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quietmadness
Karianne, Lavinia; Thanks so much for asking! :-)
I'm ok.
I'm a recovering addict myself, with over a year clean.
I'm also *extremely* relieved that "Ms. X" hasn't had the jewels about herself to drive that Ply-Dodge Van up into my driveway. That wouldn't be a wise move...but then, when one is stoned out, one rarely has the ability to realize what's wise. I know I never did!
My support and best wishes are with everyone who's got this affliction/disease/decision affecting their lives, either directly OR indirectly.
(((busties)))
island_girl
*delurks*
hi everyone.
a little over 2 months ago, i got a phone call out of the blue from a close friend of my brother's, informing me that my brother had a serious problem with cocaine, crack and alcohol, and that his life was rapidly spiralling out of control. my brother and i have always been really close, and i always knew he liked to party but i had no idea it had gotten so bad.

i organized a family intervention and he agreed to go to rehab. he spent 7 weeks there, did really well, and got out about 10 days ago. right now he's just taking things one day at a time, and so am i. the past couple of months have felt like a constant rollercoaster of emotions and has left me feeling pretty tired and depressed at times. i have good days and bad days.

i saw him this weekend, and it was weird; i felt like i was afraid of him. i think what i'm really afraid of is his disease, his addiction. i found myself avoiding situations where the two of us would be alone. i didn't want to say or do the wrong thing, and i think i was keeping myself at a distance to protect myself; i.e. if i don't let you in, then you can't hurt me again. i know this doesn't help the situation, but i felt like it was the only thing i could do, and then i would inevitably feel guilty after every interaction with him. does this make sense to anyone?

i feel like my trust was broken (because i thought we were so close), and i'm afraid that i won't know if he relapses because i couldn't tell that he'd been using for the past 8 years, so how would i know the difference now? as i'm sure you all know, addicts are master manipulators and liars. i don't know... i'm just feeling really confused and scared and worried. i'm planning to go to an al-anon meeting tomorrow night.
quietmadness
Island Girl,

I understand what you're talking about. Maybe what you're feeling is a mixture of things; I know for me, coming to the realization (with addiction) that life isn't the dream I thought it was going to be was SHATTERING to me.

Could it be that facing the fact that your brother has an incurable condition (I'm sorry--I do not support the "disease" theory) is just scaring the hell out of you?

Maybe when we see someone so close to us suffering/recovering from the addiction--we feel guilty because we were powerless to STOP it.

I feel guilty all the time, because even though I used to be addicted to (some things) with the help from my dearest-husband-hero-best-man-in-the-whole-wide-world-evarrr I'm clean and living an absolutely awesome life. All this while my two "used to be best friends" ended up in the "gutter" with their addictions.

But, then again--I look at it like this: I made a FREAKING DECISION, DAMMIT! I made up my mind one day, once and for all that I was NOT GOING TO TAKE THE FREAKING PILLS ANY FREAKING MORE. No, it wasn't a walk in the park to stop. Yes, it took a few days out of the grand scope of my life to detox. Yes, I had horrible anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, heart palpitations and insomnia, along with some body aches and twitchy legs.

But you know what?!? Those things only lasted A FEW DAYS and now--I'm THROUGH WITH IT...IT"S OVER! A few days in the scope of a whole lifetime isn't much, people. In fact, it's infinitesimal. Tiny. Easily enough forgotten.

Now, it's time to get over it.

And, Island Girl--in order for you to "re-bond" with your dear brother--you must do two things; You must "acknowledge" his experience (and let him know you want to do just that--and then you want to "get over it," too--don't let him ramble on it!)--and you must SHOW him how much you value his human right to live life well, by "helping" him do just that.

That doesn't mean you're going to pay his bills and support his lethargy--just that you're going to listen to his new found angst in life and try to understand.

Then, realize that every day--YOU are going to make a decision: To stay decent, human, and STRAIGHT--for yourself.

I hope this doesn't sound too overbearing or rude. It's certainly not meant to be that. But I can remember so many times that other people felt the same way around me that you felt around your brother--and even when I didn't know how to tell them what I needed--there was a recovering addict out there somewhere that DID understand what I needed--I just never came across them like you're coming across the internet to me!

Best of luck to both you, and your dear brother.

--Quietmadness--
erinjane
Island_girl, I think it's a great idea that you're going to al anon. I think a problem that a lot of us with friends/family members with addiction have a problem with is coping. Yesterday i went to a drop-in counselling clinic and even that was a good step in helping me to cope with myself.

I understand what you mean about being scared to be alone and what to say, etc. Another reason why al anon sounds like a great thing for you. My brother had been going to deal with my SIL's alcohol problem and he found it really helpful to understand and deal with both her and himself.

I think a lot of us forget that we need to take care of ourselves too if we want to help those we love.
karianne
((island_girl)) So sorry to hear about your bro. I am glad he is in recovery. Others' addictions have so much impact on us, more than I ever thought possible. The addict in my life is my younger sister, she too had been using for about 6-7 years. For most of that time, I didn't know she had a problem. Things got really bad in the past year or so, she is now recovering. Knock, knock,knock.

I started experiencing anxiety during the rough parts of her use. She has now been clean for about 6 or 7 months, and recently I've experienced a resurgence in my anxiety. I think I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hope it doesn't.

