Whew! I was so afraid I would be "lost in space" and nobody would ever find me again - LOL
Things are much better today. We totally backed off all protein yesterday afternoon and he isn't confused at all so far today. So now we're really limiting the sodium, protein and fat. So weird how PROTEIN can do that to him! The dietitian is no help at all - I've had better luck on the internet and on this site. Jeezzz!!!
I talked to the doctor's office 3 times since yesterday and they're still waiting for the referral to come through. If they get it today they can see him tomorrow. If not, they can't see him till next week.
He's so pitiful when he gets confused because he realizes he is, and he can't make it stop. It breaks my heart!
I know, it has to be awful to watch that unfold. I've witnessed this with folks I don't really know (patients) and it's very sad. BUT!!! It improves and you've found one of the ways to make it improve!
With all the nutrients you need to limit, it only leaves SUGAR! LOL! I just want to mention/remind you to be careful with the sugars. Try to go for fruits instead of sugary snacks! It's hard but I have to practice this myself! I have become addicted to oranges!! I'm having them shipped in now (can't get any good ones at the store!) So, I have Hale Groves on speed dial and have a flat of "honeybelles" in my kitchen! It's fun!
Tell Austin "hello"! Keep us informed and I'll check in later. (Now that I can! Thanks!) xoxo
Hi Vicki and Jade ... I'm so happy to "see you" both again :-)
Thank you Jade for continuing to pray for Austin. I know he still has a long way to go and I really, really appreciate your support!
Now as for you, Vicki ... NOOOOO, don't add anything else to our "list of things to limit" !!! Pretty soon we'll be down to an "ice cube diet" - lol
We finally have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with the liver specialist. They said they're booked solid but will squeeze him in ... probably so I'll shut up and leave them alone ;-) I already have a list of questions / concerns started and we leave it on the kitchen counter so any of us can write things down as we think of them. Austin's added 4 or 5 things to it already.
Vicki, is there anything that you can think of that I should definitely ask about???
PS - I uploaded some pictures to my profile so you guys can see who you're talking to and about :-)
you are not lost in cyberspace.lol.
much easier to open.
great news about getting the appt.with the specialist.
also less confusion is an answer to prayer. still praying.
looked at your pictures. they are great. nice to see you.
hugs & hope
Cindi- I can't think of anything to add to your list. I'm sure you have everything covered...
Are you still talking about transplant? There are some strict guidelines as you know. Also, there are questions that will need to be answered by Austin. One of them is: "What do you expect from a transplant?" If he answers: "I just want to live longer" that would be a WRONG answer. The correct answer is: "I want a better quality of life right now".
I thought I'd mention that now, in case the topic comes up tomorrow.
He can eat almost all fruits and veggies plus they'd be good for him! We really should get all our nutrients/vitamins from food and not supplements. I like to use lemon and peper seasoning on vegetables instead of salt and butter. It's pretty tasty!
I saw your pics! Very nice! You two look alike! xo
I won't know about the transplant thing until tomorrow ... thanks for the tip on how to respond should it come up. The thing is though, that they told him in the hospital that he wouldn't be eligible if he smokes, so I don't know if it will even be an option for him now since, as you know, he is smoking again.
I already gave away all our canned and boxed food (and junk food) to the neighbors and some to a food bank (I'm a couponer so I had TONS of stuff) ... Our freezer is now fully stocked with frozen veggies. We're having veggie spaghetti tonight, home-made with no canned stuff. (This cooking thing is a pain in my butt though, I gotta' tell ya!). I haven't had to cook real meals since my kids grew up and moved out ... oh well ... there are worse things - lol I love fruits & veggies and could live off them but the men in my life have always been meat & potato guys. They're the ones that are really having to adjust. ONE extremely lean and small meat serving per day, that's all they're allowed. Austin's doing okay with it, checking every label on EVERYTHING, but my hubby is a little grumpy - lol
I'll check back in with you guys tomorrow. I actually get to sleep in my bed tonight instead of trying to stay awake in the living room all night!!
Thanks you guys! I did get a GREAT night's sleep for a change ...
and you're not gonna' believe THIS!!!!
I took Austin to the liver specialist yesterday and he told us that his Pancreatitis is totally (yes, totally) GONE!!! I asked TWICE because I couldn’t believe my ears and he confirmed it again … and again. NO PANCREATITIS!!! It’s not in remission, it’s GONE!
AND his liver is repairing itself at an unbelievable rate … His bilirubin # was at 11 (extremely high) and as of yesterday it was down to 5!!!
He has to have his blood checked two more times and then go for one more follow up visit but the doctor said that based on what he’s seeing now, that we shouldn’t have to schedule any more appointments. He took him off ALL medication and put him back on a normal diet with no restrictions and told him that as long as he never drinks again, he should live a long, healthy life!!!!!
Now, I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, this is totally a MIRACLE straight from God!!! Two weeks ago the doctors told us there was no hope; he was on his “death bed” and we were literally planning his funeral … A few days and many prayers later they sent him home from the hospital and today he’s doing just fine!
Thank you everyone for your prayers, concern, understanding and support as we were going through all of this!!!
The main thing we'll have to deal with now is staying alcohol free, of course, and getting off that dang methadone. Austin doesn't even want to discuss tapering right now. He says he finally feels normal again and doesn't want to change anything for a little while. He said he just wants to enjoy feeling again. He's already applied for two jobs online and has made steps toward getting his license back!
How long do you guys think I should wait before again bringing up tapering off the methadone???
Have a GREAT weekend … I know I will!!!
this is so wonderful. i had to re-read it. tears of joy.doing a happy dance. thanking GOD.HE is so awesome. yes this is a miracle from our GOD.
there is power in prayer. i am so happy for you,austin and your family.
take a big breathe and a sigh.
wow, what a great post.!!!!!!!!
try to relax a little. austin has to work his recovery and understand the second chance at life that he has been given. he is a grown man and certainly does understand the ramifications if he drinks again.
dont worry about the methadone right now. continue to take things one step at a time as you have been doing.
right now , rejoice in the fact that he has a clean bill of health.
I got the BEST night's sleep last night for a change. Austin asked us this morning, "didn't you guys hear me screaming last night?" ... OMG, what???? He said he had a terrible nightmare and woke up screaming at the top of his lungs and all the dogs came running but me and Chuck slept right through it!!! I'm sure glad there was nothing really wrong with him - dang!
Well, unfortunately ladies, it didn't take long .... he said to me today that he's in a bad mood, bored and sure wishes he could get his hands on some weed - argh!!! I told him that we ALL have bad days and we get through them without altering our brains with chemicals! I suggested that maybe he should reconsider going to an AA meeting. NOT! He said "if I go to an AA meeting, it will MAKE me want to drink" ... I dont' want to drink, just wish I could smoke some weed" ...
Tell me if you think I should have handled this differently okay? I told him that "I will NOT finance weed, alcohol or any other drug for you and if you smoke or take anything, they'll kick you out of the methadone program" ... He told me that they won't kick him out they'll just stop his take home doses. THAT realled pi$$ed me off!!!! Probably even more than him wanting the weed! I told him how freakin' selfish that was of him ... If they do away with his take-homes that means I have to drive him there on Saturday and Sunday too and those are the only two days I have "off" and I deserve to have them!!! I told him that if he ever takes or smokes or drinks anything that causes that to happen then he'll have to take the bus to the clinic on the weekends. It's just not fair to ME!!!
Of course he got angry, then sad, then pitiful. SO ... I went for a walk.
He's in a really foul mood and is eating constantly. Nothing seems to grab his attention, not a movie, his guitar, nothing. He doesn't even want to talk to his friends on the phone and he's even being ugly to the dogs, which makes me soooo angry! He's always been such an animal lover and so gentle. I don't know this person! I know he's going thru a HUGE adjustment and I'm trying to be patient but, dang!!! I have to wonder if the steroids are adding to his ill mood? It also makes me wonder if the first few days he went back on the methadone that it actually made him high and now that feeling's worn off??? I'm not really sure what mg methadone he's taking. He told me that they started him back at 55mg but at the doctor yesteday he told HIM that he was at 85mg. I said, "WHAT???" ... and he kind of backed down and said, "oh, I don't really know ... it's either 85 or 55" ... How could he not KNOW??? Is he just blowing smoke up my a--?????? If he's back at 85mg then he's right back where he was before he ever started tapering!!!
Oh Cindi, this is where things can get really tough. (I'm sorry I've been away for so long - I've been down with the flu this week).
