And the shi* hit the fan


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Her husband is a pilot and was also a sheriff.
Wow. I did not think about law enforcement. Does he have any interest in this? Actually, he sounds sensitive and kind. Maybe that's the wrong idea. Cancel that. Or being a merchant marine? (I had a friend who was an operating engineer on huge ships. He make a fortune of money. He worked just several months a year, if that, and the rest of the time was his own. He had very strong interests that kept him busy all of the time. He was an investor in depressed stocks. So in the several months he worked, he had things to occupy his time. And went all over the world. I used to go to the union hall with him. I like the idea of National Guard, and Coast Guard, and there is the Merchant Marine Academy. My dad was a merchant marine for a time, too, on big passenger liners. He loved it. But he was not an officer.) Your son seems like a person who wants to fit into a larger whole (which is a good thing) not a lone ranger, individualist type. He's searching for meaning and belonging. These are good things.
He feels like they will "own you".
Well. I know how this is, working in prisons. Finally, I quit and became an independent contractor, to avoid that sense of being owned.

The thing is this: Until we own ourselves, we're owned. And how do we own ourselves? Through surrender. Through prayer, meditation, study, exercise, discipline, creativity, devotion, order. I struggle with this too. Either I am a very slow learner or it's life long. I don't know. It's hard to convey this to somebody else, especially our kids. It's like we have to fall into a huge vat of molasses, and lose touch with everything (like those of us here on this site) and then little by little find our way blind. How do you explain that to somebody else? Especially somebody you love and fear for?

The paradox for your son is it sounds like on one level he wants to belong to something larger than himself. But to not be a cog in a wheel. And keep his autonomy and self-determination. It's a tough one to finesse. To be a part of something meaningful and purposeful, yet his own man. I wonder if he knows this about himself. But life has taught me that I have to fight my way to this place. It doesn't just show up.

Your son sounds like a great guy. The more I think about it, the more I think he is on the right track.

But this is really, really a struggle for us. To watch them flounder and suffer. And to live with our hearts in vices. I am in the same place. There's nothing really to do. You are in a conversation with your son, and he listens, and tries. And he's in a conversation with himself. How many people really are? Especially at his age. He is to be admired.

I see a lot of good in this. In him and his process. Like you, the drinking makes me anxious. I drank too when I was very young. I thought it was fun and an adventure. Stupid me. And then when I found purpose, I stopped.

Where you are should have a merchant marine academy nearby. I will check.

Military to Mariner | MARAD

There is not a merchant marine academy near Alabama. The main ones are in NY and CA and there are about five other colleges throughout the country that have programs. The link above talks about different routes to become a merchant marine officer via the National Guard, etc.. It's not just on ships, it's in ports, too. I always wanted to ship out.
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in a daze

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There is not a merchant marine academy near Alabama. The main ones are in NY and CA and there are about five other colleges throughout the country that have programs. The link above talks about different routes to become a merchant marine officer via the National Guard, etc.. It's not just on ships, it's in ports, too. I always wanted to ship out.

How interesting Copa. Haven’t thought about the Merchant Marine for years. My dad was in the British Merchant Marine!

this was in the late 40s/early 50s. He had pretty bad ADHD. It was probably a good fit for him. Of course he got to see a good part of the world.

It’s a unique idea...


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My dad was in the British Merchant Marine!
Hi Daze. How are You?

We have that in common. My dad was a pastry chef on passenger liners for a time. in the fifties and early sixties. Like with your Dad, it suited him.

In the States this is an area of work with very strong unions. (Or they used to be.) There was lots of job security (seniority) and excellent pay.

Not everybody has the temperament for it. The isolation, monotony, hard work and being away from home, but for some people it seems to be the perfect fit.

I think I would have loved it.

This life is often conducive to drug and alcohol use. That's something to consider. My own dad used both.

I don't know why I thought about it in relation to RN's son. But by putting it out there maybe it will apply to somebody's life.


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Staff member
Hi RN. I am so sorry this is happening. I am glad that your son has asked for help but am worried that he thinks just taking an anti-depressant will fix everything. My daughter was on (and still is) on anti-depressant all through her drinking and drugging years. She was also put on a lot of other drugs for various diagnoses that all turned out to be wrong.

I hope he will give the church recovery group a chance. I truly believe my daughter wouldn't be sober today if she didn't have the strong support of her NA group and sponsor.

There may come a time when you are going to have to decide whether you will stand behind your words that your son can't live there if he is drinking and using. It will be very hard but remember that he is 24-years-old. While that seems young to us, it is certainly old enough to be an independent functioning adult. Are you still seeing your therapist?