I think it is great that you are planning on going to al-anon. Try to be easy on yourself as far as your feelings. By that I mean just let yourself feel what you feel. Try not to feel guilty about it. I think as time passes, you will heal & so will your brother.
island_girl
thanks for the support.

karianne, i can really identify with that feeling of "waiting for the other shoe to drop." when my brother was in rehab, i felt pretty calm because i knew he was safe. however, now that he's been out for two weeks, my anxiety has really been triggered and i feel like i'm having a tougher time coping. now that he's out of rehab and staying clean is really up to him, the situation seems more scary. sometimes i get myself all wound up thinking "what if he dies? what if the last time i saw him were the final moments i'll ever spend with him?" i know these thoughts don't serve me in any positive way, and that's a big part of the reason i'm going to al-anon.

quietmadness, it's really great to hear that you kicked your addiction and are now living a happy life. it gives me hope that my brother can do the same. however, i think each person's struggle is individual; what took a few days for you might take years for someone else. for my brother, i think he will struggle with this for the rest of his life; his recovery goes far beyond a few days of physical withdrawl symptoms. but as long as he continues on the path of recovery, he'll do well. that being said, i know that i have no control over his choices and the best i can do is take care of myself and support him without falling into a co-dependent situation.

i'm learning to just take care of myself as best i can and take things one day at a time.
karianne
Island_girl, I've started to feel like that about everyone. Many times when my husband leaves to go somewhere, I worry that he will get in a car wreck or some other catastrophe will happen. I really dislike feeling this way. I believe it stems from losing my father at a young age-he went out of town, had a heartattack & never came home, and my sister's addiction. With addiction, there is such a "surprise" element-I never knew when she would be calling in hysterics, telling me she didn't know where she was, telling me how she failed her drug test, etc. I am hoping that as more time passes and she stays clean, this foreboding feeling will go away. However, I am worried about myself is she relapses. I don't want MY life run by HER addiction.

zahia1996
Hugs to all of you!! Karianne, it broke my heart to read what you said...when i was 15, my dad went out of town on a business trip, caught pneumonia, and died very suddenly. My mom, spiraled out of control with her alcoholism. My sister (thank goodness) has been sober for 12 years now. Long story short...I KNOW those feelings of anxiety concerning your loved ones, and it tears you apart. The bizarre phone calls, the accidents, the walking on eggshells, ignoring the elephant in the room..they lead to terrible scenarios in your head. The only thing I can say is, in all your worrying about other people, its really easy to neglect yourself. I recently began counseling to help me deal with my husband's issues regarding addiction/compulsion. I finally realized that I have no real control over how people handle their addictions, but I HAVE to start taking care of myself. I can't keep going on like this. I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. Most of the time it feels like there is no rest from all my worrying. I blame myself all the time. I'm afraid of ever expressing how I feel, for fear that I'll set off an "episode". I'm tired of smiling on the outside, "supporting the person, but not the habit" and meanwhile wishing inside that I wasn't even alive. But, for the first time I am actually seeking help for myself. It took several tries, but I've found two excellent doctors (one psychiatrist and one behavior psychologist) who are giving me at least a little hope for the future. I really hope it works. It feels like it might. Thank you all of you for sharing your stories. As sorry as I am to know there are other people experiencing these feelings, it really does help to know I'm not alone. (sorry for going on so long)
karianne
((zahia)) I am so glad you are finding people that can help you. I've considered going to therapy, I just want go get over this generalized anxiety type thing. A few weeks ago I was coming close to panic attacks also, but those feelings have pretty much faded. I really envy people who don't experience excessive worry. I feel for any kids I may have in the future, I'll probably be the most neurotic mother ever.
mel
How much is too much to drink? I have lost my appetite for real meals lately. Come home from work so stretched to the limits of my brain an body, that I open a beer and maybe eat a token sandwich just to be on the safe side. Sometimes a second beer sounds good, and a third. Never a fourth. It's hotter than hell right now and I think I associate the cold beer and ceiling fan is part of my collective unconscious. My concern is I am drinking too much and doing it alone. Alcoholics all over the family. I have never been addicted to anything but slightly too many snacks, and irresponsible men. Could it be I'm developing an addiction to beer at 39 or is it just a rough summer?
island_girl
i skipped al-anon this week because i was too busy being premenstrual and feeling sorry for myself. ugh. i'm starting to have some of that anxiety and worry about my brother creep back in again, which tells me that i really need to get to my al-anon meeting next week... it helps me cope.

i lay in bed last night convinced that everytime my brother says he's "going to an AA meeting," it really means that he's going out to use. i'm worried that he's lying and the feeling of not having any control freaks me out. but i know i have no control, it's not my job to save him, etc. etc. *deep breaths*

hope you all are doing well...
karianne
Darn it! I had a post, I pushed a button & now it's gone...

Basically...

((island girl)) How are you feeling? Any better? It's really hard not to be anxious, I know. I have the same problem, the wanting to control, trying to keep everything in line. It's exhausting, isn't it?

mel...hmmm. I don't think that necessarily sounds like too much too drink, but if you are feeling like it is, then for you it might be. How long has this been going on? If it's been short lived, I might not worry about it. Could you stop if you wanted to? I go through phases where I drink wine every night, but about 1 glass, maybe 2.
agent_wasabi
i had to change my username because i couldn't login with my old one, so island_girl is now agent_wasabi! smile.gif

yup yup, the anxiety and worry sure is exhausting. my brother works in a camp-like setting, so he's out of town in a remote area for a week, then back home for week. i always find myself feeling rather edgy during those weeks when he's back home, because i know that's when he used before (he claims to have never used while he was in camp working). anyway, he's been home since monday evening and i found myself feeling a little frustrated last night because i haven't heard from him yet, nor has he responded to an email i sent a couple of weeks ago where i laid out some pretty raw feeilngs.

i know that i could just call him, and i probably will do so tonight, but i feel like it would be nice for him to make an effort too. i can't help but feel that i've done so much for him over the past few months (i.e. planned the intervention, organized getting him into treatment, visiting him at the treatment centre every sunday for 2 months, sending letters and faxes every few days, etc.); not that i feel he owes me anything, but i don't know... i just want to know that he cares about me as much as i care about him, and i guess i'm looking for some recognition of how hard i worked to get him help. i feel like we were always so close before, and now i feel like our relationship is really fractured and i don't know what to do about it. it makes me really sad, actually; i feel a sense of loss. like, i thought there was this person i knew, and i'm realizing that i didn't even really know him at all. i don't know... it's such a mixture of sadness and worry and anger and... argh!

