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She says she's ready ...so how do I help?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Elsi, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Thank you, RN. I will. But enjoy your thanksgiving first. You can tell me after the craziness.

    Oh, Copa, J’s story Is so sad. It does sound like there is a deep trauma there he has not fully disclosed to you. I hope and pray he will find peace again!
  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member


    Thank you all for your words, prayers and wisdom. I know I will need more of them in coming days. But today was a good day!

    I saw both S and C today. I took S shopping for groceries and personal care items. Then we picked up C from his new job and had an early dinner at a place that does fancy (and huge) grilled cheese sandwiches. They’ll each have a meal left over. They both say they are coming to our family thanksgiving Friday, but if one or both of them don’t make it I feel content that we had this time today.

    And between the two of them I have much to be thankful for today:
    • C is TEN DAYS clean today, and says he is feeling too good to want to drink right now. He looked so much better than when I saw him on his birthday. He said he felt awful the first few days and I saw still having trouble with sleep but thinks he is through the worst of it.
    • C started working as a line cook at a non-bar restaurant. And is starting a second job this weekend at a sandwich shop. He wants to works at places without alcohol and work as many hours as possible to save some money and fill the time he’s normally drinking.
    • He found a friend who has agreed to let him stay for at least the next 2-3 months while he saves money and gets on his feet.
    • S FILLED OUT HER MEDICAID ENROLLMENT! I’ve been working on this one for at least five years. Hallelujah.
    • She also called one of the rehab centers and asked for an intake appointment! They said someone usually gets back within 24 hours, but with the holiday it may take longer. She said she is afraid to try to quit cold turkey but is trying to keep her substance use to a minimum while she waits for her appointment.
    I know they are both likely to have more setbacks and relapses. They are both still in fragile, precarious positions. But they are taking steps. If S follows through on detox and C holds his course, it will be the first time they’ve both been sober together for more than a decade.

    I’m still worried about them, especially S. The ‘safe’ place she is staying has no heat, no functioning shower, and boarded up windows. There was a burned out car with no tires out front that looked like it had been sitting there a long time. I’m not entirely sure whether the people she is staying with are or swatting. I got her a day pass for the ymca gym so she could shower with her new soap and shampoo.

    But...we’ve made big steps. Really big steps. And we had a good time together! They were kind to me and to each other. We talked about music and we laughed together. I don’t even remember what about. I can’t remember the last time I sat and laughed with both of them together. My heart is full tonight.
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh Wow, Elsi. I am so happy for you. And for them. You must have had to pinch yourself. I am so grateful for you. What a miracle. I love every single word of your post so much I am going to read it again.

    Who picked grilled cheese?
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    C! :D It’s really fancy gourmet grilled cheese though.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I read your post again. I cannot believe it. I cannot believe S called the rehab option. I just can't believe it. That is so big. And the Medicaid. And that both have a place to stay. And that C is both looking for a second job and seeking jobs without alcohol. It is really, really difficult to grasp--that they have grasped these things. If my son were to do one of these things I would be majorly thrilled.

    Does it not feel affirming of how you have been handling this all, your choices?

    Happy Thanksgiving Elsi.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    What do they call this? An oxymoron? When the two terms are incompatible. Like really fancy...and grilled cheese.

    I mean. I like grilled cheese but...

    Actually one of my favorite sandwiches in life is a Croque Monsieur which is....grilled cheese.

    Happy Thanksgiving Elsi.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I just found a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant. I'm sold. I want a Monte Cristo. I found another one: Chicken and Waffle grilled cheese. That sounds delicious.
  8. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    C had a chicken and waffle! I had one with mushrooms and carmelized onions. S went all out with the thanksgiving special which had turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing and looked like it would feed her for a week. These things are HUGE!

    I think my favorite part of today was just that they were both being so kind. No one was grumpy or snappy. I witnessed S help an older woman in a wheelchair at the grocery store and wait patiently behind a man with a walker, which made me feel good. I put my back out last weekend picking up a cat and am still pretty sore, And C helped me in and out of my car and offered me his arm when we walked to the restaurant. And they were kind to each other. These two are often at each other’s throats. Seeing them laugh together and connect like that was magical for me.

