She is still drinking

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Kathy813, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child didn't have to work today and we came home from school to find her in bed. She always passes it off to being depressed but this time I used the breathalyzer on her.

    She blew a 0.13. I found a large beer can hidden under a bush outside. She, of course, is denying it. So we had her blow again and got the same results. Then husband used it and blew a 0.00. So evidently the breathalzyer only doesn't work when she is using it.

    Yeah, right.

    Until she stops drinking the DBT won't help her. The therapist told her that it was therapy interfering behavior. All of this time that we thought she was sleeping so much because she was depressed was probably because she had been drinking. I feel so stupid for not putting it together before now.

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Oh, Kathy... :hugs:

    Do NOT feel stupid, hon. You have been doing your best... It is time for her to step up and do her best. And yeah, the DBT won't help... She really has to want to change. No matter what you do, it is on her now.

    More :hugs:
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hugs you know. Just more inforation....i know my difficult child keeps thinking that he is notreally an addict if itnis only alcohol!
  4. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I felt stupid too when my difficult child was conning me about being homeless. We are too close to the problem, we want the best for them.

    You are not stupid, you love your child.
    (((huggs and blessings for us all)
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Oh Kathy, I'm sorry. Don't feel stupid...she's probably ashamed and disgusted with herself.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    been there done that, my dear friend. I'm sorry. Hugs DDD
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Just an outsider looking in, I'm wondering if she really is depressed and that's why she's drinking. Although I do see that staying in bed drinking makes depression worse and will undermine any efforts for therapy. I'm just wondering if she can't get past self-medicating long enough for anything else to work. I don't know an answer and I feel for you- I can't imagine the frustration because mine has been down different avenues with E. I'll offer support and hugs though and hope she can find motivation to do better and quit draining you.
  8. Signorina

    Signorina Guest


    So sorry Kathy
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kathy, you aren't stupid at all, you want to believe her, which is a natural way for you to react............ and she is in the throes of alcohol, Borderline (BPD) and bi-polar, a combination which alters her brain so that she makes decisions and lives her life from an entirely different point of view. One which you, me and most of us, don't share or understand. Even though her behavior hurts and disappoints you, I don't think it's at all directed at you or anyone, I think, in many ways it's the best she can do with what she's got. Relapses are part of recovery, I've heard that a hundred times in the program I'm in, AND, each relapse goes down with more and more recovery, even if it doesn't look like it to us. She managed to not go to Colorado and keep her job and continue with her therapy, all positive signs along the way. But, I know from talking to my sister and daughter, that the alcohol/substance can soothe all the internal demons they live with, make it easier for them to accept themselves, especially under circumstances where there is loss involved, as in the ex boyfriend. I'm not saying that is a good choice, I'm just observing that it is a common choice to relieve the anxiety, the fear, the lack, the turmoil or the sadness. Their path is not a linear one which is headed in an upward motion, it has a lot of detours for them, which makes their recovery so much harder on them and on you.

    I am not condoning any of this, I'm just trying to offer a different perspective, one which I've gleaned from listening to my family over a lot of years so that I could recognize that mental illness and personality disorders make just simply living life an ordeal, sometimes a nightmare, which we can't know because we're not living in those shoes. But we are dragged through their world over and over again so our hearts are worn out and tired of the insanity of it. I get that, I really do, I've lived in this zone all my life. Your difficult child is just who she is, perhaps doing the best she can, maybe not what you would like to see, I understand, but she's the one with all the challenges she has to face and overcome and as we all know, they self medicate. And, we're the ones who pick up the pieces when they fall, which they are inclined to do. over and over again.

    I have a very soft spot in my heart for your daughter, there is something about her in your posts that touches me and makes me feel that she really, really wants to be the person you want her to be, and often she fails, but it isn't for lack of trying, it's for all the internal barriers inside her which keep her stuck in her own world. I think where some of these kids live is a kind of hell which we really can't imagine, and yours has been doing a pretty good job of staying on the straight and narrow. And she fell. And, then you live in your own hell. I am sorry, I do know how hard it is to watch them fall. But, I still have hope for your difficult child, I really do.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks, RE, I think that you are right about the demons and self-medicating. I emailed her DBT therapist and this was her reply:

    So I am left asking . . . what do husband and I do?
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The therapist gave you a really good answer,she has a plan for your difficult child. Now you and your husband have to have a plan. I don't know, perhaps what needs to be done first is for you and your husband to take a time out. That is what I learned in a parenting class I recently took, they told us, all timeouts are parent timeouts. I thought that was funny. However, maybe a weekend away, or a day at the beach or a leisurely dinner where you have no interruptions and you are not in your usual place. When relaxed ask yourselves what do you want, and what are you willing to do WITHOUT resentments. Open all the doors of your mind and think in terms of possibilities, not realities. Just kind of a playful exercise to elicit new ideas to surface. It can be a fun exercise. Just throw things out there no matter how outlandish, with what you REALLY want and desire for your difficult child and for you. It's using your imagination to produce alternative options in a lighthearted way. And, you get time to spend with your husband. I learned this from reading about Einstein and how when he got stuck he would take a nap or do something completely different to open his mind for new ideas. It works.

    In the other real world, on a more practical note, you might try writing a list of pros and cons for the options you have thought of. And decide what you really are willing to do without resentment. That part is the key, the without resentments. I think when we deal with people with mental issues, we really have to make it up as we go along, there isn't a book which gives you the answers, we have to create them ourselves. I went down a lot of roads with my family members and each incident, although difficult, offered new insights and information which then prepared me for the next step.

