"It was/wasn't meant to be"


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I fully believe that things are meant to be or not be as they happen...to an extent. Mainly if things beyond our control cause or prevent things from happening in our lives. For instance, back in December or January a year ago I had planned a trip to NYC for my birthday in September. Then COVID happened and even if the pandemic had been over before September, my husband was out of work for six weeks and I had to use my "travel money" to pay the rent and bills until his store reopened. That trip to NYC was clearly not meant to be.

My son got kicked out of detox after a couple of days (won't tell me why) - and says "It was meant to happen that way."
A few days later he was able to get into rehab but discharged himself two or three days later because, among other things, his employer terminated him for reasons unknown (but I'm guessing his performance and attendance) and his insurance was canceled. - So his job "wasn't meant to be."

BULL. If I get drunk and drive a car 100 MPS and kill someone, none of that was "meant to be." Getting drunk was my decision, speeding was my decision, and the death of the other person was a direct result of my poor decisions. He is using "it's meant to be/not meant to be" as a way to play the victim and avoid any accountability in my humble opinion. Maybe he really believes that everything he does and everything that happens to him is either meant to be or not. And when I try to explain to him that we have a certain amount of control over what happens and what doesn't, he gets argumentative and belligerent.

His partner seems like a really good guy and I'm grateful that at least for now my son has somewhere to stay and someone who genuinely cares for him. But I'm wondering how long the partner can deal with my son's rabbit hole and roller coaster existence. I certainly couldn't live with that again and if a mother can't deal with it I don't know too many others that could.

This is why whenever he does something that might have a lasting positive impact (sobriety, school, a good job) I can't allow myself to get hopeful that he's turned the bend, because the good and positive inevitably gives way to the bad and negative after just a few months...and this time is apparently no exception. And I hate the fact it looks like this weeks or months of stability followed by months or years of instability will be the pattern of his life for the rest of his life.


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Twelve step programs have a high failure rate. I think DBT therapy and cognitive behavior therapy work better.
He gave up the 12 step program a while ago for that very reason but found a couple of other recovery groups, one involving yoga, and was doing really well with it but they were day meetings and he had to stop when he got his job. Maybe his being unemployed will give him a chance to get back into that until he finds another job.


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What I hear you talking about is intention. Our intentions can't always carry the day, because other factors intrude. But your son seems to have an intention which is to use drugs and to otherwise forfeit responsibility for his life. 12 step groups are not a cure-all, but when somebody wants to face themselves and the reality of their life, actually the reality of life itself, they do work. But it's only because the person, the addict is willing to put in the work. Your son has not chosen to do this in a sustained way.In this you are in the same boat as many of the rest of us, myself included.

One adult can't force an intention on another adult. That is our learning. As long as a loved one is in this place and values the substance more than he does any other thing, it's kind of the over-arching reality. We can battle this and battle this. And this indeed is our own addiction. Living life on terms set by an addict, and not choosing to see and accept this in a sustained way.


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I am so sorry for your heartache and worry Laura H. The situation you described sounds a lot like the one I live. I can't get too happy when things are better or too sad when things go off the rails. The highs and lows with someone with a mental disorder are very hard to live with. Your son's partner may care enough for your son to work with his problems. My daughter had several great guys that have told me that they were willing to work with my daughters problems. One of her boyfriends studied all he could on bipolar so he could be a better partner to her. I just hope this good guy that your son is with can be patient and helpful to him.

My daughter also says things like it was not meant to happen. She uses it to her advantage.