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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Choice or Disease

 How do you know when the addict does something because of her choice and when they do it because of the disease? 

After dealing with numerous treatment centers I figured it out!

When the addict does something to hurt me the counselor says it is the disease.  When the addict does something to hurt or make the counselor look bad then it is her choice.

Watch and see if this is true in your life too!

Friday, January 29, 2010

SUBDURAL FLOW: A Little Book with Big Ideas

SUBDURAL FLOW: A Little Book with Big Ideas

answered the phone

Well, the phone rang as I was about to leave work. I saw that it was from Florida so I should not have answered. I did.  (Just like offering an alchoholic a drink.)  It was Beth. She sounded so bad, so shaky and slurring her words. I had a hard time understanding her and a harder time believing that she was still in rehab.

She wanted to talk to me not her Dad as all he says is thats good keep working on it. I said I would prefer that she talk to him a couple of times and then my resolve weakened and I started to ask her why she was slurring her words. i said that if she wanted me to believe that she was sober she would have to provide drug tests daily and that my insurance would pay for that.

She was hurt. Then she passed the phone to the director. He gave me a shit hard time acting all indignant that I should question their integrity. He said "Do you know the condition that she was in when she came here?"  She was in the hospital with her kidneys shutting down."  Well, I did not know that and I am not sure that it was true. The last time a Dr. talked to me about her kidneys she had a kidney infection but he said her kidney function was normal. that amazed me. 

I told Carlos the director. You released her not even to a half way house but on her own over new years after your recruiter promised me that you would encourage a long term program. You refused to do that so you bear some of the responsibility for her going out to use. I knew and told you that she could not return to normal life in 30 days.

At that point he said that he could put her on the street immediately and that I was not going to boss him around. I said that I had no control over her whatsoever. If she had ever chosen to listen to me or her many many doctors for the last 8 years she would not be in this position.

They are doing outpatient detox with her. She is on suboxone as we speak thus the slurring of words. I checked and this is legal. Soooo she was not lieing about that part.

What a hard bitch I was telling her that her Dad answered like that as there was really nothing to say to her. We can not have a relationship with her until she puts some clean time together. It was true but I felt like a mean nasty bitch.

Then, I drove home. A construction guy stopped me to say that my scarf was hanging out the door of my car. I drotve another 10 miles before realizing that I had on the wrong glasses. I was lost cause I could only see close up with my reading glasses.

What if I am wrong?  What if she is really trying now and I treat her like this? I feel like crap. You must be tired of how repetitive this gets and how I alternatively weaken or get nasty regarding Beth.

God help me stay in the moment. It is a miracle that she still lives. Help me to say what I mean but not say it mean.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Long term 6 month to 1 year or more rehab programs

Does anyone know of a long term therapeutic community or rehab that lasts for about a year?

I pretty much know the ones that charge 20000 up front and you loose it all no refund if the addict walks away. I am looking for something more affordable.

From what I see some of you write it seems there might be more programs in California.

I am familiar with and like the idea of Phoenix House. Lasts for a year.  They work there and are constantly under supervision. Cost for non-residents 3 to 5 thousand per month. Cost for residents or court referred 0.

What can you recommend from your experience? I know that my daughter will probably never go to one of these but I would still like to know. Seems I meet a lot of parents looking for a program beyond the 30 day and your cured rehabs we have all come to know and love.


   Beth was missing for 6 days. Those six days were right after her third relapse in less than 3 weeks. She knew that after the third time we would not pay for more half way house. However, she did have cash reserves to cover a few more weeks so that was not a crisis.

  She never called or picked up her clothes which was different from her normal pattern. I was afraid that she could have attempted suicide or been killed by the addiction during this time just like happened to her cousin when he learned that his mother had died.

  I was just about to call the county Morgue down in Florida. I did not want to do that as they were bound to have someone of her description if not her so I decided to call the half-way house once more to see if she had returned for her clothes. This would tell me that she was alive but just not answering the phone. I said well thanks for telling me Smitty I was just about to call the Morgue. I am glad she is alive and I do not have to call the morgue to find out. He said....." they just called last night."

