How do you find joy?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by tinamarie1, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    I feel like I will never be happy again. difficult child is still very angry at me for calling the police when he stole husband's car and then threatened to kill himself if we didn't let him do drugs. We also took away all his privilages (phone, internet, football) except the t.v. So for the past few weeks now...every day... he plants himself in front of the t.v. all day. If I say anything to him, he gets irrate and it usually turns into him yelling at me and me going to my bedroom. I have a small housekeeping business that keeps me gone most of the morning. I dread coming home. The tension is so thick. I ask him every day if he wants to go to lunch, go to the gym, help me cook dinner...ANYTHING. Nope. School starts in about a week and half. But until then I guess he will sit and watch 14 hours of t.v. My husband is in the military and in medication school so we rarely see him. That must be oh so nice for him. Never having to be here and just be obliviously happy. My 19 yr old daughter is talking about getting an apartment with her boyfriend. I can't blame her. I don't want to live here.
    If I go do anything for myself even stop and get a hamburger...I feel guilty. I feel like my kid is suffering and battling addictions and can I legitimately have any happiness? Please help me and tell me how to move on yall.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    First - HUGS!!!

    I hated the dreading to come home feeling. Is there any way you can get counseling for yourself? That helped me.

    I don't have a lot of time right now (end of day at work) but I wanted you to know I'm hearing you!
  3. compassion

    compassion Member

    Hi, Taking care of me in the most basic way is essential:enough sleep,decent meals, exercise, something fun. Besides therapy, Al-Anon, Families Anon (they are online), Nami , for me, I am involved in church. I do stuff I like like book clubs. It is so easy to get sucked into the black hole of their illnesses, getting the foucs back on ME is imperative.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That 10 years old is a typing error, right? How old is he and what is he doing still at home? Is he actually battling addiction or is he not doing anything to help himself?
  5. compassion

    compassion Member

    He would be 15, she says her daughter is 19 now,she is 14 in her sig and he is getting ready to go back to school soon.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, thanks. Well, right now I'd hold out his electronics unless he stops using drugs and goes for help.

    You can be happy in spite of his problems. I highly recommend Al-Anon or Narc-Anon. You can not really control your son's self-destruction. He is too old and will do what he wants when he's not with you. But you can still have a happy, rich, meaningful life in spite of him. These groups help us learn to detach with love.

    My daughter started using drugs at age 12. (Yes, 12). By fifteen, I had called the police on her and it wasn't the first time. She is doing well now. I hope your son does too. But no matter what happens to him YOU deserve a good life. You are a good mother and have other kids doing well to prove it. You shouldn't punish yourself because your son is deliberately making himself unhappy and addicted. Is he abusing his ADHD drugs? It's very common (per my knowing daughter who was a drug user). They crush them in pillcrushers and snort them either alone or with others. I'd make sure you locked up his script and gave him his medications. And don't expect them to really work either if he is taking other drugs to counteract what they are supposed to do to help him. been there done that, wore the tee-shirt.
  7. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Personally, I'd let him do football so he is getting out and getting exercise. I am assuming there are adults in charge at football. I wouldn't feel guilty about getting out of the house yourself because as you said, you ask him to do things and he doesn't want to. He could probably use therapy but I gather he'd probably give you lots of problems over that. I agree with the others that you might want to seek out some groups to help you. Sending hugs to you.
  8. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    Sorry about the age/signature information. It wouldn't let me edit it for some reason. Yes, difficult child is now 15. Unfortunately for him, his football coach is also one of the sherrifs that has responded to the calls to our house and the school has a zero tolerance policy for any tabacco and/or drug use. Weather it be on or off campus. So, the decision is not up to me for him to play football. I do feel like losing the privilage to play football has sent him into an angrier and more depressed state. But, that is a real life consequence and he signed an agreement that as an athlete he would not use drugs.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry. I have been in your shoes with a 15 year old I would have gladly traded for a dime. (there is an old saying that goes...I wouldnt take a nickle for these little kids of mine, but on a rainy day just offer me a dime!) When my kid was 15 it might as well have been raining every day.

    You say you work out of the home some which makes it extremely hard to take things like TV away from them because they will just watch it when you arent home. I went through that too.

    Maybe you can get more jobs cleaning to keep you out of the house. I do hope your son will go back to school and wont get into a ton of trouble there. Mine never made it past age 15 in school.

    *On another side...I sure wish you lived near me because I could use help cleaning. I have wondered for awhile if you dont live near me though, but maybe not.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hugs... I have a bit more time now.

