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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.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Great Vacation

     I got back from Panama on Monday during the wee hours of the morning. It was a great break and the first time in the last 4 years that the vacation was not canceled or sorely interrupted by the antics of the addict.

I went with a tour group called Caravan. A girlfriend and I traveled together. Her husband does not travel and mine can not travel in the summer as this is his busy season. It was wonderful not to have to make any decisions all the while being entertained and pampered. Panama is very warm and very welcoming to Americans. Panama City is very modern and safe with all the infrastructure that American are used to. It is ok to drink the water and eat the food freely which we certainly did. We toured the canal, the  mountain highlands and the pacific shore areas. We saw beautiful scenery and adorable little monkeys about the size of squirrels.

I am just starting to get caught up on my normal life. Beth came over today to do her laundry. She is taking some pride in her apartment. She keeps it clean and is having some fun decorating it. She has a job interview tomorrow. This has not happened in a long time. She remains off her antidepressant which seems to be stopping her mania but increases her depression. She had a panic attack yesterday while trying to arrange car insurance. Well, it was very frustrating. She called 7 or 8 companies looking for a special program that we know exists for people on medicaid in our state. No one could help her but they were all willing to sell her something she could not afford. I found the dollar a day program the next day. It took 3 hours and all my dealing with bullshit skills to accomplish it.

Her ssi disability settlement is covering her rent, food and medical. I am paying the electric bill. She will get her gas and spending money by working when she can. She has been doing yard work here and there and clipping dogs when she can. There were no lists open for low income apartments or section 8. Not just no apartments available but no lists open to be on a waiting list. These places charge one third of a persons income. That would make her independent. She was grateful to have any roof over her head. She did not balk at the low income places.

I am much less crazy knowing that she has a roof over her head and where to find her. As you know, she was homeless for the better part of the last 4 years. She went to and finished multiple rehabs. She continued to relapse. She was attacked several times while on the street. She just kept getting crazier and crazier. She was in and out of several mental institutions. She almost died several times and kept taking herself back to rehab. At one point she was gone for 6 weeks and we thought she was dead. We were calling morgues and jails and police departments. That is what changed my mind about the tough love. I thought, what if she was doing the best she can and I never even find her body?  At this point, she has some days where she seems perfectly normal. She says she is clean. I bet she is not totally clean but has cut back some. She does not seem to be doing heroine at all. I think she is drinking more and doing pot more. She now has working friends as opposed to addict friends. She knows we love her and support her recovery. All is not well but i told you that I would tell the truth. It is a whole lot better than it was before for the family. We can sleep at night and have some enjoyment in life. It is better for her to have a place where she is safe from being victimized on the street. At this point, I have no regrets for helping her get her SSI. It only cost me time.


  1. "vacation was not canceled or sorely interrupted by the antics of the addict."

    Oh how lucky you are. We cannot even imagine and yes we understand completely! Our worst one was he was arrested 4 times in 4 different jurisdictions in one week while we were in Mexico. Don't people understand that we don't want to know.

    I can also relate to everything else you posted. They become helpless in the real world even when they are trying. Seems like the things we "get" they become frustrated with in real life and that usually just leads them to using more. Vicious circle.

    Patience is needed all around.

    We have never been to Panama, sounds like it may be someplace that needs to be put on our radar.

  2. Anna,
    You sound so relaxed! It was a joy to read your post.
    I am very happy that Beth is settling into her apartment so well and that your vacation was such a success. I hope you can carry the effects with you for awhile.
    I know that with my daughter, the self-medicating aspect of drinking out-weights the "partying". She tells me that she knows it is worse around her period when hormones are destabilizing her moods more. She needs to quiet down the demons and uses alcohol as a reliable method. She says it is way better than any psych drug she has been on and has fewer side-effects. The "responsible drinking" conversation is very different with someone like my daughter. A little scary and a little weird.
    It is great to hear about the relaxed atmosphere that has resumed at your house.
    xx kris

  3. Hi Anne. I am so glad you could get away and have some girlfriend time. You deserve that! And to hear that Beth is hanging in there is good. You are doing such a great job with loving her with boundaries. Those suicide attempts must have been really awful. I have some PTSD from some of Caroline's worst weeks. You must have that too.

  4. I am glad that you had a good vacation and that things have eased for you regarding Beth. I hope that the peacefulness continues.