That is when I started to crash. Fortunately, work was over for the day. I cried and cried but could not stop.
Just as I entered my house my cell phone registered a call from Florida. I handed it to my husband. He talked briefly to Beth. I could tell that she was asking about the funeral and how her grandmother was handling it all. She told her Dad that she was back at Transfomations. ( The most liberal treatment center I have ever heard of. They let them use computer email and telephones from day 1.) She said she never knew it would be this hard to quit. She cried. Her Dad said. We love you and you are doing the right thing. Please keep us informed.

She said oh by the way, I got hit by a car on the scooter. He said, "How bad were you hurt?" She said just bruises. He said I am glad you are ok. We wish you the best.

Then they hung up! I would have asked for all the details. I would have said why did you go back to that place where you can beat the system. Why did you not go to xyz if you are serious.

But, I do not regret staying off the phone. I could not get up nor go to work the next day. I just cried alot and felt like jello. I am going to let go of this for the next 90 days. I feel my sanity and my health slipping away from me. I  gave my husband a written list of the things that I think he should know. I said I would talk to her if it becomes a deathbed wish. I told him that my sisters would substitute for me if he gets burned out and that I will answer his questions about anything that he thinks I might know that he does not.

I keep praying to  God to help me stay in the present moment and not prject forward or backwards. I called my best friend, my sister and my sponsor. I am back to work today. I have enough strength to complete the day and then go home to crash again.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Have you dealt with this?

Have any of you dealt with this relapsing over and over again so soon after rehab?

How do you stand it when your child is on the street?

Or when you don't  know where they are?

It makes me anxious to the point that I can hardly bear it.

This is about the 20th time this has happened with her. I figure this time she had a plan and a place to go. It has been worse. She has gone without a plan or a place to Even in the middle of the night in the cold with no money and no friends in the area.

At least Florida is warm.

My father used to say you could get used to hanging if they would just hang you slow enough. It might be true.

Dissapearing into the night

     Well, I felt so much more composed today. I was pleased to hear that the half-way house was drug testing Beth every day. They were taking her to a meeting on a bus every evening. They were getting her out of bed and to a motivation group each morning.

It actually sounds like a resonable program. It is much more structured than most Florida half way houses. Anyhow, I decided to call the director to find out where and how they draw the line if they take people back after relapse. He said they have a three strikes and your out policy. He said they then help the person into a different and even a state run free longer rehab. It sounded reasonable to me.

Apparentlly though not so reasonable for my daughter. She did not show up for group last night. She was seen around 9:30 pm . She did not answer her cell when they called. She rode her new scooter into the night and did not come back.

The director said he figured she had this planned out and had a place to go. He said that she arranged those drugs too fast after having been so incapacitated. We both figure that it was her second not her first use of drugs. The first one probably occured when she arrived late to the first half-way house. I told DH so he will not be fooled when she calls.

I assume she got a boyfriend to move in with.

Dear God,

Please help me detach with love or serenity instead of anger and frustration.
Please let her  find a purpose, a pleasure a passion that is not immoral and illegal.
I did my best but my best was just not good enough.
Now she has to do her best. Please let her come to her senses before she kills herself, someone else or gets an incurable disease.
Please accept my efforts to help others as a sacrifice for her health as nothing that I have done for her directly seems to have helped one little bit.
Please help me keep my faith. It is hard on me to live this life.

Please help me direct my efforts towards myself and the others in my family and friends that I have neglected for the past 8 years.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Well, I could not stand it anymore. The counselor did not call back my husband. We have been trying to get someone to be with Beth to tell her about her POP POP's death since Monday.

I called her this morning. She had already been to an 8:30 meeting. She was cleaning her room. She said there were other girls there with her. I told her to sit down that I had bad news for her.

She said " I know already that POP POP died."  Smitty told me yesterday.

She had a very flat matter of fact tone. She said she was sad yesterday but that he was in a better place.

