I hear you all loud and clear…

I could just cry with relief.  I can actually feel the prayers and comfort being sent my way.  I am so lonely much of the time. My son’s addiction is not something I feel I can share with my friends in real life. I feel so much shame.   Now if I could only carry out these wonderful suggestions, my life might actually change.  The problem is I really don’t know how to separate myself from my son’s problems.  I really do try but I am not terribly successful.  However, it is clear to me if I don’t learn to deal and soon, I am going to lose me mind.  I went to one nar-anon meeting and it was great, I left feeling like I had a plan.  However when he relapses not only does he start from square one, so do I.  When I go back and read some of my posts, I can see how fragile I seem.  It is really odd to look at because in general I am not like that.  I am a strong woman who holds a family of 6 together.  I am just so scared this house of cards is coming down.

Thank you all, it is such a comfort to know that I am not alone.


About madyson007

I am a mom of 4 who thought she was home free when my oldest son went off to college. My serious blunder? Genetics and being naive or maybe just plain stupid.
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15 Responses to I hear you all loud and clear…

  1. Sheila says:

    Nar-anon is great, but you have to keep going back. I go to Alanon since they have more meetings in my small town, and my daughter has alcohol issues as well, but I understand that Nar-anon is very similar.

    I try to go to three meetings a week, and if I’m having a bad day, I try to get to one that night, not let it fester. I also have bought several of their books and read them at night before I go to sleep – they help to calm my mind.

    I really do think I would have lost my mind without it.

  2. Syd says:

    More meetings = more practice at the program. I find that the more I read, talk to my sponsor, go to meetings and work with others, the better I am. Hang in there.

  3. Barbara says:

    Oh sweetie, I understand why you may feel shame but this horrible disease of addition happens in SO MANY FAMILIES in all walks of life. Every time I mention my son’s addiction, EVERY TIME, the person knows at least one person that has a similar issue going on. You may be surprised to learn how many people you know that are also feeling shame and struggling alone.

    Syd is right – you have to keep going to meetings, keep sharing here, remember you are not alone. I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a hug. Its horrible but you will get through this.

  4. I know the pain you are going through. My son is an addict also. He will be 37 tomorrow and is spending it in the county jail. He has 5 kids that I have custody of and a wife that is an addict too. I have been going through this since he hit puberty. I have spent so much time and money trying to get his life in order. I can’t! I am reading a book called Codependent No More. It helps me understand what I am doing and makes me try and stop.

    I come from a long line of codependents and can see that it affects the whole family. I will keep trying and I will also pray that your son can become the man you want him to be.

  5. Gal says:

    When I first found out my daughter was fighting heroin addiction, I kept it a close family secret for months. After a couple of rehabs and relapses, I realized that I have to accept it for what it is. I no longer hide the fact from anyone. She’s brilliant and beautiful, but she has an illness that I can’t cure. Hell, if love could make a difference, she’d would have never used. You have to accept that you didn’t fail and you can’t fix it. There’s too much pain involved in the addiction of a child (no matter how old) to hide away in shame. We must support each other.

  6. DAWN M MCCOY says:

    I got over ashamed and started talking. Barbara is right. Every single person you talk to will know someone who is a heroin addict. Sad, but true.

    Here is a NASTY statistic (you can check it out at the SAMSHA site, just google SAMSHA) that helped me enormously to face the reality of my daughter’s heroin addiction.

    Less than 13% of heroin addicts ever get and stay clean.

    The other 87% either die from overdose, keep using until they either die, or go to jail, or freeze to death in the winter, or are beat to death by a dealer.

    Those are just rude, cold, terrifying statistics. And, of course, we all hope that our children will be in the 13 %, but most of them won’t.

    We all go through a process of denial, trying to fix our children, enabling bad behaviors, and finally, we just get so fed up with all the bullshit, that we kind of bury the love we have for what USED to be our child, but now is some sort of MONSTER walking around in their bodies, stealing, shooting heroin, lying etc.

    What helped me was to consider my daughter dead. Not her body, but the child I raised. This ‘thing’ walking around in her body is NOT the child I raised. My counselor calls her the ‘ghost in the corner who won’t die’.

    But, it allowed me to move forward and move on in a healthy manner. The counselor explained that as long as I held on to what I believed the ‘essence’ of my daughter was that I would continually ride the roller coaster of disappointment, heartbreak, enabling and misery.

    Mourning the death of MY child, not the body it walks around in, allowed me to treat that body with civility, detachment and distance.

    We all find our own way of coping. This was just mine. Yours could be very different.

    Al Anon does help. 5 meetings a week at first would probably be a good idea for you. SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT, is kind of the name of the game, evidenced by your relief that we all hopped over to your blog to let you know you are very much not alone.

    Isn’t it funny how we are all about the same age, have other kids, and just don’t understand how this happened to ONE of our children?