I don't know anything about the military. Will they still take him if he has a depression diagnosis and is on medication for it?

I am rooting for him!



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I had my own meltdown yesterday. Just told son that he always wants to take the easy way out. That he has anxiety and won't do anything about it. I had found a therapist for him a few weeks ago and he never made an appointment. He finally made an appointment for Tuesday. He is going to have to do all of these things if he wants to live with us. I cannot stand a 24 year old not working oh himself and his future. That gives ME terrible anxiety.
It's a hard situation, RN. He's very fortunate to have you and Hubs supporting him as he finds his way in his new life.
I'm glad he made the appointment with the therapist. Hopefully he can get some clarity and find some momentum going forward.

I think it might be hard for him to figure out WHAT he wants now -- he basically slept through some critically formative years, as did so many of our kids who have battled addiction. He might have changed in ways he doesn't even realize, and it might be very hard for him to set goals or make big decisions right now, when he's battling depression and new fears and feeling overwhelmed.

But I agree with you -- as hard as it is, it's time to pick *A* direction and start walking *A* path!

Has he considered some career counseling, maybe through the community college?

Our local university used a test for people who have NO idea what they want to do with their lives. It was lots and lots of random "would you rather" questions (Would you rather sand cabinets or wash an elephant? Write a speech for the President or plant trees? etc.). We liked it because you weren't committing to anything on each question, but eventually the results led to some unanticipated fields and jobs. My kids and I all took it. It was very accurate for my daughter and myself; my son "should have" been a forest ranger. I think he would have been a good one, if his life wasn't derailed.

I too hope your son continues with all of the support he's putting in place, and I'm so glad he's been receptive to asking for help when he needs it.


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I’m so sorry. The disappointment, stress and concern is palatable.

It’s definitely a positive that he made the appointment with the therapist. And did you say he will go to the faith based sessions too?

I think career
Counseling/testing is a great idea! Just curious...does he have any role models? Any adults in his life who he really looked up to? Uncles, teachers, parents of friends etc?

I also think you might consider a few sessions for yourself for therapy. This stuff is over the top stressful and draining.

Blessings and hugs.


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*I mentioned role models because although there maybof been and could of been many (like yourself! As a hard working person who strives to do things right and with great integrity!)

But what might really influence him are simply folks that for whatever reason “stuck” in his mind as successful, happy and/or fun. Cool etc. Whatever careers or jobs such folks had will likely intrigue him. son had a male fourth grade teacher he thought the world of. Today, he (my son) is a teacher. I have a friend that greatly admired her uncle who was a veterinarian. She became a nurse, which she hated. She now works PT in a vet office and does a ton of volunteer work with animals. I know other examples like this. These certain childhood influences were and are powerful.


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If he is on medication for anxiety, will the military (any branch?) enlist him?

My DGD had a recruiter tell her not to let them know she had been on medications in high school! She tried, but after one week she was processing out.

Our community college has a course for students that helps them find their interests and strengths in different fields so they can find a vocation they are well suited for. Maybe instead of a full schedule of classes he can focus on one that will help him make decisions on a course of study... Ksm


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

He told the recruiter he had been on Zoloft for one week so it really doesn't count. Basically they have to be off medications for six months he was told. They are concerned with people that have been on medications long term.

He was not diagnosed with depression. He asked for it at the ER (impossible to see a psychiatric here for several months) for anxiety. I think he may have done it to appease us. Not sure.

Since he continued to drink beer and this medication would keep him from military life we told him that it is not wise that he take it and he stopped. I told him he needs to work with a therapist to sort through his feelings. He needs to "do the work". He never needed medications when he was working a lot or in his program and busy. He was happy actually. I think that he is anxious because we are putting him on the spot, which we feel that he needs to move forward. I am not sure about the church group. I'm hoping he can work with the therapist to be able to get to a good place.

I love that test! Sounds great! I do think computer work would be great for him because he does have a knack and would be able to work independently.

I do not think 24 is young. At all. I told him that many his age had already graduated college and are in their careers. The last thing I want to do is baby him. I don't do that. He knows that we want him living on his own and independent. He is just not as anxious to do that as we are for him to do that!

Right now he is planning to take the ASFAB test in the next few weeks and then take it from there. His dad is guiding him and I'm letting him.

He is also working on getting his transcripts to the junior college here. He paid to have them sent but new college doesn't have them yet so they say. He has to make phone calls again. I'm letting him adult.

