updating on son


Active Member
*March 25th, son admitted himself in to detox.
*April 8th, 2wks in detox but staff determined he wasn't ready to go straight to sober house/IOP. Was driven to and admitted to a very nice, posh almost, residential inpatient facility in Deerfield Beach.
*May 11-13 I flew down to attend 3-day family session with son and 4 other peers, their parents.
*May 17th son was discharged from residential facility to a sober living house, where he's doing IOP.

Soon he will have 90 days sober.

By all accounts, he seems to be doing well. He has not complained one iota about anything there. I think he, no.....I KNOW he likes the structure and the accountability.

He did not want access to his car for the 1st week that he was out of residential. Two weekends ago, he got a ticket on I-95. I was pissed and actually yelled at, then hung up on him, which I never do. Then, I didn't contact him for several days. I am seeing that he does not like it when I am angry at him. Based on his immediate response and sweetness when I finally get over anger and contact him. I am & have been his one and pretty much only, constant in his life.

During these recent past almost 3 months, he has been described by different staff/therapists/MD's to me, as: 'very cerebral; up in his head too much; needing humility; self-absorbed; if he doesn't respect you, he won't talk, open up to you; analyzes every little thing to the nth degree; has primitive communication skills (adolescent-like); he is a very interesting person to talk to; if he's not interested in the topic of conversation..you lose him; he has eccentric thinking..'

Last week, he started a job. Yay! He is working for a landscape company with another peer in his sober living house. They do large jobs like shopping centers and apartment complexes. He really likes this job as he does not do well in jobs where 'social tact' is needed. Since he hasn't gotten a paycheck yet, I helped him to buy a cooler for lunches & water and bluetooth earbuds, which the landscapers are allowed to wear as they work. Maybe I shouldn't have helped, but I did. :giggle: One thing he did, that bothered me, was he told his boss on Monday that he needed Wednesdays off. His boss said fine. When I asked him why he did that?, he said it's because it's SO hot (it is south FL, mid-90's) and that he needed one day off in the week. Grrrr. On the other hand, I am so happy that he is working!!!! I think this type job is perfect for him! No social interactions with the public=).

He has had a much nicer temperament since being sober. I am again seeing some signs emerge, of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and some vague social anxieties, which I want to start a thread about, soon.

I am getting the feeling that he is not making AA a real priority. This worries me. He is attending all IOP's and other mandatory house meetings. And has not broken any curfews as far as I know. He told me last week that his cravings are not that bad. They last maybe 15 minutes in a whole day.

Some days he calls or texts me, some not. I try not to initiate any communication. I do have my nervous, anxious moments, but I talk myself down from them. There is nothing I can do, it is his life. I am trying to enjoy this thing day....by.....day.

And y'all help! :tongue:


Well-Known Member
rebelson, it all sounds good. All of it. It sounds like he is owning his life--he wants to make it work--for him. That is not bad. It shows self-confidence and power. OK. So he is not humble.

It sounds like he is making the recovery work for him, not the other way around. OK. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't, but isn't his way better than the highway? I mean, if it was so strict, if he was so desperate and anxious he got himself so wound up he bolted? That wouldn't be so good, either.

So many things to be grateful for. Sounds like the staff respect him. Sounds like he loves you with all of his heart, and needs you. The job sounds great. Great that he will have a mid-week day to enjoy surf and son. Great that boss thinks enough of him to give him that day off.

All good. And you are sounding strong, too.

Good job, all of it.

I am happy for you.


Well-Known Member
One thing he did, that bothered me, was he told his boss on Monday that he needed Wednesdays off. His boss said fine. When I asked him why he did that?, he said it's because it's SO hot (it is south FL, mid-90's) and that he needed one day off in the week.
Or maybe... it's really physical work, and he doesn't want the others to see him out of shape, so he needs the day right in the middle to recover a bit before going at it for two more days. It's the kind of thing my brothers would have thought of...


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Rebel - this all sounds good.

Your son is moving in the right direction. All you can do is be supportive and I think you did the right thing by buying him the things he needed for his job.

My son is in sober living also. He did not like the IOP where he was after 3 months and was ready to move on. They didn't think he was ready but HE did.

He is in a new sober living that he went to with one of his roommates. He has a curfew and drug testing. He is doing well. He has been there 2 weeks and still job hunting but has a very promising lead on a construction assistant. I'm also worried how he'll handle the Florida sun/heat. He is a redhead and very fair. But I try not to think about it much. He drives his roommates to work and they pay him for now. He is not going to any meetings or anything like I wish he would but he said he doesn't want to use anything. He was depressed before and now he is not. He is not doing it the traditional way but he's doing it and that's all I care about. It's on him this time and not on me and I think that is the critical component for him. He also has a girlfriend that does not party and spends a lot of time with her. He sounds strong and confident. Being away from us was the answer I think. If I had only known sooner.

