Went to a NAMI family support group tonight.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Kathy813, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    A close friend of mine currently has a son who is having problems with substance abuse and mental illness and we met for lunch to talk about it. She knows about my difficult child and we talked about support groups. I told her that I didn't like the 12-step groups that I had been to but that I would be glad to go to a meeting with her.

    She found a NAMI support group and asked if I would go with her. I really liked the meeting although the stories broke my heart. There are so many people struggling to get help for their loved ones. Several of the people had children in jail and their stories reminded me of the struggles that many of our CD members have faced. I liked that after each person shared their story (there was a 3-minute time limit), the meeting opened for questions and cross talk. It was very different than the Al-Anon meeting husband and I went to.

    I wish I had gone to the group long ago when we were struggling to find help for difficult child. They knew all the ins and outs of getting help for people without insurance and were able to give advice for getting services. They suggested that we go through the 12-week Family-to-Family education program which I think I am going to do. I am hoping that husband will go too.

    difficult child knew that I was going to the meeting and she asked me later how it went. I told her that there were heartbreaking stories about jail, suicide, schizophrenia, substance abuse, agoraphobia, and more. difficult child said, "Wow, that makes me sound like the least crazy of the bunch." My difficult child certainly has a unique way of looking at things.

  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I felt the same way when I go to the FA meetings, so much heartbreak I was overwhelmed at what some of these families face. And yet they have found a peace in their lives and judging from the amount of laughing we do, a sense of humor too. I'm glad you found another support group. I now have two that I love, the members at those groups are fast becoming friends and I feel like I have known them forever.

    Your difficult child is cute.

  3. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I am so glad it went well for the 2 of you. I took the family to family course and the basics course and they were so helpful as a mom and teacher. Most of the parents had young kids, but I enjoyed it anyway. Our support group here is nice as well though I wish there was a 3 min. limit-a couple of our moms are so overwhelmed they take a lot of time.

    I just love how your difficult child sees things. I think it is great that she supports you going to NAMI and coming to this board. My difficult child gets defensive about it all, " I'm just so crazy, you can't handle it on you own." in her sarcastic tone.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kathy, I'm glad you found a group you enjoy, that kind of support has made the world of difference to me. I like your difficult child's take on things, she has a good sense of humor. The group I just hooked my difficult child up with is part of NAMI. I found out that there is a NAMI family group here in my home town once a month lead by a therapist I know so I think I may attend that. When we get back from Kauai, I may look into that 12 week course, thank you for mentioning that.
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, my difficult child can be a lot of fun. She is very funny and charming when she wants to be.

    I found out about two support groups for difficult children that I didn't even know existed. On is EA or emotions anonymous and it is a twelve-step group for people with mood disorders. The other is a dual-diagnosis group for people with a mental illness coupled with substance abuse. It is also a twelve-step group. I wish my difficult child would go to that one but she doesn't like twelve-step meetings.

    Here is the link for the dual-diagnosis group. They only list meetings in Oregon but there are obviously more since the NAMI people told me about one that meets on Friday nights close to my house. If anyone is interested, I'm sure you could contact them to see if there are groups in your area.

  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the info Kathy, it all helps!