Feeling sad today....


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I am feeling bad and I know that someone on this forum will help me make sense of my feelings and maybe even understand why.

My husband is going to see our son on Wednesday in Florida to be with him for his 21st birthday.
He left in March and did very well at first but then relapsed/overdosed (he had never overdosed before) on Father's Day. He did not seek out drugs but was at his girlfriend's home where her mother had morphine as she is in the last stage of liver cancer. He saw the bottles. Trigger.

He is in an IOP program but I think only because we said we'd give him no money if he was not in a program since we know he needs it. He gives us mixed signals but I don't honestly think he's buying what they're selling

I started going to therapy for myself right after overdose. I needed some help sorting out my feelings. I kept seeing his overdose in my head (what I envisioned it to be), blue lips, ambulance etc. and couldn't turn it off.

I have since been working on detachment and what I feel to be PTSD from five years of what goes on when your child is an addict. My therapist agrees with this. I have kind of stepped back and his dad/my husband has been keeping in contact with him even though it's only a few times per week. I answer when he texts me.

Today I'm feeling lonely for him. I texted him a few times and he said he didn't want to text but I could call if I want. I told him I probably wouldn't because I felt I needed to keep some distance because of the pain I'm dealing with. He knows I'm in therapy.

He texted later and said we either need to bring our dogs when we go in November or he needs to come home to see them. We will not be bringing our dogs in November and will probably only drive to spend one day/night with him. I am not ready for him to come home for a visit either because what if he won't go back? I cannot even begin to think of that option. I told him "we'll see" and let his dad tell him what's happening when he is there.

I know he knows I love him and I am trying to be supportive as much as I can but I am not sure what's wrong with me or if I'm even doing the right thing. I feel like since he's sober and at an IOP I should be doing more? I just don't see change or he isn't saying what I need to hear and this time it's not enough. Thoughts?


Well-Known Member
in my opinion your emotions are normal and you are doing exactly what you need to do both for you and him.

You don't miss your son who is a drug addoct. You miss your sober son, who is not the same person. Hopefully he will be back one day, but it is up to him
Kudos on therapy foy you!

Let it happens in the way it does. Let him walk the path without positive or negative expectations. Live in the moment. Today he is safe. One day at a time.

Now take it one day at a time for you too. Whatever is meant to be, will be.

Hugs to you...

worried sick mother

Active Member
I think what you're feeling is completely normal. It sounds like your son is playing on your heartstrings by making you feel bad that he misses the dogs and it worked. He probably does miss the dogs but that's a consequence that he has to face due to his actions. Consequences are good for addicts. The counselor at my sons rehab told me that and that I never let my son face consequences.
Your son knows that you have changed and that why he wants to talk instead of text. That's another consequence. He may think if he talks to you he can manipulate you and play on your heartstrings more.
I can't imagine your fear after your son overdosing. My son has never overdosed but I'm always fearful. I did find my son alone at his apartment one time asleep barely breathing , very low respiratory rate and shallow breathing , I thought he was dead and it absolutely traumatized me, of course he said he was just sleeping and I was crazy. I will always think if I hadn't just stopped by there he would have died. I credit that to God because I just had this feeling something was wrong , went there and the door just happened to be opened. That sight replays in my head constantly. I don't know if you're an RN as your name indicates, if so I think that makes it even more traumatic for us because I am an RN and we have seen too much.
Hang in there RN, what you have done in the past hasn't worked and what you're doing now seems to be working. Your son is in treatment and safe. He may never give you exactly what you need to hear. I think you're doing exactly what you need to do and that's take care of You!!!


Well-Known Member
I am sorry you are feeling sad today, RN. I agree with SWOT and Worried. Your feelings are quite normal. I don't think it is reasonable to expect yourself to just step back into your relationship with your son as though nothing happened. I don't think you should feel bad for being unable to do that.

We don't cross certain lines with our loved ones because we fear/know it will cause damage, maybe irreparable damage. Yet our adult children cross those lines with us...again and again...and WE feel bad because we can't turn a blind eye and cheerfully step back in for more.

