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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.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Much Needed Vacation

DH and I are on a much needed vacation. We are spending time in Tuscon with his sister and brother in law. We have been having a great time and they have been very kind to us. This is my husband's older sister. She has always done so much to keep the family together.

It occurs to me  now that these people are a little like parents to us. We go to them for advice and comfort. In fact, at one point when Beth was younger and the troubles had just started they took her in for awhile. This was before the drugs but just after the mental illness had reared its head.They were not able to cure her but it did give us a break. It also helped her see that we were not the enemy. Nancy and Bill live right next to us in Jersey but spend the winters in Tucson.

I am grateful that we enjoy being with them and that they enjoy us too. They want us to move out here when we retire. I don't know that we will but it is sure nice to be wanted. The weather here is awesome for about 9 months a year. We wake up every day to sunny skies and a crisp cool temperature that requires a light jacket. By the mid-afternoon it is almost t-shirt weather.

Today we went to the University of Arizona during the day. We walked around campus and visited the museum and book store. After that, we came back to their place and sat in front of the outdoor fireplace while listening to jazz and watching the sunset. Then, we made burgers on the grill with some portobello mushrooms , salad and asparagus. It was a great day.

Thank you all for your comments on my last post. Lou hit the nail on the head when she said that I was not asking about enabling really. I was asking if I could force Beth to stop doing drugs by cutting her off. I am not planning on doing that. The only way I could rationalize it would be if I thought it would cure her or if I thought that she was a danger to me. At this point, I do not believe any of those two criteria fit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No Contact with Addict

Have any of you ever gone no contact with your addicted loved one?  I have read about it but I do not actually know anyone who has done it for any length of time. Right now I talk to my daughter when she calls me to handle her financial matters. She tells me she is doing fine on suboxone for heroine but is considering aversion therapy for cocaine.

I love her and encourage her when she seems to be seeking encouragement. I pray for her every day but it looks to me like her diseases are way ahead in this struggle to the death.

Once......... when she shocked me beyond my capacity to endure I told her I could forgive her actions if they were in the past but I could not live with them in my life at present. I would not talk to her at that time but my husband did answer when she called. Neither of us gave money or shelter. She got beat up and entered rehab. She stayed as long as the insurance would allow which was 6 weeks and then it all started up again. That was at the same time that my father in law died.

I wonder would it make any difference to her meaning would she actually try to get better if we totally cut her off. My husband who is usually much tougher than me thinks that this would be cruel as she is severely mentally ill and her capacity to judge is diminished. He thinks we should keep her at arms length but do nothing to add to her pain which is real and palpable. I agree that she is mentally ill as well as addicted. It was evident way before she started doing drugs but the drugs make it soooooo much worse.

I do not need to cut her off to control my own suffering.

 I can usually maintain enough distance to manage a fairly normal life. I would only ever consider this in order to help her. Besides, I know that a cut off creates a different type of suffering.  Did I mention that the last time I took a break from talking to her she disappeared for 6 weeks and we were calling morgues looking for her?

Tell me about how close you have come to cutting off the addict completely and how it turned out.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Seven Things About Me

1.  I have been married to the same man for thirty years. Although we did not date until 5 years later, I obsessed about him since the first time we me in high school. He sat in front of me in Spanish class. My nerdy friends did not like him or me associating with him because he was a jock. He was a jock that wrote poetry, had a beautiful voice, wrote songs for me  and became an attorney.

2.  We still love each other.

3.  I treat my dog like a baby and he likes it. He must be wrapped in a blanket and held when he comes in from the cold. His name is Joey.

4. I always loved school.  That includes both being a student or being a teacher. I think that I might have been a teacher in a one room school house in some other life. This explains my collection of books about pioneers and pioneer teachers. When I feel sorry for myself, it is easy to read about their lives and see that mine is much easier.

5.  I usually read 2 or three books at a time. Some are scholarly, some are best sellers and one is always in Spanish.

6.  I have traveled and lived extensively in South America. I love the land, the music, the language and the people. One of my fantasies is to go there again as a peace corp retired worker.

7. I have several good friends both locally and from far far away that have been in my life for more than 20 years. I do not see them constantly but we can count on each other just like family. It takes me awhile to make new friends but it seems like I do a pretty good job at keeping them.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What if the addict never gets better?

Is there anyone out there who can share what you do to cope if your loved ones situation does not get better?  Is there anyone who has learned to build a decent life for themselves in spite of the suffering caused by long term severe addiction and mental illness?

A long time ago, I spoke to a woman at a mental institution that had rejected my daughter because she was an addict. This woman was not the one who rejected her and she shared information with me that could have caused her to loose her job. After about 20 minutes she shared that her son was an alcoholic and had been for 20 years. He was in just about as bad a shape as my daughter.

This woman told me to toughen up. She said that most of the 5 star addicts do not get better and that I would go grey still obsessed with finding a solution to a problem with no solution. She told me to go on with my life and I now believe her but I still need to know just how people do it.

I know that there are millions out there doing it. I also know that even if your loved one has recovered, if they were in desparate straights for a long time you somehow learned how to enjoy some other part of your life or you would not be here now.

One thing that does help me is making a list every day of about 5 things to accomplish. I force myself to get started crossing things off the list and as simple as that seems it helps me tremendously. Hours go by that I do not think about the addiction.

Please share your coping strategies.