  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The best.
  10. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Stop..you made me cry. That poor little soul. Why didn't that teacher talk to you about this... oh I know why because the state I live in is that way. they want as little early intervention as possible in school because it costs them money.

    Don't push her but we can pray for her. I am a believer that prayers are heard. But she will be amazed at how much stronger she finds herself when she has something to believe in.

    Don't sweat that. My oldest has sever spastic quadriplegia and they fought me tooth and nail about services and you can physically see his disabilities. You love and loved her that is important. We can't know what services to fight for when we are not told what services are available. Now a days they parents can find out about services through the internet 20 years ago that was no the case. 20 years ago the services were hidden by the establishment. You can't go by todays knowledge base, it didn't exist then.

    You may need to seek an attorney to go after the school records and the SSI system. Or perhaps if you can get her to come around and get her into a program now for a diagnosis along with past records you may be able to get her services.

    I firmly believe in that. Where I grew-up and lived until my early 40's we belonged to a church and had a church family. When we relocated (close to 20 years ago) I was never able to find us a church that we felt good about I tried our denomination (Methodist) as well as others and just never felt the connection, Here they felt more about money than love and acceptance. I still pray, and from time to time I read or listen to the bible. I still can find peace through asking God to help. Sometimes the prayers and requests may sound superficial. Here is one that will (probably) make you smile.I was waiting on a call to be the new mama of a white doll face Persian ( I had been wanting her for years and hubby said yes at Christmas and I was on a waiting list and was supposed to get one from the March litter) I called the breeder and she said that there was only 1 white int he litter so mine would be in July or August. I was sad. I just wanted a white kitten. From the time I was little I had a white kitten. And then we were having so much trouble in the spring with our ds, it just escalated. I was getting very depressed over him and that is not like me. He made me so sad. Partially because of his actions and partially becasue the way he was interacting with his dad was so discouraging. I was sitting just thinking what to do? feeling awful, my phone buzzed and it was the cat lady.. she said, " do you still want the white kitten? Her face isn't smooched like a Persian's. The other lady doesn't want her because her face isn't flat" I said, "YES!!! when can I get her?" I am telling you someone heard my prayer and knew I needed that little bright spot right then. The next week I went and picked up our little doll. then the next week all heck broke loose and ds moved out. That little cat is better than any drug known to humans. Our other 2 cats are rescues, they are 7 and 8 years and we love them too but there is just something about a kitten :). My hubby watches her play and says, "I am so glad she is ours, that other lady doesn't know who she missed out on." That's the guy that really didn't want a 3rd cat :)
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  11. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Some prayers answered. Happy Thanksgiving!
  12. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Congrats! Hope you took lots of pics.
  13. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    It’s been an amazing week. They both showed up yesterday for our big family gathering! I sprang for an Uber and it wasn’t cheap but it was worth it to save my sanity trying to round them up from the city while preparing to host. And they both came. E and her husband came, my siblings and families, my mom and stepdad, my aunt and cousins and families. We ended up with 36. I’m exhausted and over peopled but happy. No drama. My stepdad started in grilling both of them about what they’re up to these days but I was able to nip that in the bud by getting him talking about his military service and a Veterans Day ceremony he just participated in. Crisis averted! N and family FaceTimed with us. I don’t know if this happiness will last, but I’m holding on tightly to each precious moment.
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  14. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I am praying it lasts and that the "kids" have turned the corner.
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  15. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I just looked outside and there is a bald eagle in my yard!!!! I’m going to take him as a sign. Of what I don’t know but he’s majestic out there. (Though all the other critters sharing our yard may have a different opinion.)
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am thrilled for you.
    Smart tactic. Is he a jerk or just oblivious?

    Elsi. I feel so happy for the kids. Honestly. It is hard to fathom what has happened except that either there is something in the water or that it is Divine intervention.