She said that there was nothing she could do that we already had the services. I told her it happened fast after he died because of the cremation. Every time we tried to tell her she ended up in the hospital before we could.

I told her that I am very sorry and that we would have had her there but it was impossible. I also asked her what her plans are. She said she plans to go to the telemarketing job and get hired on the  spot today.

I told her that I love her and I always will but that I can't stand in the middle any longer. I told her it was like when she left her boyfriend Shaun. She loved him but he kept beating her up and she could not allow the abuse anymore. I love her but I can not hear about nor try to correct this addiction anymore. It is up to her.
She knows that she has money for a few more weeks at the halfway house from he welfare. She knows that she will not be getting anymore than what is currently left from us. It needs to be cancelled in this state and picked up in Florida.

Her lack of affect was very unsettling  to me. I said if she needs to talk about POP POP   then I will talk to her. I do not want to talk about the addiction. I hate the addiction but not her.

I said that her relationship with drugs is just like her relationship with Shaun. She loves them but they are kicking the hell out of her and so she must withdraw. She said....yeah...I know.

I called my husband to tell him that she already knew and he did  not have to pursue it anymore. He said brightly......... ok....... I will not think of it anymore........Do you have anything else.......

I said,  no and hung up........   Now back to work. 

Dear God,

I give her to you. I can not bear the buden anymore. Please take care of her and let her live to find a purpose in this life. You could not have brought me the miracle of her birth just to create more suffering in this world. There must be some purpose. Please let her find her purpose and please release me from my obsession with her addiction. I pray for the peace that passeth understanding for the both of us. Please let her feel your love and power in her life.  Amen

Is that all there is?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


1.  I am greatful for my  alanon sponsor and that she approves of my blogging.

2.  I am greatful for my blogger friends.

3.  I am greatful to have had the blessings of in laws that were loving and close to me.

4.  I am greatful to have a career where I use my love of foreign language and teaching.

5. I am greatful for the love and friendship of my husband of almost 30 years.

Strange Sense of Freedom

I had a strange sense of freedom today. Nothing new happened with Beth. However, the sun was out, the kids at school were adorable and I could concentrate on my work for most of the day. It is a blessing to enjoy ones work and I always have.

It was also the first day that the shock of seeing a tormented death upu close and my grief for my father-in-law began to lift. I miss him as he was 5 or ten years ago not the way he suffered in the end.

After school, I spent about an hour with my mother in law. What a sweetheart she is! It is because of her that I almost stopped feeling like I did something horribly wrong with Beth when she was a child. My mother-in-law always lived next door. She was the kind of salt of the earth, sweet motherly type that you only read about. She should have been able to save my daughter if I was a horrible mother. I was a very responsible and good mother if not excellent.

Anyhow, Elsie and I spent an hour on facebook. She was delighted. She said it reminded her of when they first got a telephone in her house and she could call her girlfriends. She wrote to her children and grandchildren via facebook. She can not remember how to use it on her own but she sure is quick with understanding the capacities. I typed for her but she composed all the messages. We should have been doing this for years.

The counselor never called my husband back to tell Beth about the death. As it turns out she has some money from welfare that I was holding for her. It will get her through 3 or four more weeks if she stays where she is which is extremely doubtful. I am turning this over to my husband as well.

He is not healthy so I have tried to protect him. We also have not always agreed on what to do. As sexist as it may sound or be, I think that men are more able to comparmentalize when it comes to their children.

He loved her just as much as I do. In fact, they were better friends and companions enjoying sports and sci-fi together. She also did gardening and boating with him. No one in this world but him and maybe you mothers share this bond with me. Well, maybe thats why God made mothers and fathers.  I said that to my husband. I said....... as smart as I am, I have just been incapable of protecting myself from her.

Sweet man that he is...... he said  "Why on earth should you have to. It is unnatural for a parent to have to act like this.

So, I am finally letting my husband protect me for awhile. He was very appreciative of the time I spent with his mother. He said  "Elsie is our baby now."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back to Royal Recovery and Raw Emotion

My husband got a call from Beth. She was mad that someone had told me she was in detox. She wanted the name of the one who told me. Her Dad said "  so you don't want us to know what is going on with you. She said..." No, because Mom will cut me off." 

