focus on G and me, focus on me and G"... Sure some of it has come out but I am starting to catch it before hand and working to figure out a way to calm myself down and let go...

Probably some of the anger is at myself for knowing what I am doing and not liking the way I am in that regard.

Well I can say for certain that just being on here and sharing is already starting to help.

Like my sponsor said about the phone thing, that was then this is today and today he is clean and sober. Must have something to do with that letting go concept and forgiveness:s

Posted by: MomNMore February 7, 2012, 8:56 PM
Here's a little something for you:

It's only a thought, and a thought can be changed.

I carry that card in my purse as a reminder that I can choose my thoughts...and I do.

Posted by: devangreb2 February 8, 2012, 3:10 AM
Great list, MNM! I sent it to my daughter-in-law too along with a recommendation for a online board. She appreciated it.

I'm with Lisa. I appreciate you're trying to teach us....but you are far better than what I'll probably ever be. I'm not an "F" student....but I'm definitely not an "A" one either. I'm around a "C"...but I'll keep trying. :) One day at a time!


Posted by: MomNMore February 8, 2012, 9:21 AM
Aw, Susan, it's not a case of 'better than' or of not learning. Like I said, I did every single one of the things on that list...until I didn't anymore. Each in his own time. For me, it was just clear as glass that things were not working so why keep doing head hurt from banging it against the brick wall.

Peace ~ M&M

Posted by: cowgirl February 8, 2012, 12:54 PM
My problem is that I'm not bright enough to know when to shut up and back off. Mouth run riot. It is very hard to change but change we all must. Without that change, we do keep hitting our heads against the proverably (sp?) wall.

I'm so much better at this with Jake these days then I am with my husband but when I read here in the mornings, I try to memorize the "list" and other things said and then use it throughout the day. Me too Susan, C student at best.

Don't get me wrong, husband is doing so much better and I am letting him be better and work this out on his own. I think it was such a shock to my system and rocked my foundation that I'm having trouble getting out of my own way. I'll get there. I usually do.

Posted by: justonemore February 11, 2012, 10:19 PM
That was a great post MnM, you rock.

Posted by: momg February 11, 2012, 10:30 PM
have read the initial post every day, thanks for posting it

Posted by: cowgirl February 13, 2012, 1:13 PM
Keeping this at the top so that I don't have to find it every day...

Posted by: MomNMore April 4, 2012, 10:47 AM
bump for OPT

Posted by: iwontgiveup80 April 15, 2012, 10:28 AM

this was an amazing post. thank you for sharing your wisdom. i am definitely still working on a lot of things but i am doing the best i can at the moment. i believe i am also going to print this off or save it to my computer so i can remind myself of the steps i need to take.... giving him the room he needs to accomplish things as well as make mistakes. and i know he is doing the same for me.

now, since he started the clinic, he told me about a family group night counseling session that they have at the clinic. he said we should go to that. it was his initiative ( i was actually quite surprised he mentioned it)..... now what would your advice be about that? should i go with him since he asked or would you think he needs to do it on his own for a while. its hard to say no to things like that.

it all gets so overwhelming sometimes.... one minute we are totally fine. then the next its like our world is falling apart.

Posted by: MomNMore April 15, 2012, 7:51 PM
Family counseling is for families...we went. There are things that I did for me and things that she did for her, but she was my daughter, not my significant other. My husband and I attended family counseling to understand our parenting differences and to work through the trauma that we underwent while struggling through our daughter's addicition. There was a time while my daughter was away at long term rehab (16 months) when we were doing phone counseling with her and her counselor. But when it came to meetings, she had hers, I had mine...therapist the same thing, she had hers, we had ours, and I had my own as well.

So yeah, go ahead, and watch your responses and behaviors, not his...get yourself healthy and the rest will's all you can do anyway.

Peace ~ M&M

Posted by: it'sjustme April 15, 2012, 8:33 PM
Thanks for bumping this post to the top. It is a great list!!

Posted by: 24Gordon April 18, 2012, 12:53 PM
Bumping up for Jack~!

I love this share, Mom. Your ESH helped me today~!


Posted by: MomNMore April 18, 2012, 4:49 PM
Thanks, Stacey...yours helps me often, glad I could repay the favor =)
That's why we're all here, right?

Posted by: momg April 18, 2012, 11:29 PM

Posted by: MomNMore April 18, 2012, 11:34 PM
Aw momg, go get a massage and breathe deep.
RIGHT NOW everything is okay...and that's all any of us have, this moment...right now. You know what to you get to practice...and like everything else it gets easier with practice.

(((Hugs))) M&M

Posted by: Lynnette April 19, 2012, 9:27 PM
hey New .. if you ever wanna know how messed up any of us were (me especially) .. you can always do a search by typing in our names up there and I believe there are Still many old posts .. not sure how far they go back but .. i did Every one of those things up there too .. i used to post with a gal here and for a Solid straight year after everyone in here suggested alanon to me, we emailed eachother about Nothing other than our addicts .. Finally one day I pushed myself away from my desk because (I) saw it for the first time .. I was Completely obssessed with him .. That's when I went back to alanon ..

It's such a fantasy to ( Think ) we're able to remove in us what's been here so long .. Cripe I still have contact with my xa .. always will; we have a daughter together and no matter how much i work on me, i still feel the Effects on me when I'm around His thinking, behavior, etc.. is just now i have a place to bring it ..

What I will say .. forewarning .. when I was in that place with him, I gave it my All .. Everything I had in me and somehow I always expected him to need or atleast appreciate me .. when it ended it ended .. I have Never seen anything like it .. Just gone .. Just like that .. I was replaced fast as if nothing And .. I spent however long Feeling like I had just spent the past 11 years with a Drunk and when it was done I was the one wondering what happened the Night before and I was the one with the Emotional Hangover ..

Posted by: Lynnette April 19, 2012, 9:27 PM
and >. Great post Mom ..

Posted by: MainlyMark April 29, 2012, 8:45 PM
As a recovering addict, my gut reaction to your list was: "Yikes, get that list out of here!"


But, it's all so true.
We hurt so many people...

