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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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day Two : Mood 2

If I were to rate Beth's mood on a scale of one to five, today and yesterday were both on the 2 level. Below average at best. When I came home today both Joy and my husband were at their wit's end with Beth. They said leave her alone, she is having a bad day.

Joy told me that she was collecting change!  We have all seen this before and it leads to no good. In the past I would have tried my hardest to keep her at my side through bribery, distraction or straight out confrontation. This time I just asked her if she was ok. She said yes. I said, "you don't look alright babe."  She said, "I just got real mad watching tennis. All those people who still play at 40 and I was ruined by 17. "

What could I say? "Oh, that must be frustrating ." Yes, she said, " I am angry and resentful."  Then she told me she was collecting money for cigarettes. She wanted Joy to take her to the bank to get the change converted and  then get the cigarettes and go to Emily's house.

I took her to the market and bought the cigarettes.We dropped her off at Emilys. Will she be ok?  Will she make her apt. with the public defender tomorrow morning or the gynocologist tomorrow? Will she use the change in her purse for drugs?  She will or she won't. It is not that I do not care. I have just learned to detach. It did not come easy. My attempts to control her always just make her mad.

On the positive side, perhaps, she felt her own frustration and decided to seek the company of a friend. That would be a healthy response. We still need you prayers my friends.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Big Accomplishments on a Draining Day

The temperature here was about 98 and humid for the third or fourth day in a row. When I got up last night at 4:00 am to find Beth smoking on the porch, it was still hot!  S he said the dog woke her up. She had not fed him  until late and consequently he had to be let out in the middle of the night.

I heard her running down the stairs and that is why I got up. Anyhow, today we went in for her blood work ordered by the neurologist first thing. She gave me a real hard time about getting up. She kept falling back to sleep. The seroquel she takes really knocks her out till about 10:00 am. I had asked her to take it earlier in the evening so this would not happen but she never did until 11 pm. Between the seroquel and the lack of sleep she was very tense and complained about everything. Finally, I told her "I am tired too. You woke me at 4 in the morning. I am doing you a favor, taking the day off work to take you all the places you need to go but instead of thanks I just hear complaints."  She said, " I am just tired."  I let it go. In the past I would have insisted on an apology and really expected her to get it. Now, I just know this is how she acts when she is tired and nervous. Still, after about the 10th or 11th complaint I have to speak up. The shrinks call this behavior negative persistence.

Anyhow, we did the blood work and then proceeded to social services to sign up for food stamps. Then, across the county and over to the Social Security office to do the final paper work for her SSI and SSD. The subtract one from the other. They also subtract anything we might give her towards food and shelter as income.

 Things got a little hairy when she realized that she does not have free access to any money. I must account for every penny to the government showing that it is used on food, shelter, medical expenses and other necessities. I thought she was going to walk out in a huff eventhough this was never a secret and the attorney had discussed it with her before.

Fortunately the case worker was very calm and explained to her how she could change this over the course of time with responsible behavior and her doctor's endorsement.

They told me at U of P that an addict in recovery should not have free access to money for about 2 years. I still believe it. Although I did give her 100 dollars just recently to go grocery shopping for us. She went with someone I trust. They came right back and they brought me a reciept. She was quite happy with this. She did not see my behavior as suspicious. She saw it has adding back a little trust with back up proof.

Thanks for keeping us in your prayers. I am exhausted and intend to turn in early tonight.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

''When moms get involved kids don't. Learn how to keep your kids safe

from drugs and stay  (The partnership for a drug free america)''

These are the exact words. They appear in a full page advertisement on the front cover of a magazine I just bought. The magazine is entitled Everyday Easy  Recipies from Better Homes and Gardens.

I looked it up to get it exact when I saw your interest. I only know one Tom who is at Recovery Helpdesk. He does not have anything to do with this group as far as I know. I am just about to look up this  It would be interesting to know who sponsors them.

I think that this sort of propaganda sends the message that this problem can not happen to you if you are a good parent. I used to think that too. It is one of the reasons I was not looking for the signs. I thought that only kids who were in some way abused and desparate  did this sort of thing. That thinking sort of made drugs someone else's problem. Certainly not something that could effect my family.

I used to think sort of the same way about mental illness as did the psychiatrists. Mothers were out and out blamed for schizophrenia 40 years ago. Doctors now know that this is not true but I am not so sure about the general public.

On a positive note. Beth continues to do well. She is much more easy to communicate with now that she is off her antidepressants. We all think they were making her manic. She remains prone to debilitating depression but the depression does not seem to take her judgement away like the mania does. The depression seems to come and go on its own when we just give her time and space with it. She remains very productive on the days the depression lifts and not productive at all when the black cloud descends.