I really would prefer he join right away and get his 10 week training out of the way and do college in the fall but we'll see how it works out. He is realizing that this is something that he needs to do to make his dad happy and I think he knows it would be a positive.

My therapy is my woman's group on Monday nights and my good friend here who used to run the Celebrate Recovery program in her church. She really is a wealth of information and source of comfort to me. I really feel that I am in a good place most of the time but I do get overwhelmed at times. I think we have come to a crossroads and that is what has made me more anxious than normal. You are right, that it is not easy by any means. As I have said there is no black and white here and no right or wrong way to get to where we need to be.

I will post updates when I have them. One day at a time.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
A small update

My son saw a new therapist yesterday. She immediately said he looked and sounded depressed. Body language also was that of a depressed person.

Well there you have it.

He called me after the appointment. He said he told her the truth about his past - no point in going to therapy and not being honest.

He wants to continue with Zoloft and go to college and work. He feels the military is not a good idea for him right now feeling this way.

He promises to cut back on and maybe drinking out completely. Hopes the medications will make him feel better. He has not smoked MJ in several months.

Husband is old school. Does not believe in medications for depression. He is being understanding though. His mother was an extremely depressed, non medicated person. My mother was an alcoholic so who knows what she had going on.

I asked son if he thinks this is why he chose drugs in the first place when younger. He said he did not know, he is not a professional (hmm think he got that answer from me). He said that he has a very good life and why should he be depressed? That is the million dollar question.

This is now what we wanted. We don't want our son to be clinically depressed. There, I said it.

Anyway we are going to support his decision and let him do this and hopefully all will end well.

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving.


Well-Known Member
You too!

Clinical depression is not caused by your life experiences or because you are weak or ungrateful. This runs in our family. Although we are fortunate enough not to have alcoholism in the family...that I know of.. .depression is common with substance abuse.

Clinical depression is very treatable.

The military is not good for everyone. Many people come out of it worse than when they went in. PTSD is no fun. My husband has two relatives who are now disabled after serving. I respect both with all my heart. They are great people. But they saw too much and will probably never be the same

Your son sounds as if he is doing things right!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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So happy he is seeing a therapist and getting treatment for his depression.

I had mild depression for a looong time. I was pleasantly surprised, that for me, certain vitamins and therapy helped ALOT.

Since then, I have discovered that these vitamins along with an RX can help with major depression.I have introduced it to friends and almost all of them were pleasantly surprised. It sounds hokey. I don’t care. It has helped a LOT of people I know.

(medications are still needed with major or clinical depression. )

The top one is Vitamin D3. But, I also think a very good multi and a B Complex is very good. Wise to start eating fish once or twice a week as salmon

Nooooo joke. Nooooo exaggeration. These supplements, especially D3 can work well along side therapy and medication. Just something to consider.

He sounds like he going in a healthy direction. Fingers crossed.

This site rates vitamins:

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi RN, I missed your thread and am just catching up.
I am the type that always draws on everything so I can analyze the hell out of it. It's his history.
Oh, we could be twins. I am the same, analyzing the heck out of things. Good thing we have Google, it has become my university.

He has not made any friends and is still communicating on line with ex girlfriend who I think is a nasty person. She is not allowed in our home any longer after she went nuts when he broke up with her. His reasoning is that "she is better than not having anyone to talk to". Maybe at times but long term she is not. He knows this.
Oh no, is this the same girlfriend, Cops daughter? No mas.
We both discussed him not being able to live with us if he is going to behave this way. He later said that he needs help and would like to get on something for depression and anxiety so he does not drink and self medicate. It was VERY upsetting to us to say the least. Been there/done that.
I can see how this would be upsetting but at least he is upfront about needing help?

He is going to the ER to see if he can get something to start taking for depression. It is impossible to get in to see a psychiatrist here for months so this is the best way.
I am glad he is taking steps to get properly diagnosed and not self medicate. My two wouldn’t step near a doctor for this RN.

He also agreed to go to a church support group on Sunday evenings starting this weekend. If he does both hopefully things will not deteriorate further. We do have to figure out next steps if he continues on this path but I am glad that he may realize that he has some type of imbalance but who knows
Did he go for this? I hope so. Belonging to a group helped him before.

I just am praying that college fills his void. I know he does not feel good about himself. He thinks that I think he is a scumbag.
This is addict language. You know this.

He finally made an appointment for Tuesday. He is going to have to do all of these things if he wants to live with us. I cannot stand a 24 year old not working oh himself and his future. That gives ME terrible anxiety.
I get how you feel RN, it has been a long long road for you.

