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Help...relapse

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Lionne posted 9/2/2013 19:55 PM

My DS is an alcoholic. Just got word that he relapsed, got on his scooter, had an accident, DWI. He had been sober since Feb 2012, confirmed by multiple blood, urine, hair tests. He claims this is the first time. Good news is, no one hurt, he called the person in charge of his recovery, she's trying to get him inpatient treatment.
I am so sad...for him, for our family. He was trying to get back to work, just got his professional license reactivated.
Any advice, encouragement? I'm so worried...

MovingUpward posted 9/2/2013 19:59 PM

No advice but sending good thoughts and mojo

Tripletrouble posted 9/2/2013 20:05 PM

I'm so sorry for your pain. It is a special kind of hell to love a substance abuser, whether drugs or alcohol. No advice, but sending lots of empathy to you.

jo2love posted 9/2/2013 20:25 PM

I'm sorry, but I don't have any advice. Sending strength, good thoughts, and hope.

nowiknow23 posted 9/2/2013 20:41 PM

((((scaredyKat & DS))))

My only advice is this - love him, support him, but remember that this is his battle. Sending you all strength.

Missymomma posted 9/2/2013 20:44 PM

Oh, SK. I am so very sorry. No advice, there isn't much you can do but hope that he makes the right choice. Good sign that he called for help right away.

authenticnow posted 9/2/2013 20:44 PM

(((scaredyKat and DS)))

Lionne posted 9/2/2013 20:51 PM

He is shutting me out. I know that is okay, it's his battle. He has never been one to blame anyone but himself. That's scary, how much he beats himself up. But he has that bravado that all addicts have, that he is(was) too smart to relapse.
I made him maintain his health ins, hopefully he is covered for inpatient. He voluntarily signed up to be monitored by this professional organization, to be mentored, tested and nagged in recovery. He didn't have to do this, he never drank on the job, but felt he needed this kind of guidance. Thank God. His sponsor, not the AA sponsor is going with him to court tomorrow and he is talking to her.

Thanks. I am a mess. They never stop being a piece of your heart, do they?

click4it posted 9/2/2013 23:39 PM

(((scaredyKat))))

I remember attending a meeting one time with a friend and a speaker was saying that he was clean for a long time and he made a decision one day to just take one drink, which landed into more and then he got arrested for something. He said that one decision can change the rest of your life - even you've been clean for a long time. So, this might be the one thing that will be it for your son. He was clean for over a year so that's a good sign. Maybe this time its going to be for good.

Sorry you are going through this.

TrustedHer posted 9/2/2013 23:48 PM

(((scaredyKat)))

My son was sober 4 years, and decided to go out there again.

That lasted a while and did not end well.

He may be allowed to drive again someday.

I understand.

Addicts think differently than "normal" people. It is definitely his battle, not yours.

Detachment helps. In fact, it is crucial.

Compartmented posted 9/3/2013 09:39 AM

SK,

Huge hugs!!! {{{{{ SK }}}}}

Do you attend Al-Anon? I forget if you've said. That's my "advice". I'm still dedicated to attending my favorite Al-Anon group (had many to choose from when it was suggested to me to attend 90 meetings in 90 days when my issues with my SA/alcoholic were most intense!!), and it seems there are currently mostly parents of addicts there. It's a very heart-wrenching thing. Just remember, the main thing you can do for your son is to model recovery.

Hang in there!!

Lionne posted 9/3/2013 19:34 PM

Well, I've been to Al-Anon, N-anon, Al-ateen and am a charter member of S-anon. I go where nobody knows my name...I know about detaching, leaving it to them, it's so hard when it's your kids, you KNOW they are beating themselves up, and I worry about him hurting himself. He's healthier than he used to be but he has said some scary stuff in the past about dying young.

He is better today, his dad talked to him about sobriety not always being linear. He has an appt at an inpatient center tomorrow. His advocate's words to me "it's the smart ones who always think they've got this disease beat." Yep.

