Tending our own garden

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone,

    So I have been listening to that book Beyond Addiction which actually is pretty good although a lot of it I have already figured out.... And I don't think it really conflicts with alanon principals but does give some more meat to some of them.... But I haven't finished it yet either. And so a part of me is wondering what is coming next and are there more ways I can help my son figure things out.... Which is maybe not a good place for me to be.

    He is currently in residential treatment at a place he does not think is very good.. He has been to so many he probably is a reasonable judge of quality.... But he does seem motivated to get his life on track which is good. The hard part is figuring out the next step and he is not getting a whole lot of help doing that and we are 3000 miles away. And I want some kind of assurance that his plan is a good one. So he is trying to figure it out and I am stewing about it because I wasn't some kind of assurance and that may not be possible. Really addiction treatment has a long way to go I think.

    Anyway I went to an alanon meeting last night and it was a good discussion. And someone pointed out that she needs to tend to her own garden and her son has to tend to his..... And it was like oh yeah..... I can be a supportive person, kind of like fertilizer, but I can't do the digging or the planting or the growing for him.... And in fact I can't choose the plants either.

    It made it easier for me to let go again.
     
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  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you for this TL, it is very grounding (pardon the pun).
    I stumbled across some new concepts on caring for addicted family members, something along the lines, that detachment is damaging for them, drives them deeper into their addiction..... they need family.....yadayadayada.
    I am wondering if the proponents of this theory have actually been through the proverbial wringer one goes through, when an addicted family member takes us with them, on the horrible roller coaster ride. Lying, stealing, dangerous people around your home....on and on.
    I agree treatment does have a long way to go. But we do have our own lives to live, without the destructive chaos our addicted d cs choose for themselves.
    Thank you TL, this was so very good to read.
    It is a great way to visualize, and reminds me I have to get out in my garden! Lots and lots of weeds!

    Have a Happy New Year!
    (((HUGS)))
    leafy
     
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I really think there is a lot of misunderstanding out there what is meant by detaching.... For me it does not mean you stop loving the person. It doesn't even mean you stop helping the person if that makes sense. To me it means you detach from being (or trying to be) responsible for them and the consequences of their actions. It means detaching from the outcome of their choices and making sure you take care of yourself. I think some people think it means cutting people off, and cutting all ties or cutting off all contact and I don't think the hat is what they are talking about at all. Yes there are situations and cases where it does make sense to cut off contact especially if someone is still using.

    But for me so far it has not meant that. Even when my son was on the streets in the middle of winter we talked to him when he called and like I said in another post got him a sleeping bag.

    So I think many people misunderstand the term detachment or detachment with love.

    I do believe that maintaining a connection if possible is helpful for the addict and I do think them knowing they are still loved is also helpful. At one point when my son was in jail I thought to myself..... The one thing that his helping him not become a hardened criminal is the love of his mother and I think that is true..... And yet I have also had to detach. I will not survive if my whole life is tied up with his success.

    The other day I heart a discussion about "you are only as happy as your unhappiest child" and that idea drives me bonkers! I mean honestly if you believe that and go by that then your kids are probably ok. Most of us on this list would be totally miserable all the time if we went by that idea. Really I would not survive if I spent my life only being as happy as my unhappiest child!! I need to detach my happiness and my life from all of his problems.... I cannot be embroiled in them all the time. That is not healthy.
     
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  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I agree, completely, the love is still there.....help, within reason, without enabling.....totally agree. Mine are no contact from me right now.....as a punishment for not enabling LOL, well gives me a chance to regroup and breath. Life is short, but I am sure this will not be forever.

    Yes, indeed, me, too. I will toast to that on New Years Eve!

    Thanks so much, TL!
    leafy
     
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Yes leafy.... And there is a difference between having no contact because they are choosing not to have contact than your choosing not to have contact! And yes use the time to breathe and regroup and be healthy. And even if it is our choice not to have contact, sometimes that is what we need to do for our own health and well being.... I haven't had to do that yet.
     
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