It is a real double standard. I have been guilty of it many times.

Your son, my son, most of our difficult children cannot expect us to act like the mother of a toddler who accidentally hits her in the middle of a tantrum. They are adults who have willfully crossed a line and damaged our relationship with them, usually repeatedly. I don't think there is a single thing wrong with taking the time we need to decide how we want to go forward.


If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree
RN- I'm sorry you are feeling sad- but those feelings and thoughts are justified. I like your plan to visit for the day/night with no dogs. Our kids push us to this point where we have to withdraw and make new boundaries for ourselves. It's really the only way we can start to rebuild our life again with-o the drama and constant chaos. It's also required to rebuild the circle of trust between us and them. Stay strong and take it baby steps and one day at a time. Time will tell if he is making some changes and good progress while there. But for today and the next- take care of you first and foremost.



Sorry for the sadness. I enjoy our friendship here. Of course you are justified! Our Difficult Child like to push buttons...and sometimes we react.

It's hard when they don't text...but then again, sometimes glad. You know that soon our son will be home. We are still resentful of the feelings he brings about because his past...He told us we have to write our resentments go...like the 4 th step. Well, I kind of told him what I thought of his step....

Feelings are just that...He needs to see you pulling away....they need to step up to the plate. It's his life. Does he have a goal he's working towards, or is he in the, one day at a time...cant think about future?

His job is sobriety..yours, love and support from afar and take care of you. It's so hard at times for me to care for myself, but last week I splurged on a pedicure with t h fancy toes!

I don't have answers...I envision the overdose...him dealing...all of it, then the resentment starts to build. I was told that when they sober up, they revert to the age of what they started drugs. I have a 15 almost 20yr old.

Today he had no food cause his roommate ate it over the weekend...ongoing problem. Staff says it's a learning experience. I replied that your dad casts Ramon to work...figure it out. They won't starve...they always had a fix..they c an get food.

My heart is with you....hugs

so ready to live

Well-Known Member
RN-a big hug to you tonight.
We don't cross certain lines with our loved ones because we fear/know it will cause damage, maybe irreparable damage. Yet our adult children cross those lines with us...again and again...and WE feel bad because we can't turn a blind eye and cheerfully step back in for more.
No truer words were ever spoken than these.

I remember reading in a book about an older couple who had promised themselves to give no more money to their drug/alcohol addicted son..and then they got a middle of the night call for a loan. Because they were caught off-guard, they fell for the sorry story once again. They quickly told him they would wire the money. Later, when they thought about it, they felt duped and foolish, regretting they'd said yes. Upon explaining this to their therapist, he recommended "don't send it" and when he calls (and he will!) just simply tell him you changed your mind. So, they awaited the phone call, it came, son was furious saying how could they go back on their word? They finally hung up on the verbal abuse. It took a long time for them to feel ok about what they had done, for the first time realizing that it was ok to change their minds and not do what they had said they would. They finally realized that their son had been saying for years that he would do certain things and never did, but that was not the standard he expected of them.
It is a complicated dance, isn't it?
I think milestones like birthdays are so hard because it takes us back to being that boy's mother, when times were so much easier. Being the man's mother is not so great with "knowing what we know". My heart goes out to you today, be sad just a little but hold your ground. Hang tight, you're stronger than you think. We're here. prayers.


Active Member

I'm so sorry you are feeling sad ... It is so so painful when we have a child who struggles with addiction. I know your pain, I feel it many days.

I equate it with waves of the ocean. I heard someone describe grief this way and it makes perfect sense.

It starts out huge waves, they crash onto you and you can't see anything and you can't breathe the pain is so bad, but then the wave breaks and you catch your breath... Then another one comes, and another. Eventually they space further apart, and they get smaller. BUT they still come... And sometimes they are big waves again, and we can't breathe again. We feel like we are drowning...