You both received WONDERFUL news this week and I'm very happy for you both. But what I'm afraid that might have done was make him think he "made it" - that it wasn't as "bad" as it could of been and that he's now thinking what's the big deal - if I made it through once I can do it again". And that's what I mean about things now getting really tough.
And quite frankly, considering all he's been through, he's acting a bit like a spoiled brat. He's gotten used to the attention, to being taken care of, and he wants what he wants. That's the addict in him, I believe, and at the core of addiction is totally selfishness. Which is why I think it is beyond important that he find aftercare in some form. And seriously, he's really not in any position to judge "AA" - and he's trying to use it on you by saying "If I go I know I'll use" - what's up with that? It's manipulation in its purest form and he has NO right to be that way with you - or with anyone else for that matter. He needs to realize, and NOW, that his life was in serious danger and by the grace of g-d he made it through. THIS time.
What about therapy? Is he involved in any kind of therapy right now? He needs to find other things to focus on... like continuing to take care of himself in the healthiest way possible, and what about going back to work? Is he physically capable to do that yet? There needs to be NEW goals in his life, not a return back to the way he used to live - as you and HE now know, his best decisions almost killed him. And he's cocky now - he thinks that because his Dr. gave him a clean bill of health that he's in the clear. And THAT's where someone needs to set him straight. He should be feeling grateful now - to YOU and to his Dr.'s/nurses for all they did for him and now it's time to start giving back.
Just the fact that he wants to find some weed is a bad sign. A VERY bad sign. And there is no way in hell he doesn't know how many mg's he's getting from the methadone clinic. Isn't there some way you can confirm that with the clinic when you bring him? The whole point of going back on the methadone was to allow him to stabilize from the meds at the hospital and I thought the plan was to slowly wean him off? Isn't that still the plan? What does he say about all of that??
And lastly, I am a HUGE animal lover and it's disturbing to me that he's taking out his moods on your pets. There is NO excuse for that - EVER. If he doesn't know how to be around the dogs, then he doesn't have the RIGHT to be around them. Enough said on that one.
Cindi - I am SO sorry you are going through all of this. With everything you have done for him and all the praying and visits to the hospital and you're carting him around for his appt's and to the clinic - he should be doing ALL he can right now to pay you back. Please, see if his bio-father will talk to him again about aftercare. What about NA? Or an additionologist? He needs someone to be brutally honest with him about how he's behaving and that shouldn't have to fall completely on you. You've been through enough here and it's time to tel him to GROW UP. I'm sorry, I know that sounds harsh, but I've been reading your posts since day one and you do NOT deserve this. And do NOT give in to his demands okay? He needs to realize there are SERIOUS boundaries at home and you won't bend for ANY of his demands okay?
Bottom line it sounds like he's starting to forget how LUCKY he is. That he's alive, that he has YOU to support him - literally. I mean seriously, if you weren't there where would he go? At his age, he should have a place of his own, a JOB and a source of income. The fact that he has all of these things taken care of for him has caused him to take them for granted. He was starting to realize all of that only a little while ago but now he's getting "bored?". So if he's bored - and can't find work - let him go volunteer someplace and help someone ELSE. Like I said, it's time for him to start PAYING IT FORWARD. I do think he needs to now that you will NOT tolerate this behavior from him. Period.
I read your post twice and you are sooo right! Ya' know, the thing that really gets me is how ungrateful & selfish he is. Not that I expected it, but you just made me realize that he hasn't even said so much as "thank-you" for anything I've done. Not for getting him to the hospital, running back & forth to see him at least twice a day, worrrying myself half to death over him, calling in specialists, missing many days of work to take care of him, finding insurance through the county that would take care of everything, running him to all his appointments, buying and fixing all the foods he was supposed to eat, getting his medication,taking him to the methadone clinic and paying for it every single week, etc, etc, etc. What in the world does it take for him to show gratitude?!?!? And as for what the doctors and nurses did to help him - hah! All he has to say about that is "it's the worst piece of crap hospital he's ever seen" ... The only GOOD thing he's said was how he really liked one of the nurses because she's the only one who would put the pain medication directly in the IV at his wrist & push it in fast so he could feel it quicker. The rest of them refused to do it that way, even though he asked them to ... they all said it was against the rules and they were supposed to connect it to the bag so it went in slowly. I can't believe he even had the nerve to ASK them to shoot it in his wrist - dang!!! That just turns my stomach! I don't know what's going to happen to him or how this is going to play out, but I have an ugly feeling in the pit of my stomach.
He came downstairs a few minutes ago and simply said "I think I took too much Benadryl" and walked on into the kitchen... My heart fell to my feet! I asked him how many he had taken and why he said that and he said he didn't know how many but it was a "few" and he takes them because he can't sleep. Now, first of all, they're not sleeping pills; he's supposed to take them only when he itches. And secondly, why in the world is he not able to sleep??? I thought methadone was supposed to take care of all that and put him back in a "normal pattern"? So now instead of drinking, he's taking methadone every morning, Benadryl whenever he feels like it, anti-anxiety meds and sleeping meds from his primary care doctor, and I have no idea how many or how often he's taking those! I know he's not taking them as prescribed though .... or even for the purpose they were given to him. I think he's taking them to try and get a buzz no matter what kind it is and it's not working.
Here's the thing. Part of me wants to take all the medicine, lock it up and give it to him when he's supposed to take it but another, bigger part of me is so tired of this crap I could scream! LIke you said, he's 35 freakin years old - Enough already!!!
No, he's not getting any kind of after care of any kind and absolutely refuses to go to AA or NA. Yes, the plan was for him to taper off the methadone but every time I bring it up, he says he's not ready yet. He says he wants to get his license back and find a job while he's "feeling normal" and THEN he'll try to taper off. I want to push the issue (tapering) but don't know if I should. I really don't see why I shouldn't though.
I'm so frustrated I don't know WHAT to do and I'm getting to the point that I don't want to do anything at all!!! I'm so tired. I feel like things are already getting out of control and it's just a matter of time before everything hits the fan again. But dang it, I can't be his guard 24/7. HE has to do this, not me!!
Ugh! For now, I'm just going to crawl in the bed and get to sleep ... that's the only time I get to escape this never ending nightmare.
Sorry for rambling ...
PS - Don't worry, when I said he's not being nice to my puppy dogs I didn't mean that he was mistreating them. I would NEVER, EVER allow that to happen!!! I just meant that he used to baby them, let them sleep with him, take them for walks, love on them all the time,etc, but now he doesn't even want them around him and has zero patience. It's just so out of character that it bothers me.
You're right, Jade ... Monday is a GREAT time to start looking for a job. I pulled the want ads from this morning's paper and handed it to him just a few minutes ago. He wants to get his license FIRST and then get a job. His reasoning is that he can then drive himself to work instead of me having to take him. At first, I was falling for it but now I've decided that it will NOT happen in that order. It costs around $100 to get his license back,which he expects me to pay and then he expects to be able to drive my car. Nope! He has to get a job FIRST and I will either drive him to & from work or if it's close enough he can ride his bike. When he earns the money to get his license back, THEN he can get it. I'm not going to pay for it!!! The reason he lost his license in the first place is because of a speeding ticket he never paid ... a year later, I paid it for him. The very least he can do is pay his own reinstatement fee! AND unless things change with his attitude, I don't want him driving my car either.
I'm getting really, really tired of him thinking that the whole world revolves around him. I know a lot of that attitude is my fault for allowing it to continue and catering to him for all these years so I guess it's up to me to change it.
OMG ... He just came tromping down the stairs and said "this being sober stuff is for the birds. I'm so bored I can't stand it" ... I said to him "I'm sober and I'm not bored. And as soon as you start looking for a job tomorrow and get to work, you won't be so bored" ... he said, as he was tromping back upstairs, "It won't matter, I'll be bored whether I have a job or not" ... HE IS GETTING ON MY LAST NERVE!!!!
I hope I'm wrong, but I'll be very surprised if he's not drinking again very soon. It's the only "legal" high he can get and still take the methadone. the only thing I know for sure is that I will NOT buy alcohol for him or help him get it in any way. If he puts that "gun" to his head, he'll provide the gun AND the bullets, not me!!!
Everything he's saying is his addiction talking. Actually, it's his addiction screaming. Whereas a non-addict who survives a near-death experience learns something from it, an addict usually can't. There's too much static in his head. That's why working a program like AA is so important. He doesn't yet know how to cope with life - being bored - without some kind of mind-altering substance.
You must know from the benadryl incident that self-medicating with anything is part of being an addict. It's not something you can control and you'll only drive yourself insane trying to play DEA cop and controlling his behavior. Sit down with your husband and make a list of boundaries and consequences that you're sure you can enforce, and then sit down and discuss them with Austin. It's extremely important that you both stick to whatever consequences you determine are appropriate. If you don't, it just reinforces his ability to manipulate you into whatever he wants.