Posted by: MomNMore April 29, 2012, 10:27 PM
Yeah, Mark, addicts hate it when their enablers =)

Posted by: sing June 8, 2012, 11:45 AM
Yes, thanks for this list. I needed it today and probably at least once every day for however long it takes. I needed to hear that I am not a bad mother for not doing these things for my 41 yr. old adult daughter anymore. I have done them all in the several times in the past 12 years and it was only a temporary bandaid for her. She just went right back and it got worse and worse every time. She started out as an alcoholic, went on to use drugs and now as a result has been diagnosed as bipolar.

I have a lot of help from misinformed people who easily lay guilt trips and give me advice to try and make me feel inadequate as a Mother. These people are operating on fairytales of blame and denial they have heard from my Daughter. My Daughter is no different from other addicts in that she is a master manipulator, creator of fairytales, and denial of any blame for her troubles.

Thanks for your post. I'm sure I'll use it often for reaffirmation.

Posted by: MomNMore June 8, 2012, 1:00 PM
You are most welcome, sing...and by the way, welcome sing :-)

Yes, at 41 (actually well before 41) it's past time to let her accept the consequences of her actions. And it in no way makes you a bad parent, in fact, it will make you a healthier parent to be less involved in the workings of an adult's life. She may or may not get well, but it doesn't have to ruin the rest of YOUR life.

Peace ~ MomNMore

Posted by: 3girls4me June 26, 2012, 3:01 PM
Thank you so much for posting this MomNMore.

I have finally realized that my daughter needs to want to get clean for herself, I can't wish it for her, or do it for her or guilt her into it. I just hope she see's the light before she really ruins her life forever. But realizing these things and not getting involved are two different things. I'm really going to try to stand back and let her do this on her own, she has to want it. I will be there for her when she does decide to get help. She will always be my daughter and I will not turn my back on her but I will not be her doormat any longer.

Posted by: galeadk July 28, 2012, 7:21 PM

Posted by: MomNMore August 7, 2012, 9:12 PM
Bump for Sally

Posted by: cincin August 7, 2012, 10:18 PM
Great post, wish I could send that to my ex's mom. His mother text me tonight, that he didnt need this kind of help (calling CPS), I have choosen to take the baby away from her, and she is now getting him professional help..and that I needed to get help myself but I am probably in denial.
I am stunned! I sent a nice text back not 1 negative thing, just explaining why I had to call to protect my child from him. That I would let the case worker know he was going to rehab when they come this week.He was getting out of hand. Her reply:I dont need them to contact me, I will contact them when I have all the fact.

So after reading this post I now realize. I should have not text her back, not allow it to upset me, and why she is getting him help (he is 42)! I am not trying to hurt anyone at all that is not my intentions. I am getting myself out of the situation of enabling and making my daughter #1.
I have guilt but then again, I told him you have 2 choices #1 get off drugs for yourself to have your child in your life or #2 dont and you will have supervised visits. Its only been 2 weeks since I told him & his family, I will no longer particpate in his addiction & enable him to destroy his life.Please help! Between him, his mom,ex-wife I feel bad.
Am I wrong? Should I have not called CPS?

Posted by: MomNMore August 7, 2012, 11:35 PM
It doesn't matter, it's done. Stop letting them rent so much of your brain space. Get some sleep and try again tomorrow, that's all any of us can do.


Posted by: sally1228 August 12, 2012, 3:32 PM
thank you for your post. I must admit- I am guilty of every single statement.
Per my specific, it has
not gotten any better, but, it has not gotten any worse.
He claims he wants to go to a halfway house, he does not seem to currently be using. If the court even allows that, do any of you have suggestions of the better ones?
At sixteen, I sent him to what I thought was a therapeutic teaching environment. I picked him up two weeks later- Carolina Springs..Found it that it was nothing it claimed to be, actually sick and abusive. I was so desperate 7 years ago, I leapt at any promise of help. no due diligence there.
Many thanks,
i am learning

Posted by: MomNMore August 12, 2012, 4:05 PM
Let him find his own halfway house or sober living facility...he will if he wants to. It's not your addiction, not your recovery, not for you to find him a situation. He will figure it out when he wants to, when he has to, when you let him. He is capable of doing this himself...believe that.

Posted by: StopIt October 2, 2012, 10:39 PM
I am posting this on my refrigerator! He is working his program, but as you said,
it's his addiction and his recovery.
I struggle so with guilt. But, I want my life back.
Thanks MomNMore

Posted by: Jazwan October 12, 2012, 5:58 PM
Can I add to the list

Not being the money or medication police.

Posted by: MomNMore October 12, 2012, 9:24 PM
Doling meds is on there, but I don't think money is... Add away, Jaz!

Posted by: yogibear October 14, 2012, 11:03 AM
Being at wits end I need some help.I have a sister who is 66 years old, was on methadone for over 30 years. She tried cold turkey but couldn't do it so she went the suboxone route.She was a new person, literally. She tried to ween herself off of the subs but I think she tried too aggressively. She hasn't had any meds for about 8 weeks but I think she is losing her mind. She can't sleep and has body tremors. I took her to the hospital 3 times in 9 days cause she couldn't sleep. She was crazy eyed nuts. I convinced her to tell the folks at the hospital that she was suicidal although she wasn't but that was the only way they would keep her or send her to another facility for observation. She went to a psych hospital that was a complete joke. She has been home alone now for 8 days. She is doing very weird stuff and then later realizes how ridiculous she acted. My question here is can you go crazy during detox and if so do you finally get your mental state af mind back?

Posted by: Jazwan October 14, 2012, 5:48 PM
Repost again and start a new thread this was an old thread that was bumped up to help someone for a specific reason. So people maybe won't check this old thread ask your question again.
And those that know will reply k

Posted by: MomNMore October 14, 2012, 8:19 PM
I started a new thread for Yogi this morning when I saw she had posted on three old threads...haven't heard back yet

Posted by: Jazwan October 15, 2012, 11:29 AM
Great MnM when you come and your head's a mess you don't know where you are posting.

Posted by: MomNMore December 21, 2012, 9:58 AM
Stuff to remember about boundaries...

