Addiction: Living with an Addict Community
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7284346 tn?1402242325

Do you keep your hope in check?

After nine years of my sons meth and heroine addiction and chronic relapses... I feel like I'm a hundred years old. The cycle is so exhausting, and each time seems a bit more taxing than the last. I'm not certain why that is, but it is.  This last time just after Christmas was particularly difficult for me. After thorough self-assessment, ha! I believe it's my own fault really because allowed myself to become "too" hopeful... because the set of circumstances had changed - the cards my son was dealing with had changed - I thought, "AH HA! Maybe THIS will be IT! This will be the KEY. This will be his bottom."

He was diagnosed with late stage HepC about 12 weeks ago and needs treatment - which is pretty brutal. So, hmmm... I flew him home for Christmas - the only reason I flew him home. I flew him OUT "there" to go to rehab which he LEFT in 10 days of course! sigh... so he lived on the streets for 6 weeks and finally found a job... oye! But digress...

Nevertheless, short story long, my hopes were so high! "This is it! His life is on the line...of course he wants this now." These are the crazy, neurotic, insane things we say to ourselves isn't it? Why do we do that? Why do I do that? I'm a recovering addict myself... I know how this works. It takes what it takes. bah.

So, I got my hopes up. Way up. Two days after our Christmas vacation "away" for a week as a family up at a cabin... "safe" from the playground, playthings, and playmates... He left the house and didn't come back. On the 9th day, the worst day, I had my husband call the county morgue because that was the last place I could think to look for him... the grief was overwhelming. Despair engulfed me. Why? Why had I allowed this to become so unmanageable?  Was my hoping out of proportion with the reality of the situation? probably.

Two and a half days later, I got a call from my ex-husband saying my son was arrested. Good. Praise God he's in jail.  Hopefully they'll keep him!  How horrible is life when you pray for jail as the positive alternative? Really? How insane is life when you think a HepC diagnosis might be a "good" thing because it just might be the bottom of your son's disease? This is the evil of this addiction... it steals all normalcy from life... cunning, baffling, POWERFUL.

My son did not stay in jail. He was there for a week. Another 10 days or so with his dad... and today, we moved him into an SLE. The last 10 days he's been with his dad have been encouraging; he seems motivated; he's looking at 17 months in prison if he doesn't stay clean and comply completely with this program. Today, he seemed like MY son. He was clear of mind like I haven't seen in a very long time. He seems highly motivated and sincere. Today was a good day.

As I drove home with my husband, I began to feel hopeful. I quickly began a self check. I realized I was quickly getting my hopes up... "look all this great progress" I was saying to myself. Oye vey! Now, I'm not say I don't want to be hopeful, of course not! I am hopeful... But maybe just perhaps, it is time I keep my hope in my son in check. Keep my hope placed where it belongs - it belongs in the One who has the Power to do the real change. God has the power. God has my hope. My son is sick. He will struggle. He very well may fall again. It still is very likely. I am hopeful, but I will keep it in check. For my own sanity, for may own health, I believe this is something I must learn to do better.

I'm just curious if anyone else out there in parents of addicts or living with addicts keep your hope in check? How do you do it and yet keep a balance?  It's important to have hope.
That's all. Peace.  
18 Responses
Avatar universal
Our daughter got 9 years in NA once. My problem was the fact that I assumed that the problem is over. Being in the AA/NA programs myself I should have known better. She went out 6 months ago and went from 135 lbs down to 97 lbs on the Crack diet. She threw away a real estate career, her daughter, along with everything she owned. Last fall she was hospitalized in the psych ward for 5 days and we were relieved. We thought that the 5 days away from her world would clear her head enough to get back on track. She had money and went straight back out to the dope house when she was released. That's when I knew this was way worse than the first time. That's when I lost hope. FF to now, I've lost almost ALL hope and have completely turned her over to the care of God. She'll come back after 3 days in the dope house and then shoot moves to try and get money from her mom and I. We might buy a couple packs of smokes and some Dodd but no money. Money is crack. A couple of weeks ago we didn't think she was going to live.  So I used the word almost when I described my hope level right now. I still have a thread of hope. She has 4 days clean right now and expresses the desire to stay clean. That's all I can hope for.
Avatar universal
I am praying for you this morning. Parents of addicted can't detach and relinquish control in the same way that husbands can with addicted wives, or wives with addicted husbands or even kids with addicted parents. We are hard wired to control their environments and protect them from harm - this is especially true for moms. Saying "it's in God's hands" is Relatively easy in these other relationships - not so with our kids.  "Stop fighting a fight that's already been won." It is not in your hands. I hope you find peace soon.
495284 tn?1333897642
Just for today your babies are clean and that is all any of us have~
7284346 tn?1402242325
Thank you for sharing. I sense so much pain and exhaustion in your words. My heart aches for you... for your daughter as well.

