Cautiously cautious

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Zardo, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    For those of you that don't know my story - my difficult child is working recovery and back at his boarding school after a 2 month hiatus to attend an IOP program. When he finished IOP, he was so proud, so moved by the people he met there and ready to finish out the year successfully. While in IOP, it was clear that others in the program had used much harder drugs than he and experienced much worse consequences, but he talked about needing to take care of his situation now before he becomes them. He has been in and out of school and trouble for the past year. He comes home every weekend and lately, I feel worry coming back. He talkes about not wanting to do treatment anymore "it's not like I'm an addict", wants to stop taking anti-depressants "they don't do anything anyway" and his demands at home are becoming overwhelming again. I'm worried. It's not that he is doing anything now, but more that he is separating himself from the work that he has done to get to this point. It's a familiar pattern, we have seen this attitude before - and it usually ends inrelapse. I say all of this knowing that there is nothing I can do about it except know where my boundaries are and make a plan with husband about what to do if there is another next time. Is a 16 year old that has struggled with pot bound to treatment indefinately or is it reasonable for him to feel he doesn't need help anymore? He will finish his current program as he is requried to in order to be at the school he is at. But, his and our plan is to return home in May and stay here for school next year. We do feel that we HAVE to give him a chance to return. If he really is better, he can finish high school here, but if the nightmare returns, we will not have him stay here. I need to remind myself that it's one day at a time. I can't worry about what happens when he comes home, we just have to see how it goes.
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Zardo... it sounds like you are clear with yourself and that is really important. I would recomend the book Nancy mentioned "Everything Changes". It talks about the process of recovery.... and that point where addicts feel they are not really addicts and can drink a little etc. I found it very helpful.

    I think keep setting your boundaries and that is all you can do... the rest is up to him.

    But man I know how hard all of this is.

  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We were told in rehab to watch for the signs of relapse and that we would know, and each time my difficult child relapsed I saw the signs. I hope that what you are seeing is not signs of relapse but you are wise to keep your antenna alert and have your plan ready.

    It's so difficult when they first get out of rehab or IOP and they are so excited about what they have learned and staying sober, but then they go back out in society and little by little they lose some of that enthusiam and it worries us sick and puts us right back where we were before treatment. We want them to keep that same excitement and never forget how they feel at that time.

    You are among many of us who are living the ups and downs of recovery and relapse and we will hold your hand either way.

  4. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I'm new and trying to get a list of signs for my difficult child. It's tricky (at least to me) cause I think it can be a personal thing and yet, there are certain parts which are really common.
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Well this is a good topic... what are the signs of relapse. They are probably different to some extent for each person but I bet there are a lot that are similar. I would say for my difficult child... first there is much more irritability and volatility.... sleep schedule gets way off, sleeping during the day up all night, he starts to smell a certain smell... and in general his hygiene is worse. I think over time the other thing we would see is him dropping weight.... in 9th grade when we sent him off to wilderness he was 5'10 and weighted about 120 so to me getting really think again like that would be a big red flag.

  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's different for each person but we all know our own difficult children well enough to know when something is wrong. It's that sixth sense we have, our antennas start twitching and the pit in our stomach acts up.

    For my difficult child, she becomes secretive, stops sharing information, stops going to meetings, oversleeps and misses work/school, becomes moody, fb entries change, makes friends on fb with undesireables, strange texts and calls oin her cell, forgets to do what she promised to do. There re so many things that tell me she's on a slippery slope.

  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree that usually our intuition is right. However, I think many of us have PTSD and I know in my case, my imagination gets carried away sometimes. If I can't reach my difficult child for a day, I immediately think something is up rather than her cell battery is dead and she lost her charger. If I couldn't reach my easy child for a day, I wouldn't think anything of it.

    I would just keeping watching for signs of a relapse and hope for the best.

  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    That thought that "I can stop treatment, I am fixed" is a real pitfall. It is a lie for most people, but often they must experience it themselves several times before they understand it.