Posted by: Maylc16 January 15, 2013, 8:46 PM
I did everything on this list. I thought I could cure or change him, after so much repetition of relapsing, pain, hurt and anger I realize I can't.

Posted by: Jazwan January 26, 2013, 6:31 PM
Then you've made a massive step forward that's good.

Posted by: goatboy March 18, 2013, 5:53 PM
Quote 13) Seeing your situation as ‘special’ or ‘different’.

This has a name in 12 step settings: terminal uniqueness. We are all terminally unique. In codependents this most often takes the form of “She’s so wonderful, sweet, funny…when she’s not using.” Yep, they are all terrific, sensitive souls when the drugs have not robbed them of that. Your addicted loved one is no more or less special, spiritual, kind, creative, loving...(fill in the blank) than any other addict, including those junkies you see outside meetings or in line at the clinic.. Everyone is someone’s father, wife, child, friend. Your family member may just more fortunate in education, economics, community support, or family structure. None of us are more special than another. There but for the grace of God...Quote

This has been helpful to me. My fiance is telling me to be careful what I take from Family nono meetings,because she is not like all the other addicts. Well this rule 13 has let me see that she is special and just because someone has done bad things doesn't mean they will be bad people for ever. Also I was having bad feelings about the other addicts she was meeting and all the phone numbers she was getting. I was feeling jelous, and scared if she would make the right choices. These other addicts are people too, and they are there to recover, and just because they don't seem as special to me as my fiance, they are special to somebody, and I shouldn't see them as harmful. Thank god I found this website, and thank you.

Posted by: MomNMore March 18, 2013, 9:27 PM
Well, they are all special...BUT she is an addict like everyone else there and her telling you how "different" she is sends up flares for me. She is special to you, but not different from other addicts...they are people with a serious problem and they need the support of other addicts who understand what they go through on the journey to recovery. That doesn't mean everyone at a meeting is there for the right reasons, and she may not be either. Sounds like she is trying to control what you learn so she can keep you in the keep learning and trust what you learn, not what she says...believe her actions, they will tell you everything you need to know about her recovery (or lack thereof). Talk is cheap, you'll know when she walks the walk, and when she does she won't be needing to tell you what to think or believe.

Take care of YOU though all of it and let her take care of herself. Keep coming back and reading here...lots to learn.

Peace and Welcome ~ MomNMore

Posted by: YankeeGram March 24, 2013, 4:07 PM
Bump for Hsan22.

Posted by: appalachia April 6, 2013, 7:02 PM
Your list was a reminder and an eye opener. I asked my husband of thirty-one years to leave six weeks ago after he combined alcoholism and infidelity. I have not seen him since but have talked to him many times, "watched" him, checked up on him, called him weeping in the middle of the night, bought him a book, sent him phone numbers of outpatient treatment centers, sent him articles and links to sites like this through e-mails, and left him loving notes about praying for him the times he returned to get more of this things (I am not home when he comes back--we coordinate it). I should also say that I left for three months last summer for the exact same reasons, although it was alcohol and emotional infidelity with two women then. I am going to back way off after reading your post, and although we have a daughter in college and a house to sell, (so we have to talk sometimes), I am ending my behaviors that are sick.

Thank you. And you sound both real and strong.


Posted by: MomNMore May 11, 2013, 11:43 PM
Bump for newcomers

Posted by: YankeeGram July 4, 2013, 1:53 PM
Bump for Kay45123.

Posted by: kay45123 July 4, 2013, 9:06 PM
Thanks! this is really helpful. I know I'm going to mess up, and do so many of these things without even knowing I'm doing them. But it gives me a really good perspective to not be a different wife than I would if he wasn't an addict. And give him some normalcy when he's in his own home.
what I really got from this is that I cant be in the passenger seat, I cant take the backseat, as a support system, I can crawl in the trunk. Fully present, but out of the way.
and I'm also guessing so much harder said than done!!!

Posted by: MomNMore July 5, 2013, 11:17 PM

Posted by: 24Gordon September 4, 2013, 11:21 AM

Posted by: YankeeGram October 21, 2013, 12:02 PM
Bumping for CRMel

Posted by: MomNMore January 16, 2014, 9:25 AM

Posted by: YankeeGram February 20, 2014, 11:59 AM
Bump for Kimberly

Posted by: MomNMore February 19, 2015, 9:57 PM
My 'qualifier' daughter has been clean for 5 years plus now, but I know we are all...all of us...addicts, codependents, alcoholics...all just one drink, one pill, one enabling act away from the edge. My family's entire story is here somewhere...all over these boards. All of my desperation, my pleas for help, for advice, for someone to offer me the magic cure...they are all here buried in the Family forum and the Heroin board.

I haven't been here in a looooong while, it was just my time to go. But I think about all the heartache still out there and some of the wisdom, compassion, and true friendship that I found here, so I stopped by. Everything I learned here has stuck with me and become a part of who I am and who I continue to become...I have never learned so much that I never wanted to know.

This is a post I wrote back in the day...I hope it helps some desperate folks who aren't sure they are doing the right thing, whatever that is. I know what was the wrong's my list....

I wish you all peace.


Posted by: 24Gordon February 20, 2015, 2:53 PM
So good to see you here & bumping up the classic's, Mom.

I was reading your update & nodding the whole time. How much I learned, I un-learned and how much I found out about myself.

What a journey and so grateful now for every single step, heartache and joy~!

Love ya, Sista~!

Posted by: reglow February 23, 2015, 10:40 PM
It has been ions since I have been hello to my friends from such a long time ago. I needed some reminders and knew I could find them here...little did I know that I would rediscover friends that saved my life about 9 years ago...xo Gina

Posted by: 24Gordon February 25, 2015, 2:32 PM
Wow, Gina, how great to see you~!

I changed phones a few times so I lost your number but I remember you like yesterday, you helped me so much in my early recovery.