The big difference in my house is that we are not pressuring her to do anything when she says she can not. I will let you know how it works out. So far she is now starting her 9th week with us. Before her illness, we never pushed her. She pushed herself mercilessly to satisfy her own perfectionism. Soooo, I just decided to believe her on the days she says she can not. My goal for her at this point is not full time employment. Just, staying off drugs and making a contribution to the family on the days that she can.

Please continue to pray for us.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

When Moms Get Involved Drugs Don't Take Hold

I saw the title line in an advertisement from the parnership for a drug free America. Oh, how I wish it were true! I was involved and I am involved.  They should know better.

 There are lots of very involved parents who have kids addicted to drugs.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


We are all doing a little better today. Beth has been pepping up from time to time. She rallies when her friends come around. So far, they seem to be kids who are struggling but clean.

We made an add for her on Craig's list for pet sitting. She made a list of services and prices. I found a cute picture of a cartoon character that looks a lot like her walking a group of dogs in high heels and a big flared skirt just like Beth wears. The character looked a lot like her.

This is something she can do from home in our finished basement. She can say yes or no to one job at a time and if worse comes to worse we can help her get by for a few days as long as she keeps it down to one pet family at a time.

She loves animals and they love her back so it could work. She will watch them overnight or during the day. She will also bathe them or cut their nails while they are here.

Does anyone have any good names for the business?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mean and Surley

Beth just wants to sit on the couch. She is not as tightly wound up as she was before. But if you ask her to do anything she protests and acts put upon. I just read something appropriate on Syd's blog. Another blogger wrote that she prays her boundaries are straight and clear with soft edges.

I told Beth that I want peace in my home so please do not make small requests into big incidents by making such a big deal. I am trying to be patient but at the same time I do not want to be her doormat. The honeymoon is over and now instead of being polite to me she tells me that she does not give a shit about cleaning up after herself.

She just watches one movie after another. Her life is watching movies and smoking. This was a girl who played the flute, tennis, acted in plays, played field hockey, sang in the choir, won many art contests, swam like a fish, earned a captains license and worked a part time job at the same time.

I go from feeling very very sorry for her to being angry with her. Maybe this is the best she can do. I have sure seen much worse from her but I wish she would appear to put a little more effort in this. She is in her seventh week clean. That is great but I am concerned with the lack of structure. Anything i suggest including playing with horses is rejected!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Off the Couch

After three very intense days on the couch and seething mad most of the time, Beth seems a lot better. She is riding her bike, talking a little, making good sense and attending to her hygiene. It seems to have taken three whole days of taking the meds as perscribed.

The Doctor was just about to give her another  antipsychotic and then  she started getting better. I finally asked her tonight why she was not taking her meds regularly. She has skipped nine doses. She said that it was not 9 in a row but that she would forget if she slept at her girlfriends or if she did not put the meds on the table.

I went through this with my son with ADD. He really wanted to take his meds when he was younger. There was no coercion involved but he would sometimes forget. The very frustrating thing (really it is logical if you think about it) was that if he forgot once, he would be much more likely to forget again. The medication itself helped his memory. Without it, he was much more likely to forget.

  Soo, I will lay it out for her on her table each night. After awhile if she seems more stable I will put it in one of those day by day containers. With her, it is even more critical. I notice that if she forgets for a couple of days then she does not even want to take it. We have learned that it is best not to even try talking to her when she is off meds.

I so want to keep her home and just watch her 24/7. If only, she would submit to such treatment we could give her the gift of 6 months or so clean under our care but she is very sensitive to be controlled. Even as a child she was very sensitive to being controlled. She would obey but she would seethe with resentment unless you could explain to her why. I am sure that being raped was an even greater trauma for this girl who values her own free spirit so much. I admired this trait in her. I thought it would serve her well.

Josh is working a double shift tonight and Dave is sick again. First his back for weeks at a time and now he seems to have the flu. Joy and I just got done looking a bunch of pictures of my husband and I from high school. We were all hippied out with love beads and bell bottoms! Those were the days that we were out to change the world!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


At this point we are classifying last night as an incident but not a crisis. Beth came home when she said she would which was around 12. I had left her meds on her night stand just in case she changed her mind. It looks like she took them. She was a little better today. She did some weeding in the garden and her friend Jim came over to help her and take her to the movies.

She told him about her drug problems and that she wants a friend not a boyfriend. Yes, I have heard that one before. Anyhow, he does not seem to be into drugs or drinking. He brings her home at a reasonable time and is very patient.

I have spent most of the last 24 years trying to control Beth. I do know now that I can not control her or her disease. So far, she has been clean longer with this lack of control. Her doctor did take her off the prozak. I am now laying out her meds as she was skipping quite a few doses.

Thanks for your prayers. We want to keep this sick adult child with us. We love her and she is in much less trouble with us than out in the world on her own. She is very talented and smart. If she could just get a little more mentally stable she could start making a contribution to this world even if she can not support herself. She could still help out at the humans society or be involved in her art or coaching. These are now my dreams for her future.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Beautiful Day, Disturbing Events

We are now in our sixth week with Beth home. She was doing pretty well up to a few days ago. I actually heard her and her brother Josh exchange a few words in passing!