What are you prepared to do if he starts drinking again?
Dont despair Cindi, I am 51 days clean off of oxy's. My pain levels are thru the roof. I have zero patience for anyone, and I am a crying intolerable biotch at times. Cant understand why GOD allows all this pain, only to give me pain pills to feel better, only to make them not work anymore, to only have to go thru withdrawals to get off of them, only to be in more pain! Its a never ending cycle. I am a big cry baby right now, and it's hard to get excited over life SOBER! I use to even love washing and scrubbing the toliet bowl on oxy's. Now life is so boring. But day by day, it does get better. He is still on meth, so, he's not nearly there yet. Its going to take him a long while. And as far as sleeping goes, after a while the dang oxy's/meth will & can do the opposite. Before I went off of oxy's I was sleeping like a baby for 5 years, but about 3 months before I detoxed, I couldnt sleep anymore. That's the meds doing the mess up with the brain. I still can hardly lseep at night since Ive been off of them. It takes forever to feel normal again. I read one month for every year one's been on them and he is still on them. ( Ive got another 3 months to go myself)Take those benadryls away, the more he takes, the more of an oppsite affect he's going to have since hes also taking sleeping meds. They can make one restless if taking too much or all the time. Just give him what he needs for the hours allotted. Hope this helps. xo
I definitely agree about the benadryl. The first time I took one for an allergic reaction it put me right to sleep. And then a Dr. of mine recommended I take them as well for sleep but I found after time they only made me jittery and anxious and gave me horrible RLS. I found the same with any of the tylenol or advil PM stuff - also made me jittery. The only OTC sleep med that worked for me was either melatonin (must be taken shortly before bed though and in complete darkness - weird, I know but that's how they work) or unisom but the doxylamine succinate kind - the the dexa...whatever it is, always gave me horrible RLS and that made sleep impossible. But definitely have him limit the benadryls they'll eventually have an opposite effect.
And I hope right now you're doing something for YOU? A hot bath, reading a good book in front of a fire or snuggled up in bed taking a nap? Or even out shopping with a friend, or a movie. Remember Cindi you need the downtime wherever you can get it okay? Taking care of YOU right now is equally important.
First of all, congratulations Sandra on your 51 days clean - that's GREAT!!!!
Thanks all of you for your thoughts and advice on my situation. You have no idea how much I appreciate it and how much it helps me.
I've been told that I shouldn't push him into tapering off the methadone & to let him decide that for himself, in his own time, but I just don't see why I shouldn't. I'm the one paying for it, after all ... Seems to me that if he wants to continue it "full force" till the end of time that he should get a job and pay for it himself. Or am I missing something here??? I don't mind paying for it if I see him trying to get off of it but to continue indefinitely??? I swear,sometimes I think I'd rather him be taking the pain pills or smoking pot rather than be on methadone. But then again, I don't know if his grumpy personality is the methadone, or the lack of alcohol or both! This morning he was a grumpy, unreasonable troll and this afternoon he's "normal" and nice again. Like Jekyl & Hyde!
I think I will sit down with my husband and try make a list of boundaries and consequences that we can stick to as you suggested, Jay. I feel like we're dealing with a teenager instead of a 35 year old! He's keeping all his medications in his bedroom now instead of the kitchen because he says "it's more convenient that way" ... I think that's the first thing that needs to change ... and then we'll go from there I guess.
Dang it ... I really thought things were going to be so much better now but it seems that we've gotten off one roller coaster only to hop on the next one!
Okay Cindi - really? It's "more convenient that way?" - exactly where does he think he is? And quite frankly, for these given situations, WHO does he think he is? He was on his death bed from the choices HE made over the years and he can no longer make those decisions for himself. Not when it comes to ANY mindaltering substances. And he is in no position to be reliable when it comes to dispensing those meds. If he's taking them properly, then there should be no problem leaving them in the kitchen.
Have you looked at how much he's taking of those meds? Because honestly, when I hear that one minute he's impossible and the next a "nice guy" the whole "jeckyl and hyde" thing should be of concern. He could be taking more meds than prescribed and we all know where that leads.
I agree with you - you need to set some serious boundaries here - and you are correct. He IS a grown man, not a teenage, and it's time he start acting like one. Put your foot down here because this is your and your spouse's home NOT his. And if he wants your help - and let's face it he can't do this on his own he has no financial capability to do that, then he's going to have to live by your rules.
This is how it starts - slowly he'll start expecting things - he won't come at you with all of it at once. But every decision you grant him he'll take another and another and soon you'll have lost all control. And I also couldn't agree more with you about the tapering. That was the plan that was put in place to save his life right? So what's changed? If he doesn't continue on with the plan dictated by his Dr.'s for the benefit of his well being, then he'll eventually slide back into the old lifestyle thinking since he got out safely the first time, it's not a big deal that he can do it again. See, this is why AFTERCARE is so important. Getting off the drugs is one thing. Staying off of them and finding a new way to live and becoming a responsible adult who contributes to society, well that's quite another and it takes hard HARD work. He's no different than any other addict - we all want the easy way out but until you realize there is none, nothing will change.
Good luck to you - hope the night is at the very least a quiet and relaxing one for you. And do NOT give in - as vicki stated earlier - YOUR house YOUR rules. Period.
Bravo for everyone's input. Like IMDONE said, there is no easy way. I have been off the charts with my physical pain. How easy it would be to take a dang pill, and I still have 2 bottles, but I keep them, to know how discusting they are and not want to go back. I have to go shopping every 2 days to a organic grocery store to get veggies so I can juice every 2 days for myself. It isnt close by either.Talk about how hard it is..., all Austin has to do is go to the kitchen or YOU and ask for the meds he needs. I am hoping every thing I do will eventually help me. I go to the chiropractor 3 x;s a week, have to shower and get dressed under sheer exhaustion and then go OUT! UGH! I still donnot sleep well either. It is never easy to come back to reality, but if us grown ups want it enough, we do it. Get tuff, Cindi, real tuff, dont give up, cause as a mommy you will end up suffering again, and you know you will. YOUR HOUSE! YOUR RULES!!!!!
Cindi, Jekyl and Hyde behavior...Red Flag! I live with someone like that and when he's using, he is easy going, but when he's coming down, he is horribly moody and impossible to get along with. It does sound like Austin might be abusing his meds. As others said, if he has nothing to hide, there should be no problem keeping his meds in the kitchen. How far away from his room can your kitchen be? Stairs?...he needs the exercise anyway.
he isnt ready to change his way of thinking yet. well then it is time for you to lay down some fast and hard rules. if he is back to being arrogrant again he is well enough to start tapering his methadone.
i would insist that he sign a waiver at the clinic for you to be privy of his info. he doesnt know what dose he is on? bs. when he signs the waiver you will know and then will know if he is tapering.
even at 55mgs the taper will take months.
no license until he can pay for it to be restored with his job.
time for his big boy pants.
He's already talked himself into a relapse. The overdosing on benadryl, lying about not remembering his methadone dose and hoarding his meds are just the beginning. Even nearly losing his life wasn't enough to convince him to give up control and try something that really works. I'm so sorry, but I'm very much afraid he's going to get worse again, and soon.
Unfortunately, I know you're all right & you really have him pegged.
I don't know how much of the meds he's taken but I know it's more than he was supposed to take. Maybe I'm wrong, but I really don't see the point in telling him to hand it all over now because I know I may or may not get what's really left.(wouldn't be surprised if it's already gone) and I don't see what I can really do about it except to just not buy any more. I talked to him today about tapering off the methadone and he's "still not ready" ... I got really angry & told him he da-m well better GET ready because this wasn't the deal and I'm getting sick & tired of paying for it and I'm not going to keep paying if he's going to stay at the same dose and make no effort to get off the crap. I told him that he needs to put in a request TOMORROW to start tapering. (I'm going to take your advice about having him give them permission to talk to me so that I know exactly where we're at) I told him too that he has to look for a job every day until he finds one, I don't care if it's at McDonalds! I also told him that I'm not going to pay to get his license reinstated; I told him I didn't lose it for him and it's not my responsibility to get it back for him. That's what a JOB is for ... to pay your own way!
I wanted to do and say SO much more but held my tongue because I want to be sure I'm not throwing stuff out there that I can't stick to.
He applied for 3 jobs today online (everything is online now days - what do people do if they don't have a computer??). One of the places already called him back so I'm hopeful about that one ... and it's only 1/4 mile from home so he can ride his bike. Not a "career opportunity" but it's a job (Subway).
