Another day.... another promise?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ColleenB, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Oldest son has been sleeping all day and out all night since he moved home in early march. He says he is depressed and not using, but I don't know for sure.

    Two nights ago he came home and the car has some damage to it. This would be bumper number four if we were to fix it. I know.... we are the problem at this point. What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and expecting different results.... sigh....

    We tried to stay calm with him, but explained he could no longer drive our vehicles and we weren't going to fix this bumper right away... we would like to see him take some responsibility and pay for it...even if it takes months to pay off.

    We also made him promise he would seek therapy if depression is the real issue. He has promised to go today. I am going to hold him to it. I'm off today for my own doctors appointment and I will drop him off at the counselling centre. They do intake there.

    I know we may not be doing it all right, and I know there is most likely more to his story. But I'm just trying to take it a day at a time and give him support
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he were depressed, and I suffered major depressive disorder for a few decades, it does not suddenly disappear at night so that you sleep all day out of depression but feel up to being out all night. Depression sticks around 24/7.

    in my opinion he is a danger on the road, probably using a sort of speed (meth, cocaine) at night then taking maybe benzos to sleep during the day. My daughter did exactly this and explained it in detail after she quit. She preferred sleeping days as the action was out at night. After her first accident, she never drove our cars again. We were tough on her. She used from age 12 (yes, you read that right) to 19, quit after we packed her bags, and have seen her spend the next twelve years being redponsible and kind. Was it easy to make her leave, cut off the money and car? Absolutely not. But in her case she was saved by it.

    Our relationship is great.

    You have to do it your way. My way would say no cars of mine and certainly not paying for car insurance or gas or his probably drug infested dented license plate and surprise drug testing. And a ticket out of the house if he refused help. But...this is me. I fo recommend Al Anon and private therapy to help you cope in real time.

    I am sorry this continues. It would be great if you and hub could let go of his drama and enjoy yourselves. You are as jimportant as your son and if he is using drugs, how can you suppirt him? If he is truly depressed, he is not eager to get help, but it does sound suspicious that he must sleep all day to mute his depression yet can party all night. That isnt how depression is suspicious.

    Do take care of yourself. You are the person you have control over, nobody else.
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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  3. Saddmom

    Saddmom New Member

    My daughter damaged my car 4 yrs ago. I let her use it for work. If she puts even one ding on it she is done driving my car. She doesn't put gas in it for me to begin with
  4. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Colleen, if you aren't going to allow him to drive, did you lock the keys away somewhere? Is your son working at night? I agree with SWOT. If he's out all night and sleeping all day, then he is probably using something. Depressed people don't want to go "out."
  5. MissJuneBug

    MissJuneBug South of the Mason-Dixon Line

    I do agree about the depression. My son has been majorly depressed for months. He barely left his bed and didn't shower for days on end. Depression tends to be an around the clock issue though some days are clearly worse then others. Having him evaluated at the intake center is an excellent idea. They are usually good at identifying the level of illness.
  6. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Colleen. I've had you on my mind this week. I so wish things were different for you.
    Everyone does "what needs to be done"and only when they are ready, that means YOU and HIM. There are those two camps---"kick them out-let them stay no matter what". In our home we were on both sides and in the middle many times. I so feel your struggle.
    A few observations from "out of the woods".... It's imperative for you to take the car, those damaged bumpers didn't hit "nothing". You could end up in court, someone could have been hurt or worse. Don't take responsibility for his impaired choices. We also learned of the worthlessness of promises from our much-loved son. It was the sleep all day, out all night that ended our housing him. The promises meant nothing over and over. We continue even now to give support, but only when he also makes an effort, ie whatever assistance we might give anyone we loved. But no $ and no living with us. It was simply too hard on us emotionally to have his choices on our doorstep. My heart goes out to you this am, it's a beautiful Spring and I wish peace for you today. Prayers.
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  7. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    I am not believing any promises unless my son has been sober, no relaspes, for at least 3 years.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Dont believe any promise, period. Words mean nothing. Go by actions. You will know if your son has truly changed. You wont doubt it. He will talk and act and behave so differently that you will know.

    But in your case, you have to wait until son is out of prison and living in the world again before he can truly see if he can avoid the temptation of no structure, bad stuff on the streets, and easy access to drugs. He is sort of protected right now from the real world.