Lionne posted 9/3/2013 19:34 PM

Well, I've been to Al-Anon, N-anon, Al-ateen and am a charter member of S-anon. I go where nobody knows my name...I know about detaching, leaving it to them, it's so hard when it's your kids, you KNOW they are beating themselves up, and I worry about him hurting himself. He's healthier than he used to be but he has said some scary stuff in the past about dying young.

He is better today, his dad talked to him about sobriety not always being linear. He has an appt at an inpatient center tomorrow. His advocate's words to me "it's the smart ones who always think they've got this disease beat." Yep.

kernel posted 9/3/2013 19:43 PM

(((sK and DS)))

HFSSC posted 9/3/2013 19:59 PM

Sk, I've been pondering this all day and trying to think what to say that will be comforting. Because it took me a LONG time to get it. Multiple chances. So many "relapses". But I was never really sober, kwim? And I have no idea what was different this time. But everything was different.

I heard a speaker say this once and it's heartbreaking but true. Alcoholics don't take advantage of second chances. They take advantage of people who give them second chances." That was so true for me.

I hope and pray that this will be your son's bottom.

Lionne posted 9/3/2013 21:08 PM

Thanks HFSSC, I hope we have been appropriate. He has his own money, resources. We welcome him when he comes home, ask about his friends in recovery, job hunting, newsy stuff. Once in awhile we talk deeply, we aren't avoiders, all the family dysfunctions are out in the open now, but they aren't dwelt on unless an issue arises, then we deal with it.
So I'm not sure of what you mean by "taking advantage of people who give second chances" I see him as being on his own, coming "home" for visits and laundry:). He didn't even tell us about this issue, his advocate/mentor did, only because she couldn't get ahold of him.
I'd really love your insight and value your opinion

HFSSC posted 9/3/2013 21:12 PM

SK I guess I was thinking more about the not taking advantage of second chances part of it. That relapses just seem to make no sense, especially when someone has been given opportunities and faced consequences. I didn't mean to imply that he was taking advantage of you or others, just that when we are in active addiction, it's more likely that we'll take advantage of situations, rather than using our chances wisely.

I hope that made sense. And again, I really, really hope that your son gets it a lot quicker than I did.

Lionne posted 9/3/2013 21:29 PM

Oh for sure, but then nothing about addiction makes sense. Your words do, though, and I hope you are right. And I'm so happy for you.
Thanks for paying it forward.

JustDesserts posted 9/3/2013 23:58 PM

scaredyKat:

I can feel your fear, pain, and helplessness. I put my family through all of that. It sounds like you understand this is not your fault. And while part of you must detach to stay healthy, I understand the stronger part of you will do one thing and one thing only...love him unconditionally and with every fiber of your being. You are truly between the worst rock and the hardest place, and you have my sympathy.

I am coming up on 19 years clean/sober. Before that I had my "chronic relapsing" phase which lasted about 5 years - inpatient programs, outpatient programs, brief soberish/dry drunk periods. Before that...active addiction from about halfway through college. Before that heavy partying from midway through high school.

My story is not unique. My recovery not perfect. But I did learn a few things along the way.

1) I was a tough nut to crack. One of the "terminally unique" and grandiose addict/alcoholics who are too smart, clever, and selfish for their own good. We have a tough time believing we can't just think our way out of addiction. Delusions and denial rule our behavior, and "getting real" and asking for help aren't our strong suits.

2) I couldn't get sober until I changed my people, places and things. Period. Has your DS done this. Completely?

3) Meetings are key. Every meeting I walk into I am, symbolically, raising the white flag. Asking for help. And admitting I belong and am right where I need to be. Especially important early on, and I still hit quite a few to this day, and pay back through service work.

4) Lies. Assume much of what he says regarding frequency and recovery are "untruths" at this time. He can't be honest to those around him because he can't be honest to himself.

5) I finally got sober when I became, as they say, sick and tired of being sick and tired. I hope he will get to that point before the consequences of his actions start to take the toll on self, and possibly others, which cannot be reversed.

I'm not sure if any of this helps. There is always hope. And while my life hasn't been perfect since I finally became truly sober, it has been better on my worst sober day than it ever was on my "best" addicted day.

The gift of sobriety is something only he can give to himself. I hope he'll do just that, starting right now.

JD

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