I want to talk about the merry-go-round…

J is not using. He lives at home and I get to see him struggle everyday to live a life with purpose. He is not an active participant in NA/AA and has never had a sponsor. He is not interested in committing to working the 12 steps and who am I to tell him he must? J’s set back recently seems to be just that… an oops not to be repeated. This oops was not followed by him going out on a bender…there was no lying and no stealing or any other stupid things addicts are known to do. So right now it is still just an oops and not a full-blown relapse. J receiving a pay check will be the real test, money can be a trigger for him. I asked him the other day how this oops could have been avoided. He thought about it for a minute and said…to just stay away from any one with any kind of drug connection. I reminded him that he was doing just that until he bumped into that one person. He looked pretty remorseful when he said “If I had to do it all over…I would have turned and ran in the other direction”. I am not comforted by this very much but I have no choice but to believe him unless he gives me reason not to. My boundaries are still clear. He can not live here and use. Pretty cut and dry…except he messed up once but has tested clean every time since that day. Would you throw him out?

I do not want to diminish a year of sobriety for what appears to be a one time mistake. The merry-go-round I referred to in my previous post has a lot to do with J living at home. There is no jumping off as long as my son lives in our house and me removing him at this point is not happening. Hopefully he will start work soon and then possibly start looking for a place to live. Having and keeping a job is my  biggest hope at this point, along with continued sobriety of course.

Is there anyone out there in blog land that has a clean addict or a using addict living with them that is still able to completely detach? Because frankly, if someone answers yes…I am not sure I believe them.


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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10 Responses to I want to talk about the merry-go-round…

  1. onemomtalking says:

    As you know, Madyson, my addicts do not live with me. So I’m not the person you seek. But I talked with my ex husband today, who lives with our oldest son (who is not using right and hasn’t in awhile). He says he still struggles. He says days go by when he doesn’t think about it and then something will trigger him (my ex – not my son) and his worries will return. I guess I don’t have a great answer. But I send you blessings, generally, and for sticking by your son like you have. It sounds like he’s really making progress.

  2. Gal says:

    Brief relapses can happen on the path to recovery. Move forward. Be realistic, be firm, be absolute that he must help support the family in some way, whether he’s earning it or helping around the house. No slacking! Then believe in him. He’s still so young and staying sober 99.9% of the time. I know lots of people won’t agree with me, but my daughter is in active recovery now, and I am so glad I never put her on the street. Yes, I know would have at some point had it gone on much longer than it did…and it went on plenty long enough. But I’ll say this again and again…you’ll know in your heart if and when you get there. Listen to your gut and believe in yourself.

  3. Barb says:

    I agree with Gal, Listen to your gut. When I listen to my gut things generally unfold to my advantage. When I ignore my gut , is when I seem to have major problems.

  4. Beachteacher says:

    I wish we could have our son here,….he just couldn’t stay clean and live in our area,….too many multiple triggers for him,…ie. people , places and things…especially people. I I hope he continues on the right path and will learn what to do to stay clean. I do think that without some kind of support system though, it’s much harder to do so. Hoping it’s going to keep going well. Glad to hear this good news.

  5. Lisa says:

    I cannot tell you how my psyche changes when my son is not in our home. I just don’t feel the same. When he isn’t here I am completely content. Do I worry? Yes. But it’s just that much easier to feel detached from the situation when he is not in front of me. I don’t hear him up at night, I don’t wonder who he just left with or came home with. I don’t question every nose blow or why he’s eating sour candy. It’s a world where I’m free without him under my roof. I feel that much less invested in his day to day world that tends to freak me out on a regular basis…clean or using. Now the counselor I have seen has told me that the parents must be on the same page when deciding to remove the addict from the home and many people just learn to live with them in it. My husband is not ready to make him leave and they say that if I should enforce him leaving and something happens outside the home…it will break the marriage apart. Both of you must be in agreement…..in or out. We cannot seem to agree on that yet :(. Winter tends to make some parents less able to move them out. I’m hoping June comes quick! ;). In all seriousness ….maybe your sons ability to remain sober (and get back on track with a slip up) is the direct result of having the support of his family an mom? Maybe that alone is the key for him to remain sober? You are doing something right so continue !!

  6. Lou says:

    When we had done everything we could possibly do..mental health services, give time for him to save money, time to “adjust” to the real world, we knew when it was time for him to go. We just knew. Our situation was in some ways more complicated. He had used much longer than your son. He was heavily medicated in prison, and it showed. We saw when he came out, he was not capable of handling everyday affairs. I would liken it to someone being about 12 years old.

    We had to force him out into the world. He took one community college class. I spent a lot of time and energy getting him mental health services. We taught him about money. Like I said, our son was a hard core, poly substance abuser. It’s not something you “get over” when you quit.

    The bottom line is I had all kinds of people telling me what to do. I fired my Alanon sponsor when she told me not to let him live at home. Like Lisa said, it is crucial both parents be on the same page. It made ALL the difference this last time. The husband and I were in together, and for as long as it took. Not all addicts are the same, certainly not all marriages are same, family dynamics are different. And dare I say this, not all advice on the internet is good advice.

    Now he is not living with us, I’m able to divest myself of the small day to day decisions I would always get in the middle of when he was at home. He is proving himself capable enough. I’m really seeing what little faith I had he could make it on his own.

  7. VJ says:

    If he has had a relapse then the recovery community would likely say he has not had a year of sobriety. His sobriety date starts when he had his last drink/fix. I have learned that my only focus is on my son’s recovery and “not” getting a job, going back to school, finding a place to live etc. Without recovery “nothing” matters, “nothing” is lasting. It’s all temporary!

    Recovery for the great majority requires a total commitment to their Higher Power, AA/NA, a sponsor, combined with ongoing counseling from an experienced alcohol/drug counselor. The addicted child replaces the “will” of recovery with his/her “will.”

    My personal experience has taught me that when the child is truly in recovery they long for their next AA/NA meeting. They are excited about life again and enjoy meeting with their sponsor and counselor. They want to feel responsible again so finding a job is important to them and when Mom/Dad say, “You are doing so good, we will buy you a car so you can get to work.” And then the child say’s, “No, my recovery is strengthened when I do this on my own.” When you hear that coming form your child, he has found recovery.

    You can’t make them do anything! We are just parents who love our children and each of us have are own personal journeys to experience.

    Of course, these are just my personal thoughts and experiences so please take what you feel is helpful and forget the rest.

  8. Barbara says:

    I am very impressed with J, he sounds so mature and solid. I hope he is. For me, I can’t detach when Keven is here. Its much easier for me to let go when he’s not in my face.

    • madyson007 says:

      Don’t be to impressed…he screwed up. The only redeeming thing is he didn’t steal my car or wallet and continue to use and for that I am grateful but not stupid. He has set back my trust for him light years. I totally agree it is easier or maybe easier isn’t even the right word more like possible verses impossible when they live under your nose.

  9. Tori Lee says:

    I really liked Lou’s comment about what worked for HER FAMILY. My son is not 21 years old mentally. I feel like he is 15. However, many times my 13 y.o. is far more mature than him. After my last few weeks of hell, I am finally grasping more than ever that I have to do what is right for my family.

    I was never able to detach even when we removed him from our home. I was grateful that I was strong enough to not allow him to move back in.

    Just keep doing what is right for your family.

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