I found an Alanon meeting that I can go to tomorrow afternoon and I will be there!
You just keep hanging strong Cindi! I also think that when he's out of the house, you have every right to look around in that room of his...I would at this point! You need to know exactly what's going on!
When he put his life in your hands, he gave you license to own him so he pretty much has no rights until he earns them back...
I'm glad he's "cured" but wow!! What a 180 !!! I'm so sorry but at least you can yell at him and not feel guilty!! LOL
Cindi, I have read both of your threads concerning your son and I am sooo sooo sorry you have been through so much. I totally feel your pain as a mother as I have a 31 year old son who has been an addict since he was around 17(you name it he was on it and then landed on pain pills which lead to herion). He has been using herion for the last 3 or 4 years. I, like you, did everything in my motherly power to protect my son from himself and prayed and prayed for his life. Today, he is in jail for a violation of probation and will be sent to a long term in-patient care facility, which on one hand I really pray it works. I have taken the detachment stance ... which is the only way I can even begin to bear with my emotions. I have stood back thankful that he's in jail and not on the streets and that his probation officer recognizes his dire need for in-patient therapy. But I also told him that this time he's on his own (2 previous jail terms I funded canteen, phone and weekly visits only to be totally blown away when he went back to using as soon as he was released) but this time I have stood strong and detached myself letting him fall to his "rock bottom." Of course, all this does not come without circumstance as he's constantly writing me about how I totally messed his life up and how awful I am to just let him sit there with nothing. I have always been there for him withdrawals, DTs, and an close call to an overdose, psychiatrists, psychologists to the point of financial ruin but I have to put my foot down and I can no longer live my life through his addiction. He has always had a supportive and wonderful family so much so I want to say in our support we became enablers to a certain degree. Now he has burnt so may bridges that I am the only one he has left and I have to detach and perform tough love not just for him but for myself and my husband (step father to my son). I guess if there is one thing I have learned from all this is you can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves. They have to want it we can't force it on them and expect it to work. Like you I have funeral arrangements made in case something happens and only when he starts in-patient therapy and I see something other than the addict whose my son can I shed the ice queen detachment. I think this is my own defense mechanism at play since I, myself, should have admitted me into the mental health department. There were times my husband was going to call an ambulance because I was having panic and anxiety attacks which I felt put me on the brink of sanities edge. But us Moms are resilient creatures and we pull up our big girl panties, throw up our shields and head for battle. We have to for the sake of our children and families. I also have a sister who became an addict due to RA and Fybro and now she has stage 4 lung cancer at 45 yo, my 23yo nephew was also an addict (pain meds) but when my sister was diagnosed with cancer she sent him to me for his care .... he now lives with us and although there are times I think he might be at it again ... i just breath hoping he's not taking a fall out over my son (I am the ice queen after all) lol ... but so far he has been my success story. I'm hoping that will continue as we don't expect my sister to live until the end of the year. The chemo is breaking down her organs and she is once again over-medicating herself for pain. I'm standing strong for my nephew not to have a relapse as they are very close and praying that one day I will once again see my son ... the little boy I raised who thought I hung the moon. I sooooo hope things get better for you, your son and your family .... I can't cry anymore tears just fall spontaneously and with every tear I shed I shed it for all of us parents who have lived through this hell and feared for the lives of our children. I hope you got something from this post as I'm sure it's all over the place ... I don't express myself well when it comes to these matters but you are not alone and I hope that helps you rest peacefully.
WOW! You sound like my twin!!! Your son started using at 17 and is now 31. My son started at 15 and is now 35. Your son is in jail for a probation violation and the last time my son was in jail it was for the same thing!
My son has been in and out of jail so many times I can't even count them all. And each and every time, I went to visit, put money on his books, etc, etc., just like you did. The last time he was in jail was for 8 months (about 2 years ago) and he went through the pain pill withdrawal while he was there, his wife left him for another man because she still needed those pills, and when he came out he had nothing left, not even his clothes ... but he was totally and completely SOBER. I really and truly thought that he would finally be done with it that time but again I was wrong. I've thought many times that "surely THIS time is his rock bottom" but it never happened. If this close call with death doesn't do it, I'm really afraid that his "rock bottom" may be death. It breaks my heart to even say that, but I know it could be true.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with me ... I hope one day I'll be an "ice queen" just like you!
I'm hanging in there! Yesterday was 30 days with no alcohol for Austin but I didn't mention it to him. I was afraid if I brought it up I may jinx something. He made the comment last night "staying sober all the time really sux! I wish I could have something to just take the edge off or I'm gonna' go crazy" ... WHAT???? ... I kind of freaked out on him and he said "don't worry, I'm not going to sneak anything" ... I told him that he's already taking enough drugs (methadone) and that if he decides to drink again he can do it somewhere else because he's NOT going to commit suicide in MY house! As he walked away I heard him say "Fine, then I guess I will have to sneak" ... I hope and pray that he was just having a bad day and that he doesn't do anything stupid ...
I refuse to worry about it for at least the next 24 hours ... My hubby and I are leaving in about an hour to spend some time at the beach. It's only about a 45 minute drive and we'll be there in time for lunch. We have to get away & take a break from all this craziness even if it's only for a night.
I'll be checking back in tomorrow sometime ... I hope you have an awesome weekend :-)
Good for you Cindi! So glad to hear you're getting away for the night and the beach is the perfect place to decompress and reenergize. Very happy to hear that.
Yeah, and as far as Austin is concerned, he's going to complain for a while. As long as he doesn't drink or do anything in addition to the methadone, then basically he's still on the right path. It is time to start talking about weaning off the meth though, so maybe when you get back, you'll have the strength to approach that with him. The constant groaning and complaining and super normal though I can tell you that. I was in such a bad mood for SO long after I quit but I wasn't using anything so I tried to "ride" on my pride (oops did I just rhyme there? sorry lol!) - but I did try to remind myself that I was doing it and that things would eventually be okay as long as I stayed sober (almost a year and a half for me now! yippee)
Okay well nonetheless hope you're having a wonderful night away ! You certainly deserve it. :)
Austin complains cause its the addiction. Austin complains outloud, cause he knows your listening. When I was " bored" cause there were no opiates in my system, I grumbled to myself, but whenever my husband come home from work, that's when the water works started, and the complaining. I had someone to listen to me and it was automatic to complain knowing someone was there to hear me. The only difference is... I didnt threaten to take stuff, like Austin is doing to you. That sounds to me like a child's ploy to get a mommy to do what he wants her to do for him. He is def.., acting like a child when he says those things, and he knows you hear him. Donnot react to it, and just keep doing whatever your doing, like dishes, lundry, whatever. He wants a reaction.
I totally agree with sandra - his behavior is that of a child's and he's doing this because he knows you are bothered by it and he gets a reaction from it. As we've talked about before, it's time for him to grow up and start taking responsibility for his own actions. He's got a long road ahead of him but this isn't impossible. He can do it he just has to WANT to do it. Which is why I'm going to bring up aftercare again. And he's certainly going to need additional support once he starts weaning off the methadone. I have to ask - where is his bio father during all of this? Has he been consistently involved?
We're baaaaccckkk!!! Had a very relaxing 24 hrs away from it all & in the past I would have felt guilty about it (yes, I know it's crazy, but it's true), but this time I feel NO GUILT whatsoever - ha! Not only did I not worry about Austin while I was gone, I only remember THINKING about him once or twice! It did cross my mind that this was the first time he's totally alone in the house & he could indulge in whatever he chose to without us ever knowing. I immediately pushed it out of my mind since there's nothing I could do about it anyway and went for a walk on the beach :-)
He filled out the form this past Thursday to start tapering the methadone & I believe it starts on Wednesday. He's going to ask his primary care dr. to prescribe that old timey blood pressure medicine instead of the one he's taking because someone told me in this forum that it would help as he's coming off the methadone. Can't remember who told me that or what it's called but he knows the name of it.
Any time Austin mentions needing something to "take the edge off", how bored he is with being sober, or any other whining, I now just walk away without a word. If I stay and try to continue doing whatever I'm doing at the time, I can't resist saying something back to him. I just can't seem to shut my pie hole! Going for a short walk works better for me & my pie hole - lol Plus, I'm getting lots of exercise that way and so are my puppy dogs :-)
As for his bio-dad ... ugh! What a joke! Austin didn't see him from the time he was 18 months old until a little over a year ago & he went to live & work with him. That lasted about 6 months. Bio-dad is crazier than all of us put together! He smokes pot every day, does coke several times a week and drinks. And that's the GOOD part! He truly, honest to God believes he's a freakin ALIEN. I am not kidding!!! And he thinks Austin is an alien too ... I think he's totally fried his brain & is a total wackadoo!