She started to go down hill on Friday but pulled herself together for a good day on Saturday. She helped her Dad with a lot of handyman stuff all day and then watched movies with friends and her Dad at our house.

On Sunday she started to be miserable and today as well she did not want to get off the couch eventhough she looked clear eyed and alert. She looked haunted and pissed off. I asked if she had slept and she said yes. I asked if something happened and she said no. She said she is pissed because there is no food in the house. (There was a lot of food in the house.)  I emailed the doctor.

A few minutes later I got a call from Beth demanding that I send her to a hotel before she slaps Joy or wrecks her computer. She was very angry at Joy. Beth was convinced that Joy was avoiding her chores so that Beth would have to do them.

I tried to convince Beth to call the Dr. I did agree that Joy was wrong to accuse Beth of being lazy and not having a job so she should do more. Beth was crying and saying that she is not lazy she is just sick. I said that she had a good point there but that I did not want the threats. I will not tolerate violence or property distruction. I will send her to the hospital if this happens.

I called Dr. Vasquez who had already read my email. I called her on her cell which she regularly gives to her patients and their loved ones.  She said that this is her mania breaking through. She said to give her half a seroquel now, and a whole one at bed time. She also said for me to check and see if she is taking the other meds. Beth would not comply with the meds. I tried to get her to take her lamictal or topomax. She would not do that either. (She has been skipping doses of both of these.)

Her father tried too. HE offered to take her to dinner. He tried to get her to take her meds. She said she is going out with Jim her friend. Dave said to her not to do anything foolish. Call us if you need us to get you.

Beth did calm down and quit making threats but she would not comply with her meds. She says the seroquel makes her hands numb so she will only take before bed. I tried to reason with her that it is just this once not all the time. She is very likely to use drugs in this state so please pray that she will not.

Dave says she can't live here using so here we go again. Here we go again with the not complying with meds, mania and upset in the family. Oh well, the family is not too upset. We all see it for mania and we are not being sucked in personally. It is still very hard to cope with even when you do not take it personally. Right now she is mad at  Joy, me and her Dr. She thinks that her friend Jim will make it all better. I said, honey you will just end up fighting with him too. She said no I won't and off she went.

Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I can see now that my writing in this blog is far from elegant. I just say what is on my mind as fast as I can and then go on to read your blogs. It helps me a lot to be able to get these things of my chest. My English teachers would cringe but then this is not written for English teachers but for other people trying to make sense out of this life that we did not choose.

The president of my NAMI chapter asked me why I did not write down some of my experiences with the mental health system to begin acting like an advocate. He is right but even those of us who could write in better times are often so busy putting out fires. It is hard to think about buying a fire protection system when the room you are standing in is already on fire! That is how it feels in a crisis.

 I have learned from someone here how to ask myself........ Is this really a crisis or just another incident? I sit in those rooms at NAMI and see how it could be a lot worse. A lot of those women are dealing with big strong men who sometimes turn violent through no fault of their own. That is one scary proposition. These mothers take care of their schizophrenic sons (they are mostly sons) and worry what will happen to them when they are gone

One therapist told me that there is a tremendously high suicide rate among the mentally ill around 50 years of age. She thinks it is because that is around the time that their mother's die.

Dave was walking without his cane today. I could actually see a spring in his step. Beth took a whole seroquel last night and slept well. She told me she was only taking half so that she was not groggy in the morning. I asked her to consider taking a whole one as she really was worn out and irritable yesterday.

I don't know what time she got up but she mowed the grass and power washed the back of the house before leaving. That is really a help to us and she knows it. We are paying her for this type of work so that she can buy her cigarettes and go to the movies. I could just give it to her but number one I do not like paying for cigarettes and number two I think a little work is good for her. I do what I can to keep things low stress and high structure. That is what the NAMI people say....low stress  and high structure.

Come to think of it that could be a personal goal for me as well!

Take care and I pray for you all.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Week Five

We are finishing up week five with Beth still at home. She just told me she has a friend on the phone threatening to kill himself. She asked me what to do. I said tell his parents. She said she does not know who they are or where they live. She does not know where he lives either.  ?????  I said.....ask him where he is and we will send the EMT's. He would not say.

I don't even know this boy but I feel sorry for him. He came back from Iraq in distress. Beth does not need this kind of pressure. She already has been having a sad day. She did not sleep well last night from nightmares.

I offered to look up a suicide prevention line or a veterans help line. She said no, texted a few more times and then  continued watching her movie. She said you can not stop someone who wants to kill themselves. She asked him why he told her if he does not want her to do anything about it.

As you know, it was not so long ago that I had the same sort of conversation with Beth. She was threatening to kill herself.

Hubby got an epidural steriod shot today for his back. He is taking it easy enjoying the not being in pain.