Peace & love, Sista~! So good to see you~

Posted by: Shelleyg42 February 25, 2015, 3:23 PM
Thank you so much MomNMore as I have struggled for more than 14 years with my sons addiction problems. His lying to everyone and hurting everyone all the time and I have always blamed myself even though my family kept telling me it was not my fault and that he was a grown man but I just kept saying to myself what did I do wrong.
All the things you wrote I've gone over a million times in my head over the last many many years thank you for putting them down for me for all of us to read.

Posted by: reglow February 25, 2015, 9:14 PM
Stacey! Me too, I lost so many phone numbers through the years but not the people on the other end! You were such a God send to me too. This is such a special group, special forum and I thank God that I found it so many years ago...I think 9! And although the situation that brought me here so many years ago, is long over...there have been many other people in my life with addiction issues. My son, my dad, and even my husband now. Alcohol, drugs...but it seems alcohol is the drug of choice. Most of the time, I am okay and that is from what i learned here and in therapy and Al-Anon but like most anything, codependent behaviors sneak back in.
How are you Stacey? Would love to catch up if you would like to..

Posted by: 24Gordon February 26, 2015, 4:17 PM
I would love to catch up. Looks like the Mod's edited your post so I'm thinking you put personal info out, maybe?


Posted by: reglow February 26, 2015, 10:19 PM
LOL I did because I forgot the rule! I will message you through here or message me if you don't hear from me because I am not sure how this all works anymore!

Posted by: helpnessmother March 1, 2015, 7:43 PM
thanks for this post and I can see so much of myself doing these things with my son. He is constantly in my head. My other children complain all I talk about his him and either success for failures. I have learned to hide my emotions from husband and his siblings. I am not coping with his addiction. Its been almost 15 years , many close calls of OD and jail time. I am starting to thing I really need counselling myself how to deal with this. at the moment my son is on the streets and using blackmail on his family and friends.

He won't seek help he thinks we should do everything for him. He is trying to convince us all that he is doing the right thing but his past is holding him back.

Its time to let him go he is 34 a man and try to get my life back together.

Posted by: helpnessmother March 1, 2015, 8:21 PM
I am going to take this statement and learn it well thank you my motto. It's not my fault I didn't put the drugs in his hands.

Let him find his own halfway house or sober living facility...he will if he wants to. It's not your addiction, not your recovery, not for you to find him a situation. He will figure it out when he wants to, when he has to, when you let him. He is capable of doing this himself...believe that.

Posted by: MBHB March 2, 2015, 9:30 PM
MomNmore, my husband and i are laughing so hard as we read this. It is the first time in 10 years we have laughed at what we have done! He said he thinks someonw has been watching us. Thank you for sharing what not to do. I will try and figure out a way to print this as i am reading this from my phone. Thanks

Posted by: Chels88 March 3, 2015, 11:06 PM
That is a great list!!! Number 11, expectations, is so very true. It's hard to let go and stop expecting anything positive from them.

Posted by: MomNMore March 5, 2015, 11:38 PM
Glad my words have helped, if only to make you laugh =)

Yep, I did'em all ad nauseum...talked about it until I couldn't stand the sound of my own voice. Things can get better if you let can get off the crazy train any time you choose to...really. It's not your ride and you don't have to stay on it with them. My daughter and I actually talked about this the other day and she told me that the best thing I ever did was ask her to leave and not return until she was done. It was the ONLY thing that helped at all. True, she might not have survived, but that was always true anyway...let go, good people, let can do it whenever you want to.

When you are sick and tired of being sick and tired you will stop.

And I would encourage you to seek help for yourself...AlAnon is free and pretty much everywhere...try it.

Peace ~ M&M

Posted by: Joule12 March 6, 2015, 1:43 AM
Hello All; this is my first visit into this (or any) blog. I have to admit, I am a bit shocked to see how similar/familiar many of your stories are to mine. It does not provide any peace or relief, but it may provide me some reassurance and, maybe even some guideance, as to how my role, as the mother of a drug addicted son, must change in order to allow him to (hopefully) "heal." So, here's the story: My son, Chris - now 20 yo, has always struggled socially; he was diagnosed as high functioning autistic at a very young age. His older brother, Josh, was his "hero." Josh had a very special ability to teach chris, talk with chris, convince chris, anything/everything :). In 2006, Josh was headed home when a drunk driver lost control of their vehicle and killed my son. Obviously, this was a major devastation to our family, especially Chris. Chris became extrememly reclusive and more introverted. I made every avaialable attempt to help Chris -- individual counseling, family counseling, grievance counseling, we went on vacations, we enrolled chris in a new private school, we moved into a new house, etc.. Unfortunately, Chris met a few other kids, in 2008, that introduced him to marijuana -- well, that started a spiral of absolute hell for us. Chris quickly became addicited and began using synthetics, alcohol, prescription meds, anything/everything he could get ahold of. He started stealing and lying. I "forced" Chris into a rehab center, where he resided and detoxed for 3 months (he was still a minor) an we continued rehabilitation as outpatient for an additional 6 months. Rehab helped some -- chris was convinced to stop the synthetics, but that was about all we got from that. I became obsessed -- following chris everywhere, reading his messages, installing cameras in his car and in our home, etc.. I was, and still am, so fearful of losing another son. Chris now has two DUI charges pending -- still no court date. I could definitely provide much more detail to this story, but it boils down to: I was obsessed and I was the enabler! I recently moved about 5 hours away from my son--leaving him to move in with his father (whom I have a very good relationship), and I have to admit, it is not becoming any easier. I still worry every day/every night that he is going to overdose, die, or end up in prison. Everytime the phone rings, my stomach feels sick -- this stinks, to be honest.
So, I guess what I need to know, from this experienced group: How do I quit obsessing and/or feeling so desperate and/or out of control. How can I move forward; should i move forward. I dont want to abandon him (i dont think i could, even if needed to) -- just need to know how i can feel at peace again.
thanks for reading this very long story and thanks, in advance, for any/all advice.

Posted by: Papa Bear March 6, 2015, 9:34 AM
Joule said: "I am a bit shocked to see how similar/familiar many of your stories are to mine."

If you contact your local Al-Anon and Nar-Anon groups and attend a few meetings you will meet lots of folks in exactly the same situation as yourself.
The Al-Anon & Nar-Anon programs are for friends/family of addict/alcoholics who need to find a way to get their lives back. I think you will find it enlightening and helpful.

