Just an Update...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by in a daze, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    My son is still at the halfway house, almost 6 weeks.

    His counselor says he is doing pretty well, and is cooperative. However, forgets to do chores, leaves pills lying around, and they are working on helping him with strategies to deal with his memory problems. ADD problems. psychiatrist is putting him back on the Adderal.

    He is out at the job rehab place or out and about looking for/applying for jobs every day. I am worried that he won't find one in time. Supposedly they give you thirty days to find a job. He has a bus card and takes the bus or the train everywhere.

    He doesn't want to see us until he gets a job, as we can't take him out until that happens, according to the rules. I don't hear from him unless he needs something. He contacted me twice, once for help with his resume and another time had problems paying for the medication at Walgreens. This lack of contact does bother us.

    I visit the board every day. It helps me to stay strong.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good morning IAD. Well, you've had 6 weeks of relative calm. I am not an expert in halfway houses, but I am aware that often professionals adopt the strategy recommending parents have little to no contact during the crucial initial phases of recovery. There may be some value in it for him to be able to shift his behaviors within the family structure while there is relatively no contact.

    I think what is so revealing with all of us parents doing battle with the forces of our child's illness/addiction/issues, is the remarkable level of OUR WORRY and STRESS, even when we are not directly confronted with anything tangible to worry about. It becomes a normal state of mind, fear. What we often talk about in terms of "waiting for the other shoe to drop." It is relentless and unforgiving and wrecks havoc on our emotional and physical health. We are so used to trying to control their lives to keep them safe from their own bad choices, we're almost always in a state of chaos ourselves. Sigh. We are the casualties of their issues as well.

    IAD, my heartfelt advice and my experience too is to tell you to take this time to focus on YOU. Take what has likely become your unrelenting focus off of your son, and put it on you and your husband and your easy child. It takes effort too, it has become a bad habit. But, you can shift that energy by making different choices whenever you go into the worry place..............become conscious of when you fall into that and make a conscious effort to shift your thinking to something positive, off of him and onto you. Do nurturing things for yourself, do fun things. I know this sounds simple, but it really is a way for you to return to a healthy lifestyle and a more joyful one too. As you learn to focus on yourself, on more positive things, after a while that will become your normal state, instead of worry and fear and anxiety about choices someone else is making that you really have no control over anyway. It's a process of change and takes time and effort on your part, but believe me, it's worth it. One step at a time, one day at a time, until your life is yours again. Sending you hugs............hang in there.............
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds like a pretty good update.

    I ditto RE's advice to focus on YOU right now.

  4. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hi RE and HD,

    You are both right. Need to stop the obsession with him. It's his life, not mine.

    I think I've got stomach issues now. I'm sure the stress is a contributing factor.

    I'll be seeing the therapist in 2 weeks. Need to detach a little more...
  5. IAD - It does sound like your difficult child is doing pretty well where he is. I just want to send you some love and support here. You've already gotten great advice.

    I would guess that the stomach issues are probably stress related. I have had a myriad of symptoms due to stress over the last few months. They are finally starting to abate now that I've made a commitment to pay attention to myself and my health. It has taken quite some time though to get through it. Be patient with yourself and just make a small commitment to do something healthy for yourself every day.

    Hugs to you. Hope you're feeling better.
  6. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Thanks, WE. Thanks everyone!
  7. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Thinking like this has helped me, lately. I am not overtly religious. But, someone said, "Pray for your child, and put her in God's hands." It sounds so simple, so trite. But envisioning that thought, that idea that, somewhere, somehow, there is a plan and this is part of it, helped me make it through that minute; helped me be strong enough to take over the next minute on my own.

    Here is something else: "For this relief much thanks; 'tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart." That's Shakespeare, from Hamlet.

    Sometimes I just feel so miserable that this one helps me. :O) I don't even know why. It does, though.