My 2nd husband adopted Austin at 18 months old and that's the one who he thinks of as Dad. He's the one who is a recovering addict and is really involved in AA and NA. He's been clean for several years and he tris to get Austin to go to AA but he's very "preachy" about it and Austin just tunes him out.
His step-dad, who is my husband now (for 10 yrs) is very supportive and loves Austin very much but he's the one I told you guys about that drinks daily and I think he's a "functioning alcoholic". Never misses a day of work, is very responsible and a total family man but he goes through a couple bottles of vodka every week.
SO ... here we are. I've pretty much been a single parent Austin's entire life and I think that's one reason he's always been able to yank my chain. I've been so full of guilt for so many years and maybe trying to make up for it. I used to joke that "I was raised on guilt" but maybe it's more a reality than a joke.
I found an Alanon group that meets once a week during the day that I'm going to check out. I could go during my lunch break and I've been to enough of them to know that it can only help.
Oh, and Austin found out today that Home Depot right down the street is hiring so he filled out an application online. It would be awesome if he got a job there .. I'm just worried that a background check may knock him out of the running because he's been arrested so many times. One felonly when he was 18 for trying to cash a $40 check that wasn't his and since then it's been misdemeanors ... mostly domestic stuff, because of drug related violence. He & his girlfriends and then his wife were always fighting and acting crazy (Go figure, right?!?)
I feel like I'm rambling so I'm gonna' stop for now ... Sorry for running on and on :-)
ImDone ... a year and a half clean - That's awesome!!!! Yaaayyy for you!!!!
One last thing ... really :-) ... Austin goes back & forth sometimes saying how GREAT he feels not drinking and he loves waking up feeling good again and having an appetite again; then out of the blue he'll make one of his off the wall comments about how it sux to be sober. Is it normal to go back & forth like thatt?
Yes, it's normal for someone who isn't actually working a recovery program. Most of his life has been all about using. Trying to learn to live sober on his own won't exactly be easy. Not saying it can't be done, but that's what AA is for: learning new skills to cope with boredom and cravings.
I'm not giving up on him going to AA and I'm hoping that when I start going to Alanon this week, I'll be "leading by example" and maybe, just maybe, he'll come around and stop being so stubborn about it. Maybe if he sees ME getting better, he'll want to join the "peace train", ya' know? Maybe I'm kidding myself but it's all I know to do at this point.
It is very common to feel that way and that is why recovery care is so important. It has been years since i have drank and right before Christmas i was hit with a craving. I wanted Black Velvet in the worst way. Now usually my cravings are for pills so this one knocked me on my arse. I told the ones around me what was going on and we talked about it. The important thing is i didnt act on it, i did what i needed to do. I also went to the cupboard and got out my trusty old Grandmas Molasses, ate a couple spoonfuls(was fun to watch the others gag i might add!) and i felt better. The molasses always brings back good memories of being at my Grandparents house. We used to get that if we were tired!!! Anyways, not to make light of what happened as it could of been disastrous for me but because of my recovery care i was able to identify what was going on and held myself accountable. Just for today i am grateful~~sara
LOL Sara! I'll never think of Grandma's Molasses the same way! What an interesting and inventive way to deal with a craving. And not gag-worthy - I like a little molasses straight up myself. :-D
clu, I'm so glad to hear you're giving Al-Anon a try. I wouldn't expect miracles though. I had the same thoughts about going - leading by example might make him see the light that there was a big problem. Just the words "Al-Anon" and "AA" were scary enough for me, so surely if I went he'd jump on the guilt train and go too. Nope. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought, "It's all his fault I have to do this. HE did this to me. HE needs to fix my life." Talk about stinkin' thinkin'!
Austin already has an example of what AA can do through his step-father and that hasn't impacted him at all. Trying to understand the alcoholic/ addict mind can send the rest of us to the rubber room. LOL!
Well, crap! And there I thought I had it all figured out - lol ... Jay, I had to laugh about the "guilt train" and "it's all his fault I have to do this" because I have thought that SO many times over the years! I know I need to go to Alanon for ME, not for HIM. Austin's been in treatment several times (once for a whole year when he was 17. He 1st went inpatient, then to a halfway house where he worked and learned how to live on his own). And he went to AA for many years, off and on. Yes, he definitely knows what AA's all about and where & how to get help and support without any input from me. I guess I just get frustrated because I want him to go so badly!
Bit of good news ... He signed the form today at the methadone clinic giving them permission to talk to me :-) ... and I found out he's getting 50mg now. He filled out the form to start tapering and they do it 10% each week. So, here we go! Need to get ready for yet another roller coaster ride I guess.
I'm taking him to a JOB INTERVIEW this afternoon!!!
And about the Grandma's Molasses ... I love that stuff!!! I could drink it right out of the jar too ... I'm the same way with Hershey's chocolate syrup ... Whenever I have a "chocolate attack", I drink it right out of the bottle! My family grosses out and I can't imagine why - lol
Well, poop! (if I said what I really feel you'd see nothing but ***** because all my words would be bleeped out) Job interview didn't work out ... and so far neither has Alanon. The weekly day time meeting I found has been cancelled so I'm looking for another one. I'm REALLY gonna' go, Sarah, really!!! I just have to find one during the day because I can't see to drive at night. NO, it's not because I'm old - my eyes just have issues - lol
Thanks for checking in :-) Things are going pretty good lately. Not perfect, but much, much better! We went for his follow up dr. appt. on Thursday and his bilirubin # is down to 1.8 now (from 11), so that's great news! We go back in 2 weeks for more bloodwork and back to the dr. in 3 wks to get the results. Hopefully the # will keep dropping and get back into the normal range.
Austin is still not drinking (since 12/19) but still on the methadone, of course. They'll drop him tomorrow (Monday) from 50mg to 45mg, so we'll see how that goes. He'll go down 10% each time so it will definitely take a while, especially if he does it the way they want him to ... drop every 2 weeks, instead of every week. Does that sound like the "normal" taper to you? (every 2 weeks?) He wants to drop EVERY week but I don't know if he should or not?
I found out why he was walking in his sleep, hallucinating, getting confused, etc. - It was the sleeping pills! I looked them up on the internet and every single weird thing he was doing was a side effect of the stupid drug! I also counted how many were left and figured out that he was taking a lot more than he was supposed to. I immediately took them away from him and flushed them down the toilet. Since then, he's getting back to "normal". I went through his room and made sure there was nothing else being stashed/hidden and I feel much better ... now I can sleep at night without worrying! He was doing some CRAZY stuff, let me tell ya! One night he came downstairs with a towel rack in his hand, trying to get the towel out of the bar - huh?!? There was, of course, no towel IN the thing, but he sure thought there was. He had a "not quite there" look in his eyes and then 60 seconds later it was like he woke up. Very weird & creepy to see him like that. Another night, he swallowed some thumb tacks, thinking they were PILLS! I'm SO glad I figured out what was causing him to do this stuff and got rid of those pills!!! I told him there was NO reason for him to be taking the crap in the first place and as long as he lived in MY house he wouldn't BE taking it! Surprisingly, I got no argument!
I'm wondering now what to expect when he starts tapering on Monday??? If he tapers slowly will he still get sick? He has anxiety meds from his primary care dr. (which I am holding) ... will he need to start taking those while he's tapering???
OMG ...I just found out he's drinking again!!! For the past few days I've had a nagging feeling that he was because in the evenings he's been talking so much about the same thing over and over and over ... but I thought, "nah, it's my imagination" ...NOT. I walked into his room a few minutes ago and sitting on his night stand was a beer. Aaaarrrggghhh!!! His bedroom door was open and it smelled like he'd been smoking in there so I walked in to see if I saw an ash tray or anything ... but instead I found an empty beer can. I immediately confronted him and he said he's "only had a couple beers a few times, not enought to hurt anything ... not like I'm drinking liquor and it's only been a little bit ...I'm not going crazy with it or anything ... I was sober for 30 days and just wanted something to relax, " ... etc, etc,
I reminded him that he almost DIED not too long ago and that drinking WILL kill him and that drinking with methadone is deadly in itself, etc. He said that when he goes for his next blood test in 2 weeks if it's worse, he'll stop drinking for good. I told him what bull$hit that was, and that he has now PROVEN that he needs AA.
Unfortunately, I'm not surprised. Sad, but not surprised. It's been pretty obvious he's been talking himself into drinking again almost since he got home.
