Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by holdinon3, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    Feeling very sad and tired. My daughter had a relapse on both her drug use and her eating disorder. Since we are drug testing, she used alcohol this time which is not her drug of choice. She was brought home to us by her friend. She was completely intoxicated. I'm trying hard to keep it in perspective. She told me she does not want to be like this anymore.How much oversight should I have with her in our home? We will go back to outpatient treatment as soon as possible, but I took her phone, car and all other privileges. I've been told not to babysit her but I feel I need to have some oversight now.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry about the relapse.

    I am thinking it's good you took the car. She doesn't need to be driving intoxicated. In a sense, in my opinion, she has lost that right until she is clean. Can she go back to inpatient rehab? Has she been in treatment for her eating disorder?
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry, I know how crushing a relapse can be. Interesting that she can home completely intoxicated, just more proof that an addict canot drink responsibly. Perhaps she was trying to test this by using alcohol instead of her drug of choice, thinking that wouldn't count as a relapse.

    We were told that we were not responsible for their recovery btu to remain observant to the signs of relapse and be prepared to take whatever action we had decided on. Relapse is so very common with recovery but the important thing is getting back ontrack. This may be what she needed to see, that her use was out of control.

    It's good that she has said she does not want to be this way. I would give her all the support you can to help her change, but the real work has to be hers. As long as she is active in her recovery there is tremendous hope. Taking away the car is good.
  4. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    Midwest, she has recently (less than 3 weeks) finished approximately 3 weeks inpatient and 2 weeks outpatient on an eating disorder unit with a substance abuse tract. We will now enroll her in an outpatient substance abuse program locally. She has an eating disorder counselor who she sees weekly. I am amazed that she relapsed so fast.
    Nancy, we have drug test kits so she intended to have just one or two drinks and did no drugs. I believed she was shocked to really see how little control she has when using any substances. I hope it is something she will think about in the future. She's shaky today but tells me she will get back on track. She feels she will be able to stop acting on her symptoms and begin following the eating program. She keeps clinging to the hope of being a social user but yesterday's event may have put a crack in the armor.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not an expert as we never did do rehab, but isn't three weeks an awfully short time for a rehab? Maybe she just wasn't ready to leave and be tested. Does she go to AA or NA meetings? Have you tried to find the comfort and camaraderie of real life support at an Al-Anon or Narc-Anon meeting? They have them seven days a week and I found them very helpful and comforting and validating. I still go from time to time because 36 drinks every day and I worry that he is an alcoholic (functional). Yet I'm not sure, as he lives several states away, and I sometimes still need the wisdom of the Twelve Steps.

    When I first went, I was too afraid to speak, and nobody forced me to, but I did a lot of listening and learning.

    At least she is expressing a desire to quit, which is better than the difficult children who insist they aren't addicted. I have to agree with Nancy, though. Watch her, of course, but she is the one who has to do the hard work. Sadly, this is one thing we can't do for our grown children even if we wanted to take over and make things better. And their peers don't help. Does she still hang around with rowdy peers? When she rejects the drinkers/drug users t hat is when you will KNOW she is serious about changing. It is very hard to change while your friends are getting drunk and high and partying. My daughter had to move far away and cut off her friends, even by e-mail (FB wasn't around back then). She was very lonely for a long time, but she did not want to be tempted. It would not have been hard to have found more drug friends in her new state. Sadly, they are everywhere and sometimes the most accepting of all peers.

    Take heart and have a peaceful, serene night. Tomorrow is another brand new day and I hope your family can sit back and enjoy it.
  6. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    She is expressing a desire to quit everything except pot. She is depressed (fully treated with excellent psychiatric doctor) and lethargic. She sits around the kitchen pining for drugs, wishing this would have never happened to her and wishing she could just smoke one joint and she would fell better. psychiatric doctor told her she must work WITH the medications and she does not. Other than drug users, she has no friends and all her old, good friends are in college where she should be had she not made incredibly bad decisions. She is really bringing this family down in a big way. (I have 2 younger children witnessing her daily misery and a husband who has a hard time being tough with her.) We have a residential assessment set up today, and she is getting cold feet, telling us she is feeling better. I told my husband that someone is going to leave this house! I never thought I would make a statement like that in my life, but I feel I cannot go on the way things are now. The nearest nar-anon meeting is 30 minutes away every Wednesday. I am going to try and go to a meeting if my home responsibilities allow. My youngest son does not drive yet and does many after school activities. I feel like she is controlling our home and our lives and not in a good way. I feel hopeless right now and so full of anger towards her it disrupts my ability to be reasonable and calm in any way.
  7. Childofmine

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

    Hi, Hold, you are in the thick of a lot of activity right now. It sounds like there is some hopeful action from her, and she is saying she wants to stop some of the things she has been doing.

    It is very common for our difficult children to put lots of conditions on what they will stop, what they will not stop, how much they will continue, etc. It can get very detailed.

    The truth of the matter is, if the person is an addict or alcoholic, they can't use any substances at all without opening a door to the dark once again. And of course, substances affect the prescribed medications she is taking, rendering them less effective.

    I am sure you have learned that in your reading and research.

    My son can talk a long time about just drinking beer or other liquor and how many beers per day and so on. He likes to get really detailed and complicated with that, and I used to just follow right along, correcting and explaining and controlling (so I thought).

    Ha! :chuncky:

    He just wasn't and isn't ready. He is scared he can't be without something to numb his pain. But he doesn't want to understand why he has the pain to begin with.