All the best.

Bob R

Posted by: Sunshine2012 March 9, 2015, 4:13 PM
This list is very helpful and gives me insight into how to handle the situation, thank you!

We tell my brother in law we love him, we listen, we tell him we know it must be hard (what he's going through, feeling, anger, etc.). We do try to help him come up with ways to deal with my mother/father in law as they are extremely difficult. They don't seem to get it and my father in law even drank wine in front of him (my brother in law did meth, heroin, alcohol and gambling).

BUT, what are good messages to give an addict or what do we say? We are in his life because we are family and being supportive of his recovery. But, I often don't know what to say or don't say. Your list is helpful in what not to do and not to say.

He went through about 35 days of inpatient and now lives in a clean and sober house. He is not working yet and seems to be almost brain damaged from the drugs. Not sure if he can work, when or where.

Feeling lost and tired. But, he is on a good path.

Posted by: Kikid March 10, 2015, 1:32 PM
I needed this post today. I'm currently resisting helping my homeless, heroin-addicted brother. Our family has collectively decided yesterday was the final stop on the crazy train. It's the hardest choice, but the right one. Haven't heard from him in nearing 24 hours, and I'm realizing contacting him to see if he's alive is only a reflection of my own guilt. And like you said, in using they're risking their lives anyway. Thank you.

Posted by: MomNMore March 15, 2015, 10:56 AM
There's nothing wrong with contacting him to see if he's alive, just know that this often results in manipulation on their part...'why do you care? you cut me out of your life'...or no response at all in an attempt to guilt you...or no reply because they are angry...there's no end to the possibilities. When my daughter was out there I simply texted, "We love you, and we have faith in your ability to take care of yourself and do the next right thing." No reply required.

Peace ~ M&M

Posted by: MomNMore June 3, 2015, 10:59 AM
BUMP for getmeofftherollercoaster.

Posted by: Zanne June 4, 2015, 2:09 PM
This list is such a gift, especially today. My 39 yo son has in jail for 2 months. He had a court date today which I didn't attend nor have I heard the outcome. His bail is $2,500 and nobody has stepped forward to bail him out as he has no where to go and nobody who cares. My ex has informed me he plans on posting bail in a couple of weeks and dropping him at my house although the offer to live here has never been made. My ex is newly sober and I can't even imagine what his agenda is... I am sober 30 years and remarried 25+ years. As part of my recovery I walked away from everything affiliated with alcohol. Including to some degree, my addict son. I got drawn into this recent round of crisis because everyone else has walked, specifically my son has run out of enabling girlfriends and found himself facing homelessness. These relationships, such as they are, last about 5 years and #3 just gave him the boot. My son is a convicted felon (2006) in addition to his current charges. Knowing he was about to hit a wall I sent him to a private rehab for 2 months last fall at the cost of $20,000... A lot of money in my world. I seem to be more paralyzed this round, I can't see any good endings for him. I watched my brother drink himself to death at age 36 and this looks and feels very similar. I have to clearly tell my son he cannot live with me, I thought I had done so already but apparently it went unheard. Saying no feels awful but saying yes would kill him, me and my marriage... I feel like I'm taking away his only reason for being...jail is dismal and the outside world is totally done with him. There are so many addicts, the system is over loaded. Sadly, Jail is as good as it gets for him. I have no control over my ex's action and know my son living with him is not an option... I do not want to involve the law with restraining orders, it will only make things worse.

Posted by: sadmomma June 5, 2015, 8:07 AM
Great post!
But I am curious about your backstory... who is G? and your addicted loved one? husband? child?

I, too, am practicing all of these, It took me almost a decade to figure out what I really need to be doing. My son is an addict and is living in sober living at the present time. I have his daughter, 4 years. I, too, have done all the "don'ts" you listed. Which only harmed my heart and soul, and my son's.

Stopping the invading thoughts of how to help is the hardest for me. I am his mother, "It's my job".
Right now, I am sure he feels as if I don't care. I have avoided calls from him for the past week, other than one. I didn't go to drug court with him, and didn't run to him when he needed money for his mandated drug test ($15.00). He asked for cigarettes and deoderant. I didn't do it. I feel guilty, mainly because all I have ever wanted is to make him feel loved.

BUT, I feel better too! The invading thoughts are lessening, I am focusing more on his daughter (whom he should be providing for), and what she needs, and what the 4 younger brother and sisters need more and more. Giving myself permission to keep living and to find joy again, is a biggie for me. I have allowed him to impact all his younger siblings lives, for basically their whole lives. They really can't remember when he wasn't such a source of concern.

so, I would add something to that list....Find JOY again, allow yourself to laugh and live life.
To love them through Recovery

Every time I talk to him, I tell him I will help him in his recovery, ONLY.

With love to you and all that need prayers.

My son is an addict, but most of all he is my son.

Posted by: Zanne June 5, 2015, 9:24 AM
Sad momma

My 39 year old son is the one in jail. My ex husband, sober under a year, is bailing him out. My brother died of addiction at age 36, and on and on it goes. Same song and dance...different performers. The genetic factor is undeniable ...

Enjoy your granddaughter and other children, some how we overlook their good behavior when we get focussed on the addict.


Posted by: sadie284 June 9, 2015, 4:45 AM
bump for rwright1984

Posted by: Cat1959 June 10, 2015, 12:59 AM
MNM - This is my first time here and your msg was the very first msg I read. Everything you said it so true, I do all those things trying to save my only daughter (27) it's so hard to stop the controlling, but I have pulling back and not talking and doing as much. But, what I notice is when I step back she reaches out for me, sometime for good reason and sometimes not. She will make it thru this but it will be in her own time and her way. She is so stubborn and hard headed even a child. I will print your message out and post on my mirror. THANK YOU!

PS: Just today I went and bought 3 books about addiction.:((

Posted by: J4Hope June 20, 2015, 11:17 AM
Thank you so much for this list of "dont's". If it were a list of "do's" I'd get a A! I recognize so many of these almost compulsive behaviors as my own. You will help many restore their sanity by sharing this. Looking forward to regaining my own!