I understand how frustrated and scared you have to be right now, but one thing that you need to understand is that an active addict/ alcoholic's brain doesn't compute the same way that a sober person's brain computes. To sober people, a consequence like near death is enough to make us change. An active addict has too much static in his head to face the fact that his actions are proving deadly.
The ball is now in your court as to how you handle his drinking in your home while you and your husband are finacially supporting him. Whether he does it at home or out on the street, he's proven he's going to use and drink until he dies.
He needs a whole lot more than AA at this point. AA is great for people who are dedicated to recovery, but Austin isn't there yet. If ever anyone needed an interventionist and inpatient rehab, it's Austin.
Hi Jay - Do you know how I would go about finding an interventionist and are they expensive???
The clinic dropped his mg to 45 this morning and when he gets to 40 the inpatient place I found a couple months ago will take him. It's based on income, of which he has none, so cost won't be an issue. The only problem is that he has to WANT to go and he really doesn't. Just a month ago he admitted he had a problem and now magically, he doesn't. He says he can drink if he wants to and stop if he wants to. Yeah. Okay. I am not a TOTAL idiot, dang!
He's talking now about moving to Texas to live and work with a friend of his. (1500 miles from here). I feel kind of guilty about this, but I honestly hope he does go. I even told him that if he can find a methadone clinic there that will take care of him that I will continue to pay for it. I know in my heart of hearts that he's going to die from drinking and I really don't want to see it first hand.
It's weird that I'm not a crying, wringing my hands, nut case right now ... but I'm not. I told him last night that what he's doing makes me very sad and I'll miss him like crazy when he dies from this, but I know there's nothing I can do to help him anymore and that I'm going to start planning his funeral so that when the time comes, and it will, we'll be ready. I wasn't bluffing ... I started today looking into the cost of burial plots back home. I have a list of questions that I went over with Austin this morning ... I now know how he wants to be buried, what type of service and what songs he wants.
Is there something wrong with ME? Why am I not freaking out or at least fighting back tears???
You have done all you can now. He is not ready to stop and sometimes it never happens. Now is the time when you have to make a decision about whether to watch this or kick him out. You have lived this insanity long enough clu. You have become numb to this now. We all know what is in store for Austin if this continues, hopefully he will too real dam soon.
Oh Cindi... guess I'm feeling like you. Not surprised about this. Not at all.
And I can tell you one thing, though, and that is he's NOT going anywhere. Sure, it's a fun thought and since he's drinking again, it's making him feel good and he thinks he can do this. But he can't. He won't go anywhere as long as you're flipping the bill. I promise you this is just talk. So.....
Now it's up to you. It makes me so sad to hear you're actually planning a funeral for him... how awful this must be. I know you're numb, but I also know how much you've tried to do for him. Only it's his turn now and he doesn't want to take responsiblity for his life or his decisions. Easier to get away with drinking at home, having everything paid for, and a ride to his methadone clinic to get his daily high.
So it's time for you to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I don't know where he'll end up. And not sure what it's going to take to scare him into sobriety.. not even sure if that's possible anymore, given what he's been through already. But you do NOT have to live like this anymore. You've done everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you can. Time for a serious change.
Hi Cindi, still I wonder, if he has no money, how does he get alcohol? And for that matter cigartette's? Just cut him off entierly with that if your sponsering that gig. He doesn't have a " pot to pee in"! How is he going to move? It's all a bluff, don't even respond to him when he talks like that, and Alonon will help for sure if you haven't gone already. There's a show callled Intervention, copy and paste your whole story to them and maybe they'll take you for free. Hes a man and he's still acting like a baby, but Dr. Phil once said, "People will treat you the way you let them treat you""... He know you will treat him like a baby so he will act like one.
Yes, Sandra, I watch that show all the time & have wanted many times to get them to help us but all their stories seem to be so much worse than ours. I just figured we would be too boring for them and wouldn't make for "good t.v.". I'll look it up online and give it a shot though. Nothing to lose, right?
Where does Austin get money ... He normally has zilch in his pocket but last week he did a ton of work in the yard (climbing & pruning palm trees & stuff like that) so I gave him a few dollars. Sometimes when we go into a store he'll ask me for a couple bucks to buy a Starbucks drink or a snack so I thought I'd let him keep a few in his wallet so he doesn't have to ask me every single time. My mistake! I buy the cigarettes every week for all 3 of us. He does all the house work and yard work and gives me his $200 in food stamps each month ... and we provide room & board, cigarettes and methadone.
Dang it ... I need to jump on something for work right now ... I'll be back ...
Listen honey, this is how bad and how deep addiction can go. Even being near death doesn't wake him up to the reality! And it can be insanity...for you and you're being hurt terribly by it. So, it has to end right now. He can't do that in your house and he needs to go right now.
You can only take so much before YOU get sick so it's time to take a stand! He's an adult and he can take care of himself, trust me. He's had more help and support than I've ever heard of...seriously, so don't feel a bit bad or guilty. Just give him two days notice and show him the door.
OMG Vicki, I wish I could do that, I really do! But I know me and I know I won't. Everything you and everyone else is telling me is true, I know that, but I just can't DO it! If I had an option, like ... You will go into this inpatient facility or get out", THEN I could do it, but to just put him on the street??? I can't. (I know you're all cringing right now & wanting to come thru this computer after me!)
I went online today and filled out the forms to try and get the "Intervention" t.v. show to take him on. May be a crazy idea and I know I'm grasping at straws but ...
I also started looking into local interventionists ... maybe something will come thru with that.
If there was a place for him to go I could give him an "either/or" ultimatum, but right now, I just don't have it in me to put him on the street. I have done that in the past (twice) but we were in GA and he knew where he was and I felt like he could survive. But here, he knows nobody and doesn't even know where he is. I couldn't live with the worry and guilt :-(
I'm sorry. I feel like I'm letting everybody down.
He's an adult. If he doesn't know anyone, he can make friends. If he doesn't know where he is...(how can that be?? it's like he's a toddler!) he can ask for directions somewhere. You need to give him more credit here. He could survive. May not be great but he would survive.
Ultimatums don't ever work. Just think about it. In the meantime, tell him he needs to keep the bedroom door open and that he cannot drink in your house! I think the fact that he practically FLAUNTED his drinking by leaving empty cans around is just the height of aggression...
All of this is easier said than done, I know that. Just think it over. We understand about being Mothers and support you no matter what!
Ah, clu, how well I understand your position. It took me a long time to reach the point that I didn't have one tiny bit of care or compassion for my husband and showed him the door. For the first time, I cared more about my life than his. Once I hit that wall it was very easy to make that decision that seemed so wrong for all the years I'd been considering and rejecting it. If you aren't ready, you aren't ready, so don't beat yourself up. You're the one who has to live in this situation - not us.
A word of caution about hiring an interventionist, or even if by some miracle the TV show decides to take a look at your family: you know how it works. If you really aren't ready to consider removing Austin from your home, an intervention won't be effective. That's an ultimatum with no teeth - in other words, it's just noise and he'll know it.
I heard something on Intervention a couple weeks ago that really resonated with me. The interventionist (can't remember his name and he's my favorite one - older kind of redneck guy with the mustache?) told the family that one definition of co-dependency is "neglect of self." Holy crap! All this time I'd been going down the list of co-dependent behavior the rehab place gave me and thinking, "Only one or two of all these things applies to me. I'm not co-dependent." If the term is defined as neglect of self, count me in! I didn't try to control my husband but I dam sure neglected myself. I stepped completely out of life and allowed my husband's actions to determine how I would feel and behave on a given day. I didn't try to control him, but I didn't take control of my own life either.
You're doing the same thing. You're neglecting yourself (and probably your marriage as well) and living your life for Austin. If he acts normal and you believe he hasn't used on a given day, you're elated. If you find evidence of using, you're devastated. That's a whole lot of power over your life that you've ceded to him. Worse, he knows it and uses it to keep life going exactly the same with you supporting him, willing or not.
You're trying to control his addiction by controlling his environment, medical care, diet and finances as if he were still a child. "If I do X, logically he'll respond with Y." Nope. Addiction doesn't work that way. His addiction is still screaming at him so normal logic doesn't compute. The insanity is the rest of us still treating them as if they have the capability of logical thought. If nothing changes, nothing changes. Sure, Austin nearly died, but his life didn't change - and neither did yours. He knows he has a roof over his head, food and medical care, so why change anything? All the housework he's doing is just one way to get you off his back. "See how much I help out? I'm not so bad even if I still drink and I know you need me to be here."
