It's a stalemate

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by pprguy, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. pprguy

    pprguy New Member

    First time posting. Read a lot here-Wow!
    After all the rehabs and sober living and courts and hospitals he got out of a 2 month program and is home now. He has just shut down. No ambition no desires. He has no car no money no good friends. As long as he is in our house he has very little freedom-for all the reasons I have read here. We will do anything for him except let him use a car or hang with old friends. He is not drinking or using. He can leave at any time and we will not stop him.
    He is done with sober living. He only wants certain jobs. He thinks he can do college-but we are not paying anymore. He thinks military will take him but makes no effort to clean up his past.
    We are done with medications and psychiatrists (he sold his mood pills and suboxone).
    He is alive - should we be grateful for that and keep a roof over his head and feed him? We all picture him under a bridge with a needle in his arm.
    where do we go from here?
  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome,
    Well it sounds like you have your hands full.
    Two things come to mind: 1) Has he been diagnosed with any depression or other mental illness? If so, he needs to be on medications or he just won't be able to pull himself out of this;
    2) He should strongly consider going to AA/NA meetings. It's very hard to re-integrate yourself to a sober life if you lack the skills to do so. He may not stay clean for long otherwise. You and your wife may benefit by going to parents' meetings as well, to get practical advice.

    I'm sorry you and your family are going through this difficult time. It is very frustrating, but you'll find understanding people here, and some very excellent perspectives.
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Welcome... I certainly dont have any answers. I am not sure what I would do in the same situation to tell the truth. In fact it sounds like you are doing all the right things. I think it will be hard to keep track of or control who he is friends wit and sees and I think you might end up having to let that go. I think not letting him use the car is good. I think insisting he stay sober if he lives in your house is good. I suspect in your shoes as long as my son was being reasonable and respectful I would let him live with us and provide the food... although at some point I might insist on him paying something for room and board (mostly to get him to get a job). Its a quandry because you really cant make him get motivated or get a job he does have to find that himself.

    I think finding a good alanon support group for parents would be a good idea... I have found it helps immensely.

  4. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    He's 24? He should be out on his own, period. Childhood is long over. Tell him he has a month to get a job and an apartment, because he'll be out in a month. If you fear that that will put him into a relapse tailspin, think a minute: when will it ever end? He's got to start living an independent, adult life. You can't let fear of his relapse hold you hostage and, really, there's nothing better for him than that you push him out of the nest. His secure perch in the nest is, at 24, part of the problem.
  5. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Really good thoughts already posted here.

    I'll echo that YOU need support. Please find an Al-anon, etc. meeting. They say try different ones until you find the best fit.

    Al-anon has many phone meetings. Google al-anon phone. It isn't a full substitute but they help me so much between face to face meetings.

    I have all of those plus an amazing sponsor, this board, a therapist, a pile of Al-anon books and many supportive friends. And I still struggle. YOU deserve and need the help. He has a better chance if you do this.

    If I sound forceful it is because I likely truthfully wouldn't be here without all of the above.

    Keep posting!!!
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest


    I agree with you in principal.... however in practice it is not so simple. First of all he is 24 in years but chances are he is no where near that in maturity. If he was a heroin addict then he lost some of his maturity time during his drug using years. Also in practice there is no guarantee that kicking him out of the next would make him fly... .that of course is always the hope. I think in this type of case as long as he is sober, respectful of his parents that nudging him out of the nest may be a better approach so yeah at some point start charging him rent.

    My son at age 21 is out of the nest, he is on his own, we are not giving him any money. And he is using drugs, and is homeless hitchhiking from place to place around the country! I dont believe he is doing any responsible job but has learned less savory ways to get money (ie panhandling). I am hoping that he his finding his way and learning some good lessons by being on his own but kicking them out is no guarantee that they will just straighten themselves out!

    In this case getting clean from heroin is a huge good first step that should not be ignored.

  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with TL. We have kicked our difficult child out several times and it did not lead to a sudden recovery just because she had to make it on her own. I wish it was that easy. Factors like mental illness may get in the way of their being able to be self-sufficient. Also, with the current state of the economy, it might not be so easy to find a job that will provide enough income for him to be on his own.

    You do have to do something different to shake up his world and it may come down to kicking him out. My advice is to set a realistic deadline of getting a job and start paying rent. You could put it away in a savings account and give it to him at some point when he is ready to move out so he can pay first month's rent and get utilities turned on. I wouldn't tell him that, though.

    If he does not get a job or refuses to pay rent, then you need to be ready to kick him out. Just a word of warning, though. Depending on what state you live in, you may have to go through an eviction process even if he is not paying rent. We found that out the hard way.

    Welcome to the CD community and keep posting! We are hear to listen and support you in whatever decision you make. We all have different experiences and opinions so take what you think is helpful and ignore the rest.