    Do you want to allow her to continue living with you? If so under what guidelines and rules? If not, what are the options you can live with? The therapist gave you a good lead in with, what can't you tolerate? What don't you like? What don't you want" The therapist is going to help difficult child learn to live with the choices you and others make, so it seems it's really time to make choices, figure out what it is exactly you can live with and what you can't. What can you accept? What is unacceptable? It's a process, there isn't a right way or a wrong way, I think you just follow the various clues in front of you and at some point, you arrive at a place which feels right and comfortable. Sometimes things just blow up because it's time for the next step. Seems like that just happened for all of you. (((HUGS))) I know how you feel, I do. Hang in there, it'll all reveal itself to you...........
  12. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    See what your daughter decides. If you truly are her best friend and she wants to salvage the relationship, she'll choose wisely. You have a right to boundaries and you have a right to a healthy relationship with everyone...even family. Sounds like she's got a very good therapist. Many supportive, heartfelt hugs to you. (Sigh...)
  13. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    Kathy, been there done that, as you know. My difficult child used to sleep all the time, and we also thought it was depression. In part it was, but it was chased down with beer and eventually straight vodka. Our difficult child's coping mechanism is non-existent, and that seems to be their tried and true method. Unfortunately, the alcohol makes them more depressed.

    We forced our son into treatment a few times when he was under 18, but as we all know, until they are ready, the treatment doesn't really work or last. My son's lightbulb moment finally came after a drinking weekend and he woke up after having blacked out and reached for the vodka bottle first thing in the morning, as he was shaking and needed another drink. He said that was his "moment". I don't know how it was so different, but I thank God that it was. He's now been completely sober for 2-1/2 years.

    Sending you strength and hugs. The addiction and recovery road is a forever thing, unfortunately. My heart goes out to you, as I know how hard it is to want your child (and yes, they will always be a child to us) to want to get better and to start doing the right things.

  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It sounds like difficult child is in good hands with her therapist and I like what she had to say. Perhaps there is nothing you can do right now and let the therapist work with her. I know from my experience I am not good at waiting and placing the outcome in someone elses's hands but this therapist feels as though the assignments she is giving her will be helpful. I think you have to assume right now that she is drinking and forget proving that she is by giving her the breathalizer. She isn;t going to give up drinking until she has enough of the program behind her to have the skills to do that.

  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's the problem . . . do we let her stay in our house while she continues to work and go to therapy knowing that she is drinking? I know that is enabling her.

    The other option is making her leave but I think she will truly fall apart and lose her job (and the only chance to get her hair license back and be able to support herself) and stop going to therapy. On the other hand, will she truly benefit from therapy if she is drinking heavily?

    Is there an alternate? I am so torn. I am open for all suggestions.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't know Kathy, when dealing with these kids who underneath substance abuse have real mental issues, the clear path doesn't exist, which is why it makes it so hard on us. I am not you with all the heartache that entails, however, my first thought is not to ask her to leave just yet. If there is no other place for her to go right now, then, as you said, the likelihood is that she would lose her job and lose the ground she has gained thus far. Having said that, the drinking is a problem. Is there a way you and difficult child and the therapist can brain storm options for the present moment? For all of you to discuss what you can and cannot tolerate and see if there is a solution that all of you can come up with and live with. Sometimes a third uninvested party can think outside the boundaries you and difficult child live within. The therapist sounds like a good one, and if all the cards are on the table in front of difficult child, the therapist, you and husband, perhaps some new option will come to light. I don't know, it's a tough call, but I think that's where I would go first. I'm praying for you Kathy, sending you gentle hugs and good thoughts..............
  17. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    Kathy, I so understand how torn you are. With us and our difficult child, we always told him we'd be here to help ... but only if he was doing the right things. When we allowed him to move back in here after his relationship with his son's mother came apart, he wasn't drinking. Unbeknownst to us, it started again. He never smelled like booze, but all of a sudden, I kept saying to husband and my easy child that I thought he seemed drunk. Neither of them thought so, so at first, I kept thinking I was imagining things. Not. He was drinking, and quite heavily. When we realized he was, he briefly moved in with a friend because I told him I could not and would not live through it all again (PTSD from his drugging days). It didn't last but a few weeks when he called me on a Monday morning after a really brutal weekend of heavy drinking and asked me if I would pick him up, go to his work to tell them he was heading to the hospital for help, and that's where we went. He was hospitalized for two week - first detox unit and then psychiatric unit.

    If your daughter is trying and working with a therapist and still holding down a job, then my suggestion is to try to work with her, but as mentioned above, there have to be ground rules. If she stops trying to get better and refuses the therapy and won't attend any meetings, then letting her remain in your house is only going to get volitile.

    Hugs. It's definitely a fine line we walk when trying to help our children get the help they need, but not wanting to enable them or else we know in our heart of hearts that it will only go downhill and never end.

  18. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Would difficult child be willing to go to AA just once a week as a condition of you all continuing to house her?

    I think she would see herself there. And if she would listen...she would learn alot about letting go and letting G-d. She would learn alot about taking responsibility for her own life and it's choices/consequences.

    I hope the therapist is able to continue her work with difficult child. She really sounds great!

  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Deb, you reminded me that there were many times I thought difficult child was drunk by the way she was acting but noone else did. She didn't smell like she had alcohol on her breath and didn't stumble or have glassy eyes, but I just knew by how she was acting. I don't know how they are able to hide it so well but they are. Looking back on it I think she was drinking heavily long before we realized it.

  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thinking of you Kathy, sending good thoughts and hugs, hoping today is a better day.................