The journey you have with your daughter sounds very similar to mine with my son. Different but same. So much grieving... so much praying. A thread of hope is good at this point, no? No human effort can relieve the addiction... but God can. He's got the power... IF He is sought. sigh... that's my prayer. That my son will seek out God and give over his will.

May we never lose all hope and fall into despair. Perhaps we have moments of overwhelming grief... but in those moments, may we seek out one another such as in this community - which I just found - or in the rooms - which has often helped to save our lives. I pray for peace which passes all understanding for us OpenMind. Somehow we must fight for ourselves as we have fought for our children. :) I'm preaching to myself right now.

We have today. May today give you peace in your spirit, mind, and body. Tomorrow isn't here. God bless. and thank you!
3197167 tn?1348972206
I am learning that "how" I maintain hope is where my serenity lies.

If I see a positive change....and it re-fires my hope.....I used to always attach a certain amount of "expectations" to that hope.

Now my hope is in trusting that God knows every detail before it occurs...and I must leave it to him....optimistic...yes....but w/o attaching My expectations TO THAT hope.  And allowing the test of time as well.  Then not only is my hope re-ignited....but my faith and trust as well.

H O P E.......Hang.......On........Pain......Ends
1235186 tn?1549261219
As long as there is breathe there is hope.....
Keep the faith.....
7284346 tn?1402242325
Thank you to all for your encouragement, prayers, and wisdom.

clean_in_ks... it is so true we - I often find without realizing after the fact that I have attached expectations to the positive changes I see... I am trying to learn new behaviors, but indeed it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks it seems.  I will keep at it though!

I have to say when one gets sick and tired of being sick and tired... it is quite a motivator to make change.  

7284346 tn?1402242325
I've been so comforted by finding this community. It has helped me to be more aware of my own vulnerabilities - take a step back and reassess not only the relationship with my son, but my own recovery and where I need to step up my game.

When life is "lifey" and tremendously emotionally taxing, I need to be that much more aware that I am vulnerable, and I can never take for granted that because I have some time under my belt in this sobriety walk that "hey, I got this!" I realize more than ever after reading others' sharing how I need to be aware of my own complacency or laziness...

Cunning, baffling, powerful... I'm not impervious to that. My husband isn't either. This has been an awakening to us. I am very grateful. God is so good.

He truly does lead our path. One more example to me today... I can trust Him.
5416308 tn?1409839408
I'm so glad you found this community too! Believe it or not you've already helped me and others by your own sharing. Thank you for your posts.

As you posted on my thread that you should get that book..."Setting Boundaries With Our Adult Children"....GET IT!!!! ....an Angel that goes by the name "clean_in_ks" : ) who posts in this community recommended it and it has helped me tremendously.

We are here for each other. God is blessing us in ways we don't expect and maybe do not understand. It's good to remind ourselves to thank HIM even in times of trial...or (as I LOVED your words..."when life gets lifey")

God Bless you and your family
7284346 tn?1402242325
Thanks so much for your encouraging, kind, and uplifting words! This has definitely become a new found place of fellowship for me.