last week i had myself convinced that everytime he said he was "going to a [AA] meeting," it actually meant that he was going out to use. i had to reel myself back in and remind myself that i have no control over what he's doing, and consuming myself with worry isn't going to change anything.

i'm reading a really good book right now - it's called "when things fall apart" by pema chodron; one of the main themes of the book is that ultimately, life is totally uncertain and we can't predict what will happen next, and we need to learn to "relax into the groundlessness of our situation." realizing that life is groundless and that we have no control over things is a little scary, but also feels really liberating.
zahia1996
I know its hard not to take it personally...but there's a good chance your brother isn't trying to ignore you right now. He's still in the early stages of recovery, which requires a lot of self reflection and and effort. When you take a look at the 12 steps program regarding recovery, I think there's a good reason that admitting your wrongs to another person doesn't come until step 5, and making amends to them til 6 and 8. It may just take a while before he is able to see outside of himself.
Give yourself time as well. I spent months worrying myself sleepless about my husband's issues, even after he went into counseling and decided to stop. But finally, i am trying to just take him at his word, and go on with life. I have too much of my own life to worry about without constantly freaking out about what he may or may not do. Its funny in a way, because normally I am a very skeptical and cynical person...but I just think that in this situation, that would cause more harm than good. For both of us. Its not always easy. Of course I still worry sometimes, and wonder what's really going on (he is stationed overseas for the next two years). But ultimately, all I can do at this point is take him at his word.
You sound like an awesome sister, one anyone would be lucky to have. And I'm sure that your brother realizes it...he just may need some more time before he can tell you how he feels about it all.

((Karianne)) your comment that you would probably be the most neurotic mother made me laugh b/c I thought about a conversation i had with my doctor the other day.
Dr: So what exactly do you want to get out of therapy?
Me: I don't know. I guess to be a little more relaxed in my approach to life
Dr: Ah, so you want to be a laid back person
Me: Well, no, not all the time. Just a little more than I am right now
Dr: Sooo...you'd like to still be neurotic, just slightly less so?
Me: Exactly
agent_wasabi
Thanks zahia, and thanks to everyone else in this thread. You're a great source of support and I'm glad you're all here. smile.gif

I got an email from my mom today; it sounds like my brother is starting to slip a little bit. He hasn't found a sponsor yet, was 1/2 an hour late to an AA meeting last week, didn't return a call to the treatment centre, didn't return calls to my mom or me, and hasn't responded to any of the three emails i've sent him over the past month. Also, I know he's hanging out in party situations and although he is currently managing to abstain, I think it's a very slippery slope. The whole "taking back your will" thing is really dangerous from an AA perspective.

My first reaction to my mom's email this morning was to freak out and instantly go into “I need to call him right now and force him to stick to his recovery program” mode, but then I reeled myself back in and started to think about what I've learned at Al-Anon. I found the 12 steps online and just kept reading the first one over and over again... it helps to remind me that I have no control over his actions; I can’t fix this for him or make him stay clean. And although it sucks to feel helpless, it's also sort-of liberating to realize that it's totally out of my hands. I can only be responsible for myself and no amount of worrying is going to make him stay clean. It's amazing how the 12 step stuff works; I feel a lot better now.

How is everyone else doing?
beckster
((agent wasabi))! I know what you're going through, and it's rough, to say the least. My best friend is now going through AA and NA to conquer his addictions. One of the best things he's learned is to 'change his playground,' and not hang out in the same places that he did when he used to use. This has been a long, hard road to get to the place he's been in (larceny, job loss, and 2 suicide attempts later), but I'm glad he's taking baby steps in the right direction. I know what you mean about not recognizing the signs - he and I used to go out all the time together, and I had NO clue he was a coke addict - and the kicker is that I work for a mental health and substance abuse company! But you only see what you want to see, I guess.

Your brother is lucky to have you in his life. And remember, it's ultimately his battle...not yours. (easier said than done, I know).
karianne
agent wasabi, I am sorry to hear about your bro. I am glad you're feeling better personally though. I think that is a huge step, to accept that you can't make the person do anything. It takes a whole lot of responsibility off of you. I was the same way. I thought "well, if I do this, or that, maybe she won't use." It just doesn't work.
zahia1996
Beckster, Karianne, Agent Wasibi, and all the gals here: Hugs to all of you. It such a crappy situation to care about someone, and realize that you aren't able to fix things for them, and give them the life you wish they had. I feel so lost sometimes about the whole thing. I don't think anyone out there goes and thinks, "gosh, i wish I could really care about an addict". Most of the time we don't even know about the problem until well into it. And sometimes, I feel bad for thinking the way I do, but I get angry. I didn't "choose" to have an alcoholic mother, sister, and grandmother. I had no idea (ignorance is bliss, I guess) that my husband had a sexual addiction until a year into our marriage. Somedays it feels like I've spent my whole life worrying about other people's choices. Meanwhile, conveniently ignoring the damaging choices I was making for myself. I really feel like I'm at the end of my rope at this point. One of my best friends has landed himself in the hospital twice now, and nearly died due to his alcoholism. At first I thought it was the "rock bottom" he needed to turn his life around. But now, he's made it clear that he doesn't care. Despite the doctors' warnings that if he continues to drink, he WILL die. He doesn't care. I don't want to write him off, because I do care about him, but partially just for self-preservation, I feel like I need to distance myself from him. He has told me several times now that he would rather drink and die, than keep living and not be able to drink. I don't know...I feel like I'm abandoning him. But its so hard to stand right there and watch him slowly kill himself. It breaks my heart.
karianne
((zahia)) I am so sorry about your friend. I understand how you feel. You don't want to feel like you didn't do everything you could, but it sounds like your friend is determined to go down in flames. I know it is so hard, but I think you are on the right track with distancing yourself. I think addicts leave their loved ones and friends no choice sometimes.
cstars124
I have a question for everyone.

