Thoughts on giving up....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    So last week when I heard that my son had walked away from the program, one that was really great for him, I just finally felt like "I give up". It kind of bothered me to give up because I have this voice in my head that says "NEVER give up" and that message is especially strong in "NEVER give up on your child".... so although in a way giving up felt kind of freeing, it also felt like I was doing something kind of wrong.

    I went to an alanon meeting and it really gave me some clarity. I realized today that I still believe my son has the ability to turn his life around if he really wants to. I am not giving up that belief. I dont think I am even giving up hope that someday he may do that.

    What I am doing is giving up the belief that I can fix him, help him, change him in any way. I have finally come to the point where I no longer believe I can do any of those things... and that is freeing in a way... because it means I also give up the responsibility for his success (or failure), give up the expectation that something i do will finally be the turning point. For me this is the real turning point of really letting go.... to let go I had to give up.

    And you know what I am really doing ok most of the time. I am sleeping ok..... am still feeling relaxed from our trip, enjoying being home and am having some happy moments. I am still worried about him, still think about him a lot but i am not obsessed and that feels good!!!

    So thought I would share..... oh and I heard from his probation officer today. They have put out a warrant for his arrest for violating his probation. They probably wont go after him so it may not matter unless he comes back into this state but then it will matter!!!

    I had to laugh to myself as she told me she felt bad because he really is a good kid!!! He has obviously been charming to her AND she probably sees a lot lot worse. If he goes back to treatment she will remove the warrant. So we shall see what happens, but it is not up to me at all.

  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    You said it all, TL. I think that's the essence of detachment, or acceptance or whatever it is called - but you're right - it's really up to him. I'm glad you're finding some peace and even enjoying your time. It reminds me of the so-called stages of grief. We are all connected to each other, and that connection (love and concern) is never severed, we just move to different, healthier stages I guess. With all my heart, I hope he finds the courage to work on himself and be free.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL it is very freeing when we finally come to the realization that we cannot fix them, we cannot control what they do nor do we have any influence over their behavior. I was at my support group meeting last night and I was trying to remember when that happened for me because I realized that I don't cry at the meetings any longer and I really have detached from her behavior. Notice I said I detached from her behavior, not from her. Like you I still hope that someday she can turn her life around but I am no longer waiting for that day to happen and I have arrived at some peace in my life.

    I'm so glad that you are at this place in your life. You have tried so hard to fix him or at least to make every opportunity available to him and even hand deliver it. It'sd time that we both concentrate on the next phase of our lives.

  4. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I am SO GLAD you have gotten to this point.
    I remember in Al Anon they taught me that my will can get in the way of G-ds.

    We want so much for them to be sober, thinking soberly, living soberly...but relying on G-d in their hearts and minds to live a new life MUST come from within them...not us.

    My mother ALL THE trying to lay out a plan to "save" my young difficult child when he comes home. I have to repeatedly remind her that my young difficult child has to want this for himself! I can't do it for him. He has been shown the "way"...Just as your son has. We have pointed them in the right direction...we have spoken all the right words...we have LOVED THEM ENOUGH. does not change anything until they are ready to get serious.

    For me and my sobriety, AA was the key. It was an education too. I shut my mouth and listened! Really REALLY listened. I so wanted to hear how others had they were living one day at a time with sobriety no matter their past pains, current problems, or unknown future events. I took notes feverishly at meetings/speaker meetings. I highlighted in my little books left and right. I REALLY wanted to learn. More than ever...and I wanted it for me...and yes, a part of me wanted it for my son's too, sigh.

    But it is in their hands. Just as we take them to church. We teach them about right and wrong, about compassion and helping others, about doing "good". But at the end of the day, the relationship between any human being and the G-d of their understanding is in their is a personal relationship. One that we don't get to dictate for them.
    And it is in my humble opinion that way with sobriety. We take them to the treatment facilities, the rehabs, the EGBS, church schools, etc...on and on. And yet, they have to yearn for their OWN comes from within them, not outside themselves. We have surrounded them with the answers...but they have to want them.

    I so wish that a Mother's love, that her pain and sorrow, were enough to get a son/daughter sober.
    If that were the case...none of us would be here. But they have to seek and search for themselves. They have to desperately ask G-d to help them, in my opinion.

    Thinking of you,
  5. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I read these posts and am in awe of the strength on this board.

    TL, I dare say you haven't totally given up on him for if he started to try, you would be there. I think we stop showing up time and time again only to find we are the only ones there. It's the only sane thing to do.
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Our difficult child's are so much alike. It is sad that they cannot (or will not) follow the good advice we have put them in touch with. But after a while, we realize it is just a futile effort on our part and an energy and financial drain resulting in no payoff. It is nice to finally realize that we did all we could and to be free of the guilt that walking away too early would have generated. There are no more coulda shoulda woulda. It is DONE, done and done. Nothing more to do. _RM
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL, your post made me smile, I was glad to read it, it does sound like you've turned a corner and you're on the other side. I was talking to my therapist last night about hope and the two different kinds of hope. One is when our well being is tied to the hope that our difficult child's will get on the straight and narrow path, the other is the hope that they pull it out of the hat, but what they actually do does not hurt our lives. She said the first hope is where we grind away all the time with the quality of our lives constantly impacted by the choices of another. The other is healthy hope, where what another does or doesn't do has little or no negative impact on us, we are still sincerely wishing they get it together, but our joy does not hinge on it. You have moved onto the healthy hope and I think when we do that, our lives change dramatically.
  8. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Never think of it as 'giving up' when there is nothing that you can do. I have been on the forum long enough to know how much all of us have tried to help - and I also know how much it hurts. But we can't do it for them.

    Detaching is hard and to the outside world it can appear that we have turned our backs. That we are cold hearted and uncaring.

    If they only knew the pain in our difficult child has taught me the meaning of unconditional love.

    My 34yo difficult child loves the drama and does not like to be alone. He posts dark poetry on facebook and has posted about depression and suicidal thoughts. Last Sunday he was posting about being suicidal and a friend told him to message her. He has threatened suicide for years and he is taking medication.

    I don't go on facebook - my family has told me. There is not one thing I can do but pray. A 21yo male relative committed suicide two years ago and Monday a 45yo male cousin committed suicide. It has been a very emotional two weeks for me and my family.

    What will be will be... I read this passage from a book daily.
    'Every suicide preventable by outside forces was indeed prevented. What is meant is that if the suicidal person has the slightest openness to changing their mind, the Universe will stage an intervention. It could be something as simple as a bird flying by and distracting the person, or something as dramatic as an angel assuming human form and physically interceding. If you have lost a loved one to suicide, know this: There was literally nothing you could have done to save them. You are not to blame.
    You are not at fault.
    You did not fail them.
    Therein rests your healing. Therein lies your peace."

    May we all learn to detach and turn our lives and problems over to a higher power.
    (((hugs for us all)))