Went to our first NAMI Family to Family meeting tonight

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Kathy813, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We met the nicest bunch of people at the meeting. The facilitators where so warm and welcoming and husband and I felt so at ease. I am looking forward to the next meeting.

    We will miss the very last meeting because that is when we are scheduled to go to difficult child's family therapy weekend. I have to say, if we have to go to Florida, February is a nice time of year to do that.

    difficult child is still there so that is a good sign.

  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's always good to find another support group, we can never have too much support.

    Thrilled that difficult child is still there Kathy.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is not a support group per se. It is a twelve week course for families of loved ones with a mental illness. We are supposed to learn about the mental illnesses as well as help available out there for our loved ones and ourselves. What was really hard to hear were the stories told by the elderly parents or siblings of 40 to 60 year old difficult children.

    husband and I looked at each other and said the same thing. That could be us for another thirty years. There were also quite a few parents of children like our daughter . . . all in the 24 - 28 year old range.

    Week 3 is all about mood disorders. That should be interesting.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I'd love to hear what you learn.
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Some of it will be state specific since there are different laws and resources in each state. The teachers said that NAMI taught Family to Family classes in 49 states.

    I like that it is free. NAMI covers the cost of the materials.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Glad to hear you have this resource! Must have been very hard to hear about the older adults being involved in drugs still. I hope you keep it fresh in mind that difficult child could be there someday. It keeps the 'last chance' in your head.
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm not sure if the older difficult child's had substance abuse issues but they were definitely not functional due to mental illness. Actually, I only remember one other person that said their loved one had substance abuse issues and that was a case where it was a young adult who sounded very much like my daughter. There were a lot of loved ones with schizophrenia.

    One thing that really hit me was that they asked if our goal was for independence or healthy dependence for our loved ones. One example was that the daughter lived on her own but was still dependent on her mom for getting her prescriptions filled. In other cases, the family member still lived with the family but was responsible for their own bills. Of course, substance abuse was not an issue in that case.

    I never thought about whether it could be an either or situation. I have been completely focused on getting my difficult child totally independent. Now I have to give some thought as to whether that is a realistic goal.

  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Kathy... it doesn't even have to be a MH issue to ask that question.
    Physical disabilities can be that way, as can developmental conditions (Aspie, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), etc.)
    At some point, I'm going to have to ask the same question... what it the goal? independence or healthy dependence?

    by the way... I like the term "healthy dependence"... we all know that there are lots of forms of dependence that are not healthy, but it doesn't mean that all dependence is unhealthy, either!
  9. compassion

    compassion Member

    I took Family to Family four years ago and it was very helpful. Here, Nami offers support meetings monthly and an educational meeting monthly. I find it all very supportive. I still use a lot of the info from the class, espeically the communication and problem solving skills. Of course,also I remeber daily their priemise that MI is a brain disease. I leanred about Nami from this site.
  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I took the family to family class and it was great. I am now on the local nami board and am going to take the basics trainining class so i can teach.......its pretty much a family to family for parents of younger kids
  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    My easy child/difficult child falls into this catagory. It isn't too bad. He works and he owns his own place but I manage his bills and medical care. I also acted as a liason with his workplace when he needed to be hospitalized. What worries me is what happens when i am no longer able or after I die. I keep trying to teach him to be totally self sufficient but it isn't happening. He is 32 now so it likely won't. We went to NAMI years ago for my difficult child#1. Some of the info we got was very helpful. -RM
  12. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    You sound like you are in such a good place. I am happy for you all at this time.
    And glad you are getting such a good perspective from your meetings.

    I'm rooting for you guys,
  13. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    i am so glad you went. I really liked the support from NAMI. I wish I could make the meeting time work and continue going.
    I really believe that dealing with the MH is the most important piece. Many of our difficult children would not have SA issues if not for their
    MH. I long ago have accepted that husband and I would be "scaffolding" our daughter. What we are to do as parents is so confusing because
    NAMI has a very different view than any 12 step program. I personally do not believe it is wrong to give a hand to our kids with serious
    mental health issues. We would not think twice if they were physically disabled. Sure, we want them to be as independent as possible
    but, for some, that may not be totally independent from us. The thought of doing this for years is a tough pill. To me, they have a better chance of
    recovery when we deal with the core mental health issue, and not kick ourselves when we make choices to let them live with us, give them food, pay an
    occational bill.....whatever.
    i hope you will find the meeting good and not overwhelming. I really found some kinship there.