I am hopeful and doing well

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I wanted to give a little update. First of all I am behind as we just got back from a three week trip to Australia! Had a great time... took my easy child with us and had a good time with her and there ere no major crisis with my difficult child!

    And my difficult child is doing ok! Really ok. He got a job and has been working for a month and he eally likes it. It is doing construction type work - he got it through a roommate. So it is hands on and he is learning a lot and it sounds like a good fit for him. He is still with the new girlfriend and is looking to get some therapy for himself. We have agreed we will pay for therapy but this is his idea and he is looking for a good therapist.

    I am sure from posts on FB that he is drinking and probably smoking pot. I am just keeping my mouth shut about it and remind myself this is not my journey. We are helping him out some financially....as he gets on his feet. I am feeling ok about that. He is doing a lot of the right things and I dont want him to end up homeless while he seems to be trying to get his act together. But he is not asking for unreasonable things and really it is what we would do for a kid his age trying to become independent.

    And although sometimes looking at FB makes me see things that makes my heart sink...... I am also seeing posts that make my heart soar. While we were gone he posted some things he was grateful... including one where he was thankful for his family who are supportive of him!!! That was big.

    He wants us to come and visit which is also a good sign. And we have had some conversations where he has opened up a little.... which is all good. So I feel our relationship is in a better place than it has been in a long time.

    I do worry about his substance use but really at this point I am seeing that as his issue which he has to deal with or not..... if he doesnt it will get in his way but I cant do anything about it at this point. It is huge that he is working and is close to completely supporting himself.

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  2. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Sounds really good that he is doing much better than he was. There is always room for improvement for all of us. The fact that he made it on his own, was ok and kept a job while you were gone is a great sign for good things ahead. Hopefully his therapist will help him with the rest.
  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    This is so nice for me to hear, since our boys are the same age. It sounds like your son is getting his act together, slowly but surely. That he is looking for therapy on his own is awesome. If our son were showing such improvement, and making his own way, we'd happily help out a bit if needed too. It all sounds very positive.

    I hope your trip was terrific!
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Sounds promising.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL I'm so glad to hear things are stable. Open lines of communication are good. I still have hope for your difficult child. So many people say you cansmoke pot all your life and be fine (I have my doubts but the evidence seems to suggest otherwise). My difficult child still drinks but she has held her job now for almost a year and just got a raise, the only one in the company to get one. It's a good steady job with benefits, good hours, and she is gaining a skill and most important learning how to be a good employee. I am not happy that her boyfriend is an alcoholic leech but his daughter is what keeps my difficult child grounded. All I know is that where I thought she could never drink again she proved me wrong, which makes me wonder whether she really was an addict. She does not do any drugs and has passed all the random drug tests at work. So it seems to me that people can function in different ways than perhaps we think they should.
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  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I still tend to think my son is an addict but I do wonder about if it makes a difference why he uses. I think in the past a lot of the drug abuse was him trying to escape his feelings and depression. If he is doing it in a more social way and moderately maybe he will be able to function..... I have strong doubts about this but he is clearly happier now overall and that may help a lot. All I know is he has to figure it out himself. I do think that he now feels in more control over his own life and that in and of itself is important. And I have felt for a long time if he could get a job that he felt good about, and gave him some positive reinforcement that would help a lot. We are planning on going to visit him in the next month or so and I am sure that will give me a better feel of how he is doing.

  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I really think that sometimes it just depends on the person. A perfect example is my best friend since kindergarten. She and I had always partied together in high school. Then I went to college. She got married. When I got out of law school, she got divorced. We moved in together. We were single, in our 20, and went out a LOT. We're talking seven days a week. Sometimes just a drink after work, often full-blown, shut down the bars, nights. Sundays we'd do brunch and start with screwdrivers or mimosas.

    I got married to an alcoholic and pretty much quit drinking because I had to be the responsible one.

    She moved in with the man who would be her 2nd husband, who also lived a party lifestyle...they had no children...they continued that live and she became an alcoholic.