    So...until that day...the day of that spiritual awakening they call it in AA, that rock bottom---until that day our difficult children will dance around the edge of the cliff and they will very likely go over the cliff again and again and again.

    And they have to get new friends. New people, places and things. My son doesn't want to be anywhere except right here in our town, which is the worst possible place for him.

    With a dual diagnosis like your daughter (and my son as well, most likely), they need to be treated for all diagnosis in sync and the treatment is likely to need to be a lot longer. My son has had 30 days, 10 days, 30 days and 60 days. Not ready yet.

    I believe he will need at least 30 to 90 days and then a halfway house and a long time with a lot of checks and balances.

    I understand your anger---Of course you are angry, and likely sick and tired and done (that is how you sound). That is good for you and for her, Hold. When we change, the whole situation has a chance to change.

    Hang tough and think hard before you react and make decisions. You have a right to those feelings but don't let them direct all of your ways. We are here for you. We get it.

    Hugs and prayers and blessings to you and your whole family today.
  8. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    Thanks COM, for validating my anger. I need to get help for me because I'm afraid she will die (by drugs or at her own hand--she threatens suicide frequently)and I will feel guilty to eternity but I know I can't give in because it won't help anyway.
  9. Childofmine

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

    No guilt, Hold. There can be no guilt for what another person decides to do. One time my therapist told me this, and it was a watershed moment for me:

    People are always responsible for their own actions.

    I said, what do you mean? How can that be? A depressed person has a mental illness. He or she is not thinking right. They can't be responsible when their thoughts are unclear.

    Oh yes they are, she said. They are always responsible for their own actions and decisions, no matter what.

    That was huge. That was a thunderbolt for me. Here I had been playing mommy to my husband/child, feeling like I had to make all kinds of allowances for him. After all, I was the strong one and he was the weak "sick" one. Right?

    Wrong. I have since had that thought confirmed over and over by many others.

    Others here on this board, who have been treated for depression, bipolar and other diagnosis will say the same thing---they are still responsible for their own actions.

    That is huge for us to sit with, accept and embrace. If that is true, Hold, that means each person---each adult person---stands on his or her own. What a relief! What a gift. We don't have to hold up the whole world of people we love who are struggling on our skinny little weak shoulders.

    We can't, anyway, Hold, as much as we would love to. We just can't. We aren't equipped. Only our Higher Power (whatever you call God, personally) can handle the weight of the world. We can't. He didn't give us that power, Hold.

    Let go of your guilt. You have done all you can think of and know to do on God's green earth, and surely if there was one more true thing to be done to help you would do it. Right?

    That one true thing is this: Get out of the way.

    And Hold, that will be the hardest way for YOU to help, but it will be the best help your precious difficult child ever gets. By doing that, you will create space and time and a place where she can begin to make decisions for herself.

    I am afraid my son will die, too, Hold. And if he does, I will mourn deeply and profoundly. I will review everything exhaustively I am sure. But there will not be guilt.

    No guilt, Hold. No guilt.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child threatened suicide constantly, too. The truth is that she may die. I know it is a horrible thing to say but I was just told by an addiction counselor that addiction has a higher rate of death than breast cancer.

    The thing we have finally come to realize is that we can't stop it. We can't fix it as hard as we try. My difficult child overdosed on our couch while she was living here so providing a place to live and food doesn't help. My husband came home in the nick of time and saved her with chest compressions until the EMT's could get there. At that point, we held an intervention and sent her to a 3 month treatment center.

    She did well for a while but has relapsed. We finally realized we had done everything we could possibly do and told her that she was on her own now. She has threatened suicide again but we told her that she had almost died in our home so we know it could happen whether she lives with us or on her own. For our sake, we need her to be on her own so we can finally start taking our lives back.

    Suicide is used by our difficult child's as emotional blackmail and you can't give in. I can't promise you it won't happen but if you give in to it you just have a self-perpetuating cycle.

    As far as mental health issues, my difficult child is clinically depressed, borderline, and has a severe anxiety disorder. Yet, as my therapist points out, there are others with those conditions who are not addicts and can function. My difficult child and yours have to learn how to do that without our help. We will not be here forever.

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    My difficult child has also been suicidal and been hospitalized for it a couple of times. I know that fear.... and last year when he was homeless in winter in Denver I laid awake at night imagining him in a gutter somewhere...Like Kathy I came to the conclusion that might happen and that I couldnt stop it... in a sense his own safety is up to him. Really we dont have control over whether they life or die....and yes drug addicts overdose in the comfort of their own (or families) homes as well as on the streets.

    My stand with my difficult child has always been that I will help him if he is helping himself. I will help him find treatment and I have several times. Sometimes I think he got to the point of wanting treatment just to come in from the cold.... but still I figured if that is what got him into treatment then so be it at least he was getting help. My difficult child has left or been kicked out of numerous rehabs and to a lot of cost to us. Still I think every time he learns something. So that is still my stand I will support him when he is helping himself but I will nto enable him to use more drugs.

    Currenty he is in treatment again, this time court ordered and if he leaves there will be a warrant out for his arrest. He is actually doing pretty well and has been at this long term residential place for 4 months. I am hoping that finally he is in the right place.

    So I agree with Kathy and others... I dont think you can have your difficult child live at home if they will be still doing drugs and disobeying all the rules. I dont think that will help them.

    And it is an awful place for you as mom to be.


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  12. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    I will hold your words close to my heart and re-read this post often. Thank you for this sharing, and you have relieved a bit of my burden this dark night.
  13. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    I hope this one "sticks" for your son. We have all had a tough road!