Take solace in the fact that this wave will break again, and give you some relief. They may never go away, but they do have breaks where you can breathe again, and maybe even feel some joy or happiness... Maybe...

I send you some good vibes today, and pray for your wave to break and give you some time to regroup.

Know that you are cared for and thought of.... Hugs


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Thank you all so much for clearing up my fog.

My husband is so strong. When I got home he said that "he (son) has no say in the matter". We're not bringing the dogs etc. He doesn't know why I get so stressed over what son says. I wish I could be like him. We are in control not him. Some days I just forget that.

We had thought we'd let him come to our condo for a few days over Thanksgiving (yes it's a ways off but I'm stressing over it). I don't feel comfortable having him there anymore after OD and then the drinking and just his attitude in general. There is alcohol in our condo and there is a tiki bar by our pool within walking distance.

We won't be seeing him at Christmas either. He doesn't know it yet. It has not been talked about.

Obviously if he were actively using, neither of these decisions would bother me at all. I guess it's me just wanting to reward him. For what? Being sober and not raising hell at his treatment center? How stupid is that. I don't want to "punish" him either. It just is what it is. Limbo.

Worried Sick I never let my son face consequences either. When I did let him face them, I always felt bad.
SWOT yes one day at a time. My son sometimes called his dad a "giant toddler" jokingly but I think in reality my son is the Giant Toddler in our family!
Albie our relationship is not good right now and hope someday it will be again.
Iron he's been there since March and just treading water from what I can tell.
Mof his goal is to be anyplace but in treatment I think! But I don't think he's doing the work. I haven't talked to his therapist. He said I really don't need to...okay...
So Ready yes I think his birthday and my husband going there is doing a number on me.
Colleen the ocean is a great way to describe the rushes of despair

My husband said that he doesn't get to call the shots. That the dogs will be alive for years (not sure why that is humorous to me). My husband has a strong personality; so does our son. He is going to tell him what's what when he goes there. He is there four days but telling son he's only there two so he can control how long he spends with him. I can TOTALLY understand that. He wants to be able to have a beer (not with son around of course) and relax while he's there too. He wants to have some down time. He is in sales and it's very stressful.

Hugs to all of you.


Well-Known Member
Being sober in a sober house isnt hard or worthy of a reward. Celebrate each year of sobriety if he can maintain it out in the real world. That's the hard part. Right now he is in a sober environment. He has babysitters. Out in the world he will see drugs and be in charge of himself. So far when he saw drugs. he took them. He could not yet turn away. He will be exposed to others who take prescription and street drugs and dont shield them from him. Thats when you know if he has a sober mind or if he isnt there yet. It takes time.

He isnt there yet. Patience. Time will tell if he is determined to stay sober in the face of adversity. Right now just enjoy every day he is safe. Every sober day is time for him to think about which life he enjoys more.



100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Yes that is an important point. When he says he's sober for such and such time, agree - that is mandatory where he is. It's being sober in the real world.

No he isn't there yet. That's obvious.


Well..they call it a " half way house" for a reason...hoping he's half way there....better than not at all working on it.


Well-Known Member
RN, but it could happen at any time. For a year I'd throw a big party. I hope your son does it soon. The weird thing is, you never known when he may decide he's going to do this. My daughter shocked us...we did not see it coming. So Keep the Faith, but live your life.


Well-Known Member

You totally have to listen to your gut and do what is right for you.

This is just my take on detachment. It isn't so much about separating or distancing yourself from him but more about not taking his using, relapsing and recovering personally. None of that is about you or your relationship. That's all about him and his journey to recovery.

So for me it was getting to the point where my Part of the relationship wasn't about his recovery or lack of it. Clearly his part in our relationship is affected by where he is at but that's on him

I hope that makes sense


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Husband left this morning for Florida. He is having the day to himself. Will pick up our son tomorrow morning for 2 days of spending time together and doing some fun activities.

I woke up with a big cold sore. Geesh.

Him going there to see him has really stressed me out. I did not see this coming and I am not sure why. I do hope that they can have some good conversations.