She got up from her sick bed and used the money that I sent for groceries on cocaine.

I have been an absolute wreck thinking about how cutting her off financially and telling her of her grandfather's death at the same time is going to kill her. I could barely concentrate or work today. I cried and cried.

The truth is that she did not care enough to visit her grandfather when she was here in town and he was alive. She said it was too upsetting and he was too negative.

She never had a normal amount of empathy for others and that was before she did drugs.

Still, I dread to see the results of cutting her off though she faced the situation with bravado.

Her Dad said that we will not send more money. He said, I have some numbers here for the salvation army and a charitable rehab. She said she did not need them that the halfway house would work with her.

I am trying to let her Dad handle this now as inspite of his ill health and grief he does not obsess about it like me.

He says that our girl died a long time ago. This is not our girl. This one uses our best instincts against us to keep us supporting her drug habit. I know with absolute certainty that what he says is true. What I am not sure of is weather or not she can help it. She is just sooo bipolar, crazy and addicted that no one can get through to her.

Every time she uses she risks her life in the most sordid of ways. Her habit is around 100 dollars a day. She has supported that habit for over one year. I do not truely know how she is alive.

I wish that I could stop loving her. Surely if she were a man I would not play the victim. Surely I would separate myself from her. I know that anytime she sensed that I fear for her life she uses it to extort money.

Her last use was of crack. I prefer her use of heroine in a strange way. Heroine calms her down where the crack revs her up. It makes her nasty, surley, all powerful and confident.

Dear Husband says it is time to cut our losses and move on. I pray to God that I can do that because right now she is all that I can think of. It is ruining the rest of my life.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I have not gotten any response from the new treatment center nor from Beth. I expected this. If she thinks I am about to withdraw from her, she withdraws from me first. Letting me hang for a few days or weeks with no word has a tendency to soften me up a bit.

Will the state of Florida give her help if she needs it? Or will her only recourse be the streets?  My help has not saved her from the streets and all that entails. She regularly goes there for drugs.

Is this really a choice?  When I think it is a choice I want to let her go, fend for herself, make a decision.

Or is it that she is just so darn sick and no one has the cure?

I just do not believe that this is the best she can do.  Can't put a few weeks together. There is some element of resistance here from her concious mind!

Third Strike

Beth went down to treatment in Florida promising that she would go to a 6 month program after her initial 30 days. She renigged on that and I understood because the counselors were encouraging her to go the halfway house route.

When she left the treatment center for the Sober Living Halfway house she spent New Years Eve weekend in a hotel with sober friends. She reported to the halfway house 3 days later. (Long enough for coke or heroine to be out of her system.)  Strike ONE

She was kicked out of the sober living halfway house one week later because she was staggering and slurring her words plus testing positive for xanax but that was a result of her other meds.  Strike Two

She got very ill and went to the Del Ray Beach Medical Center. She had kidney infection and the flu. They kept her until Sat afternoon. She sounded weak and tired.

She was caught off the property on Saturday night. She denied having been gone. She denied using the whole day. They ran tests and she tested positive they thought for cocaine. She talked to me on Sunday at 4. She said that she did not answer the phone as she was sleeping. When her results came back they sent her to detox. Strike Three

I called her new treatment center Genesis House.  I left a message for her counselor that her grandfather died and we have to figure how to tell her. I also said that I am not willing to pay for anymore halfway houses. She needs to proceed from there to a 6 month treatment or I will not support her anymore financially. This was our original agreement as I have been through this scenario before.

She can call phoenix house and make arrangements or not. She wanted those drugs enough to drag herself out there and get them in spite of how sick she was. These drugs are now more important than anyone she ever loved or who ever loved her. They have been for a long time. They are even more important than her own life.  I am defeated. I give up.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back to Halfway House

Beth went back to the halfway house today. So she was in the hospital for 3 days. She did not sound to chipper when she called. The management from the house took her from the hospital to the pharmacy and for some groceries.