In my opinion there is no script on how things are to be done. Different things work for different people. We all know it can all change in a heartbeat but for now bask in the sun of change! :cloudy-little:


Active Member
Welp. Son lost his job the other day.

Says he & a sober living housemate, whom he got the job with, were both fired. He cld be only one who got fired, but it 'sounds better' when you say you were both let go. This is total assumption on my part.
Maybe they both WERE let go.

Anyways, he blamed it on (his basic words): "the illegal workers who work for cheap & under the table, pick up every little stick as if it were food & they were starving. Apparently, we didn't work as hard or as fast as they do..."

[emoji17]He sounded upbeat & fine about the situation.

Told me he hit an AA Mtg then went for pizza last night with-his cousin & was headed out to another one this morning. Which is nice to hear.

But, I'm disappointed to hear about the job loss news.


Well-Known Member
the illegal workers
Well. Our children will decide who they are and what they want to be and what they want to have.

I am dealing with this, too. My son took a political position so completely contrary to my own that I was stunned and sputtering. Until I forgot it.

The whole thing of this endeavor, this detaching, is that they clean up the messes they make. Their incentive to do so is that they are the ones living in that mess. Not us.

In the short run it is very hard on us. On them? Not so much, unfortunately. For now he can blame "the illegals" who do not have any illusions about how much their parents will be able to help them. Those illegals are sending money back to Guatemala or Mexico to help their parents survive.

Let him spout his mouth off. Do your best to keep distance. Let him be who he needs to be. He will work this out. He thinks life is going his way. He will see how far he can play his sense of entitlement and deserving.

I feel bad that for now he seems to want to use "the other" as a means to deflect responsibility for himself. Let us see where he goes with this. For now, take care of yourself. We will wait.


Well-Known Member
Detach, detach, detach.

Maybe next time he won't try to dictate his schedule to prospective employers.

We have a relative who is a lawyer, and he was complaining about just that same situation. Young graduates who interview for a job with his firm, and come in with a list of priorities that they expect their new employer to work around, with regards to their availability during the work week.

He never hires them.


Active Member
The thing is, is that the 'reason' he gave, might not even 'be' the real reason. But, he's very, very smart and comes up with some real believable stories.

In the past, he's gotten fired for: being late repeatedly, showing up high/buzzed and/or having a snarky mouth with the staff over him. Maybe they fired him for asking for that day off each week? Maybe he quit and didn't want to tell me he quit? So he said he got fired? Who knows....

On a positive and different note. This week I talked to him on Wednesday and then this morning. On both phone calls combined, he must've told me he loved me at least 3 times. When I rang him this morning, he even answered the phone call with 'love you, mom!' I didn't know what to say, that was so unexpected! In past years, he's told me he loves me 3 times in a whole year. On both phone calls he also told me to tell his stepdad (they are not on great terms-he's really hurt my husband) that he loves him and today he told me to tell his siblings he loves them. I feel like I am talking to a different person.

I asked him today about his anxiety. He told me it's fine. I said that he may have to go to his psychiatrist (whom he hasn't seen since last year) to get some medications if it's 'impeding' his life. He said 'no, a little anxiety is good, it keeps me stimulated, on point and helps me to keep pushing forward.' He certainly has a different way of 'thinking'. Does that make sense to anybody?

I often have trouble 'understanding' his philosophical way of thinking and expressions, he says such deep and thought provoking things. I often get lost and then he gets frustrated with me. I am deep emotionally, but not philosophically. o_O

He sounded quite upbeat today. I asked him about job hunting, what type of job will he look for? He wasn't sure but said he'd be hunting for another one. Though he said not another landscaping one. Which baffles me because the week he began this job, he texted me: 'all I need to make this the perfect job is a pair of bluetooth earbuds and a cooler'. So, what happened?

I think it's going to be awhile for him to get to know himself, and I've told him that. Who he is, what he wants, etc. I also think he compares himself (personality wise) to his alcoholic father, who is very social, outgoing, charismatic. But not real smart. Son is really smart but not sure of who he is socially and I think he needs to stop comparing himself to his father. To me, and to others, son is also charismatic, funny, open-minded and likes to have fun (too much so). I just don't think he sees this, and/or he has social anxiety.....

I think in residential, the wonderful psychologist that he was assigned to, really hit him hard on becoming more humble. He IS more humble since he's been discharged from there. I've seen a great increase in his humility. Every time I had phone updates with this particular Dr., he'd tell me how my son needs to be more humble, think of others, not only of himself, needs to come out of his head and how he shows narcissistic tendencies. He also added that many, most addicts are narcissistic. And that that can change with sobriety. I guess that's where the recent 'I love you's' are coming in to play-from his newly found humility?

