Too early to start feeling hopeless?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by comatheart, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    We are just home from family weekend at our son's rehab. He's been there around 50 days or so now? It has been quite a ride with up and downs along the way. Of course we were hopeful that he is getting everything he needs out of this stay and will be one of the lucky ones to never go back into the addiction lifestyle. Tonight, I realize that isn't likely going to happen. Sure, he will verbalize plans for living a sober lifestyle and pray to his higher power and talk about 12 steps till he's blue in the face. Yet its clear now, he's still gonna do what he wants to do. We got a peek into difficult child's frame of mind and way of thinking, the exact thinking that eventually landed him there in the first place! He hasn't changed. We are coming to the end of his stay there, time is short. My heart is heavy. :(
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I understand completely. My 17 yr.old son spent just shy of a year in a secure treatment facility. I heard all the right things and all of the promises of how things were going to be different. I also heard, when his guard was down, that nothing was going to change. The new and improved kid lasted maybe 3 weeks.
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. He is still so young, and so resistant to change. It often seems hopeless - we don't know how things will really turn out in the end.
    You have the right to feel what you feel. Try not to despair; take care of yourself and build yourself up. He will have to face the real-life consequences of his choices, and you can support his good choices, but you know that you will have to stand back and watch the results of his poor choices. Love sometimes demands so much of us, that we are called to watch them fail and not intervene. It's difficult, I know. <<<<Hugs>>>>
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I feel for you. I have been where you are at many times as the board knows. My son has been in multiple programs and rehabs.... and each time I am hopeful and each time I have been disappointed when he has then blown it all off. Not very encouraging words I know. All I can say is take care of yourself and be very clear with yourself and each other what you are willing to do or not willing to do... and then be clear with him. The rest really is up to him and he will have to find his own path in his own way and unfortunately in his own time.
    For us we have always been iwlling to help my difficult child when he is getting help, and not help when he is not. So we have let my son be on the street and homeless... hardest thing I ever did but eventually he wanted in from the cold. He has recently spent some time in jail and is now in a court ordered residential program and once again I have hope.... although I know realistically I cant count on anything.
    As long as they are alive I think there is always hope but man it takes a whole lot of patience.... and you have to find ways to take care of yourself and live your life in spite of what he does.

  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry your heart is so eavy. I hear dallt he right things too but in my heart I knew it was just words and I could feel that she wasn't going to live it. I can't say your son will do the same but the real test is when he comes home and hopefully goes into some type of aftercare program. If he can connect with other sober people and learn how to live sober he will do well. That's not to say he won't have slip ups but he will have the tools to get back on the right track. Sometimes they need to be knocked down again before they pick themselves up and decide not to fall. He is very young, it's hard for young people to understad that they can't do the things that some of their friends can do without getting into the same trouble. My daughter use to say all her friends drink and smoke pot why couldn't she.

    I hope the place your son is in is working on a home plan for him and helping you come up with your plan if he doesn't follow his plan.

    I know exactly how discouraged you are. But there is hope, it is a process.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So sad. I was really hoping he would learn. I wish you the best and hope that he takes something with him when he leaves rehab!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As others have said, don't give up. It does not usually happen the first time around. He is young and there is lots of time and certainly Keep the Faith!!!!!!
  8. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry your heart is heavy.
    You know I understand the anxiety and fears that can take place as my two son's went to the same rehab yours did and I can vividly recall oldest difficult child's councelor telling us that oldest difficult child "has the mindset, good looks, and charm to be a career criminal!" Oh, I was so scared. And while it was bumpy for many yrs after, today, he is a fully functional hardworking father of 3 precious girls. He is "living the dream" not the nightmare I had invisioned.
    It was So bad that they were actually suggesting we give oldest difficult child up to the state!

    It was young difficult child who seemed to adjust to rehab and had the greatest chance at success...and yet he is the one who is "lost" today.

    I guess what I'm getting too is that none of us can "know" the future. The path our children take once they are 18 is in their hands. We just have to hope and pray that they have been given enough tools and values to want the same kind of success out of life that they have seen before them through us and others.

    I pray, I pray lots. It helps.
    And remember, you now have given your difficult child the AA program. A place where he knows he can get help the rest of his life. You have been doing all the right things. Like they told me...Trust the process. I know I know...easier said than done.

    Thinking of you,
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    You will never be hopeless. Mom's always have hope...

