Overwhelming Sadness

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Sherydoc3, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Onebreathatatime

    Onebreathatatime New Member

    It is now day 1 of living with my son's decision to leave our house instead of getting help. Any suggestions on how to deal with the sadness that I'm feeling. Intellectually I know that we did the right thing for him and us, but it does not feel like that to me now. I can't be questioning our decision!
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  2. Onebreathatatime

    Onebreathatatime New Member

    Any one have success stories that I can hear? I think that it would help me with the decision that has been made.
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Sherydoc and welcome. I am so sorry for your troubles with your son. It is hard to watch the shipwreck of our d cs choices, the drama and chaos it brings to our homes, the time and love we have vested in trying to get them on the straight and narrow. It is a natural reaction to be sad. I think it is important to honor your feelings, to work through them. It is akin to grieving, only our d cs are still on this earth, making horrendous choices.
    Try not to write the end of the story, because we truly have no way of knowing how things will play out. One thing I do know, is that it is intolerable to live with an addicted, using adult child. Nothing changes, if nothing changes, and when we have tried just about everything to get our adult d cs to see the light, there is not much else we can do. I have learned through the years that housing my two does not make a difference in their choices, it just makes it easier for them to continue drugging, and brings misery and chaos to my home.
    When I am overcome with sadness, I pray. I post here as well, it is cathartic to write things down and have understanding folks reply with their own experience and wisdom. It also helps me to realize how impossible it is to have my two live with me as long as they are using.
    I also firmly believe that where there is life, there is hope. I continue to hope and pray that my two realize their true potential.
    I have taken up a routine of walking. It helps to move and think through things. Journaling helps, finding time to meditate, reading and building my toolbox to strengthen myself against the waves of sadness that come and go.
    Please know that you didn't cause this, can't cure or fix it and definitely can't control it.
    Our d c's have grown up and will do as they do.
    What you and your husband have done, in giving him a choice to straighten up or continue as is and leave, is really the best thing you could have done. It doesn't feel right at the moment, but it is.
    When we house a using adult child, we are just making it easier for them to continue to use drugs, and use us. Disrespect for rules in our homes is unacceptable.
    You matter. Your relationship with your husband and the sanctity of your home matters.
    Be very kind to yourself. This is trying on our souls. If you have faith in a higher power, lean on that.
    The article linked below is very good to read.
    Please know that your decision is not the end of the world for your son. It is a way for him to understand and live the consequences of his choices. We can't shield our loved ones from this, they have got to find out for themselves.
    Many of us have found that attending groups like Al Anon, or seeking counseling or therapy has helped. A face to face with an understanding person helps.
    You are going to be okay SD. Take things one day at a time. Find time to breathe.
    You are not alone.
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  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    It depends on how you measure success. If you mean that having our d cs leave our homes and they struggle a bit then turn things around, yes there are folks who have experienced this. In my case, my two are still out there, at 29 and 38.
    Years of housing them through a “revolving door” did nothing to change them, or the choices they made, and we were caught up in what I call the swirly whirly, all the drama, depression and emotional upset that comes along with despairing over their lifestyle. It was a sychronistic mad dance, like moths to the flame. They didn’t change, in fact things got progressively worse for them and for us. Housing them and “helping” them didn’t help at all. Something had to change, and it wasn’t going to be them, I eventually learned I had no control over their choices. The only control I had was over myself and my reaction.
    So I had to learn to change and shift my mindset.
    Not easy to do for us Moms after spending years focused on raising our kids, self sacrificing time and energy to get them to be self sustainable, independent adults.
    The thing is, our kids will grow up and do what they want to do. Regardless of how we raised them and what our wishes for them are. Life is short and I realize I wasted a lot of my time on earth holding my breath, despairing and basing my happiness on what my grown kids choices were.
    I measure success in finding ways towards self care no matter what my adult kids are doing. Oh sure, I have my down days, but, I have a newfound outlook and desire to live the best rest of my life.
    I am grateful for the time I spent raising my children, but do understand that they are all unique individuals and will make choices and have to deal with the consequences of their decisions. It is called life, I can’t control what they do, nor do I want to.
    They have to learn and want the best for themselves.
    After dealing with this for so long, my thinking is that as parents of older children, we do best by leading by example.
    Modeling self care, and being kind to ourselves, expecting respect and giving respect towards others.
    I think that is success, SD, finding ways to crawl up and out of the rabbit hole of our d cs choices, learning ways to prevent going down alongside of them, setting boundaries and abiding by them.
    We are not rugs to be tread upon. Nor do we do our d cs any good by stressing and worrying over them. Come to find out, a lot of times I was so desperately worried for my two, it was just another Tuesday for them.
    Choosing to live well is not rejecting or not loving our adult children. It is not selfish, it is self care, something we wish the kids would do. We reject their choice of using drugs, and using us. We reject suffering the consequences they reap. We stand up for ourselves and say “no, this will not happen in my home.”
    This you have done. As hard and sad as it feels now, really, you have opened the door of opportunity for your son to understand completely the choices he is making.
    He will not learn in the comfort of your home.
    Success on your end is learning to take your life back and find your own peace and joy.
    This happens one small step at a time.
    Please know that you are not alone.
    Folks here will circle the wagons of understanding around you.
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  5. Onebreathatatime

    Onebreathatatime New Member

    OMG! I am crying while reading your post. Thank you! You have helped me understand (a little bit). I think I have an awfully long way to go!
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  6. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

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  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Go to the Parent Emeritus forum and watch the video on the post titled FB video . It is an addict in recovery sharing some powerful thoughts.
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  8. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Wise as the Owl Leafy!
  9. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I watch this daily at the current time.
  10. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Follow my thread. I have put my 18 YO son out had him arrested 3 times and the last time was when he was over 18.