My roommate (and also close friend for over ten years) has always had an addictive personality. Anything she does, she does in excess. She's also been battling depression for as long as I've known her and she's been on and off antidepressants for a few years and she recently stopped taking her medication. I think she's developing an addiction to pain medication and alcohol. One of her realtives is prescribed vicodin and has no problems whatsoever selling them to my friend (her cousin) full scripts at a time. I'm not really big into drugs or alcohol and she knows this, but she would usually confide in me on the drugs she's taken but she recently started lying to me about it. And I've tried to distance myself and bring the fact that she has a problem to her attention, but she denies that her drug use is anything but recreational. And when I don't talk to her for a while or ignore her phone calls, she gets upset and depressed and binges more. And when she's in a fairly decent mood and I ask her to recognize that she has a problem, she's able to admit that it's definitely not helping her in the long run, and she tells me she'll clean up. But I feel like I can't trust her and short of looking through her stuff, there's no way for me to really tell that she's being honest with me.

I just don't know what I'm supposed to do. On one hand, I WANT to help her. I would even go to NA meetings with her and I told her that, but she denies she has a problem. On the other hand, I don't want to be around her, because as much as I care about her, I don't want to bring myself down either. I've had problems with depression in the past as well, and I don't want to jeapordize my mental health trying to help someone who totally refuses to be helped.

So, my question for everyone is: a) how do I deal with this situation? It's hard for me to distance myself from my roommate. I live with her, ya know? cool.gif How is she even supposed to get better when she's literally surrounded by negative influnences including her family? and c) how can i not enable her in this negative behavior? I feel like I'm encourgaing her when she does these things in front of me and I don't do anything to stop her.

I'm sorry for the long post. I just have no clue what to do...
karianne
cstars, that is a tough situation. I think you are on the right track in trying to figure out how you can deal with it, not how you can make her stop. Perhaps you should go to NA meetings alone if she is not interested? It is especially hard when things you do (not calling her back, etc) seem to make her use more. It's not your fault though. She won't get better until she can admit she has a problem & wants to actively work to overcome the addiction. Sadly.

I know you don't want to abandon her, but how much longer do you guys plan on living together? It is very difficult to live with someone who has an active addiction. Especially if you have problems of your own that may become exacerbated by the other person's addiction & behavior. As far as not enabling, I would suggest simply not being around her when she uses. Does she typically use at home? Can you leave the house at these times? I think it is also important to tell her WHY you are leaving. It is not your responsibility to try to stop her, but you can remove yourself from the situation.

Good luck.
sillygrrl13
Ok, here's how THIS is.
In Oct., I broke up with the only guy that understands me, that I'd been with for 17 years. He's THE shit..and he's a gambling addict, drinks like a fish & smokes 2 packs a day (& is SO diabetic, he takes a shot a gazillion times a day.) I did everything I could financially, emotionally, & however to help him through it, but in the end, he bottomed out anyway. Wicked thing about it, when we met, (through another ex, who never met a drug he didn't like), I had my own addiction & dontcha know, he got me through it, easy as pie. I was ready to give it up, hated that I wanted it so bad, N.A. didn't work, he just came right in & gave me a new choice. Oh, how I tried to help him, but I couldn't. He's everything I want, but his shit will always come first. He knows he has a problem, but it's runnning him down. What a freaking waste. I know it's up to him to fix it, but that doesn't make me miss him any less.
karianne
((sillygirl))

I hope your ex recovers.
olhakadirf
my brother is a meth addict, and he dissappears for a year here and a year there, well now he has been gone for over 15 months and I can't help but worry, although he always seems to be "ok" he has lost his house, and last I talked to him he had his 2 kids, the ex-wife was dealing with her new husband having cancer, so a few days after I talked to him his phone was disconnected and I really don't know if it is worth it emotionally for me to try to hunt him down again, does anyone else have the disappearing addict issue? any advice, I do have another brother who is a recovered cocaine addict and sometimes he knows where the other brother is but he rarely returns my phone calls so I'm not sure what to do.
flowerring
I'm so glad I found this thread, it's refreshing to hear others stories about people they love hurting themselves with addiction.
I'm concerned with Mel - didn't see her type back after her initial post - I hope she's ok. My advice for Mel...be careful. If alcoholism runs in your family - not saying everyone that comes from alcoholics becomes ONE it's just a small wire we walk on.

((SillyGirl)) You'll be FINE! Just breathe! and make a list of why it's better that your boyfriend is NOT a part of your life. The draining affects of users on those that are sober is exhausting, he’s the only one that can make himself sober.
As the story is being told in this thread...YOU can not believe how relieved I am to find this. If anything but to vent.

My story is long so I'll give the short version... I was raised by an alcoholic mother (I have an older bro & sis-both who have drinking problems) I've avoided the problem thus far. My mother is sober and has been for 20 years, she unfortunately traded one addiction for an asshole stepfather - (ohh can I curse on this?) anyhoo, she is now divorcing that butthead he starting her life again. So, short version...I left and moved away 2000 miles away...6 years later I move back (to be closer to family - after somewhat dealing with my demons) My father I forgot to mention who my mother divorced @ when I was the age of 1year old, is an alcoholic. He was found in his home 2 weeks ago laying in his own spoils (no description necessary) after suffering from a grand mal seizure. His a vet, takes meds for his seizures, & alchoholic assumption is a no no. Yet he does. That's what alcoholics do. They drink, and maybe drink themselves to death. My father is 61 years old. His in the hospital and will need 24 hour care for the rest of his life. I 'm "home" for 3 months and slapped with a reality check I haven't had for 6 years. (Running away from the problem I guess) - Now what? What does one do when their father is the child? You can't give up on him can you? AT least now maybe he’ll get sober.
I just don't know.... all I know is I’m not giving up on him. He may have given up on himself a long time ago but I just can’t.
The weird thing is…is I’m tired yes, the last 2 weeks have been loooonnng. Cleaning, Caring, and Calling. I feel empty inside, like this whole thing is … empty. That’s all I feel.
maddy29
hey all- my ex-best friend is an alcoholic and addict. i struggled for a long time trying to "help" her. The best thing I ever did was go to one Al-Anon meeting. It was amazing. I mean, it was awkward and uncomfortable and I felt weird, but I got a reallllly clear message.