    I suspect what you are feeling is a bit of self protection. You are hoping for the best but at the same time you are steeling yourself for the reality. That's ok. It's an awful feeling - an innocence lost - and it is so foreign to us moms. We had hopes and dreams for our children from the very moment we began to anticipate their arrival. It's a hard pill to swallow when we realize that so many of our hopes for them are not even in the ballpark anymore. He isn't going to change in a big dramatic way. It's likely he will take a 1/2 step back for every step forward. Even when we wash our hands of them; we never give up. We just meet reality and we realize that WE have to be grounded in reality -- even more so because they are not operating rationally or in their own best interests.

    Try not to look too far ahead. Try not to catastrophize ahead...I know it's impossible not to. I remember feeling like I had to be ready for every single possibility so I could react "the right way" in return. For what it's worth - I never guessed right. The highs and lows, the twists and turns always caught me by surprise and were unanticipated; there is no map.

    I hate to say you will get used to it - but you will. I call myself hopeful but jaded. And I am truly both. He has 50 days of sober thinking under his belt. He is learning the tools - even if he doesn't chose to use them just yet -- he IS learning them.

    I feel for you. I wish I had a crystal ball. On the other hand - I am so glad I don't know what I don't know. LOL
  10. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I no longer work harder than he does on doing what he is capable of doing for himself. I am allowing him his own successes and failures. It is difficult to switch gears from being the parent of a child to being the parent of an emerging adult. The benefit is that I have time to focus on myself and my needs. I think that part is even harder.
  11. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    So many good points. Thank you all for responding with your kind words! Still no word on when difficult child will come home, but I imagine it will be pretty soon.

    LMS- I'm pretty frustrated with the treatment center right now. Were you on board with your sons' discharge dates? One minute they think he's ready, the next they say he needs more time. If he has just a couple good days, they revert and say he's ready again, which blows my mind. How about we make sure he' stays good for at least a week!? I dont understand the rush so long as insurance is paying!?
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi comaheart. Did the plans fall through for the special school? I haven't been on the board much so I might have missed that.

    I was very much where you are when my difficult child was in residential treatment. When we went for our family weekend the counselors talked about surrender and a former client came back and said he finally started on the road to recovery when he realized his way wasn't working and that he was willing to surrender and follow the AA steps and see if that worked. My difficult child was still very much in the rule breaker stage and it was very obvious she was still trying to work the system. I was very discouraged.

    As time went on, she seemed to get it although there are still times that I get upset because she still seems to look for ways to get around things. She definitely still has a different moral code than I have. For example, she recently told me that she was going to the store to buy a fan and use it until the air conditioning got fixed where she was living and then she was taking the fan back. I don't think that is right but she sees nothing wrong with it.

    I think that you just need to let the process work and hope for the best. It is very common for people to relapse several times until they finally get sober. I know that is discouraging to hear but each time they are learning and moving forward. The things your son is hearing may not take the first time but at least he has learned what he needs to do to be in recovery.

    I don't think you should let him come back to your home or his former school . . . especially if you do not think he intends to stay sober.

  13. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    The special school is in the works for his after-care. They must interview him before accepting him to the program and as long as he fits in, we are good to go. Of course in order to interview him, he must get a day pass or be discharged. They don't want to interview him over the phone. Of course if the school thinks he's going to go right back to using, they wont accept him. Right now rehab wants me to sign a release of all records to the school. I'm hesitant because I don't want to give the school any reason to say he doesnt fit in the program!
  14. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi there,
    Was I on board with my son's discharge dates?...No. I wasn't ready for those two to come home at all! I was so scared. And my marriage was on shaky ground as well. I thought surely there was someone to blame. "Trusting the process" was especially hard for me too as I did not want to give up my "control"...or what I "thought" I could control.

    Sigh, it's unfortunate...but it is a business. I think that often times once the facility feels like the client/patient is "stable" and they have given all the "tools" medications, etc to them, then discharge soon follows.
    I actually had a psychotic breakdown Feb 07 and just as soon as I started taking the medication and showing a glimmer of normalacy I was released within a week! We had no insurance at the time.

    Now the one thing that did buy us a 4 to 6 month stay for my son's at Rehab, was a letter for the Appeal Process. I think I must have written 12 pages worth of why my son's were a danger to themselves or others and needed as much treatment as we could possibly get.

    I'm not sure any of us is ready after what we have experienced. The attempted suicide and drug use...It's very scary to feel some kind of responsibility again for them after the kind of events you, Kathy and others have gone through.

    I sure understand your disturbance with the situation.
    Have they put down in writing an agreed upon discharge plan yet?
    The rules? How many meetings a week? medication compliance? etc?

  15. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member


    No, none of that has been discussed or in writing yet. I guess I should start my appeal letter now! Lol. All day long I've been repeating "trust the process" over and over... I just don't know how all of you do it. I definitely need to go to more alanon meetings for sure. :(

    I really don't like more being in control. Can ya tell? ;-)