They are both Christians so a better role model does not exist! I am praying that he will do this.
Oh I hope that he can reach your sons heart. A sort of jumpstart if you will. It has been proven that adult mentors are incredibly positive to a young mind.

He called me after the appointment. He said he told her the truth about his past - no point in going to therapy and not being honest.
This is good, no bs-ing. Oh RN, I do hope your son is able to grab hold of his life. It sounds as if he has backslid a bit, but with your help he is trying to catch himself. That is a good sign. My two always denied their drug use, denied needing help. The fact that your son recognizes he needs help is a good sign to me that he actually wants to be better.
I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving with your friends and that son will realize what an awesome support system he has.


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Staff member
Busynmember is right. Depression is an illness that can strike anyone in any life circumstances. Depression can lead to drug use but drug use can also lead to depression. There are quite a few studies that link teenage use of marijuana to adult depression.

After accounting for other factors at play, the findings reveal cannabis use before 18 years of age increases the chance of developing depression in adulthood by 37 percent.

There are many articles you can find with a google search.

So it might have been the marijuana use when he was young that is causing problems now. I am glad he is seeing a therapist. My daughter is still on an anti-depressant and I am not sure she will ever be able to stop. Luckily, it is the only medication that she takes now after weaning herself off the multiple drugs she had been prescribed for wrong diagnoses over the years.

If it is clinical depression, your son can be treated and live a happy, productive life!

Happy Thanksgiving!


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Thanks ladies.

We had a fantastic time at my friend's farm. They moved there for her husband's new job as a VP; he is also a pilot and was a sheriff and served in two branches of military as well as National Guard. He taught us all how to target shoot. I had never held a gun and had no desire to but it was fun. My son particularly enjoyed it. He also talked to our son about joining the Coast Guard. He seemed interested but time will tell. He's not ready for that right now.

They said he can come any time alone and hang out with John (her husband). It's a 2.5 hour drive, all highway so not bad.

Right now he is signing up for college and working. I think he is unsure about school but I told him he needs to keep moving forward and this is how you do it. Something can change but for now this is a good choice.

He was also waiting for therapist to call him back but I told him to call her and set up an appointment. I told him he needs to see her for personal and professional guidance and at least until he has a social life of some type.

He started back on Zoloft yesterday. The past two weeks have been good. He has been more upbeat and drinking in moderation on the weekends - beer only. I can tell he is really trying to do the right thing.

I am wiped out from always pushing him but I feel that I need to do this right now. I have been praying a lot also because that helps me a lot to know that I'm not alone in this.

Husband is frustrated. Wants our home back to ourselves but our son would fail miserably on his own right now. I don't think he can emotionally handle it and I hate that but it is what it is as they say. He is certainly not emotionally 24. I'm thinking 20 at best.


Well-Known Member
So glad to read you had a lovely TG with good people.

Your advice to your son is excellent.

I hope he gives college a fair try.

With the support from the therapist, he will be better equipped.

I wish that he could get to the point of moving out. Maybe a nearby apartment with you visiting once a week and him having dinner at your place once a week.(Just some examples). In other words, lots of transitional support. It sounds like the time isn’t quite right...but fingers crossed it won’t be too much Further down the road.


Well-Known Member
I joined the ARMY at age 22. I weighed 90 pounds so they made me gain 10 to ship out. It was hard as my metabolism was high.

I was always tiny, no eating disorder. I'm not sure how you feel about giving him an "out" but he can quit anytime. They don't make it easy but they can't make him stay.

I ended up getting out early because I couldn't handle the stress. I grew up very anxious. I did complete basic training and AIT school. I can tell you at 49 years old, getting out early is still my biggest regret.

All of that being said, basic training (8 weeks) taught me more than anything else in life to date. It taught me how strong I really am, mentally and physically. I would not be the person I am to this day without the training.

I think basic training could be very beneficial to him, even if he quits. The screaming is just part of the "break you down" aspect so they can build you up. It doesn't actually break you down. It teaches you to act when ordered without questioning why-wghich comes in handy during wartime.

They do that, but very quickly build you up. Everything they do will be to his benefit.

I've always had to answer for quitting, but I just answer honestly. I am a police officer now and had to actually get a letter from the army proving I wasn't nutty.

Police is paramilitary, so I feel I had a second chance. You are welcome to share my story with him. If I can do it anyone can. A nervous 90 pound pipsqueek little girl. I survived!

Hope this helps. I don't know if reserve does not camp.