  8. pprguy

    pprguy New Member

    What a great forum-thank you so much for responses. Been away as a family over thanksgiving.
    It's still a stalemate but his head is clear and no hint of abuse. Only one response encouraged us to kick him out and in reading seems that post is the only one that has no difficult child-not real close maybe to real issues.
    He has lived on his own several times. Driving 5 hours to meet him in the emergency room where he has to recover a week in the hospital sure keeps a parent from giving him the boot real quick. We have participated with him in his search for recovery. We believe recovery is possible Just some notes.

    -AA and alanon for us are great programs. He has tried sponsors-he needs a sponsor-just not serious enough about his recovery. right now he is sporadically attending Celebrate Recovery-with us providing transportation and attending.
    -His last rehab took him off all medications-for 4 weeks home the most he has had is advil. The severe depression needs to be treated somehow-no more psychiatrists though. We may try a family doctor. Any medication will be in our control and we will watch him swallow it?
    -The advice of him getting a job and paying rent or just giving us his paycheck as long as he is living here is the great-just got to get him out the door to a job. When he is capable of staying sober all money is his!
    -His last rehab went real well and he could return to work for them basically for room and board. He dreams real big and wants desperately to accomplish something-but can't put it into action.
    Sorry to ramble.
    Again thanks for anyone who reads this-and God bless you with your challenges.

    -AA (and alanon for us)-he has done 100 days 100 meetings while in sober living and required to attend. Never had a long term sponsor-has tried but they required things of him he "could not do".-He needs AA or Celebrate Recovery but he will not have transportation in a vehicle with our name on it.
    He needs a sponsor-when he will listen to his sponsor he may be ready.
    -There is no doubt he is severely depressed and we may look at some medication-right now he is on none-the last rehab took him off everything-everything! For 4 weeks he has had nothing stronger than Advil.

  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He's been through a lot. You are filled with hope and promise for him now and that is good. I'm sure that you have thought about the "what ifs" because this isn't his first time released from rehab so I trust you have a Plan B in order. We allowed our difficult child to come back home to live also after her rehab and would have allowed her to stay if she stayed in the program but unfortunately she relapsed and has decided she does not have an alcohol or drug problem. I would never kick my difficult child out if he/she was in recovery and moving forward.

    Good luck to your difficult child in his journey to sobriety.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you all are working together as a family unit and that is a powerful incentive for him. I'm not on the "kick him out" team. Really, in my humble opinion, it makes sense for him to be depressed. Up until five years ago he was on the path to achieving the same level as his peer group. He veered off the road and they are five years ahead of him. That is not easy to accept. Our difficult child is 25 and although he has Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) due to an alcohol/drug caused fall requiring brain surgery he is very very aware that his old friends are college graduates, have careers and many have successful wives and happy lives. He, on the other hand, can't catch up. Your son has musical talent that has likely is stagnant, an education that is years behind and most importantly has to live with the fact that he is the one that caused his life to go downhill.

    I will hope and pray that he is able to find one starting glimmer of hope for adjusting his life course. He is lucky to have you all "covering his back" and rooting him on. Hugs DDD
  11. pprguy

    pprguy New Member

    DDD is so right. He is watching friends go on to happy lives, college degrees and marriages. It would be depressing for wife or me but wife and me neither are addicts and would cope. Addicts look for reasons to use and will not or cannot cope. I asked him if he sees himself in a career with a family and a house and he says it is not for him-needs more excitement-has dreams (many of them and not always realistic) but cannot take actions to make anything happen.
    He has always had a terrible time making a decision from minor things like what to wear what to order off a menu to now where to go with his life.
    His indecision is now paralysis. Even tho thru rehap and AA we know we cannot control him for now he is resigned to our rules. When he rebels he will be out and I am sure using again.
    It is one day at a time-we will see what tomorrow brings.
  12. Between2trees

    Between2trees New Member

    I feel your pain. There is not an easy answer. December 2011 our difficult child was arrested for drunk driving. We declined to bail him out - his friends who needed him out because he was their supplier posted bond. We did not let him back in our home. An ex- girlfriend gave him the key to her parents house while they were away for Christmas - he decided to have a party - the cops were called - he was charged with larceny from a building cuz he drank a fifth of her Dads booze. All this to say that my husband couldn't take having him on the streets so he is back home , still using, still stealing from us and in even more legal trouble. The only bright spot in all this is that he started University this fall and is actually doing well. I am holding my breath for 3 more weeks - once the semester is finished we are insisting on rehab - it may need to be court ordered. If not he is going to have to leave as I am sick of being held hostage in my own home. Someone mentioned being happy for Monday morning so they could go to work - Amen! I started back full time last April to get away from the madness for a few hours!
    I hate the thought of my son being out on the streets but I don't know what else is going to get his attention and he refuses to respect our rules and wishes.