    It's been many years and she's been through rehab and fallen off the wagon and gotten back on. It seems her life is finally stable and sober and she has a lovely husband now. But my point is...we were just alike for many years...but her father and brother were alcoholics. There is no background in my family. I outgrew the desire to party and to dislike being out of control. She could not make those changes without help.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    TL, so glad to hear about your son's progress. And I can relate to your feelings of relief and joy about the steps he is taking to move his life forward, and the fears you still have. My son's situation is very similar.

    You know, I am working to relax into this scenario---just for today. In this moment, he is fine. He is working and paying for his own place to live. He isn't in a 12-step program and I believe he is either drinking or white-knuckling it, but you know, TL, it's not my monkey, not my circus.

    Back in later October and early November we helped him get the apartment after he had worked his job, being homeless for several months. I am glad we did that, although I was very skeptical at the time.

    Just for today, TL. That is all any of us have, anyway...today. I am working to live into that truth and enjoy this moment.

    Perhaps we can continue learning this together, and enjoy living our own lives at the same time.

    Warm hugs. Great to hear from you.
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I agree we just have to live for today.....did I tell you all about the guide we had in Cambodia... who told us an old saying by Buddha.... you have to imagine this. He stood with his feet about a foot apart. He pointed to his right foot and said "if you focus on the past" and then pointed to his left foot and said "or live for the future" and then pointed to the middle ground and said "you piss on today"..... and that is so true.

    I too am trying not to spend time regretting the past.... and at least with difficult child I have no idea what the future will bring, but I just have to know that for right now he is ok.

    And really back in August when he left town to travel cross country with the new girlfriend I thought they were nuts but hoped they would somehow make it work. And at least so far they have. They are still together, found a place to live and are both working. And he has asked us to come visit.

    So I am starting to relax a little bit.

  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Amen and Alleluia. I too am concentrating on the "just for today." My boy is still treading water - not sinking, not swimming and still nowhere near terra firma.

    He's back home - looks like for a duration - and I found his list of "things to do" with- a timeline and January had "get clean" on the list. I assume that's bc Feb had "get a job" on the list and he needs to pass a drug test. Of course, the list was mostly unrealistic goals mixed with more mundane tasks and time will tell.

    4 years ago - the list would have had me bereft because of the absurdity of some of the goals and the "get clean" statement. Two years ago, I would have been overjoyed that he HAD goals and was planning to stop smoking pot. (and yes, going back to school was on the list which has always been my flashpoint for optimism). Today, I am just nonplussed.

    Time will tell. It's not my life that he is messing up; he will bear the fruit of his choices. In many ways - he is already doing just that - even if it hasn't hit home for him yet.

    I say " ...not my monkey, not my circus." to myself quite often.

    And I thank this board and these friendships from the bottom of my heart for teaching me that.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Late to this party, but, Nancy, you hit on something that intrigues me.

    My daughter can drink.

    She doesn't do it much, maybe three times a year, but she can drink and not get drunk or keep drinking. Now alcohol wasn't her drug of choice and I don't know if she could do Meth "sometimes" and I hope I never have to find out. But she most definitely can drink and put it behind her.

    I know my daughter did drugs because she was shy, had no friends, and was sexually assaulted once so she felt like dirt. The drugs gave her an accepting group of "friends." She did not have to have lunch alone in the cafeteria. She had boyfriends. She was a social star amongst the drug abusers. Without drugs, even now, she is very shy and sensitive. However, she is long out of school and not as shy now and has resolved not to be a victim of her past. She does not have any reason to use drugs now. She quit rather quickly once she got away from her drug friends. Made me wonder if she was ever really addicted, yet she said she had withdrawals...

    Toughlovin', if you see progress I say bravo for everyone. I am glad things are better and hope they stay better and improve year by year.
  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    MWM - thats interesting. I think there is a lot about addiction that is not well understood. It seems like there is a general sense that once an addict, always an addict, and that once you are an addict you cant use any substance. Yet I am not sure there is any clear research on this.