Which is-I can't change my friend. I can't do it for her. I can't take care of her. I can go to meetings with her when she asks, but I'm not putting up with any of her bullshit. I feel like I really separated emotionally from her after that meeting. I realized how exhausted I was dealing with her chaotic life. Once I stopped trying to help her or take care of her, I felt a lot better.

I know that sounds harsh, but the truth is- you can't stop an addict. They'll do what they want, until they are ready to face whatever they can't face. THat doesn't mean we shouldn't be supportive or show concern, or confront them or whatever. But we can't do it for them, and honestly they'll just drag you right down with them.

My friendship of 10 years ended, on new year's eve 2 y ears ago. she had almost a year of sobriety and was doing so well and then she went home for a week to her parents and she relapsed. came back and just started partying again. so, on new year's, she wanted to drink and smoke weed with me. i said no, you can't come over. she said "then our friendship is over." i said ok. and hung up. A few months later, she emails me saying- well, i'm not in recovery anymore, i'm smoking weed, and i miss you. wanna hang out and smoke weed? since my sobriety isn't an issue anymore. i was like wtf? but that's truly how clueless she is. I'm sooo happy not to be around her anymore. She was toxic. I'm sad, because she was my good friend for a long time.

now i'm trying to deal with my own weed obsession and damn is it hard and scary. scary scary scary!!!! it's always been my fall back, my comfort, my way to cope with stuff. being sober for too long just makes me nervous.....

actually, is there an addiction thread for us busties who have them?
bella coola
First of all I'd like to bless all of you. Not with any sort of religious connotation, just to try and send some comfort and improvement towards all of you and your situations.

My mom is an alchoholic. I guess she has been for a while now - it just took me a long time to catch on. My family has a long history of alchoholism, and repressing emotions. Imagine that unsure.gif When my mom was 15, her best friend was raped and murdered; 16 her brother died as the result of a car accident, and at 18 she lost her mother. Ever since she's been hanging on to her father and sister for dear life - unfourtunately they're on pedestles and her sister has just come crashing down. On top of Mom, it seems. She's got a lot shoved down there. I just wish that she valued herself enough to be able to make herself happy. As you all know too well, it hurts so much to see your loved ones constantly hurting themselves. It's so hard because we're really close, but I can't stand to be around when she's drinking. It's her battle.. God I hope that she realizes that she can win it, and that she doesn't have to fight it alone. I'm becoming more and more spiritual, so I think that will help me cope with that ugly helpless feeling. I want to just accept her, and love her for ALL that she is; even the things that I wish were different. And I can always ask the 'higher-ups' to help. It's good to see Al-anon mentioned repeatedly, I'll have to check that out. Man you ladies have got some tough stories... lots of big hugs! Lots and lots.
agent_wasabi
QUOTE(bella coola @ Sep 29 2006, 09:22 PM) *

God I hope that she realizes that she can win it, and that she doesn't have to fight it alone.


hi everyone. i hope you're all doing well and taking good care of yourselves. bella, your quote above really resonates with me right now; when i was home last weekend for [canadian] thanksgiving, i found out that my brother has relapsed. his partner, my husband and i tried talking to him about it on sunday night, but he got very defensive, angry, and lied about everything. he has since admitted the relapse to his girlfriend, but he's blaming everyone else and not taking any responsibility.

i feel so angry that he lied to me, but at the same time i need to remember that the addiction has a very srong grip on him right now, so he'll do anything to protect it. i guess i'm having a hard time understanding why he would choose this after being clean for the past six months. i know that in many ways it's not really a choice, because ultimately he is sick with a disease that's stronger than he is, but at some point he did make the choice to skip a meeting, slack off on his aftercare, give in to a trigger, and start the cycle all over again. why didn't he catch himself in time? why didn't he want to?

i guess there aren't really answers for these questions, and knowing the answers wouldn't change much anyway, but this is the stuff that goes through my head...

i went to an al-anon meeting last night and the support was good, but the topic was step 10 and i just feel like i'm so far away from step 10 right now. i need to go back to step 1, and i hope my brother chooses to do the same.
bella coola
Sorry to hear about that, wasabi. Maybe if we give enough love to our loved ones that are hurting, enough will soak in that they will begin to love themselves too. It's too bad when people lay blame... it doesn't matter who's fault it is, the only person that can keep a person clean is their own self! He's lucky to have a sister that cares, and it sounds like your husband is very supportive too. That's good - hope you lean on him as much as you need to!
agent_wasabi
thanks bella. smile.gif
unfortunately, he's using, self-isolating and sleeping a lot right now. his girlfriend thinks he's depressed. i'm just so sad for him, and scared. i can't imagine what a shitty dark place he's in right now; i know he feels ashamed and horrible, but i can't fix it or take it away. i wrote him an email just letting him know that i love him, because what else can i do?

i mean, do we intervene again? at what point do we decide to do that? the depression and self-isolating thing really scares me, and i feel that familiar urge to dig out my superwoman cape and try to save the day (hello co-dependency)... but what if he really needs help? it's so difficult to separate co-dependency from helping, and i've always felt this need to protect him.

ugh. this sucks. i just want my brother to be ok.
maddy29
sad.gif he's probably feels really ashamed of his relapse, and doesn't want to face you guys. i think if you can let him know that relapse is part of recovery and that it's ok, you still are impressed by how far he's come, etc etc...that might help.

definitely no swooping in to help-never works and it just sucks the life right outta you.

does he go to AA/NA, or a relapse prevention group or a therapist? a sobriety groupo would probably help a lot, because they teach you a lot of techniques but also support people through relapses. because realistically, most people dont' just quit and that's it-most people relapse, slip up, whatever. if you can look at the relapse as a learning experience, instead of a shameful mistake, that can help a lot. what led up to the relapse? how did it feel? there's so much information there that can help his recovery.