He told me also on Wednesday, 'I'm seeing that the older you get (he's only 23!) the faster life goes by'. Ummm, yep!!! I seconded that! I told him 'wait until you're MY age!' Lol. And I reminded him that he's at a wonderful age right now and how he has wasted the past 8yrs+...and to make the rest sober ones.

He's only 23, almost 24 but does it sound like his thinking is along the lines of someone going through a 'mid-life' crisis? Curious to others' thoughts.
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Well-Known Member
I think we almost have to assume that whatever excuse they give is probably not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Many of them will tell a lie when the truth is better!


Well-Known Member
Many of them will tell a lie when the truth is better!
I agree with Apple. Let him say whatever he wants. Consider the source. It may be true or false, but keep an even keel. It does not matter what he says, really. For now. The important thing is for you to stay centered an calm, and to let him do what he wants, reacting as little as you can.

You see, they are used to rocking our world. The task now is to no longer rock. He thinks your sun rises and sets on him, for him.
Make that no longer the case.
On both phone calls combined, he must've told me he loved me at least 3 times.
I would be real nervous. I would wonder what he wants. I would fear that he wants you to begin to rescue or take responsibility for him in some way. Don't.

Actually, my real fear might be that he is using again. Why else would he all of a sudden begin to manipulate?

The thing is what can you do, really? He believes he knows best, knows it all. Let him play this out. That is what I would do.

I hope I am wrong. I just do not believe people change this quickly. Usually.

And the illegal aliens comment concerns me, too. This does not indicate a desire to take responsibility for one's situation or actions.


Active Member
I don't care what happened with the job. Yes, it would be nice if he took 'ownership' for the job loss. I think he has low self-esteem and is embarrassed to admit his failings. It is what it is. My concern is 'will he be able to keep a job?' You know how these addicts' patterns are with jobs. He seems to have some type of anxiety, social? generalized? Don't know. He poo poos it when I ask him directly.

He doesn't deal well with jobs working with the public, he's impatient and not very tactful. If someone ticks him off, he will respond verbally instead of biting his tongue. At least that is how he has been with jobs when in midst of addiction. Maybe now, with sobriety he would be better.

As for his 'I love you's'...it is different, for sure. But, since he's been out of residential, he's been quite a different person. In a good way. Thankful, thanking me, sending me random texts of 'I appreciate you!' and adding these : ) smilies after text comments...that sort of stuff. Just happier in general. So, the 'I love you's' are not crazy 'off', for the up mood he's been in, just 'off' in general because he's not been one to say it much, ever.

He's been using for 9+yrs, so maybe the 'real & sober' son of mine, is a nice person. When the using son is 180 degrees different, due to the drugs. Maybe he had an epiphany in residential. Maybe he's manipulating. I hate thinking evil, being suspicious of the nice change in him. I just don't know. I'll keep on my toes though. ;)

I am sure he's noticed my detachment. I told him during that 3-day family session during lunch one day that I would be backing off and 'not doing for you, the things that you can do for yourself' (not enabling anymore). I gave him an example of 'like making MD appts for you, you can do that for yourself'. His reaction was that of dislike. He said some sarcastic comment, can't remember what. I used that example because the month before he went in to detox, he had a dentist appointment for some fillings. I not only made the appointment, but literally called him the morning of, to wake him up. Sad!

So a few weeks back, we were talking and he made some semi-snarky comment to me. He said something like 'oh yeah, I forgot, you can't help me anymore, right?' So, I think my new detachment bothers him. It must make him feel fearful because he's got an unhealthy reliance on me...but I am changing, evolving. He might feel alone and thus trying manipulation. I could be wrong. Again, I don't know.

As for him using again, I really doubt that. He is in sober living and they test, not sure of the schedule but they test. And he mentioned going to AA last night with his cousin AND again this morning. His cousin would NOT be hanging with him if he were using again. He himself has been sober for over a year...and when son is using, cousin keeps distance. He is a Duke graduate and has a high paying job that he loves.

I do know that son uses some type of 'pre-workout' stuff before he goes to the gym. It has some type of 'stimulant' in it, for workout energy. My husband used to take something similar way back when we met, when he was really heavy in to weights. I remember it used to make him a bit 'edgy'. My son does everything that he loves with such an intensity. It's like all or nothing.

I have a sneaking suspicion that his anxiety is bothering him more than he's letting on. He tries to appear stoic to me and others. But I cannot force him to address the anxiety. That is on him.
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