Posted by: angelash65 June 23, 2015, 6:40 AM
thank you so much for the things you should not do post! I checked off everyone of them I have been doing the past 3 days. My son was arrested again for felony possession a few weeks ago so I have been calling rehabs, sober living houses, attorneys, landlords, and the list goes on and on .... he told me actually begged me if I bailed him out of jail he would go to rehab as soon as a bed opened up since he doesn't have insurance and then sober living, now since hes out he says he is living with his girlfriend and hes not doing any of the above...I don't know what I was thinking, he is 29 years old and I don't know why I thought this time would be different, he has 5 felonies so im sure he will do prison time im just trying to help avoid it happening again, im so just not doing well, I cant even take his calls anymore , I just cant, im thinking of checking myself into a psych ward today because I just don't want to go on anymore, he has destroyed my will to go really does hurt and he could care less what it does to me, your list is very powerful, im printing it out thank u

Posted by: Hopefultoday June 26, 2015, 9:14 AM
Love this thank you for sharing!

Posted by: MomNMore July 7, 2015, 10:03 PM
Like I said, I did ALL of this for a very long time. It wasn't until I stopped that things got better for all of us. My daughter reached out to me, too...when we change the steps they still want to dance.

Glad this helped someone =)

Peace to one and all ~ MomNMore

Posted by: sadie284 October 14, 2015, 5:34 PM
It's been a while since someone bumped this up....I think it's so helpful for anyone with a drug addict in their lives to read.

Posted by: Ellesbells October 16, 2015, 1:49 PM
love your list...This is all true. Now just to put it into action.
My son is a drug addict and is in jail and will be for his 30th birthday this month.
I am trying to not have contact with him while he is in jail. He failed a drug test and for the 100th time in jail. Hope he can get better, but can't do it for him.
Thank you for your information.

Posted by: sadie284 November 3, 2015, 1:01 PM
Bump for Kyliebaby

Posted by: MomNMore February 3, 2016, 9:04 PM
BUMP for newbies, BUMP for oldtimers who still need it...

Posted by: etu1972 February 13, 2016, 6:04 PM
I read this a couple of months ago and it helped clarify some things. Since then, I've fallen back onto some bad habits, so I came back to review the topic. Again, it was very helpful. Thanks for the clarity. Determining where to draw the line is very tough and, apparently for me, requires periodic review of these types of guidelines.

Posted by: Helplessness February 20, 2016, 8:35 PM
I keep referring to your post to keep my sanity. My son was arrested a month ago, what peace I had. I knew where he was, wasn't high or stealing. But of course he is good at emotional blackmail and works the system. He is out on three year probation. Like that is going to happen. Within a month he will have a warrant on his head. He won't contact his probation officer. Take a drug test now that's just hilarious! Our jail system at it's finest. He won't pay his probation fine, he won't do anything that he is suppose to do. Why because he thinks he is beyond the law.
And this is why our jails are crowed with habitual offenders, drug addicts. Jail is not what they need but hey I am just his mother. He is another drug addict statics!

Now he is on the streets again, and I won't sleep again because I will wait for that call, the emotional blackmail one. I am hungry. I am cold, I need I need, .
No one will help me, I can't do this. I can't get a job, I can't get an apartment. No one will hire me. He won't ask for money, he knows that won't get him anywhere, but he has learned to use words to make me feel better for sending him a few bucks.
He makes me feel terrible because he can't fend for himself, but I didn't create the problem.
Then I am mad at myself. This time is different. I have this website with all of us parents struggling to say no and it helps.
Helps me stay true to myself and say no. No matter what he throws out there. I refuse to see him, it's easier on me. He doesn't have a phone I quit paying.
Give me strength to fight my own addiction at enabling him.

Thank you for those steps. It's awful that you had to write them, but it keeps my sanity. I thank you.


Posted by: MomNMore June 8, 2016, 9:37 PM

Posted by: constantine June 11, 2016, 2:17 AM
Ahhhhhh M& always were the smartest... ..some of us have made it out...some of us didnt...some of us are still trying...but you have probably saved more of us from that one post than all the detoxs in heaven could have provided...


Posted by: Papa Bear June 11, 2016, 8:16 AM
For the addict/alcoholic. Detoxes don't save us .. learning to live clean/sober saves us.

I had to change my thinking - not just quit drinking/using.

I needed a strength and direction for life and I find it in the 12 Steps.

For the family of addicts/alcoholics. Addiction/alcoholism is a family disease.
Many think they are "OK" because they don't use/drink ... and they are the sickest.

They say "The truth will set you free".
What I found was the truth was hard to find and when i did I found more work to do.

All the best.

Bob R

Posted by: MomNMore August 10, 2016, 11:23 PM

Posted by: kconnor6 August 22, 2016, 3:57 PM

I want to thank you for posting this, it's brilliant. My family and I have been dealing with my daughter's addiction on and off for 10 years. This last time has been the worst. She is currently waiting for a bed in long term treatment, should be this week. My sis is a recovering addict with 28 years clean keeps telling me that the good thing is, she keeps trying to get clean, one of these times it will stick. I don't feel hopeful after that comment any longer, but I do hope that she's right.

Anyway, I was looking for a place to feel less alone and stumbled upon this forum and there are so many posts, but I found this one. This 1 single page / post of advice has helped me more than anything else I have talked about, read, listened to others say etc... I think you are brilliant in the way it is written. I've heard these things before, but each new round of sobriety and relapse brings my world crashing in again and I lose sight of these principles.

Not anymore I totally agree with you, the best way to help her is to allow her to help herself, while I help myself heal. She is 28 years old, We have bent over backwards for her over the years, lost possessions, money, time and sanity. We've also went down the tough love route and put her out when we caught her stealing, didn't bail her out when she went to jail on a bench warrant, didn't play interference.

I used to be angry, and couldn't believe how she could do this to such great parents. Right!! I'm not angry, I really do feel sorry for her but I can't get sucked into the madness any longer. So I sent your post to her and my Husband (He needed a reality check as much as I did) along with this note. I also sent it to others that I thought could use it. It is this the thing that has made the most sense .