My husband is so impressed with the fact that my son is living so far away alone and went there knowing no one with his anxiety etc. My husband also has horrible anxiety that he has dealt with all his life but without medication. He said he would have found a way to get back home. He felt there was no way he would have been able to do that. Son has never asked to come home thankfully. He is going to tell him about our plans for the holidays with our son (not with our son really).

Thanks for all your support.

so ready to live

Well-Known Member
Hi Rn.
Oh boy does stress=cold sores....proven by you and I.
Here's my take...throw it out if it doesn't make sense. I think it's great for your husband to take a limited amt. of time and visit your son. it seems win-win to me that you can be assured of how he is, without having to endure an encounter yourself. I know for me, I can't take any interaction at this time, too much ptsd, so my husband texts our son to see him every 3-4 wks. for about 15min. Today he will see him, taking him a favorite supper that I made. Hubs stops where son lives on way to book club so he has a definite "I need to go time". I believe our son will know I care and love him and simply understand I can't take it right now. I don't believe he could possibly have any idea how fractured I am after so many yrs of this.
But I really don't want to punish him with my pain, I only want him well again.
RN, it's ok to let your hubs take this on, let him protect you right now. Hopefully down the road we won't need it as we heal. I also think "man to man" is better at this stage-he will help your son to understand in a way we never could. Mother-son is an entwined mess, isn't it? My heart goes out to you today.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
So Ready:

I had hoped it was a pimple even though I'm way past pimple age! LOL

My son just texted looking for another sonic toothbrush charger. Misplaced his. Oh well if we have one I'll have to mail it since his dad left but he thinks he's leaving tomorrow morning.

Thank you for your understanding. Yes mother/son Freudian thing or whatever. Who knows but must be some truth to it all.

I agree just sending a favorite supper is a great show of love/caring. I don't think men understand the torment we, as mothers, endure.

I do better too when I don't invest too much emotionally. I sure look forward to talking it out with my therapist weekly. I so need that right now.


in a daze

Well-Known Member
Being sober in a sober house isnt hard or worthy of a reward. Celebrate each year of sobriety if he can maintain it out in the real world. That's the hard part. Right now he is in a sober environment

I have to respectfully disagree with this. It is certainly easier than being out in the world, but many addicts still relapse even in the strictest sober environment. I know this, as my son was in a very strict halfway facility and has had to call the ambulance on someone who had overdosed; one time one guy was found dead in the bathroom. People would leave or relapse on a regular basis. This is the nature of addiction. It is truly a disease of the brain, as the craving for the substance supersedes anything else. I wonder if there are "stages" of addiction, from most to least, and addicts who relapse in sober homes would be classified as a "10". And maybe there are "stages " of recovery and these people would be be stuck in stage 1. Think of Kubler_Ross's stages of grief and dying.

And remember that many of these places encourage and even require their residents to work, and the least restrictive have very liberal curfews, like 10 30 pm during the week. So they are out in the world for a good portion of the day, exposed to some temptations and triggers.

I'll write more later. My Kindle is out of juice.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
In a Daze;

Yes you do have a point. My son goes to 5 IOP meetings per week but he is free otherwise but does have a curfew. I know he has been spending time at his girlfriend's house as her mother is in the last stage of liver disease and just got out of the hospital. It's just the two of them. He sent my husband a picture last night of a cat laying on a bed and I'm sure it's at her house. I have communicated with him little and don't get involved in his day to day stuff so he is doing that more with his dad, although it's not daily. It is better for me this way.

Of course I worry about this because the pills he overdosed on were from that house. Do they keep them locked up now? I don't know. I don't ask. I don't want to know.

The treatment center he is at has helped him redo his resume but there is so little job history on it that it's not much. He just applies on line although he could work at a restaurant fairly easy I believe, he doesn't want to do that since he got burned by the last one he worked at. We do not agree with this and want him to do that. Hopefully that is something his dad will talk to him about.

I can't control any of it right so why even talk about it. Letting go of so much.