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Author Topic: The cage of addiction  (Read 280 times)

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Offline Bewitched

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The cage of addiction
« on: July 07, 2018, 08:30:54 PM »
Our empty nest is empty for two reasons. My daughter and youngest son have flown the coop for typical reasons (marriage, got his own place after graduating). My eldest son is a bit more atypical, but sadly his story is one that plagues many households. My son got addicted to opiates and there has been a battle for his soul ever since. It completely rules him. He wants us to accept him as he is. He's wanted this from the beginning which was over ten years ago. We tried everything. But if there's one thing I've learned it's that you can't make someone get clean. We've seriously tried everything in the book. He's moved back home several times over the years. We always tell him that he can only stay there if he's clean (we don't count the drugs that are supposed to help him like Suboxone). This will last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months before he's back on drugs and dealing in our home. We have a lake house that he invited complete strangers to and allowed one of them to drive our boat which, predictably, they wrecked. Two weeks later, that house was broken into. I don't believe that's a coincidence.

As much as I want to have my son at home and help him, he has put my husband and I's life in danger more than a few times. He sleeps all day and stays up all night playing video games and who knows what else. It's heartbreaking to watch him give up on himself time and time again. It's best for everyone involved to have him living away from us but it's also beyond scary. He used to live about ten minutes from us but has recently moved out to California to do some work with an old friend (and one of those old friends). We live every day in fear but we don't know what else we can do.

We just have to wait for him to want to get clean, for him, not for us. We know this, yet waiting just doesn't feel proactive enough. We feel like we're just letting him slip away. I think we might be imagining that we have far more power than we do.

Have any of you had to deal with something like this? How do you cope? How do you know you're doing the right thing?

Offline haidyl

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Re: The cage of addiction
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 03:17:17 AM »
I am reading through this and imagining how it must be heavy for both of you. There is nothing as challenging as addiction and as you rightly put it, your son could have instances when he probably feels like giving up on himself. I would still say that all is not lost and there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem all bleak now but I am hopeful that he will be clean one day. All the best to you.

Offline Henley

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Re: The cage of addiction
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2018, 10:50:34 PM »
I'm so sorry that you and your husband have to share such a heavy burden. I'm sorry that your son has to endure the crippling weight of addiction.

We've gone through something similar with our daughter. It's only been five years but it feels like a lifetime. She's in one of her good phases right now, but who knows how long that will last. We are at the point you and your husband are currently at. We're waiting for her to want to get clean or for some force greater than us - like God or the police - to make it happen. She seems to genuinely want to get better right now but we've been down this road so many times before, it's hard to believe that this is going to be the time. It's impossible to give up hope though.

My prayers are with you, your husband, and your son. You are doing everything you can. Don't trick yourself into thinking that this is within your control. All you can do is support him, let him know that your door is always open if he ever needs help getting clean, and that you love him unconditionally.

Offline Marie

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Re: The cage of addiction
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 04:52:59 AM »
Bewitched,

Your story breaks my heart.  I am so sorry you are going through this.  You're right - your son living away from you is the best thing for everyone involved.  Sadly, many addicts must, "hit bottom," before they decide to seek help.  I truly hope this is not the case for your son and that he decides to seek help sooner.

Do you have any Nar-anon meetings in your area?  These 12-step meetings are for family and friends of addicts.  They may or may not be helpful for you, but it's worth a shot if you have a local meeting to attend.  At the very least, you'll meet some other people who can relate to your situation, and that, in and of itself, can be comforting.

Wishing you and your family all the best. <3

Offline Bewitched

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Re: The cage of addiction
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 09:59:51 PM »
Haidyl, thank you so much for your kind words and optimism. I need more of that in my life!

Henley, I'm sorry that you and your family are going through a similar situation. I know what you mean by hoping a greater force will intervene. I believe God is the only reason my son has survived numerous close calls. Oddly enough, my son believes that too. It's something that strengthens him when he's trying to stay clean. My daughter sent my son and I a TED Talk recently. We both found it very enlightening and are trying to implement the practices. You can check it out here and maybe it will help you all gain new perspectives too.

Marie, you're right, many do have to hit rock bottom. We just keep thinking that each time is rock bottom but then learn that it isn't. We do have Nar-anon meetings about an hour away from us. We go occasionally. While it's nice connecting with others who are going through similar situations, it's also just so devastating. There truly is a drug epidemic and it touches more people than you think. Thank you so much.

Offline Henley

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Re: The cage of addiction
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 03:35:25 AM »
That's a beautiful and inspiring video. It makes you wonder why we can't do things the way that Portugal does it. I think that turning to drugs definitely has something to do with your "cage", but you can't ignore the chemical dependency either. I think rehabs tend to focus too much on the latter though, at least the ones we've dealt with.

 

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