    You don't stop being an addict because you are in recovery or not using or not using what you used to use or are using something "not as hard" as other people use. It is called "drug of choice" for a reason - addiction is addiction and your drug could be pot, cocaine, meth, religion, heroin, video games, sex, whatever.
  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Our daughter too has told us she is sick of treatment. She recites the years of therapy and RTCs and says she knows what she needs to know. I read somewhere that marijuana users have this erogance thing going on where they believe they are a step above other addicts. Our daughter believes this-she doesn't have a problem therefore according to her. She too refuses her antidepressants and has continued to use marijuana-I don't know how much. I can tell when she is headed for relapse (this is mostly sexually acting out for her) because she gets demanding and agitated. She seems to be able to hold it together for a good month and then off she goes. We have tried forcing therapy and everything else. All we can do is support recovery efforts and not enable. This line is so hard to find with minors because they are our responsibility. I have now come to the point where I have let go of some of the control.

    We had to give our daughter a chance as well when she came out of the last Residential Treatment Center (RTC). ( my gut told me not to do it but I let my heart win). We did not think she would be coming out as quickly as she did-we had lined up a second stint in the first Residential Treatment Center (RTC). She refused, cried, begged. We let her try being home. She made it 3 days at her alternative high school and only a few weeks until acting out. We looked into another Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and decided not to do it because each time she was worse. We ended up with a GED (she would only be a Junior) so now we have this sick kid who wont be 18 for awhile and has too much time on her hands. She is working again, but... I just don't think in our case that forcing more treatment will help at this point. She is going to have to be hit hard by life.

    This is scary for us-I totally understand your worries. I know that none of us can control another human, and we cannot predict the future. We can only do the best we can in the moment. You and your family will have to decide if letting him home will be in his best interest-the school might be of help making this decision as well. Who knows where his head will be in a few months?? Hugs to you, you are not alone.
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Zardo, I delayed in answering this post because I don't have any advice. With anyone else - I say follow your head. But it's different when it is your child. So, follow your heart with in reason - but make sure you know your boundaries. And if following your heart doesn't work out - then you must follow your head from there on out.

    We're moms. And we have to live with ourselves. And if we don't lead with our hearts; who will? So try it, but be prepared to let your head take over at the first sign of trouble.
  11. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    Exhausted - I so related to your reply. I guess that is the point, I can't FORCE more treatment. Truth be told, he's actually doing well right now. He is trying harder at school than he has tried in 2 years, he and his friends are recreating in much healthier ways and all of us parents are watching and checking with each other and all agree, they all seem to be doing much better. When he talks about the last year and not being an addict, he says he believes his problem was anger, he had problems with anger management that he now feels much more in control of. He used the pot to manage the anger which now he can do on his own. It is sort of the language from IOP, the drug use was a symptom for the larger problem and he feels he identified it and is in much better control of it. While I agree and I am thankful that the worst of his anger is over, he DEFINATELY still does not like to hear the word no, so we'll see if his anger escalates once he is living back home. He is also building up a lot of unrealistic expectations about driving privledges which we have yet to confront. It will be a year that he has been out of the home when he returns. I do feel and I have always felt, that the REAL solution is for him to function successfully in the real world. As some people have talked to me in the past about TBS placement, I felt that was too long-term and how would he learn to function in the real world? It's been bumpy, but it's also been consistant progress. Having had him in IOP, I also know that if he were to slip again, having him home and attending IOP would be a very viable option. I have never seen him so at peace as he was when he attended that program. So my plan is this, home he comes and we will be cautios, my boundary will be as it always is "no drugs in my home"; if he slips, it's back to IOP, if he refuses, that's when we send him away again. When he comes home we are requiring him to get a job. He refuses any school oriented activities, so he does have too much free time. I am hoping that having to be in the real world of work will also help push the maturity process along. It's so hard - so much worrying even when they are doing well, maybe even more so because there's always that waiting for the bubble to burst feeling. Yes, PTSD is the right term.
  12. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Zardo, hoping your plan will take hold for him this time. The worse issue I see with youth today is dealing with anger.

    A job would be great. Many chances to gain self esteem, some cash, and stay busy.