    For the stomach issues? This works for me better than Prilosec or Zantac or Pepto Bismol. (Though I still need to use the Pepto, sometimes.) Try a caffiene free Diet Coke from the can only. Doesn't work the same from a bottle or a glass. Part of it is the bubbliness, of course. But someone told me once that it is the acid in the Diet Coke itself that does the trick. When I am having trouble with my stomach, I drink one right after dinner. If I still feel it in the morning, I will have one then, too. Right after I get up, even. Don't drink more than two a day, because Diet Coke isn't really very good for us.

    But it works better, for me, on my stomach, than anything I have tried.

  8. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I'll try the diet Coke, Barbara, thanks for the tip!

    My son had a job interview yesterday for a security guard job. They told him they liked his resume and he was offered the job. However, required open availability and possiblity of night shifts, which psychiatrist told him was contraindicated with his bipolar disorder, and also against the rules of the halfway house, and also God knows where they would send him and if he would need his car, which is also frowned upon at halfway house, and would it be even worth the gas money, and...

    Stressing myself out over this. I know, I need to stop it! Seeing my therapist next week. Drinking chamomile tea. Trying to relax.

    Met with his counselor...says he's doing pretty well, participating in group, working the program. He feels the pressure to get a job which is why he wants to take this one. He took two buses and two trains to get to the interview site. I should be pleased. Instead, I'm stressed out! Time to regroup.

    Didn't help that he left his wallet on the train...he did get it back but that just set me off...
  9. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    We want them to succeed, to be okay, so much!

    If you could find some phrase that helps you feel calmer when you think of your son's vulnerability, some imagery (like the one I posted about ~ the one in which I envision praying for difficult child and placing her in God's hands) that helps you over that place where anxiety for your son overrides all other emotion, I think you will be able to find a psychological place to stand, in a daze. Those phrases, that imagery, will be different for each of us. Here's the thing: there comes a time when we need to understand that we are destroying our own health with our thoughts and worries. We need to acknowledge that our sickness is not going to help difficult child, is not going to somehow "pay for" the difficult child's health or success. I spent so many years living on the very edge of depression that it became who I really was. One day? I realized that each of my days had turned into a desperate effort to overcome the shock and really, the horror of my situation, the horror of what had happened to my family, to my fantasies of what was to be, to my belief about who we were, about who I was and what I was entitled to, in my marriage and in my life.

    We, all of us whose children are in a danger we never foresaw, are living our lives by the seats of our pants during the time we are figuring out the rules for these new lives we never, in a million years, thought would be OUR lives. We have to learn to be very strong. We have to learn to choose health, and laughter. We have to learn to choose to save our marriages, to view our partners and our extended families with compassion when they just don't get it. We have to figure out some way to relate to our difficult children without destroying ourselves. This is an impossible thing. No one could do it. But we do. Every one of us who survives this has had to make that choice to survive and even, to thrive, in spite of her lost child, her lost life.

    Or, we have to put all of that behind us and start over, make other lives.

    And that is just what so many of us do, in a daze. We lose our marriages, change our friends, relocate. I kept my marriage (only by the skin of my teeth ~ and that was more husband's doing than mine), but changed everything else. I am getting ready to enlarge my life again so that I can cope with what seems to be a permanently changed situation for difficult child, now.

    Last time this happened to me? I went back to school. Took ballet classes. Took karate classes. Wrote a book. Started working. We bought another house and moved. Then, we moved, again. We have to make our lives bigger, have to make more of ourselves, to survive what has happened to the children we once based our lives on.

    I don't know that we could survive this in any other way, in a daze.

    Have you always secretly wanted to go back to school, take a photography class, hike the Appalachian Trail, see Paris? Now is the time to begin making those plans. You need something to refocus your attention, some way to clear your mind and remember what happy anticipation feels like.

    I'm so sorry this is happening to you, and to your family, in a daze. Posting here helps. Your son completed the treatment phase, and is cooperating with the half-way house and its rules. Those are very good signs that he will come through this successfully. :O)

  10. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I'll read this over and over again...thanks so much Barbara.