    I started to breathe normally again only after my daughter had been clean for two years, had a full time job, had nice friends and developed her old sweetness. Addicts relapse often so I was skeptical but the last time...she did not relapse. She even quit smoking cigarettes. She is not the same young woman as she was on drugs. If your son turns it around, it will be by his actions, not his words. And you will know.
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  9. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    He did call for an appointment, and is booked with a recommended counsellor on Wednesday . We are not naive and know this is only a tiny step... but for him This is the first time he has expressed a desire to see someone.

    He says his days and nights are mixed up and he can't switch back... he asked for one of my sleeping pills. I told him no, that I couldn't do that. I told him we can help him, to slowly change his time for getting up, but that he would need to start right away in order for him to be awake wed in morning. He at first didn't want to start until Monday. I told him why wait? If he really wants to switch his sleep times?

    I am not sure what is up with him. I don't see the behaviours he had when he was using cocaine, he was very angry and volatile. But I know the up most nights is not ok. He has stayed home a few nights lately.... but he gets really restless.

    Some context... we live in the "suburbs" and there really is no where to go at all during the day with no daytime bus service into town. He has also ALWAYS been a restless kid, he never stayed home, he was always biking, playing sports, visiting friends. He was a super active kid, and I always suspected ADHD, but since he was a strong student academically and never got into any trouble, I figured he had it all figured out. My sister and mom had ADHD. My sister was very similar, and channelled the energy into sports and is now a vet. So I never had any reason to have him evaluated. I wonder if the ADHD could've been part of his issue with losing structure after high school and having so little impulse control? I have brought it up and he says ADHD is "made up" and over diagnosed. I see kids everyday in schools and I know it's not made up but I do agree it's over diagnosed and over medicated.

    He really is a sensitive soul who feels emotions deeply, he always has. When he was little I once found him crying over a world vision commercial ( he was five!) when he was in middle school he was my environmentalist who would worry about recycling and killing the earth. He has now become cynical and sees the human race as evil and destroying our planet with no chance of redemption. I wonder if his cynicism is part of his issue, he seems to have lost hope in humanity or our future. He is very disdainful of the "establishment" and materialism. I used to call him my "hippy". He reminds me of a teenager from the 70s. He would have fit right in.

    I know it doesn't change the things he has done, or his drug use... I'm just trying to give you all a bigger picture.

    It's so hard to watch him sink so low and feel so terrible about himself. He has so much self loathing.

    We are careful to project forward with him and not backward. I'm scared I'm going to lose my son to suicide at some point. He sees himself as worthless. This is why we are so scared and tip toe around him. He once told me he was only still alive because of us, and it was not s threat. He stated it as fact.

    He said to try and wake him up today, we will see how that goes.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Colleen. What about exercise to use up some of this energy?

    I live in a suburban/quasi rural environment, too. There are bike/walking trails and I find a great deal of peace walking, especially along a tiny creek. Maybe you or husband could walk with him.
    I am in this place, too.
    Actually this makes sense to me, but I am thinking back to a time in my early life that my sleep was disordered. I was using uppers at work.
    My son is like this too. I am thinking it is a characteristic of some Millennials, taken to an extreme. I was more worried a couple of years ago when he could not moderate his fixation on conspiracy theories that inflamed his anxiety. To the extent I began to worry about psychosis/delusions. It seemed that every week or so, there was another cataclysmic prediction.

    I would not hear of it, this disturbed me so much. I am still concerned. It seems odd to me.

    My son was the sweetest, kindest child. It is still there somewhere, but he can be cruel to me. I am only now setting stricter boundaries so that I am not so wounded by him.

    I see my own son as having been "crushed" by life and having to dig himself out by finding meaning and purpose and defenses. In a similar way I was similarly affected after my mother died 3 and a half years ago.

    I guess what I am saying here, Colleen, is that your son is working this out, with your support. This is a process, not a dichotomy. When you first came here to the forum it was as if you were crushed, too. Now you are not. You are dealing with it, and taking purposeful, sensible steps to walk through this, supporting and not enabling your child.

    Nobody could be doing this better.
  11. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Copa Thank you so much for your post. You are right... I do feel stronger. I still have days when I feel absolutely broken but it is a bad day and not a bad week, or month, or year....

    We are trying to lovingly be here for our son. We are working hard at being supportive without enabling... which is a scary tightrope as most of us know!