    They each seem to be taking fledgling steps to right themselves. How was it left?

    I mean. This is when I would bungle things. I would push too much. Or panic that it was going to fall apart. Thank goodness you are NOT me. You have a subtlety and patience that I lack. Do you have a sense what kinds of support each of them needs right now and how they could get it?

    I mean I barely know what kinds of support I need, but I do know it is crucial.

    I am so pleased for you.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am not sure if a bald eagle is in the birds of prey category as I am unaware that I have met one, as I am a city person.

    But I will share my birds of prey story as I may never get a chance again to do so here.

    The main thing my son and I did as a family was go to the Zoo. This started very soon after I adopted him and continued for the three years we lived in the large Metro with the Zoo. This was the very Zoo that I grew up in as it was a few blocks from where I lived.

    Our two main drama stories involved birds. I will spare you when the seagulls as a concerted attack squad swooped down at my two year old in the outdoor cafe to get
    his hamburger while I walked 6 steps away to get the catsup.

    Our bird of prey story involved a demonstration in a wide open area of falcons or hawks and the trainers with leather gloves, etc. So this smart cookie sees this and approaches the stand with the Hawk/Falcon/Some time of bird of prey, very small child in hand, to get a "birds eye" view. And all of a sudden men started jumping on us to halt our approach.

    What kind of idiot are you, lady? Or similar words were uttered in my direction. These are birds of prey. Your child is at risk of being targeted and carried off. He is the size of a meal.

    If you live in a City every animal is either a pet, a curiousity or a bother. The idea of predator in a City by definition is marginalized or repressed.

    We have birds of prey where I am now. We can see them swirling around in flight but they stay high in the sky. I do not know why other families let their cats out.

    I wish you could take a picture of your bald eagle so he could represent to the rest of us, this good omen. I will take it, anyway I can.
  18. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    A bit of both. :eek:

    I think the next week will be very telling for both of them. C is in a stronger place than S right now but I know early sobriety is fragile and he is not reaching out for help. I’ve made suggestions and even gave him information on a Rational Revovery group since he seems to be resistant to AA. He looked so much better though. I know he is feeling better now that he is through the detox phase. I have to believe that is something he will remember even if he stumbles on this attempt. Tomorrow will be two weeks sober, and that is the longest he has made it for more than a decade.

    For S, the test will be whether she follows up with this program and actually goes to an intake appointment or decides again she is actually fine where she is. I can’t predict right now. I will ask her Monday what the status is and if she has made an appointment. That’s all I feel I can do - pushing her will only push her away again. I am trying to stay in that place of holding hope while letting go of expectation. And trust that the steps she has taken mean something, even if she doesn’t follow through right away. She knows she needs help. She knows where help is.
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  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Yes. This is beautiful.
    Were they happy on Thanksgiving? How were they with the family? Are each of them especially close to anybody in the family, besides you? Your mother? Cousins?

    We do not have an extended family in which my son would have been comfortable, to fall back on. Did they have this kind of relationship with your family?
  20. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    R tried! She’s the photographer. But he flew away while she was getting her camera set up.

    Our property backs up to state park and wildlife refuge area where R works so we get a lot of crossover. This is only the second time I’ve seen the eagle here, but we have tons of other critters with fur and feathers. We keep a bird count and are up to 43 species on our property, including 5 species of woodpecker and a Cooper’s hawk that has built a nest in the pine tree beside the house. We’ve named her Khalisi (for any Game of Thrones fans). We also have foxes, coyotes, a groundhog named George under the shed, a family of skunks, rabbits, deer ... you name it. We frequently see a deer family laying in the back yard in the moonlight. I think they see our yard as a forest clearing.

    They both seemed happy to be there if a little self conscious and out of place. S is close with my sister and they got to reconnect. My wider family is pretty conservative and a bit judgy but everyone was kind and mostly welcoming. This is the first I’ve had them both there at the same time for quite a while - maybe five or six years? Other than the wedding.
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