Dear _____
I was searching today for some advice about your situation and how it has consumed all of us. I came upon this forum and this is the first post. I think it’s brilliant. I intellectually know these things learning them over the years, but have such a hard time separating myself from your addiction that it gets lost. I especially see myself in # 3, 4, 7, 8, 11,12. Funny thing #4, I saw it as a way of showing interest in your recovery and not exerting control.
I am going to stop the madness as of this moment. I have to get my life back, I have to get my marriage back, I have to be happy again. I’m sitting here trying to think about the last time I was happy, and not completely stressed. I can’t remember and it’s my own fault.

Your life and / or lack of life is yours, you own it not me. I release you to live it, and I hope and pray you find the way. I hope one day we can look at this together and laugh about how crazy we all were to feel / be “normal”. Right now we have to accept or change our normal and I am choosing to change mine, and I’m not going to live my life around your addiction.

I love you more than you can ever imagine, I think that’s why I always tried to will my love, hope, prayers, on to you hoping that it would be enough to overcome your addiction. I know it’s not, but always kept trying. I hope one day you love yourself enough to try living instead of slowly dying.

I’m not sure I can step out of your way while you’re living at home, but am going to try. Once you get into treatment I’m sure we will all relax a little. You’re right about being home, it’s not working, you’re my daughter so I think of you that way.
Anyway, read the post, I’ll bet you can even pick out more things that we do that don’t help.

Posted by: MomNMore August 31, 2016, 7:42 PM
Beautiful, you just keep on trying...we are all doing the best we can. When we know better, we do better xo


Posted by: marykat80 March 30, 2018, 7:03 PM
I remember reading this a long time ago. I just dug through to find to share with someone that may find of help... Thought I'd bump up in the mean time. Thanks to MomNmore..

Posted by: MomNMore June 23, 2018, 2:32 PM

Posted by: MomNMore March 2, 2019, 1:49 AM
BUMP - for those still dancing, for those still riding the not-so-merry-go-round

Posted by: Sallyanna March 2, 2019, 9:22 PM
MomNMore thank you for bumping all these topics for us. I personally have found them very helpful and am grateful you took the time to do this. If you don't mind, would you share your story about your daughter's addiction? Thank you, Sallyanna

Posted by: MomNMore April 27, 2019, 11:33 PM
Hi Sallyanna,
Sorry, I don't come on here much anymore, just check n now and then. My story, my daughter's story, our family story is waaaay back all over these boards. I started here back in 2007 and hung around for about seven years then gradually stopped posting because we were all in a good strong recovery and the forum had served its purpose. I don't have time to tell our story right now, but my daughter has been clean since 2009, has a 9 year old son whom she parented singly until she met her fiance....they are getting married in August. She was a heroin addict and I was sure she was going to die from her addiction...she ODed and thank thank God our town rescue squad had Narcane available and shot her up...the young man she was using with when she ODed called the police, but lost his own battle four months later.

I let go....gave her to God and let her figure it out without me...I was too much a part of the negative equation...codependent crazy and unable to stop trying to control what did not belong to me.

It's okay to let go...necessary even. Keep doing what you've always done, keep getting what you've always gotten...something has to change and sometimes that something is us.

Peace ~ M&M

Posted by: Sallyanna April 28, 2019, 5:46 AM
Thank you MomNMore for your reply and sharing about your daughter. Its great she is doing so well and your post is very much appreciated, Sallyanna

Posted by: sad eyes April 28, 2019, 5:56 PM
Monmnmore great to always read a post with a positive outcome, it makes us feel like yes there is hope, so glad she has turned her life around great job

Posted by: Wednesday October 31, 2020, 4:27 PM
Momnmore this a very eye opening list. I see myself everywhere in it. Thank you for putting it on here for all of us to learn from. 🐝

Posted by: MomNMore November 14, 2020, 1:02 AM
Glad to see that this still helps folks after all these years.

My qualifier daughter got married in August 2019, her son is an amazing 5th grader who just got stellar teacher reports. She will be in her final semester of nursing school in the Spring and is working at a hospital nights while going to school and doing her clinical rotations days. She hopes to continue on to get an advanced nursing degree. The road has not been completely without stress and bumps, of those, there have been many, including an arrest for DUI, which she beat in court. I do not fool myself into thinking she was an innocent in that scenario and I won't lie and say it didn't freak me out to see her nearly throw away all her hard work...I was a hot mess for a few days. But I put it where it belongs - on her - and let it go...not my monkey, not my circus.

I guess all of this is to say, they can and do recover...not all of them, but enough that there is hope to be found in their stories - and not perfectly, but enough. I am in regular contact with many recovering addicts from this very board and most are well and happy. I am also in touch with several parents/family members of recovering addicts and as a group they are okay, but the ones that are happiest are the ones who were able to disconnect from their loved ones' outcomes and just be there to love them.

Please folks, do let go. You deserve to have a joyous life, and it IS possible, even when they are still in the life. Believe it, it's true...all you have to do is let go.

Peace ~ M&M

Posted by: Wednesday November 25, 2020, 8:03 PM
Momnmore this is a tough one to get for many reasons but once you get to that point things really start getting clearer.It takes sometimes constant reminders to myself but wow has it helped. And I so agree with you. We do deserve joy and thank you for reminding us all.🐝

Posted by: samegame December 21, 2020, 3:35 PM
Good hear to MomNmore. Hopefully that DUI was a hiccup. Drunks and addicts become savy with the law and lawyers so that probably helped get her out of it. No further drunken or driving incidents I hope.

Stay Well and Great New Year!

Posted by: Parenting2 January 9, 2021, 12:52 AM
Hi all,

I haven't been here in a while. Mostly because my computer crashed! Momnmore really helped me (among so many of you others).

I've been trying to catch up a little on the posts. PTSD with this is REAL. I still have it at times.