maybe this is just part of his recovery....
agent_wasabi
thanks maddy.
yeah, he was going to AA and NA, and he has a sponsor, but he hasn't been going to meetings for awhile and he's not calling his sponsor back. he knows these supports exist and how to access them, but ultimately it's up to him; no-one can force him to go to a meeting, call his sponsor, get a therapist, or stay clean.

i spoke to his girlfriend today and was up-front with her about my concerns about his depression and whether suicide was a remote possibility. it scares the crap out of me to even talk about it, but i feel like it's a very real concern right now; shortly after he left treatment, a friend of his (who he'd met at the treatment centre) committed suicide. my brother's girlfriend told me that he admitted to her that he was searching around for pills the other night when she wasn't home, and that he would've taken them if he'd found any. she had some old sleeping pills she didn't use but luckily had thrown them away before he went searching.

i don't know what to do... i'm just so scared. i think he is deeply ashamed and depressed, and doesn't see a way out right now. i'm scared that he's going to decide he doesn't have a reason to live anymore. i can't even stand the thought of losing him. it makes me feel sick to my stomach.
erinjane
My sister in law is back in detox.

Things seemed to be going alright for a while, but once she got back into university it was going badly again. She was obviously drunk or at least drinking almost every day. She joined an addictions program that goes 6 hours a day twice a week but she came home drunk three weeks ago and picked up my niece so my brother called the police and she left the house.

They were fighting like crazy and then her dad called the police four days later saying my brother was being "mentally abusive". The next day she decided to move out. That night she called the police (third time that week) because she was afraid she would do something to herself.

She moved out last week and when my brother went to drop off my niece monday night her and another girl were drunk out of their minds. She didn't drink yesterday but started having seizures so my brother took her to detox. Her nose won't stop bleeding because her liver isn't working anymore. She's having the seizures because of withdrawl and her blood pressure is really high. The nurses said they don't think they've ever seen someone so young who's so bad (she's 24).

My parents and I went to visit today and she kept talking about how she'd made this one mistake and now she's lost her family...as if this hasn't been going on for four years plus. I know she's feeling sorry for herself, understandably, but she's so frusturating. Her parents are unbelievable. Her mom told her she didn't think she should go to detox because she didn't need it and her dad hasnt' seen her since christmas. We're more family to her than her parents are.

Ugh. /vent.
northpole
Awww, erin, I'm sorry to hear about your s-i-l. That doesn't sound very good if she's having those problems with nosebleeds and high blood pressure at her age. Thank you for sharing.

My thoughts and prayers are with her, you and your family members.

~North "remember to take care of YOU" pole~
erinjane
My brother just called. My SIL is at the homicide department. They won't tell him what's going on, but it sounds like she killed her boyfriend yesterday, or he fell over the railing at her apartment.

Fuck.
maddy29
omg erin-that is so insanely scary. holy crap. it's sad to see how far down some people go before they get help. although, who knows if this will get her to clean up or not. so sad sad.gif

how are you holding up?
erinjane
Insanity. We have a little more information now. She met this guy through AA which is a stupid move to begin with and they both got drunk last night/this morning. They were having sex and she said he asked her to scratch him and cut him, things like that and that he wanted to be stabbed but she accidentally stabbed too hard and called 911 right away.

I'm suspicious about the story because she's gotten drunk and come at my brother with a knife before, or tried to hurt herself. She's perfectly in control of herself when she's sober but goes nuts if she's had anything to drink.

The guy is alive but in critical condition. She's in custody and on suicide watch, my brother called the police and told them that she needed to be. She's really upset and is threatening to kill herself if he dies.

God, she's so fucking insane.

I'm doing alright. A little in shock, and just wanting to get more concrete information and find out if the guy is going to pull through.
maddy29
wow, well i'm glad he's not dead, hopefully he'll make it. dang, that is just nuts. good lord. she must have "accidentally" stabbed him pretty damn hard to nearly kill him! you are right-she is insane. she needs serious help, and it doesn't sound like it's safe for her to just be out and about...good she is in custody now.
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deschatsrouge
I'm bumping this thread for Konphusion26.
konphusion26
QUOTE(deschatsrouge @ Dec 6 2007, 02:17 PM) *
I'm bumping this thread for Konphusion26.

Hey I didnt know this thread existed. But yeah.. my dad is an alcoholic. Its not been an easy road. I've heard that addicts can only recover if they really want to. I guess he doesn't want to because every attempt to get him help, he refuses. Oh well, what can ya do??
LoveMyPugs
I'm not really sure where to go to ask this question to so I'm just going to ask here.

My cousin is a heroin addict. Has been for years now. She's been in and out of detox over and over. She's gone to countless rehabs. She's been to prison twice. She's been clean for over a year and just recently completely feel off the wagon. She's been missing for almost four weeks. My mom saw her the other day in Walmart and she said she looks like a complete junkie now. We think she has switched from snorting to shooting up. We think she's prostituting to support her habit. She's stolen money, cars, commited check fraud, broken into houses and what not. It's pretty much the worst it's ever been.

Her and I are very close and all this has been very hard on my family and me. I was wondering if anyone knew of any kind of a support line to call for family of heroin addicts. Shit, I'd even go to group meetings if it meant I could share this with someone else. I can't seem to find one that isn't an hour away from my home. Chirstmas was very hard without her being around and not knowing where she is. I'd just like someone to talk to about it who understands what I'm going through being so sick with worry for her. Anything anyone could offer would be a huge help.

Thanks!

Love,

Pugs
LoveMyPugs
WARNING: VERY LONG POST AHEAD!

Yesterday was the worst day of my life.

At the beginning of the month I found my cousin’s myspace account. She hadn’t been on since the middle of December. I sent her a message telling her that I was terrified for her and wanted to know if she was all right since she’s been missing for over a month. She stole a car and a lot of money and was out on a heroin binge.

I was figuring that with everything that was going on with her she sure as hell wouldn’t stop what she was doing to locate a computer and check her myspace account but I figured what the hell it’s worth a try.

