Why does sobriety not=happiness?

Because if it did we would not be having this conversation. I feel like I did back in December when I wrote my very first post except there isn’t a lot of hope going on. Any progress I thought I had made was an illusion…it’s all gone.  Detaching is so monumental a task that apparently I am not up for the challenge.  I feel like I am trapped and it is not a pretty site. I am in mourning again.  I see that nothing I am doing is helping him and we are still all banging are heads on that same wall and getting the same results…lots of promises not a lot happening. Why does sobriety not=happiness not for any of us?  I think J needs to apply for public housing and welfare and get out because living with us is not working.  I believe he is clean for long stretches but it’s not enough, call me a selfish bitch but I don’t want to watch anymore.  How do I get him out?


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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13 Responses to Why does sobriety not=happiness?

  1. Syd says:

    I would ask him to leave and be truthful, saying that it would be better for you if he had a place of his own. Detaching is hard but necessary. You wrote that nothing you do is working–that’s because we are powerless over others in terms of what they do. But we aren’t powerless over what we do. That is where the real help for him will start–when a person is no longer held hostage by the alcoholic/addict.

    • madyson007 says:

      I always appreciate your comments Syd but I am looking for concrete answers. He has no money no furniture no car no phone…where does one send a person like that? I could send him to the end of our driveway but I don’t think he is actually going to go any where.

  2. heathersmom1 says:

    I’m just reading what has happened over the past week – arrgh – I am so sorry you had to go through all that terror – away from home even. If you’re at the beach, it’s so nice just to look out over the ocean at the magnitude of God and pray.
    For me detaching has been easier than I thought – in the sense that – it’s so easy – I DON’T DO ANYTHING! I don’t have to make Heather’s doctor’s appointments, I don’t have to clean her house… when fear takes over… I pray and know that Heather has her own Higher Power, and He is taking care of her. I’ve raised her. She has to support herself the same way the rest of us adults do. Okay – so this sounds like I have it all figured out – you know from my blog I don’t! And I sway back and forth, but when it works, when I’m on the upswing, it is so peaceful for me.
    And then I throw out that little voice in my head saying I’m a terrible parent b/c I don’t care – I do care – and detaching is the way to be a good parent. I don’t live with Heather, so I think it has to be easier for me in that regard.
    I don’t know how to have him move out, I have no experience in that regard. BUT, I can give some advice for the conversation 1) I’d be honest about MY feelings for MY life and 2) know his manipulations are what they are when he says no one cares etc.
    Love & hugs to you!

  3. Dad 4 Truth says:

    I can “detach” anytime I want to, I’ve done it a 1000 times! 🙂

    I have also lived through this exact situation (3 times, to be exact) so here is the “concrete” answers you asked for.

    1) Pack up all his stuff and place it on the curb with this note:

    Son, we love you and we have great hope you will find recovery. Here is a list of programs where you can find the help you need (list all the homeless shelters like the Salvation Army etc.). Please feel free to call us once you have been accepted but not before, as we can only accept your calls if you wish to discuss your treatment options.

    2) Let him know that the neighbors have been informed of the situation and if they see him they will call the police and you will file charges. Don’t forget to change your alarm and garage codes.

    3) Indicate that you have notified everyone (family, friends etc.) of the situation and why you are reacting like you are. Ask them not to enable your son or they are off your Christmas card list!

    4) Read my blog for futher instructions.

    Note: I am impressed with you as few parents ever ask for “concrete answers” but the bad news is once they here them they rarely follow through. Maybe you’ll be the exception.

  4. Dawn McCoy says:

    sweetheart, you put on your big girl panties, pack his little dab of shit and take him to the nearest homeless shelter, tell him you love him and good luck with the rest of his life.

    then you drive home and cry for a couple of days. you do NOT take any phone calls from him. then you slowly take back your life.

  5. Dawn McCoy says:

    oh. and change the locks.

  6. Sheila says:

    I like Dad4Truth’s plan. I read a similar one on another board, except the kid’s possessions were taken to a storage unit and the kid was given a similar letter, along with the number and location of the storage unit and the key. The parents said they would pay for it for 6 months or something. It is hHard to carry all your belongings around until you land somewhere!

    I was lucky, my DD chose to move out on her own right around her 18th birthday. I had a rather unique situation. My husband and I couldn’t agree on whether to make her leave after she turned 18 (I wanted to, he refused). I could no longer take the stress of living with my DD, who was actively using in our house along with her BF. My marriage had some problems already, but this impasse was the final straw. When it appeared that this family situation was going to continue to drag on, maybe for years, I decided that I only had control over MY actions, and I chose to be the one to move out.

    It was the best thing I’ve ever done. Once I was out of the house, my DD couldn’t stand living in the house with her dad (I had a buffer between them) and it gave DD the momentum to move out. I kept in touch with her and let her know I loved her. Soon she got a full-time job and is now even talking about returning to college in the spring! I don’t know if she really will or not, but that’s up to her to make it happen now, it’s not my job any more.

    Moving out also saved my sanity. I knew that I wouldn’t have her addict BF passed out in my basement any more, or have her stealing money out of my wallet, or any of the dozens of other things she did that were driving me literally insane.

    Did I feel like a bad mother? Sometimes. Was it the best thing I could have done for her as parent? Heck yes! Could I have had the fortitude to follow through without the support of a terrific therapist and Alanon? Probably not.