Long story short. My son went literally off the rails when he was 15-16. Like many of you, he has a great family, so much love and support. NIGHTMARE for 4 years. Spice, maybe meth...anyway, erratic and scary behavior.He went to treatment when he was a teen and promptly used the day he got out (after he bought me flowers for all the trouble he caused me. : ) )

I had to kick him out last spring. It was super hard. But, the motto, "Not my monkeys, not my circus" became my mantra. It is so hard to do and so hard to let them fall. Counter-intuitive to that Mom drive.

I did find him an apartment and paid for 3 months rent. He was so angry.

Now, he is doing pretty well. At least he is paying his own bills. He moved in with a friend and it seems more normal now when I visit. I am THANKFUL. We have gone for a couple of walks and really had some good conversation. I can't believe it is the same boy.

I know he has damaged his body and I know they still smoke quite a bit. I worry about his health and his judgment, but...I try my best to tune it out.

Like, Momnmore said with her situation, nothing is perfect. I know my son will always struggle on some level. But, I am thankful (for now) we are past those terrifying days of his scary drug-induced bullying. The day I climbed out my bedroom window with my dogs was the day I knew I had to evict him.

Anyway, I know tough love is not the only answer. Because some kids and adults just keep on going...I have worked with people in the homeless shelters that have lost everything and keep using. So, I don't understand all the factors but I know one of the basic things that has to happen is to cut them off from loose cash and rescuing. It is still hard for me not to rescue.

Anyway, my son is not out of the danger zone but at least he is not threatening me anymore and he is REALLY TRYING to be independent.

I just want to say for all of you going through this, I hear you and I understand. The journey from 15-21 was one of the worst journeys of my life.

PTSD moment...I saw two cars involved in a fender bender in the dark and a boy in a hoodie was walking with a police officer to the police car. Even though I knew my son was at work, I instantly felt like it was him. I thought, "He probably was using...the cops found his stuff..and he was on such a good path...". Just that fast, I crossed multiple lanes of traffic to drive by the accident and make sure it was not him. I was all prepared to jump out of my car and explain to the police officer that he is TRYING. Hard to explain, but it was definitely a PTSD moment. Of course, it was not my son. I have the same reaction with sirens...etc.

Yesterday, I was at a business I have not been to in years. I forgot the last time I was there I was with my son and he had an ankle bracelet monitor. It was a bad day where he was being abusive and paranoid. Yesterday, when I walked in....Out of nowhere, I just broke into tears when I walked in. It took me a while to remember the ankle bracelet thing.

All that said to say, this is major trauma for parents and loved ones. Don't underestimate it. Take care of yourself and love yourselves and set those healthy boundaries. Keep working on tough love as much as possible.

Posted by: Wednesday January 19, 2021, 12:57 AM
Your post hit home big time for me parenting 2 . I am dealing with moments like you recalled . My husband seems to be able to disassociate much more than I can. But I have the PTSD not him. He has not dealt with as much trauma as I have. I don't think he gets the fact that I can't control when it hits me and doesn't get it that I am dealing with my mental health the best I can right now. This makes me feel even more alone in the situation . It has been hard on our relationship as I'm sure it is for all parents of an addict. The PTSD is hard especially because no one really knows or can see that you are struggling and that it can hit you at the strangest times. Thanks for your post and your encouragement parenting2. Strength and good health to you all.🐝

Posted by: Parenting2 January 19, 2021, 11:15 PM
Yeah, PTSD is real and very strange when it hits. I don't think I have felt so alone, helpless and without support when we were going through that really crazy period with my son. I remember watching "normal" people shopping, playing at the park, etc. It seemed like I was locked in this insane world and I was never going to get out. I am so grateful for this message board because it really saved my sanity!

Posted by: NyToFlorida January 21, 2021, 10:46 PM
Parenting - nice to see you again! Glad that life is getting better. I agree about the PTSD. The bad memories linger and pop up when triggered. This site helped me thru many years of addiction trauma! Thanks to everyone who’s paths I’ve crossed!

Posted by: MomNMore February 1, 2021, 11:33 PM
I, too, was diagnosed PTSD by three professionals: my primary care physician, my therapist, and our marriage counselor. Ten years of fight-or-flight adrenaline and I couldn't sleep or think right. It's real and I felt weird when I got the diagnosis because it felt like these problems shouldn't be compared to say, soldiers or sexual abuse survivors...but trauma is trauma and the physiological response is what it is. I'm better now, but it can still get me when I don't expect it and muddle up my otherwise (mostly) rational thoughts.

Take care of yourselves ~ M&M

Posted by: Arrowswift August 22, 2021, 12:14 PM
My partner wants ME to be his therapy and his “12 steps program”. He is attempting to quit by himself and wants to talk and open up only to me about his substance abuse. I am scared of pressuring him or bothering him 😭

Posted by: NyToFlorida September 2, 2021, 9:24 AM
Arrow you remind me of two powerful statements I came across when my son was deep into addiction and I was an emotional wreck trying to figure out how to ‘fix’ it.

1. While watching YouTube videos a recovering man said ‘ you have to do the program 100% . Anything less does not work.’

2. I was reading about a diet program. It said ‘ if you follow this diet exactly, you will loose weight’ it explained that when people alter and change the diet to for their needs, it is no longe the ABC diet. It becomes altered by the individual. Then, when they don’t loose weight, they say ABC Diet didn’t work. They weren’t following the ABC diet.

These two statements made me realize my son was being sober 80% of the time. 80% effort. That is why recovery was not working. I thought 80% was good enough. Unfortunately it is not.

My son was once kicked out of a recovery program bc he cut his own hair and others hair with his clippers which he hid and was not allowed to do. Yes, minor offense. But it is not about the offense. It is about the behavior. He needed to comply with rules.

In another program a goal was to get the street hussle out of the person, so there were rules against bartering, etc.

Addict’s also have control issues. They want to do it their way. Your partner is displaying that.

Hope this insight helps. You need to let go and he needs to follow the process 100%

Posted by: NyToFlorida September 2, 2021, 9:25 AM
It is very unfair for you to be his therapist. He needs a professional. Who is your therapist? I got to that point too w my son. I started telling him, we can’t deal w this, we don’t have the resources, you need the professionals who know how to do this better than us mere mortals..