A week later I get a message back from her that can only be described as a suicide note. She said that she wants to die and that no matter what happens she loves me and I’ll always have special place in her heart. She said she had no hope this time and that this has been the worst relapse of her life. It was a very sad letter.

Of course, I messaged her back and told her that there is always hope. That I have nothing but hope for her and she just needs it for her self. I told her that she had to call me. I begged her in this letter to please, please call me. I’d come to her and take her to detox. I mean I really put my heart into this short message just begging her to call me so I could get her on the phone. I knew if I could get her on the phone I could get her to meet me and then possibly get her into the car and take her to detox or jail. I just had to try.

Yesterday around 2:30 p.m. I get this phone call. It’s a number in the city. I answer it and low and behold it’s her. She said that she just read my myspace message on a computer at the library and wanted me to come get her and take her to detox. She said she’d meet me at the mall and that she wanted me there alone. I told her I was on my way and after I hung up with her I went and threw up in the bathroom because I was so overjoyed at hearing from her yet freaking out about what was about to happen.

First person I called was my dad. He freaked out as well. He was so glad that she called me. We talked about taking her to detox. He said, “She’ll just leave again. She won’t stay. Her parents and friends want her arrested. That’s the only way she’ll come through this.” I agreed and he told me he was going to go to the mall, to the police station they have there to get some help. He told me to turn my phone to vibrate and wait for him.

So I got to the mall and I’m standing in front of Macy’s waiting for her. My dad was in the parking lot but I couldn’t pick him out. Next thing I know she pulls up in the stolen car she was driving. The bumper was about to fall off because she was in an accident last week with it. She looked awful. Dirty, smelled, high and paranoid out of her mind, looking over her shoulder and mine ever second from the start.

As soon as she got out of the car she picked my dad out of the parking lot. She said, “Is that your dad? I told you not to bring anyone. Are their cops her waiting for me? I’m not comfortable. I’m leaving. Why are you doing this?”

So now she is freaking out and about to run. I said, “There isn’t anyone here but him and me. We did call the police and they won’t come out because they don’t have an officer in the vicinity. I said we talk, get a cup of coffee and just relax and then I’ll take you to detox.”

So we are walking through Macy’s towards the food court. She’s yelling at me that I need to stop saying detox because everyone can hear and she’s already ashamed enough as it is. She was so agitated that at one point I just stopped talking and decided to just listen to her talk. We got coffee and the whole time my Dad is blowing my phone up in my pocket trying to get a hold of me. I was so scared to answer it because I didn’t want to spook her. Finally, I said to her, “I have to answer my phone. My dad is in the parking lot and he’s worried about me and wants to know if I’m okay.” She said fine and she stepped away for a minute.

When I answered the phone my dad said that he was trying to get the police to come out but they wanted her date of birth and social security number and he didn’t have those things and he was fighting them every step of the way. I told him I was in the food court and I had to hang up. He said once we got outside to call him back.

So her and I walk through the food court and I asked if we could walk around the outside of the mall because I was so fucking hot inside. After telling her that nothing was going on and that I honestly was just hot she agreed to go outside.

We walked around and she just talked about wanting to go to detox but she didn’t “need” me to take her. She knows she’s going to jail and she is dealing with that. She talked about how much she hates her mother and how much she hates the demon inside her. She talked about her friends and how they always abandon her when she relapses. She said she just didn’t understand what went wrong this time. She was doing so well and working so hard. She cried and yelled and cried some more. The whole time I’m just listening, asking questions and trying to be there for her.

Meanwhile, my dad is walking the mall trying to find us because I didn’t call him when I got outside. He finds a State Trooper and tells him what’s going on. The cop checks his PDA and sees that she has five warrants out for her arrest. He asks my dad if he’s called me recently. My dad said that I wasn’t answering my phone. The cop asked why and I think he was concerned for me at that point.

Her and I finally stopped walking and were just standing in front of the mall entrance. This time I got a text message on my phone from my dad saying CALL ME RIGHT NOW!!! I told her that I had to call my dad again. She said fine and she stepped away from me. She was much calmer at this point. My dad said, “Where are you right now?” I told him I was at the mall entrance to the left of Macy’s. He said, “Stay there, we are on our way.”

We started to talk about her recovery again and the next thing I know, out of now where, there is a cop behind me. He said, are you _____ _____? She said yes and he turned her around and handcuffed her. They took her and faced her against the brick wall and read her rights to her. She didn’t run or fight thank God and they were gentle. People were staring and one guy even laughed at her. I tell you if I had a gun I would have shot that prick I the face without hesitating. I was crying. My dad tried to hug her and kiss her on the forehead and she jerked away from him. He started crying and just came and hugged me. He told me he was so scared when I wouldn’t answer my phone but that he understood that I was just trying to keep her calm.

We stayed with her while the State Troopers questioned her. I told them about the stolen car which then meant that she had to be turned over to the county. So we were waiting for the county cops to show up. She wouldn’t even look at us.

Finally she asked if she could have a cigarette. The cop said yes and since we were all going to be there for a while my dad and I ran out to get her a pack. When we got back she was allowed to step outside and smoke. I had to help her since she was cuffed.

I asked her if she hated us and she said no. She said she knew what was going to happen the moment she stepped out of the car. I asked her why she stayed and didn’t run if she knew. She said she didn’t want to run anymore because she was tired.

We stayed with her until the owners of the car showed up. The cop had to remove the drugs and needles from the car before they could take it. They had taken the cuffs off for a time being and then when they were about to take her away the cuffed her again. Her boyfriend showed up and she immediately lost her shit again and started crying and wouldn’t look at any of us. I told her I loved her and I would write her all the time once she was settled. I found out that her and two friends mugged a woman last week in Pennsylvania for her purse. The police said she has warrants in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland and will be in jail for quite some time. I told the officer that she really needed to be on suicide watch because she had sent me and another friend suicide notes on her myspace. He said he’d note that.