    I spent time with friends... I spent a lot of time miserable but when I started doing little things FOR ME it helped. Even getting up a little earlier to take an extralong shower. Fancy shampoo once in a while... That sort of thing. Little stuff does a LOT.

    Also... Make sure you are taking a good multivitamin, and calcium at the other end of the day.

    Everyone else is right... Take care of you first. Then worry about what he should/shouldn't/can/cannot do.

  11. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Once we have done all we know to do, then we need to work on the imagery we are using to represent our situations to ourselves. Someone called it "mental discipline."

    First, picture in your mind how you would look happy, healthy, and whole. See your expression. Imagine how you would feel, when you look so calm and happy. When you feel negative emotions taking over, counter them with that healthy imagery. This will only take a second, and will stop the spread of negative emotion. Do the same image-making for each member of your family, picturing them happy and successful. Create imagery for all of you, together. This is a practice, a tool to counter the negative imagery worry brings. It won't change the situation? But it will help you survive it.

    If you awaken in the night worried about your son, repeat the Serenity Prayer until it works. That is key. Until it works.

    God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    the Courage to change the things I can,
    And the Wisdom to know the difference.

    Music can be an excellent mood elevator. Something like Adelle's "I Set Fire to the Rain." Any music that brings you up. Even a few minutes of positive emotion will counter the draining effect of the negatives. See, and use it, as a tool you employ for the express purpose of countering the negative mood.

    Polish your toenails something beautifully outrageous. :O)

    Make time to walk for twenty minutes in the morning. Maybe, with your son. That is long enough for the body's endorphins to kick in, and would probably be good for him, too.

    Take a class. Ballet, yoga, karate ~ anything.

    I use a beautifully done yoga CD. If you look for Namaste Yoga on youtube, you will find clips from the classes I chose to order. They are beautifully calming and strengthening. Beautiful music, beautiful imagery. However busy your schedule, once you have the CD, you can fit your yoga in. You may be able to order the CD from the library first, to see whether they work for you. Once you have established your practice, just playing the music will key a positive, strengthening response.

    Notice every positive, beautiful thing. The way the sun shines in. The way the clouds look or the breeze feels. When you are showering, cup your hands and think: Grasp the vine. Cup your hands, and...drink. Then, take a little sip of the water. That practice breaks the circling pattern of negative or hurried thought we generally torment ourselves with in the shower.

    These are some of the things I have had to learn to do to preserve my sanity. Any positive practice you can think of, try it. When our kids are in trouble, there is so little we can really do about anything. We need to do what we can to stay strong and healthy. Guilt and worry lead to depression. We need to try every tool to keep ourselves healthy and whole.

    Gratitude journaling is very helpful. Each night before going to bed, write five things you are grateful to have had, or seen, or remembered, that day.

    Envisioning placing your son in the palm of God's hand can be so helpful against that circling chain of worry.

    Mostly, to find joy again, you will need to look for that feeling and consciously receive it. Remember, later in the day, what that instant felt like. Replay it for yourself.

    There are times, when our children are troubled, when parents punish themselves without being aware of it. Taking these conscious steps to open yourself to joy will counter those feelings a little.

    As others have suggested, NAMI, al-anon, a parent support group will help you so much. (You can call Social Services in your area, or a local hospital social worker, to learn about them. Just call the hospital and ask to speak to a social worker. If nothing else, he or she will probably have information about where to look, next.) There are times when family cannot help and friends just can't understand. That is where other parents going through the same things will be able to help you through it ~ just as you will help them.

    Posting here helps so much.

    It is important that you and husband stay on the same page. So many times, we forget to nurture our marriages when we are coping with unforeseen problems with the kids. You have done the right thing by addressing your son's problems now, when he is still young enough to do what he needs to do to recover himself and his life.

    My husband insisted that we meet in our own dining room from 5:30 to 6:30 every day. No phone. No television or radio. We could play music. We had a Manhattan, together. I played Dean Martin, because it was music not heard elsewhere, and would key relaxation and make that time for us special. That happy time together, and the communication it enabled, saved our marriage. With your husband in medical school, the time commitment for you two will be different. Even if you can only arrange a time for each other once a week for an hour, do that. Maybe it will be going to the beach. Or, to a coffee shop. Or, maybe that morning walk could be your and husband's time together.

    I'm sorry this is happening. With consciousness and care, you can come through these challenges successfully.

  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    The thing that has helped me the most was finding a good parents alanon meeting... and starting to realize that I needed to focus on taking care of myself.