They have been very good to her. I am going to talk to the director on Monday to see how she is doing and if he thinks she can now take the news of her grandfather's death.

They are one of the few halfway houses that have actual counselors that come in so I think I can have a therapist with her to help her process the bad news. I plan to say that POP POP was so glad that she was back in treatment and now doing well in the halfway house. There is nothing she can concentrate on that would make him any happier than her recovery.

Please share your thoughts on how to handle this sad news with her.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Return to Life

I went back to work today. Usually that is the best thing for me to get my mind off any troubles. Today I had a hard time concentrating though everyone was very understanding.

My understanding of dying at home has changed since witnessing my father in laws death over the past few weeks. Now I look at it like giving birth at home. One hopes to spend the entire pregnancy at home not in the hospital but the actual birth is better handled by the best professionals with the best medications for maximum comfort.

It might be better to die peacefully at home but unfortunately many deaths are not so peaceful even when great physical pain is not involved. When my time is nearly at hand, I would prefer to go to a hospice center but that is me. We honored his wishes as he expressed them right up to the end.

Beth is supposed to get out of the hospital today but I have not heard from her. When I called there was no answer.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lucky Break

It turns out that going to the hospital was the best thing. They did not give her narcotics. They found a urinary tract infection into the kidneys and a bad case of flew. She was given antibiotics, tamilflu and some kind of a strong anti-inflamatory for her back pain. The Dr. did not think that most of this pain was from sciatica or anything orthopedic. He thinks it is from the flu and kidney infection. At any rate it was Smitty the director of the half-way house who checked for fever and sent her with a worker to the hospital. That was a great move because both of those conditions would have gotten worse if not treated.

That being said, The Delray Beach Medical center staff treated me like a piece of dirt. They would not give me information about her eventhough I had a power of attorney and she had signed a hipa form with me on it.  She kept calling me about every two hours still in pain. The nurses would not explain what was going on with her to her or me. From 11 in the morning till 11 at night we were not given any explanation.

It was only this morning that I got her doctor to talk to me after faxing my power of attorney to the head nurse on attached to letterhead from my husband's law firm. He spent 5 good minutes with me. At which point I agreed with everything and had no need to call again.

She thought that she had swine flew because they were testing her for it. She did not. But they did have her in isolation with a mask so I can understand her confusion.

They never told her or she did not understand that the urinary tract infection was in her kidneys so she thought the pain was from her back and scoliosis etc.

I feel much relieved. Thanks to all of you for your comments.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It is now 2:51. I have been advocating on behalf of Beth since 10:30 this morning. She has severe pains shooting from her back down her legs. The director of the halfway house wanted her to try a non narcotic strong anti-inflamatory drug called Tradol.

My brother in law who is a Dr. said he would call it in but after 2 hours and several phone calls from Beth and the director of Royal Recovery Resources it still did not happen. I called another Dr who monitored her suboxone. She called in the perscription while we were on the phone.

There was a lot of paper work and faxing to set up the Walgreens with the insurance information. When I called back the director of the half-way house he said that he had just sent her to the hospital. She has now developed a fever with the pain.

This is mysterious. It is not her way to seek drugs like this. Not at all.........  She usually just disappears. I think she is really in pain. Now, I have to call back the Walgreens to make sure they check their email. This is what the nurse told me. She said that Walgreens is notorious about not checking it. Then, I will try to get her on the phone so that she knows.

Thanks to all of you for your comments on my  last post. It is nice to feel heard and not alone. I am here for all of you too!

Monday, January 11, 2010


I  opened and old backpack of Beth's yesterday. I was going to give it to my little niece. It was disgusting when I found drug paraphanalia in there.  Long neckd tweasers, long necked scissors, curtain pins and an eye dropper all in a nice little case.  I put the back pack out for the trash instead of giving it away.

Later in the day I opened all the compartments in the back pack. At that point I found goggles and a biology notebook. It suddenly occured to me that what I found before was a dissecting kit for the biology course that Beth was taking the last time she lived at home!