  7. Sheila says:

    Not all of us have other kids. I just have one. That makes it harder because I have no child to love me back in the way that I had hoped for. OTOH, I don’t have other children that I need to protect from her outbursts and self-destructive behaviors.

    In fact, I have very few relatives, and I accept that I will pretty much be alone when I am older. I have just my parents, my DH who is 15 years older than I am, a MIL with dementia, and a wacky SIL. And my addict DD. I am lucky to have a church community and some dear friends.

  8. I thought of you last night at the Family Group I was in. The topic was the difference between helping and serving our addict. I am going to get the text she used and post it on my blog, I felt it was directed at me since my biggest struggle was enabling my son. But I’ve grown a lot in that area. I still support him and love him and encourage him on a daily basis, but I can’t enable him because i love him too much to harm him, and enabling is harmful.

    Also, the statistics are scary so I ignore them. I tell myself that there is always a chance of relapse, or whatever. But there is always a chance every single day that something horrible can happen in life, and if I focus on that I am a wreck. I don’t deny the statics, I know they are real, if my son relapses I will deal with it but I am living as if he’s not going to, giving him the benefit of the doubt so to speak.

    Has your son been diagnosed with any type of mental health issue? That was the key for my son. Once he was off the drugs for three months all his other issues came to surface and he was able to get diagnosed and treated for the underlying problem and that’s been a big relief to all of us, he feels hopeful.

    Check my blog in the next few days and hopefully I will have that “Help vs. Serving” thing up!


  9. No, you are not alone! You are in our prayers, all of us in this blogging community!


  10. Lisa Carp says:

    First, you are so absolutely not alone; and although it is hard, I enourage you to pick a friend or two and share with them. Share from the perspective of the pain you are in…you don’t have to say anything more than my son is struggling with a drug addiction. What you will get from your friend or friends is hugs, support, love and caring; and I promise you, they all have it somewhere in their family or close circle. Second, as Kathy mentioned, I highly recommend you start reading Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. She has several books, but this is the first one and the one to help you get started on your own recovery.

    And I want to say, regardless of statistics, continue to have hope! If your son is able to recover, his personal statistic will be 100%…don’t give up hope. But through blogging, reading, meetings, counseling if you choose, and friends, you will get healthier and be able to manage the stress, fear, pain and shame that you are currently feeling. I know that based on how you are feeling today, you may not feel you will ever feel better and have a life, but you will. You have a family that loves you and needs you; and in taking care of yourself, your son will see that change in you and believe it or not, he will benefit from that. You helping you will actually be helping him in a very definitive and appropriate way. (I hope this doesn’t seem to be lecturing, I don’t mean it that way…but sometimes the written word comes across that way).

    You, your son and your family are on my prayer list. Hang in there, sweetie. Hugs to you.

  11. Ron Grover says:


    I have been trying to leave multiple messages but they have not gone through. Maybe it was because I was trying to put in links to other postings and articles. I will not do that and see if the comments come through.

    You are not alone in this and you are doing what has helped me more than anything else, writing. Being able to put on paper your thoughts, worries and fears relieves you from having to carry that burden alone. There are many wise people on here to help you and counsel you. There are people to hold you up when you need it and believe it or not you will be supporting us too.

    No one has all the answers. Your situation is similar to all of our lives. But there is nothing about your life exactly like our lives. Always, always remember; TAKE WHAT FITS AND IGNORE THE REST.

    Read through some of our blogs. Go to The Partnership For A Drug Free America, they have some good resources and many people write for them with different perspectives. Now is the time for you to learn and digest.

    Never ever give up hope, where there is life there is hope. My 21 year old son, 1 year ago was using oxy and heroin and honestly inside I felt each day was probably his last day of life. Today he is 3 months clean. Is this forever, I don’t know, it’s not up to me, it is up to him. But I never dreamed we would even be at this place one year ago.

    Be Strong, Be Loving

  12. Sheila says:

    Does anyone else get really irritated by those “talk to your kid about drugs or alcohol” public service TV ads? We talked plenty, honestly and openly and I thought productively.

    Yesterday I saw another one of those “have dinners together as a family every night and your kids will be fine” ads. That’s B.S. too.

    • madyson007 says:

      Absolutely! We talked plenty, especially because of the substance abuse issues we have on both sides of the family. It’s part of the shame I have because surely somewhere I went wrong because had I talked with my son more, none of this would have happened. <—-This is sarcasm because even I don't believe that.

  13. Helga says:

    There came a point in time when I decided that what my daughter does with her life is her business. It is her right to ruin it if she so choses. But I will not allow her to ruin mine! Once this concept took hold in my brain, I was on the road to recovery and I am able to enjoy life again. Be patient with yourself, it takes time.

  14. Athena says:

    One of the things that helped me the most? NOT hiding what I was going through… not making excuses for my daughter. It can become it’s own kind of sickness. We didn’t do anything wrong, and by talking about my daughter’s addiction I have learned others are struggling with similar “shameful” secrets


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