When I finally got back to my parents I was exhausted. My aunt then called to tell me that my cousin had been arrested at the mall for shoplifting. I flipped out. I said, “Where did you hear that?” She said my cousin’s boyfriend called her and told her that. I told her that was complete bullshit and I told her the whole story. She then, being the selfish bitch that she is, started to tell me all about her day, what she did, shopping and what not. I listened to all that bullshit and then I lost my shit on her. I told her that I didn’t want to hear about her. I wanted to tell her about her daughter and everything that happened. I told her I needed to personally process what I did to my best friend today. I was screaming at her with everything I had. I’ve never been so angry in my entire life. My mom, my dad and my sister were just sitting there listening to me. My sister held my hand the entire time.

My aunt finally said, “I wouldn’t even have called if I knew. Why don’t you just hang up on me if you feel that way.” AND I DID!!! I hung the fuck up on her. I was so upset that I was shaking something fierce and I was dizzy and felt nauseous.

After I calmed down I ate some dinner and my mom, me and my sister all talked for over an hour trying to work through the day together. I went home, mixed myself a strong drink and then told the whole story to Mr. Pug.

Today, my face looks like I’ve been beat up from crying and getting sick. Today I did nothing but sleep in because I was so freaking exhausted. I’m not sure if we did the right thing. At times after she calmed down she looked almost relieved to be caught and going to jail. I know I’m relieved that she’ll be able to bath, eat three meals a day and sleep in a bed. I know I’ll sleep at night now knowing where she is. I just hope I did the right thing and she’ll get better. At least she’ll be alive.

My dad called her dad and he said that him and his brother just hired a private investigator yesterday to track her down. He said he was so grateful that we found her and had her arrested. He cried to my dad on the phone.

I called her brother and her best friend and told them. Her brother is in jail so I actually called his girlfriend and not him. She promised to tell him everything. Her best friend was proud of us. She said we did the right thing and that was what she needed. She said she’d call us later to see how we were doing.

All in all it was the worst day of my life. I’m glad it’s over but it’s actually just beginning. At least she’s safe.

Thanks for listening.
konphusion26
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Jan 7 2008, 11:14 AM) *
WARNING: VERY LONG POST AHEAD!

Yesterday was the worst day of my life.

At the beginning of the month I found my cousin’s myspace account. She hadn’t been on since the middle of December. I sent her a message telling her that I was terrified for her and wanted to know if she was all right since she’s been missing for over a month. She stole a car and a lot of money and was out on a heroin binge.

All in all it was the worst day of my life. I’m glad it’s over but it’s actually just beginning. At least she’s safe.

Thanks for listening.

Dang LMP... that was so traumatic! I'm freaking out just reading it. But I'm proud of your courage and your dad's courage to help your cousin. That was amazing. God bless you guys. Hopefully now, she can start over and I pray that God will heal her-- he's the ONLY one who can get rid of that addiction. WOw.... I got choked up just now!
missladyj
(((((Pugs))))

You did the right thing. Your cousin is lucky to have you as a friend.
LoveMyPugs
Thanks...she called her dad today and made him promise to tell me and my dad that she is not angry. She understands why we did what we did. Her brother also called me to thank me today. I'm doing much better. I have great family and friends to lean on. That, "God did I make a huge mistake?" feeling is starting to go away.

Thanks again,

Pugs
bunnyb
bumping for people
konphusion26
LMP you did a good thing darling!!!!! I hope your cousin gets better and stays away from drugs period. She is going to definitely need you guys for support. Hang in there babe!

I wish that we could find a way to intervene with my dad. I talked to him the day before my birthday and he was actually somewhat lucid/sober. But the convo was so short, LOL I guess he was afraid I'd mention his alcoholism to him. But I'm done trying to talk to him bout it honestly. My sanity is worth more than arguing with this man for the 17th year in a row.
LoveMyPugs
konphusion26 - i received a letter from her last weeek. mr. pugs saw it in the mail but i was still at school. he called to let me know it had arrived. i was so nervous about reading it because i thought it would be a "how could you do this to me?" kind of letter. when i got home the first thing i did was open it. on the back of the envelope she wrote in big letters, "I love you guys. Thanks for caring so much." this immediately eased my mind. when i opened it she thanked me for doing what we did. she said that she felt more in prison being out on the streets. she visited the mental health facility and they put her back on antidepressants. she says she is feeling much better and is starting to feel like her old self. she thanked me for putting her mom in her place. she said that she isn't going to talk to her this time because she feels like her mom doesn't really help with her recovery. she has many crimes against her and i think she may be in prison for a few years. i keep starting to write her but then get interupted. i might try to sit down this weekend and write her a long letter. i feel so much better now that she's written me. i know she'll get better again and maybe this time it will be for good. thanks for your support.

my family is similar as they are all very miserable and no one wants to try to do anything to change that. every time i talk to any of them, they just drain energy from me. so i've stopped calling. when they call me i listen and i chat but other then that i stay away. they haven't noticed one bit. i don't really care either. i deserve my peace and happiness too don't i? i think so. good luck with your dad. maybe it's time to just let the subject of his addiction go. you can't help him unti he wants to help himself. at least, that's what everyone keeps telling me.

Pugs
konphusion26
You are absolutely right babe. I've pretty much given up worrying about HIM per se. My concern is the other people on the road that he may hurt or kill during one of his drunken beer runs. He seems to think he's invincible when he's drinking. But he's a totally different man when he's sober (very very meek and timid, and of few words). You give him a couple cans or bottle of liquid courage (or joint) and he's instantly Mr. Hyde. I try to find humor in it to keep from crying or becoming ENRAGED. I think my anger and depression stems from dealing with my father for the last 17 yrs of my life. I have very few good memories of life before he started drinking. How sad.

I'm glad that you have found some peace about your cousin. That touched my heart girl. I was sitting here getting teary eyed just now. She is going to have such a testimony when she recovers from all this. Maybe she will end up mentoring or speaking to women just like her and help them find a way out. I'll definitely send up some prayers for her and you. God bless you guys!
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