If you can't make it to Al-Anon meetings, go to the library and check out some books by Melody Beattie. "Co-dependent No More" would be a good one to start with but she has several books published that can help you understand co-dependency. Her works are commonly used for self-study in Al-Anon groups as well because she comes from a substance abuse background. It doesn't replace Al-Anon and the personal touch to be found there, but it's a start to understand addiction and our response to it.
Remember that Al-Anon follows the same 12-step program as AA/ NA. The first step is the same for all: admitting we are powerless over alcohol and drugs. Right now, Austin can't see that he is powerless and neither can you. Nobody else can make him see that. It's a very personal epiphany for everyone and it usually doesn't happen until life becomes completely unmanageable. Right now, you're busily managing Austin's life for him so in effect, you're putting off the day of his possible recovery.
I know we've all thrown a whole lot of junk at you to think about. My intention isn't to upset you but to give you food for thought. We've all been in your shoes and we all understand how difficult it is to change our behavior. We also know how awful it is to realize that we played our part in enabling another's addiction to continue. The past is done, so let it go. You can only change your own future and that future is based on what you do today.
I would say, he gives u the $200.00 for food stamps and you provide the room n board and meth, but no cig's and no beer. He's getting the beer somehow, I just dont understand how. Its really time t put your foot down. I too wouldnt kick my son out, the new freinds he finds might just be a death sentence, but I would def reinforce the other rules. Until you get him into treatment. Oh boy, what a tangled mess we all weave in life. xo
WOW jaybay that is one of the best posts I have ever read here.
Cindi - we get it. You don't want to put your son out on the streets. Of course we know you love him. And you aren't letting anyone here down, although I'm afraid you are letting yourself down. And I keep having this one thought over and over about all of this - what kind of favor are you doing him by taking care of him? He will never learn how to do that for himself until he tries or actually in his case - until he's forced to do just that
And what if, g-d forbid, something happened to you? What would he do? How would he take care of himself? Please, as jaybay suggested, reach out to those in Al-Anon - please give that a chance. And I think reading the books suggested is a great idea. Knowledge is power Cindi. And I think right now you're too close to the situation to think clearly and that's where Al-Anon could help you.
Thanks everyone; you've all given me a lot to think about. Jay, your comments really hit home. I'm going to buy the book you suggested and I'm going to go to an Alanon meeting. Maybe it will help my sick brain, I don't know. I've been to TONS of Alanon and Naranon meetings over the years and it did make me feel better but I still didn't make any life altering changes where Austin was concerned. I had no problem kicking out drug addict & alcoholic husband(s) but when it came to my son it was a different story.
Don't feel bad clu - we've all been sick too and each of us walks our recovery path in our own time and in our own way. The important thing is that you're opening yourself up to doing something different and beginning to recognize that what you've been doing hasn't worked - not for you and not for Austin. There is zero shame in admitting that you need help to try to figure out a new way to live your life so that it's manageable and happy. That's supposed to be a good thing! Family recovery is a process just like it is for the addict, and we don't have to wait for the addict to jump first.
You know, we get so lost in someone else's addiction that we completely forget our own dreams and needs in life. Life becomes one big merry-go-round of chaos and insanity with no room for self or thoughts of the future. You can get that back for yourself, particularly if you approach Al-Anon this time with the idea of getting a sponsor and working the steps. More food for thought, right? :-)
Will your husband attend meetings with you? I really hope so. His life has been affected by Austin's addiction every much as yours has been even though he isn't as involved in the daily drama as you are. However much time and energy and "self" that you give to Austin is that much less that you have for your husband and yourself. It seems to be pretty common that when one spouse gives all to the addict, the other one isolates and suffers in silence, and neither party wants to face how much damage has been done to the relationship. When you both have to make tough decisions in the future, you'll do it together and he'll have your back - as will your sponsor if you find one you like to work with.
Now perk up. You're human and that means we learn from our mistakes. You're a smart lady, right? I think you are, and that means you're more than capable of learning. Sending hugs your way. :-)
Baby steps ... I joined an online Alanon group today AND I attended a telephone meeting this afternoon :-) I also found a meeting nearby to go to that meets at noon 3 days a week, which is the perfect time for me to go (during my lunch break). I'm going to my first one on Tuesday and I'm really looking forward to it.
Jay, your last post was SO us! Me & my husband had a talk last night and I found out that he is really, really tired of how things have been with Austin. I knew it bothered him but I didn't realize how much! We actually ended up getting into a pretty good argument about it but when I think back about it, I realize that I started the argument because I knew he was RIGHT and I didn't know what to say or how to handle it ... how sick is THAT?!? He told me that he's sick of us taking care of Austin and he's sick of paying for the methadone and he wants it to stop. He said that "as long as we keep doing everything for him, he'll never have to do anything for himself" ... has he been going to Alanon behind my back?? (lol)
Right now I just don't know how to do what he's asking me to do. I told him that if Austin stops taking the methadone cold turkey that he'll be horribly sick and that I can't deal with that and be able to work too. I'll be the one at home (because I work from home) having to listen to the moaning & groaning and vomiting and whatever else he would go through ... while hubby goes happily off to work. I honestly don't know what to do!
I did make one change though ... I told Austin on Friday that instead of taking him to the clinic every morning, he'll be taking the bus ... starting this Monday morning. He told me that he talked to a lady at the clinic who tried that and it took her four hours. I said "so what? You don't have anything else to do and you need to start taking some responsibility and this is a good place to start. Plus, it will be good for you to get out and find your way around town, and it's just getting to be too inconvenient for me and causing me to be late for work" ... Now I just hope there's a bus that goes from here to there every morning. I haven't even checked. Crap! I'm going to check that right now ... It's a little town but there just has to be a bus running that time of morning!
Anyway, I just thought I'd give you guys a quick update ... I'm still hanging in there and I'm going to make Alanon meetings a priority!
Wow! Cindi, you're on your way and that's more than baby steps. :-) Too late now, but Austin needs to be the one to figure out how the bus routes work or find an alternative. Trust me, with a choice of getting off his rear end and doing it himself vs. going into withdrawal, he WILL find a way to get there. At least you've got that daily chore off your back now.
I'm so glad you talked to your husband! Funny how something "small" like marriage gets completely left out of the equation when an addict is involved, isn't it? That had to be really REALLY hard for you to admit he was right about Austin. In my house, the hubs and I go to incredible lengths to avoid the "R" word when applied to the other. LOL!
If Austin gets dope sick, it is not your job to be his nurse. He won't die from being dope sick unless he abuses alcohol or other drugs to try to deal with it. You already know he can get his hands on alcohol whether you're around or not. You know your husband will completely support your decision to carry on with your workdays if that happens. Listen to him and let him help you. After all, isn't that what being married is all about?
Detaching from Austin doesn't mean you don't love or care about him anymore. It just means that you're stepping back and allowing him to be who he is and to learn how to figure out life all by himself - something we all have to do for ourselves. You've tried so hard to control him and where has it gotten you both? Nowhere but the same place.
Hope to hear a good report from you next time. :-)
Hi Jay :-) You're right that I should have let him figure out the bus system himself, which would have been the smart thing to do but noooo, I had to even go a step further. Are you sitting down??? Not only did I get the bus schedule, I called to confirm that I was reading it correctly and then I took Austin in my car and drove the bus route so he'd know where he was going. Like he was 5 years old going to kindergarten for the first day - OMG! Looking back, I can't even believe I did that! I have GOT to STOP doing crap like that. It doesn't even make sense, but I do these things without thinking ... like a robot. I do not like myself like this.
I've been to 3 Alanon meetings, not in person yet, but on a bridgeline and I got a lot out of each one. The topic seems to be about ME every time - lol ... My favorite "saying" (I know that's not what it's called but I can't remember the right name for it) so far is "Easy Does It". The meeting yesterday was for beginners and that was the topic. Oh, how I needed to hear that!
It struck me today that I have been surrounded by alcoholics and drug addicts since I left home at 17 years old. Every single relationship I've had has been with with an addict or alcoholic ... I even gave birth to one. And now I'm married to yet another one. Crap!
Cindi, HONEY, when are you going to get moving here? Going to meetings online isn't the same thing and you know that. You need to get personal with some of the other members to find a way out.
And you are right - DRIVING him the whole bus route? Seriously? Come on sweetie, you are correct - that is something you do for a five-year old, NOT a thirty-five year old. As long as you continue to treat him as a child, he'll be one. It's that simple.
So step up and get going here!! What are you waiting for?? You know I care - so please don't take these words harshly. I'm just not sure anymore how to get through. PLEASE make a change. TODAY.
And don't forget Cindi, the common denominator here re: your life being surrounded by addicts. That common denominator is YOU. Do you think you have issues with wanting to be with someone, anyhone, that requires you CARING for them 24/7? Just something to think about.