Today, she called me from a laundromat where she had recharged her cellphone. It sounded like there was a hell of a party going on.  She sounded happy maybe just a little too happy.

It seems to me it is natural to have these suspicions. They probaby will not go away for a long time. Nevertheless I do not want to over react to my own suspicions. There are bound to be times that I think she is telling a lie but she is not. That does not mean that I have to give her a hard time about it. If it is really my business I will verify the facts. If not, like today I will find comfort in what my sponsor says......"That which you need to know will come to you without any furthur effort or action on your part."

Take care all,

Friday, January 8, 2010

We Will Miss Him

My husband's father died yesterday. He was very old and very sick. We thought we were ready but it has still been very sad. He always had our backs. He always did the right thing. We have lost a father, a friend and a great advocate for the entire family.

At about 1:00 am on the night after the day that he died, I got a call from the halfway house. They were expelling Beth because they can't tell weather or not she is using. They found her slurring her words, stagerring around, Her urininalysis tested positive for benzos which it always will on the initial screening.(She has a DR's note about this.)  They took her to the hospital and they said her vital signs were normal. They wanted her out of there by the next morning. They said thay could not keep her if they could not verify her sobriety.

Her side is that she took her psych meds and they made her groggy with cotton mouth. They woke her up to test her and she was disoriented. When she gave the pee test she tripped on the rug and they called that staggering.

I did not tell her about the death. She knew it was imminent. The next halfway house took her in quite happily saying that her meds should have been cut in half after leaving the hospital.  Of course, I lost the money from the first place and had to pay the second one all over again.

I have a lot of doubt about this second big irregularity since leaving treatment.  However, I just did not have the strength to deal with this death and put her out on the street at the same time.

I have suffered so much when she is missing that I am not sure I can do it again under any circumstances. That is not good because if she knows it she is likely to exploit that as a weakness and to the max. She has also been victimized by others on the street so that is a very very last ditch measure which often results in death or injury fast.

I tried to keep this whole thing to myself because I did not want to burden my husband in his grief. In that I failed because I got nearly hysterical trying to make the decision about weather to tell her or not. I wanted to devote myself to my husband and his family today. I did some of that but at least half of my time and energy went to the addict once again.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mystery Arrival

Soooo glad I did not call the halfway house to find out that she had not arrived.  They called me in the middle of a tour on Saturday. The halfway house manager said that Beth called from a hotel. She did not have a ride but was scheduled to check into the halfway house that day.  She said that was most unusual and that she would have to make sure that Beth was sober before admitting her.

In the end she was admitted with a questionable urine test. They will do a full screen and have the results in a few days. Beth and I had angry words on the phone. I told her that she could not rely on me for any more money as she had broken the agreement by going to a hotel instead of right to the halfway house.

She maintained that she was clean but I of course did not believe it.
She told me xxxx you  xxxxyou xxxyou........ I am clean.

I said that as preposterous as that possibility is I am still mad even if she is clean. She dissapeared for two days and did not do what she knew she was supposed to do.

Today she called to apologize.
She had some time to work on her story and gave me one I can almost believe..........

I hear that tune in my head  (If I listen long enough to you..... I'll find a reason to believe that its all true......knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried.......

Well, I decided to wait for the extensive drug test results and go with them for now. I just cant handle throwing her out on the street and having my father in law dying and my husband grieving at the same time.

If the drug tests are negative, I will follow through until she gets kicked out or uses again. .......Yet I look to find a reason to believe...... someone like you makes it hard to give never thinking of myself..........


Friday, January 1, 2010

still no word

Well, we got word that my father in law was a little better this morning. He is a very tough old bird.

I have still had no word from Beth. If I call and ask about her I am calling negative attention on her. If I find out that she has not arrived then that adds a lot of worry to my plate. But obviously, I am already worried.

I wonder if they would release my deposit money to her.

New Years was overpriced but the musicians were really good. At least we shooed away the old year and rang in the new.