    DD has managed to find some new enablers. She is living with her BF, and she tells me lots of stories about all the wonderful things that BF’s mom and other relatives do and buy for them.

    I’m not sure if either DD or BF are still using or not but they look a lot better than before. I don’t worry about it too much. It’s her life, it’s her choice. I love her and give her emotional support, but her choices are hers. That’s my version of detachment and it has given me serenity that I never dreamed of. The bonus is that I am using the same attitude towards other problem people in my life, and it works on them too! And allowing myself to take care of my own needs, instead of focusing only on my DD’s needs/wishes/problems, has given me a lot of serenity and health in other areas of my life as well.

    Another bonus? I ended up leaving my DH for good and have found a new man who treats me 1,000 times better.

    Now I’m not recommending that you leave your DH by any means (unless you already want/need to, but that’s a story for another day)! But I do want you to realize that there are LOTS of unorthodox ways to deal with the problem of addiction, some of which are not obvious at first.

    I assume you do know that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”? Have faith and courage that kicking your son out is the best thing you can do for him, and as a bonus for yourself as well. Yes, it will be hell at first, but it will be worth it in the long run.

    Hugs and best wishes,

  7. Carol says:

    I like the idea of Salvation Army. My cousin just did their program – he’s an alcoholic who’s been mooching off mommy and daddy his whole life (he’s 45) and they FINALLY put their foot down! They are kind of my inspiration when thinking about detaching from J. I REALLY don’t want to find myself a 70 year old woman with my addict son still laying on my sofa, like they did. Just imagine that!!

    Anyways, if there is a Salvation Army near you, they really do run a great program there. Its free, and your son gets to live there as well. There may be a waiting list to get in, but at least its a step in the right direction and you can let him know that this is where he will be going when a spot opens up – unless he prefers to live under a bridge somewhere.

    I know its difficult, and I feel that we are kindred spirits in our quest for detachment to our addict sons. I wish you only the best and will be praying for you all.

  8. HerBigSad says:

    The idea of the storage unit is really a good one, in my opinion. Pack his stuff, label things nicely if you have time, get a storage unit and give him the key. Three months should give him time to get work, get a location, and start moving his stuff out of the unit and into where ever he will be staying. Check the laws in your area carefully. The day my daughter was 5150’d, the police told me that though I wanted her out (she had walked through the glass of the front window) and I had the ability to press charges for destruction of property, I did not have the right to keep her out of the house if she had lived there in the past 30 days. (I’m in CA.) They did not tell HER this. They only told me, quietly, because they said if she knew about the laws, she could come back. I was lucky. She didn’t know about the laws. She also was arrested not long after that and since we let her sit in jail and we do not post bail, assist with court events, etc, 30 days went by pretty smoothly and we had her packed and out. Her things were stored in the garage on shelves that say “X’s storage unit” with a smiley face. We weren’t being mean, we just told her we knew we could no longer live with someone who was using, and we would be happy to keep her stuff on the shelves until she got settled.

    One suggestion, get reinforcements. Kind of like the Tough Love group does it. I went to a Tough Love meeting with a friend who had a difficult situation much like yours. They literally offered to come over to her house and be a presence on her property while she packed her son’s stuff, and got it out the door. They took turns staying with her for weeks afterwards. She always had someone around and her son accepted that he was no longer welcome to live there. She has since done the same for another mom. And interestingly, it wasn’t a teen, in either situation, that was being asked to leave.

    Maybe family members or truly close friends could be a presence with you, both for the packing and the aftermath of announcing that you no longer will live with someone who is using? This can be done. It’s absolutely the hardest thing you can imagine. After the grieving that Dawn mentions, you will slowly begin to take back your life. It is worth it. And it may be the best thing you can do for your son. It just might be the best way to parent at this time. By taking care of you.

    Only you can decide if this is the right thing for you, for your family, for your son. Please know that we all care, we don’t judge, and that many of us are praying for you daily. BIG HUGS!

  9. Renee C. says:

    I am sorry it has come to this but you need to do what you need to do. Every situation is different but you and your husband have to make the call.
    Hugs to you

  10. Barbara says:

    Sweetheart, you are not a selfish bitch. You are not even a selfish nice person…you aren’t selfish at all. I didn’t read the other comments but I can imagine what they say and I agree. If my son were an addict without the mental health issues I would not let him stay here anymore because I am the one suffering. I talked to a homeless guy the other day, he was in his early 20’s a former heroin addict. He said the best thing his parents ever did for him was kick him out. He’s been off drugs for a long time but still can’t get a job due to felonies. Anyhow…take care of you. Hang in there. It sucks. It just sucks. I want to run away from home every day 😦

  11. cdcb says:

    My daighter called me crying about how her boyfriend was mean to her and her Dad took her money and blah, blah, blah. She was drinking. She wanted to come home. I said no. End of story…not gonna happen. Even if she was sober I would have said no. I can’t handle it in any way shape or form. So don’t feel bad. Live your life on your terms…

  12. Kim says:

    It helped my husband and me to kick our son out after we learned he “borrowed” my husband’s credit card. This was used to buy over $1000 worth of gift cards to exchange for oxycontin. We finally decided to stop trying to help our son any longer. We cannot force sobriety on him; only he can choose to get treatment and work on his own addictions and demons. Our only contact for the last two weeks has been text messages where we encourage him to get treatment. That contact will probably end soon when he doesn’t pay his bill. Dont feel bad that you want your son out your home. It will probably be the best thing for both of you. Good Luck.

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