    On the best of days this doesn’t feel good. I have learned to embrace the knowledge that I do not want to help my son to death. If he takes a turn for the worst and comes to his own demise a true tragedy would be acted out. However, if this were to happen in my home,under my roof with my support, I do not think I would survive.
    Love says no, love steps out of the way. Love is what we need to embrace. Loving is sometime the absolute hardest thing we will ever do.

    You are in very good company.

    Is my story as success? I am not sure how to answer that. My son is in a bit of a hot box (baseball fans will get that). If he doesn’t go to rehab he will face 4 years in prison.

    Will he benefit from this? I don’t know what the outcome will be. I do know that I will feel that I did and tried everything in my power to help my son. If he choses not to embrace this opportunity, I will love him,say NO MORE!,and step out of his way.

    I will only have the courage and strength to do this with my forum supporters in tow.

    I have been like a sponge gleaning wisdom along with acceptance and understand from this forum.

    So in my eyes comparing me from a year ago to know I am a HUGE success. Weather my son will be or not is his choice. I have provided him with the knowledge and tools to succeed, the rest is up to him. It is his sorry to write and mine to observe and feel compassion, joy and disappointment over all while embracing those feelings As my own.

    Find away to reconcile your emotions with the actions you know are the only ones that will have any positive impact on your child/adult child.

    You are not only not alone, tour in damn fine company.

    A very big hug to you.
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  11. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Sherydoc, I get it. I don't' know if we have done the right thing either. My son has been out for 2 weeks now. His lack of respect and pot smoking became more than we were willing to bear. I felt myself getting very lost in his bad choices and finally said he had to move out. It has been gut wrenching to say the least. And he has a place to stay so I am very aware it could be so much worse. I have no idea what is going on other than he has reached out to us a few times, telling us that he is not sleeping, is very sad, can't eat, and is sorry for all the pain he has put us through. He indicates he wants to change but insists on figuring it out himself. I am able to see his bank account and it does not seem like he is spending any money on weed. And that would explain things. Whenever, he comes out from the weed fog he gets like this. His boss even reached out to me, telling me he was very concerned about son's mental health and needs medication. That he has been skipping work, saying he is too depressed to come in. I am sick with worry, wondering if we are doing the right thing. One the one hand, it seems being on his own has forced him to feel his feelings and look at the mess he has created. Yet, he is not well. I am going to find him tonight and try to get him to see a doctor. Not that we haven't been down this road a million times. But what else can I do.

    On a positive note, I will say that when he was home living the cush life, he was not facing a thing. If he felt difficult emotions or something he didn't like, he would just get stoned. I continally am reminded that "nothing changes, if nothing changes. "
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    My son's problems...well drugs were a part, but maybe not the main part. He loved, and likely still does, love the herb. He mentioned once, in a rage, "getting over a serious drug problem all by himself"...I don't know what he meant. I didn't ask. Frankly, I don't want to know.

    BUT, he is, at this point, in a place that I didn't really expect to see. We put our son out at 18 or 19, I can't even remember which. He was stealing from us and lying to us and smoking weed and we just wouldn't have it. We helped him get in a shelter and he was there for a few months, until he got a night job and then we helped him get a cheap, cockroach-infested apartment. We ended up paying for that ourselves and he let the power get shut off, etc. Fool me once - no more rent for him. He then couch surfed for a bit, would find a job and then quit. He drifted. Was going to do job corps, didn't go. Was caught shoplifting. Did community service and likely would have had some jail if I wasn't a lawyer. He left town and stayed with relatives and with a girl for a bit. Brought her back to town and had an apartment...we did help a bit with the deposit. She left and he had a fire and was homeless again. We finally let him come home for a while, with the stipulation he work and give US $100 of each paycheck to go toward a new place. In the end, after much drama concerning his useless friends, he took off to Colorado to be homeless where pot was legal. We paid for his train ticket so he could keep the almost $600 he had to live on. It was gone the first weekend.

    Gosh, that sounds bad. BUT, there he found a nice girl and yes, mooched off her for a while, but has now had a job and been working. Lived with her and her parent's a while and just got a very nice apartment which he'll move into a month before his 23rd birthday. He seems to be making (mostly) mature choices and he's done things I never thought I'd see. Sending me a Christmas card. Texting me just to say hi.

    Does my stomach still lurch when the phone rings? Yes. Do I still wait for the day he falls on his face? Yes. But things have gotten better and it really started to do so when he moved FAR away from us and even MORE when his driver's license expired (just under a year ago) and I couldn't send him any money because he had no ID. He HAD to take care of himself. It helped.

    Sometimes, breaking the parent/child dynamic is not only best, it's mandatory. Nothing changes until you force it to change.
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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018