    Do what you need to do for your son, whatever that is and then know you have done what you can. At some point his life is up to him. Part of this process is letting go of control and realizing you cant control his recovery r not.... and you didnt cause his drug use or bad behavior and you can't cure it.

    For me part of it was making a conscious decision to not let my difficult child ruin my life. Sometimes I have to tell myself to just stop when I start ruminating about the past, feeling guilty or worrying about the future. I jsut say to myself "stop it, this is not helpful".

    Fact is this may go on for awhile and you cannot live your life totally controlled by how your son is doing.

    Now given all that, there are times when things are really hard and stressful and I am sure that is much much worse when they are young and living with you!!! I remember the great relief when we sent my son to a program and he was not at home... so it is harder to find joy when you are facing the tension and trauma every day at home. Find ways to find sanctuary even if it cant be at home.

    I have times, like the last week, where it all feels like too much to handle and then sometimes it is a matter of gritting your teeth and through it.

    But practice practice practice taking care of yourself and it gets easier to do so. And stop feeling guilty if you feel moments of happiness, you definitely deserve it. Just because he is miserable does not mean that you have to be. It hurts when our kids hurt, no question, but you still need to find a way to live your own life.

  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    tinamarie1, you've gotten wonderful advice. I am so sorry. Where you are is where I've been and many here have been too. It's a devastating place to land, we know. I think Scent of Cedar and others covered everything beautifully, if you follow what they're suggesting, you will find your joy.

    One thing I hear in your post and I suffered under as well is the notion that as long as your child is suffering, then how can you be happy? Think about it. Does it make any difference to your child that you are suffering a long with him? Does it make his suffering go away? Does your suffering in any way help or assist him? No. You can be there for him, support him, find him the best care and then you can take care of yourself as best you can by setting boundaries around his behavior........... And then go do things that make you happy. Do something every single day that brings you joy.........if you have to start small do so, but it's a practice......... practice every day............take long baths............long walks........sit in the sun.........go to lunch with a a new a new dress...............have a massage.........ME time is invaluable. Go take it for yourself. You might get something out of the article on detachment at the bottom of my post. Sending you big hugs...............
  14. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi tina,

    For me, it's about having two very close girfriends. They listen to me and can advise me/strengthen me as they have addicition issues in their own families as well. They are both very outgoing...and they make me Laugh! We text each other the funniest things!!! Anyway, just being heard helps...

    It's also about doing what I CAN do...keeping things orderly and clean at home.
    Haircut/color, manicures/pedicures, a little shopping, playing cards with friends...and of course posting and keeping up with my friends here on the board.

    I hope you find an outlet or support that helps you find the "joy" you are looking for as I know how painful living with an addict can be.

  15. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Laughter, yes! I always forget that one. When we laugh, we are stronger.

  16. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I agree with letting him to do football, let him get his energy out doing something constructive and something that will help him feel good about himself. I was in your shoes, football was the best thing for my sanity! Don't kiss his behind trying to see if he wants anything to eat etc...give him a small amount of chores, he isn't in charge. It is rough having difficult child's at this age. Start the countdown clock in your head! Hugs.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have thought more on this. It is very hard to not be a bit enmeshed when they are still under age. Heck its hard when they are supposedly adults! As parents we have to do certain things for them. There are certain things we have to do like provide a roof, a place to sleep and something to sleep on, clothing, food, and medical care. Well none of that has to be the best. You already provide the roof. I would strip his room of everything but a mattress, blanket and pillow. He doesnt have to have a bed frame. If you are feeling generous you can give him the box spring. I would buy his clothes at either Goodwill or whatever other second hand store you have in your area. His shoes would be generic. Food can be something either you like or oatmeal and boxed cereal is a good breakfast. PBJ is just fine for lunch. If you happen to like liver and he doesnt, I would have that as often as possible. Or whatever else he doesnt like. He can have another pbj. No electronics that you can actually take away. Get yourself a cell phone and cut off the land line. Lock the router down so he cant use anything to get online.

    However, let him earn things back if he starts to act better.

    From the time my son was 16 and no longer in school, he never got new clothes from a real store except at Xmas. I never took holidays away. Other than that he had to wear used clothing and he had to wear shoes I picked out. We hardly ever kept special food in the house but since he would eat just about everything except onions and cherries, there wasnt much we could take away. At that point I had a password on my computer and he couldnt get on it. We blocked our house phone down so severely you couldnt even call the operator or any 1-800 numbers. I couldnt take away TV because the rest of us watched it but we didnt have cable. There were times he lost out on going hunting or fishing with his dad because of behavior. He actually behaved pretty well from age 16 until about 19 when he met the mother of his oldest child.