Uh oh... Domino's here! And she's using that same tone of voice on you as she did on me. LOL!
Cindi, it's hard to change a lifetime of behavior. It's even more difficult to look at yourself and realize that some of your behaviors aren't acceptable even to you. You're now in a place that you can recognize behavior that is harming your life - that's a good thing! Now that you know your mothering gene is cranked up so high that it causes harm, you can learn to identify and stop that behavior before it goes completely overboard. A habit of a lifetime can't be changed overnight.
You strike me as someone who is very caring to everyone that comes into your life and I'm guessing it makes you feel very good to be in a nurturing role. If you've been surrounded with addicts your entire life, you had to have learned to be a caretaker at a very young age. It's going to take some dedicated work on your part to change that and figure out when nurturing turns into enabling. Try the old "count to ten" technique before your autopilot kicks in and you find yourself once again trying to control another person's actions. Ask yourself if what you're about to do for someone else is something he should do for himself. It's time to turn all that nurturing and caretaking onto you. :-)
Hi cindi I too have been surrounded with addiction my whole life.my alcoholic uncle lived with us my entire childhood. He lived with my parents until he died at 62.
I also married 2 addicts and have 2 addict children.
We are mothers,woman,we are nurturers, caretakers,it is very natural for us.
That being said, it also makes us feel needed,it feeds our self esteem. If we don't have anyone to take care of we don't feel like we are useful or have any self worth. Then comes the fine line between helping,nurturung and enabling. it leads to us being used and taken for granted,under appreciated and just expected to do the things that we have always done.
Something I heard at an alanon meeting yesterday.
"To stop being the doormat we have to get up off the floor."
After all the years I have lived with addiction that would be 54 years. I finally crawled into a meeting 6 months ago,cried the first few meetings, and then decided and was determined that it is now my turn to take care of myself and nurture myself and get on the road to recovery.
My husband and my son have both been in recovery .my son for 2 years and 9 months and my husband 2 years next week. My daughter is clean for 3 weeks. I still have 2 young sons who are 12 and 14.
I am now in a much better place to beable to nurture and care for my family because I am much healthier. I am not enabling. I have defined that to my family. I will support their recovery and do all I can to make sure they succeed. I will not fall back again into the dysfunction that I lived for so long.
I attend 3 meetings a look forward to my meetings. They are a life line for
The topic yesterday was courage. It takes courage to step beyond what is comfortable,predictable and known.
Praying for your strength,
Hey you guys ... I'm so sorry I haven't been here in a while. I've had an eye infection and couldn't wear my contacts ... which means I couldn't see - ugh! It's been awful :-( Good news though is that I can see again and I'm baaaaccckk!!!
I just read all your messages ... thanks for caring & wondering if I dropped off the planet or not. Makes me feel good :-)
Things are going okay I guess. Austin's been riding his bike and taking the bus to the clinic every day which I absolutely LOVE. It takes about 3 hours round trip and I enjoy that time so much! Just me and the puppy dogs in the house for a few hours. I think that's my favorite time of the day now! He had a job interview today at a music store and we're all hoping he gets the job. (It's also on the bus route :-) He's been into music since he was a little boy so this would be right up his alley. They're supposed to let him know by Friday ... fingers crossed!
He gets his blood checked tomorrow and we'll get the results next week. I can't wait to see how it turns out because I know he's been drinking beer. Don't know how much but definitely been drinking. He doesn't think it will affect his bloodwork because he says he hasn't drank very much. We'll see. On one hand, I want it to show in his bloodwork so he sees that even a "little bit" can be bad, but on the other hand I don't want him to get sick again and die from it either. This is where I have to turn it over to God and just pray for the strength & courage to handle it regardless of which way it goes.
Yes, I know I need to go to face to face Alanon meetings and I have the schedule in my purse and have every intention of going. But somehow when that day and time rolls around there's always something that keeps me from going ... work, something at home, eye infection, always seems to be something. I really do want to go and be a "regular" but I haven't been able to yet.
Dang - I have to jump on something for work ... I'll be back ... I promise!
Great news! See - Austin really is a capable adult and now you have some much needed down time. Enjoy! :-)
In other news - we are now a bikeless family. My husband finally sold the Harley (police issue Electra Glide) for a badly needed cash infusion. We really haven't ridden much lately anyway. My body is so messed up I can't go on road trips anymore and all our former riding compadres were heavy drinkers so it just wasn't all that attractive. Not to say we won't get another one in the future but for now we're strictly on 4 wheels. Kinda feels like the end of an era. :-/
Hey guys ... yes, I'm okay. Just had so much going on (not just with Austin) and when I had the time to log on I was just too dang exhausted.
Jay, we got rid of our bike too (same kind you guys had - lol). We never rode it anymore and just made payments every month for it to sit in the garage. Not very smart we finally decided. When we can afford to, we'll probably get a jeep instead. Still a fun ride, plus all the puppy dogs can go with us :-)
Here's a quick update on "stuff" ...
Austin is still riding his bike and taking the bus to the clinic every day and he's supposed to start tapering tomorrow. Yeah, I know ... he was supposed to do that a long time ago but I just found out he went UP instead of DOWN.
I found out from a neighbor / friend just last night that he's now drinking vodka again. I have no idea how much or how he's getting it. I figure it really doesn't matter at this point.
Went to get lab results from the doctor last week and they ran the wrong freaking tests so had to do it all over again. Won't know results for 4 more weeks.
He didn't get the job at the music store and was extremely bummed about that.
Me & hubby aren't getting along well at all and I'm not sure what the future holds for us. Icing on the cake seemed to be when I told him that I think he's an alcoholic as well as Austin - THAT didn't go over very well, let me tell ya!
Okay, so that's about everything in a "snap shot" ... I'll start checking back in more often.
I wish, however, you had better news to share. My goodness you have been through the ringer haven't you? And you know what my first thought here was? Take care of YOU. If that means being on your own for a while, as hard as that would be, it might be a blessing too. Now of course, I'm not saying to walk away from hubby if he needs your help but SHEESH when will it be YOUR turn for happiness? Apparently, Austin has decided he's "above" all the tests and medical issues that his behavior has visited upon him, and at this point, there's really nothing left for you to do. Until HE realizes he needs to stop, you'll continue to run really fast IN PLACE. Never moving forward and only to be left to deal with your loved ones aftermath. Which is why I continue to believe that Alanon would be a great support system for you - plus you'd develop new friendships and create a life that's only for YOU. No one else and at this point, after everything you've tried to do - don't you deserve a chance here? (you do in case you weren't sure how to answer that).
And your friends here at medhelp will remain here for you. So please try to stay in touch okay? I know - we're all only "cyber" friends and I get that. But words have power - and we care about you.
Hey Cin - come on in and talk to us! I'm so sad to hear the news about Austin. Hard as it is to accept, he's just not done yet. I didn't think he was when he so adamantly refused treatment and AA. I hope you've at least found time so soak in a relaxing bathrub and let Calgon take you away once in a while. :-)
Hi guys! I finally took the time to check in. Sorry I'm so sporadic. I swear, it seems like I don't have 2 minutes to myself anymore! Things are going okay I guess. Not really any changes. Austin didn't get the job at the music store and he's still drinking. To be honest I think I've pretty much given up on him ever stopping. Hubby's still drinking ... I think I've given up on that one too. Guess I'm just kind of "treading water" for now. My stress level is off the charts but I'll deal with that somehow. I always do, right? Anyway ... that's about it for now. Nothing new, just same 'ol, same 'ol. I hope you're all doing great :-)
I'm at a loss for words. I really don't know what to say except I'm sorry to hear things are still so difficult. And I know you said you'll get through this, that "you always do" but it has to be exhausting right? Please try to take care of yourself. Your husband and your son need to learn how to take care of themselves, you can't do that for them anymore. So please find a way to bring some peace into your life, whatever way that might be. You deserve to be happy too you know.
I just read this whole thread and the last post was made the day after I got in a horrific accident that I almost died from. Alcohol and sleeping pills were involved. I got super close to the end on 3/19/12 and have been in and out of a wheelchair ever since then. I drank after I got out of the nursing home (got friends to pick me up, went out of my way to get bottles of vodka, walking on my obliterated legs in my medical boots) which really upset my mom and boyfriend but for a good few months now, I haven't been fixated on trying to get a drink. Since my hips started breaking and reluctantly had to get back into the wheelchair, I've had so much time all day to myself to think about what drinking really took away from me as opposed to what I ever got from it. If you are still out there, Cindi, post here or five me a pm.
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