    I suspect there are different kinds of addicts and addictions. Some drugs are known to be highly addictive such as meth and heroin and some pain medications, my sense is that anyone using these substances will become addictive because they are physically addicting... hence anyone would get withdrawel symptoms if addicted. I think there are other substances than many people use moderately without getting addicted, such as alcohol and pot.

    And I think there are those who get addicted to any drug they use because whatever goes on in their brain they just want to get high.... and others who do not have that general mechanism but do get addicted to highly addictive drugs if they use them.

    OK so this is all conjecture on my part and I have not studied this but is my own guesswork. But it sounds like your daughter is more of the second type, where she got addicted to meth, but is not the kind of person who was just after any high. Which might be one reason she was able to get clean on her own.

    My son was definitely addicted to just getting high and he used many different substances to do it..... including some crazy OTC stuff. This is what worries me about him drinking, I still think he is an addict. But he also has major issues around women and relationships which gets tied into his need to get high I think. So I have this crazy hope that if he can work out some of those issues then maybe he wont feel such a need to get high. Who knows only time will tell.

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    TL, another thing I muse over is that maybe Daughter was addicted to meth. She said she was and said she had to withdraw. But maybe she can tolerate alcohol. In a way this makes sense. Think of it this way. I'll use myself as an example only because I don't know anyone else like me. I can not take Zoloft or I'll end up in ER. I have NO tolerance for it. But I have taken Paroxatine for over twenty years (many people think it is stronger and can not take it). It still helps me and it has been almost a magical pill for me. Perhaps being addicted to one drug does not mean you will be addicted to everything you try that COULD be addictive. Just like a person can be sensitive to one SSRI and not to another one because of the subtle differences.

    Very interesting thoughts indeed!!!
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL and MWM yup yup yup to everything you said. Different drugs different addictions. I have no doubt that my difficult child could have become a serious drug addict if she had progressed to perks (her drug friends were doing that and it scared the begeebers out of me) and certainly heroin. She was addicted to getting high and fortunately pot and alcohol was enough for her at the time. She said at the time and has said since that she was never an addict, just a teen who drank and smoked pot too much. Perhaps. But she was an addict waiting to happen. She was over quite a bit over the holiday sand never once did I see her drink too much. I'm not saying it couldn't happen but so far she seems to be able to control it.

    by the way she got a raise at her job last week at her review. The boss told her she was the only one getting a raise and they were very happy she was working there.

    Sig so nice hearing your update. Had no idea difficult child was back home. Fill us in as it progresses. I love the "get clean" goal.
  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    My difficult child had a post after new years that sounded really down. I asked him about it and he said he had one too many drinks on new years and got overly anxious and it caused issues with his girlfriend. I didnt comment at all (pat me on the back) but my nope is that he will figure out that this stuff happens and that it will help him look at the substance use. I was glad he opened up to me about it and like I said I am just not commenting on it at all because this is his journey. I think at this point the more I keep quiet about it the less it will be about rebelling against me and become more about what he sees is good for himself. That is my hope anyways.

    And Nancy that is great news about your difficult children job!! I think it helps when they find things that make them feel good about themselves.

  16. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, what great news about your difficult child's job. That is very impressive. Good for her!!

  17. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I am so pleased to hear of so much progress...not just for difficult child but also for YOU. Listening and waiting for our difficult child's to come to their own conclusions is huge in my opinion. It is so hard to refrain from the "see what happens", "When are you going to learn", "What you are doing is never going to work", or "you are an addict and you should know better by now". These are some of the words I "think" in my head but don't say to my difficult child anymore. Like you said...It's his journey.

    Glad he is looking into therapy. Honestly, I wish I had had it for myself through much of my life. It really helps to figure out who you are and what your goals are...helps to bounce off ideas and opinions with an objective person.

    I am also so pleased to hear of your daughter's raise and some of the positives she has going on in her life right now.

    SIg, You and your son remain in my thoughts and I so hope that his goal list is achievable and honestly I am glad he is back at home surrounded by higher standards. He did not seem to fit well with where he had been aimlessly working.

    TL, Also so glad to hear you got to enjoy an awesome trip with your easy child in Australia. How fun!

    Love you all,
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