    I see growth in my son from a year ago. He isn't using heavily (I can't say he is clean, as I don't think he is) but it is nothing like it was. We don't think he is dealing. Not sure he could at this point with no vehicle. And no phone. When he was dealing he had several phones

    He just seems really sad and lost.
  12. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    Drug use can cause depression. I wish these addicts would read up on all that drugs do besides get you high
  13. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I agree that drug use can for sure cause depression .... we also know drug use can stem from feelings of anxiety and depression. It's all a vicious cycle.

    Our son has said many times he knows that much of his mental health issues stem from his drug use. I just wish he could stop beating himself up about the past and move forward from here. He seems stuck.
  14. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Maybe he will find work and concentrate on one thing at a time. If he can keep busy I bet it would help.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think he is moving forward. Night and day changes are not what you want.

    You have said it yourself: he is likely not dealing. Drug use is diminished. He is home. He is trying to accommodate to home and family life. He sought out therapy. Each of these things is major.

    Imagine if it was the reverse: still dealing; drug use the same or escalating. Etc. He is trying to overcome. He is overcoming.
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  16. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    A friend reminded me that recovery is very hard. With that said, everyone goes at it at their own pace. Just support while he's stuck, pull when he needs it and don't stop encouraging. He seems to not know where to start, one step at a time.
  17. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    He is awake today... started taking his stuff from garage to basement and now it's just piled down there, but husband wanted his garage back, so it's progress.

    He isn't too grumpy, not mean anyway.

    Trying to see this is actually progress. It's hard. It's like you expect them to be who they were before drug addiction and that it should just happen once they start to recover. I guess I have to remind myself I wouldn't expect that as a mental health professional so why do I expect it from my son?

    I definitely need to keep reminding myself that I need to back off and let him work it out. I so want to jump in and fix it.

    Sigh... thanks so much for your support. I really do appreciate these boards and everyone's input, even when I don't agree with it... I appreciate the time and effort put into trying to help me. I really do.

    I think it's hard for anyone to really get the whole picture from one persons limited perspective, but it is so helpful to have these boards and the people behind the words of encouragement.
  18. MissJuneBug

    MissJuneBug South of the Mason-Dixon Line

    Colleen, my son sounds very much like yours... different drugs and no dealing but emotionally similar.

    My son also expresses the cynicism, conspiracy theories, etc. I think it's a product of the internet and social media. I use to worry about the conspiracy theory thing (like he seemed, at times, to believe the world would end when the Mayan calendar ended a few years ago). I no longer think he really believes that stuff. It's a convenient excuse. He and I had a conversation this morning, when he was filling a job application and he started blaming capitalism, then our generation, etc. for not having a job! I pointed out that blaming others is just to excuse to not do anything.

    In my humble opinion, any progress is a good sign, no matter how small. I'm working with our son by zeroing in on the most immediate behaviors we need to address (not leaving his room, not following through on things, helping around the house, etc). Unfortunately, it works best if you use some leverage. For example, I cut off internet/cell phone access if he's not doing what he needs to be doing. It seems to be working. He worked in the yard with us this weekend. Went to his IOP therapy program this morning and then to the library. He's now up in his room at 3:30 but just the fact that he has been out doing something since 8am is a huge step.

    He walked in with his IOP materials a little while ago. Hopefully, he is upstairs working on his 'assignments.'

    It is, indeed, a fine line between enabling and being supportative. I take it one hour at a time these days.
  19. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Husband just texted me that son is up,doing laundry and says he wants a haircut so he can look for work.

    Trying not to get too hopeful....but taking it as a small sign! Tomorrow is his first counselling appointment.

    I am on pins and needles hoping he connects with this guy, we have heard good things about the therapist in terms of working with young men.

    Son has rejected every other therapist we have tried ( family one, univ based one and an individual counsellor )

    I'm praying this is a shift.... his 250 deposit is also due Friday for Art school. I do not want to pay it as we've done this in the past to have it all for nothing. Is this really the thing he needs? Am I being wrong making him figure out how to pay? I'm scared he loses his spot and we both think this program could be good for his mental health... so is encouraging him to go kind of in support of recovery?? I'm so torn on what to do. I don't want him to lose this opportunity if he really is making progress.
  20. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Me too.
    Can you wait until the last minute re: art school? See how tomorrow no, you're not wrong making him figure out how to pay. (I personally might just "go low" Does he have something he could sell or pawn to pay it?) My daughter did this 15 yr ago in a private college when her part of tuition $ had been blown on spring break. It was good for her to want it that much. Prayers.