The Eagle Has Landed -- In Rehab!


Well-Known Member
Well, he did it. Our difficult child checked himself into in-patient rehab (dual diagnosis -- mental health and drugs) this morning. Our goals were:

1) Drive him to rehab
2) Survive the night before driving him to rehab :)

A few thoughts on our experience......

First, we're proud of him today! Can't say that every day. In fact, can rarely say that at all (just being honest). But he did it ALL on his own (oh, except we drove him up there - 1.5 hrs as he has no car nor driver's license).

Second, it went reasonably well having him here last night. At first he tried to manipulate having his girlfriend stay here, too. Uh..........NO. Surprisingly, he gave it a rest fairly quickly. No other manipulations I'm aware of from him, though. Our "open windows" with him are FEW and FAR BETWEEN. We are learning to "compartmentalize" our time with him and "love with detachment". Comments from you all in this group helped me tremendously with "love with detachment". Deflector shields up! :)

Third, when our difficult child has an "open window", he does chat. Last night he was very chatty. To be honest, I said almost nothing at all. I just sat and listened. No advice, rarely a question (other than to ask him to please repeat himself as he often mumbles). He shared details about his teeth, his meth habit & dealing history, his crime with stolen goods, etc.

SIDE NOTE: At one point, I asked him my only REAL question and said, "Aside from police, jail, bad teeth, court orders, etc.... Is there any stop sign in your head which tells you this is just plain wrong?" Gotta give him credit...... He said, ", not really." I believe he was honest in that -- and clearly affectively detached. Interestingly, though, about an hour later he came in and stood there, not looking at me (staring at our bookshelves) and said, "I don't get it....I'm feeling kinda emotional." I stopped and said, "Elaborate?" He said, "Well, I don't usually feel stuff. You know me. I just don't. But I feel stuff tonight." All he would say after that was, "I can't believe I deserted my son" (who's now almost 4). I said nothing. I just let him "sit in it" and feel whatever he felt. He stood near me (3-ft away?) for many minutes saying nothing. I just stayed quiet with him.

Fourth, I was quickly reminded this morning how difficult he can be, though...... Could NOT get him out of bed! Same old stuff he pulled as a 5 yr old, a 12 yr old, a 16 yr old, and, now, a 24 yo. Blech! But eventually he got up and off we drove to rehab (he slept the whole way........easier for us all). He checked himself in (we did have to show our insurance card). We were only there for a few minutes, but the place seemed better than many we've seen. We hugged, said, "We love you, we're proud of you being here, and you can do this -- choose to." Aaaaaaand we left.

Lastly, we've been more public about this series of events than in previous times. So has difficult child (which is good, in our opinion). We have heard everything ranging from "Have MORE hope!" to "Have LESS hope!" I have vacillated between those in past years. But I do not vacillate now as I'm feeling far more Zen-like about it these days. I view it as more of HIS journey than mine. MY journey is to find a balance of love (for HIM AND ME) and healthy boundaries (for ME).

No matter what HE does, I am responsible for only what I do. Yes, does help to say that out loud, often, as it clarifies my thoughts and cements my resolve. So...... whether he completes this program or not is HIS journey (particularly as he's an adult). I am only responsible for MY journey. And I believe MY journey is far healthier when it's only in the NOW (not the past nor the future). Only NOW -- TODAY. The Buddhist "Mindfulness" concept has great value.

So, I wrote these 2 paragraphs, below, to share with others who love me and expressed concern for my heart during this time (Which I greatly appreciate! Being loved is awesome!).........

"Life is a string of moments -- some good, some bad. It's a fallacy to think life's moments are either all good or all bad. And it's a travesty not to celebrate the good moments unabashedly! If some scenarios "moments" are few or brief, celebrate their occurrences all the more as a rare and precious gift.

Life is not meant to be static, it's meant to be fluid and vibrant! Consider this.... if one never celebrates some moments in fear that "the other shoe will drop", then one may never celebrate at all. I say EVERY good moment merits celebrating! And if all should collapse tomorrow, then I will be even more glad that I celebrated today. I did not learn this overnight, nor did I learn it easily. But I am so glad to be learning it on ever-deepening levels."

So, in summary......... It is well with my soul TODAY. :D


Well-Known Member
This is terrific in every way, Headlights Mom. You are doing well and your son does seem to be having serious thoughts of quitting. The reason he is regretting leaving his son right now, is probably because he is clean and can see clearly whereas when they are high, they just act, they have the drugs to take away their pain. It's interesting that your son said he usually has no emotions. Is that just since adulthood or has he always been that way?

Everything your son is doing is indicative of somebody who really does want to quit. Will he? I don't know. It's his first time. But I do believe he will try. Crossing fingers, toes, eyes, arms, anything that can be crossed. It was a brave step your son took today. I understand why you are proud of him.


Well-Known Member
Our son really did do a HUGE thing today. He did it on his own, he did it bravely (I know he was nervous....totally understandable), and he did it of his own volition and choices. He deserves BIG credit for his decisions and courage today!

Yes, totally agree with you about drugs to take away his pain. GREAT question about whether when his emotions "fled" (for the most part)......adulthood or childhood. Hard to answer. I have seen over the years that at his core, he is HIGHLY emotional (and it benefits him that he's also HIGHLY verbal -- that's where he can shine during those "open window" times). I guess I'd say it's really more like a window opening and closing. He's always had it alternate between opening and closing (since age 6, when we he became our son). But back in those early days, the window open-closed ration was probably 50-50. It seemed to slip away gradually (can't pinpoint any single event... Will think on that, though....). Now he's pretty much down to 90-10 ratio (or less). That's why we were so grateful for last night! Usually those open windows only last 1-2 hours or so. Sometimes 1-2 days. Sometimes 1-2 minutes (really....they can be that fleeting). We got a whole night of it last night. When we dropped him off this morning, the window was not open any longer. However, his feet were in the door, so we did meet both goals 1 & 2! :)

Actually, it's his 2nd time in rehab (at age 16 -- 105 days in-pt, dual diagnosis, did not complete program....was asked to leave (combative).

But something does feel different about it this time. Will see.... Again, whatever the case, celebrating his courage today! :) Very proud of him today!


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Staff member
What a great post! He got himself to rehab and that's great...a huge step!

Your post reminded me of something. I had a chance to work with youth court ordered into therapy for drug use. Many had very rough consequences of their drug choices.
BUT...if you had them list all the negative consequences like 1. Getting arrested 2. Getting kicked out of school 3. Getting into huge fights with parents and favorite uncle barely speaking to them 3. Losing girlfriend and other friends 4. Failing school and maybe not graduating 5. Health problems ....sickly 6. Having to go to therapy blah blah blah...
And they either could think of no positives or perhaps one on the "pro" list like having fun with friends...
They often still didn't see the point; still didn't see using drugs as having a negative or bad influence on their lives. It was amazing. Talk about denial!
Perhaps they couldn't verbalize it was helping them cope with pain.
However, on the positive the end of therapy, sometimes they would come around and see that it wasn't worth the downside.
Still amazing!


New Member
Dear Headlights Mom,

Right now, a battle in his head has been won. He has made a momentous decision, and he has reflected back on his past mistakes. That can never be taken away , whatever the future brings.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I love it that you were able to sit with him in silence.

That is the hardest thing. But I am thinking this morning that those silent moments spent just being deeply present help them (and us?) to walk a different path better than all the fixing in the world.

I wish I'd known that sooner.

I mean, I got the part about not coming up with solutions, but now I am seeing the true benefit of being together in attentive silence.

Prayers going up that this is a solid turning point for your son.