Walking on eggshells....


Active Member

Oldest son is going on a month of sobriety, 5 weeks actually! He is going to classes everyday, and spending all his time at home or at school. He is seeing his school counsellor, but I don’t think he has attended AA.

I haven’t smelt pot or seen any indication he is using. He told me the other day how hard it is being young and not being able to drink at all ( I was shocked since he has always maintained he could have just a few). We have no alcohol in our home at the moment. He seems to be accepting he is an addict for the first time. He has not been rude or angry at all since moving home, and isn’t “antsy” around us even sitting and watching tv with us regularly. He hasn’t done this since high school five years ago.

It’s still early days so I’m basically walking on eggshells waiting for something to happe or to see some sign he isn’t sober. One incident however. I gave him my debit to get gas and he took 80$ cash. He told me last night he “owed” me money, and I lost it. He knows I’m angry and that he violated my trust. He says he still owed someone money. I felt all the old feelings come up.

I told him that it wasn’t ok, and I was extremely dissapointed. He does have a sense of entitlement that may or may not have to do with his addiction. I’m not sure. Younger son would never do this. He brings back change when I send him for milk with a ten! Older Son has always kept the change, even way before this.

I didn’t tell my husband since he is so on edge looking for any sign he could be slipping. I am worried for his stress level. He has been so patient with Son, helping get him to school everyday. Son doesn’t sleep well (probably due to benzo abuse) and it’s very hard to get him up since he usually doesn’t fall asleep until 3/4/5 am..... classes start at 9

We are happy he seems to be on track, but I am so worried about the holidays. He has next week to do his final presentations and then he is off. Until jan 8

He is actually going to fly to my sisters with me after cmas and he will avoid the whole NYE party scene here in town. My sister has three small kids so we will have a very different NYE :)

He wants to be sober. I believe that with my whole heart. He wants to be successful and make us proud. He is a very good person, who cares deeply for his family. But he is also an addict who can be very selfish and immature, with zero impulse control.

I just wanted to update you all and let some of my anxiety out in words..... it’s so hard some days to keep it compartmentalized.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
That is a great update. Progress not perfection. are either you or your husband attending Alanon or Naranon? They have meetings on line you can call into.

The title of your post has never been more meaningful. The after math of the hell addiction and the repeated disappointment . Which for them is just another Tuesday. We bear all the anxiety of the past behaviour and fear the future. We too need to learn to live in the present. One day at a time.

I am pleased there is progress for you and your family, especially your son and also that there is a plan for NYE. I agree it is difficult for young people to understand why they can’t party like their friends without messing up their lives. This is a point that my son I am certain struggles with.

This is where the concept of SMART recovery and harm reduction philosophy have a good perspectice over 12 step. Progress and not perfection. No shaming in the sliosbnjt her back up and continue to progress. Sobriety takes patterning over time. HUr like anything else we learn.

The stealing and the self entitlement. That sticks in my gut. I have such a hard time with this disrespectful behaviour. My son feels it is ok to steal and lie.

I am praying for continued success and sobriety for your son.


Active Member
I'm so happy for your son. It really sounds like he wants sobriety. I agree with LBL - complete sobriety can be so hard for a young person to imagine. No beer watching a football game, no toast on NYE, etc - I think the thought of it is overwhelming for them.

I'm sorry he stole from you. My son used to think that stealing was borrowing and would say things like "Oh... I owe you money for..." He couldn't understand that this was stealing. I tried to explain it to him by giving a shoplifting example. If you shoplift bread from the grocery store and say "Oh my goodness I forgot to pay." That might be true. BUT if you don't have the money to pay than clearly you didn't intend to pay. If you don't have an income you can't borrow things from me. Anyway, it just reminded me how inconvenient it is having difficult children. You just can't have the convenience of giving him a debit card. I no longer give my son gift cards for food, I will only buy him food. So, after a long day of work I have to decide if I'm willing to meet him somewhere with food. It's oddly angering to be inconvenienced all the time.

I wish your son continued success during the stressful holiday season.

Good luck.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Taking that $80 is a big red flag to me. At the very least, it shows he still feels entitled to anything that is yours. However, the only times that my daughter stole from us when she was using so I would be very watchful.

I also think you need to tell your husband about the money. Covering for your son lets him triangulate the relationship between you, your husband, and your son. If you husband finds out, he will be angry that you kept that from him. You and your husband need to be working together and not let your son separate you.




Well-Known Member
Progress, not perfection. Some good progress there! Also good that he will be spending New Year's Eve in a less tempting environment.

I agree with Kathy. The $80 set off my alarms too. Who did he owe money to so desperately that he felt like he could "borrow" it from you without asking?

And I would definitely tell your husband about it. I understand your wanting to spare him stress and worry, but I think honesty and a united front is much more important, especially in the early stages of his attempts at sobriety.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

It sounds good. One day at a time. I know how hard this is. Our son stayed sober for months at a time in between binges which doesn't seem to be the norm. But when he did he was NOT doing anything. No work, no school. As soon as he did either he'd use.

Self sabotage over and over again. Seven years of it!!! Insane.

I agree that you should tell your husband about the money. I know you are trying to protect husband from the stress but you really should stay transparent. If he keeps little things from you and you from him, who knows WHAT is really going on. Husband and I had that happen. Trying to protect each other.

Prayers for your strength and son's clarity. This disease is a :censored2:.