I can tell that the timing was also quite perfect as I am quite worn out emotionally. Continually filled with conflicting ideas as to how to "deal" with my sons action or inaction... bah! As OpenMind has said previously, I go to bed thinking about my son, and I wake thinking about my son - especially when he is in or just coming out of crisis.

I am feeling particularly undermined and somewhat defeated this morning... I went to bed praying as I often do, but last night, I prayed for myself... prayed that I would be able to withstand the pressures of all this without losing my mind again... without becoming so vulnerable that I would once again stop being present in my own life. I did see a counselor yesterday - so yay... healthy choice.

My son is still at the SLE, however, he took the bus into our area to have dinner with my parents... knowing he was doing this ( and being the control freak I am) I wanted to prep my mom. I explained to her he would talk to her about needing money... for this and that... everything I could think of...! I missed something. Just before going to bed, and much to my chagrin, my son's facebook status reads, "I'm getting the mustang, woot woot!"  What the hell?" Really!!!? Are you kidding me.....!!!????  Panic shot through my body.... now it's not some fancy shmancy mustang... it's a fixer upper - but that doesn't matter! The boy does not need a car to kill himself! He does not NEED a car to be rewarded for a few days sober!!!!  He NEEDS to FEEL the  CONSEQUENCES of his choices....!!!   I just want to scream from the highest mountain!!! I am so utterly dismayed....

Sigh... I am getting to the cutting off point. I am used up. My son came by my office yesterday and got somewhat belligerent with me. Telling me I don't understand. Excuse me? Hello? Addict here. I do get it... at least, on some level. Nevertheless, I am "used up" clean_in_ks has called it so often... fully and completely used up. I have anxiety thinking I may have to see or deal with my son. It's horrible. I love him. I want desperately for him to live this life... walk out this life for Glory of God - a walking living testimony! ... but not on my terms... on His - Gods. I CAN'T do it. I CAN'T.
HE can. somehow, someway I HAVE to let him... or I am going to lose it.

Praying praying praying.

3197167 tn?1348972206

In addition to ALL the things we have to do within our OWN immediate family.....to work a healthy program....to not enable....to not eat, live and breathe our loved one's "present state in life"....there's the extended family or other family members that don't have a frickin CLUE what enabling is!!!!

Their actions, their comments, their lack of understanding....not knowing ANYTHING about the history or details of "why" we are "used up"!!!!
Unfortunately....step 1 isn't just being powerless over the addict we love....it's also about being powerless over the "other people" that love the addict, too!!!!  Some times I want to SCREAM....NO....just like you did.
You've GOT to be kiddin me?????  And say, do you REALIZE what this is gonna do?  It ISN'T what he needs!!!  But then, I have to settle down....and realize God's still driving the bus.....and that BECAUSE I am powerless....I must once again trust......trust.....and let go.  Seeing the enabling going on and KNOWING in my heart what it will do....and it almost always does....doesn't mean I can do anything about it.  I am powerless over ALL other people, places and things.  
Can you tell I identify with this "button" that has been pushed in you?  LOL
Well, enough of my rambling....I'll just leave you with the version of the serenity prayer that I have to say A LOT.....LOL  Here goes:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change, the courage to change the PERSON I can, and the wisdom to know it's ME."

You can join me in "the back of the bus"....hahahaha!!  God keeps reminding me He's driving and won't even let me touch the blinkers!!!
7284346 tn?1402242325
Ah!! it's so nice to have someone understand this! Thank you! I feel so mean... and guilty... and yet NOT guilty! Seriously, it's additional insanity. lol.

Reading your words is like being in my own head... I've been reading the first step over and over all day. I am powerless over my parents. I am powerless over my son... repeat.

I love your serenity prayer, so if you don't mind: I will use it! :) Moment by moment... as I continue to relinquish my "illusion" of power and admit my powerlessness over ALL of this including people... my attitude is a little better. Imagine that.

Gonna have an attitude of gratitude that I don't have to drive that damn bus, navigate, or even touch those blinkers! :) Grateful for the back of the bus this morning... some freedom in that. Serenity. I'm going to try to hold on to that one hour at a time today.

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