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Never Trust An Addict - True or False?


Addiction & Recovery Recognizing, conquering, and coping with addictions, substance abuse & dependence.

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Old 1st November 2014, 4:31 PM   #16
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For every extreme drinker/addict - there's always one very controlling person in their background trying with all their might to get the person clean and sober. That is you.
I don't necessarily think that is fair to say.

After she was released from the first inpatient a few years back and began outpatient therapy, she was left on her own to maintain/go to her appointments, and she did.

My involvement was sometimes driving her to/from, and I attended maybe 3 group appointments. That was within a 2 or so year timeframe.

Now that she has relapsed, yes, you're correct. I am now trying to control it. I am trying to control it to get her out of my environment and her into an environment where she needs to do the work again on her own (and through the help of professionals, not me, managing/helping her).

I get what you're saying, I really do. And yes, maybe I am making one too many excuses for her and I am not ready to let go. That is something I will have to live with/come to terms with one way or the other.
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Old 1st November 2014, 4:37 PM   #17
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So why don't you allow her the room to do it herself?

She knows what she needs to do - let HER figure it out! That's the way she will become proud of herself.

Get her moved and buy her a bus pass. That's it, that's all.
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Old 1st November 2014, 4:40 PM   #18
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So why don't you allow her the room to do it herself?
Well, I kind of am. My sister and I are going to have a discussion with her in the next day and explain to her what her choices are. In which case, at this point in time, she has none but one.
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Old 1st November 2014, 4:48 PM   #19
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Well, I kind of am. My sister and I are going to have a discussion with her in the next day and explain to her what her choices are. In which case, at this point in time, she has none but one.
Ah, ok. I guess we shall see if she makes any decision...


What medicine did she steal? Or rather, what went missing?
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Old 1st November 2014, 5:04 PM   #20
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Can you see that the entire time she's been "trying" to get/be clean you've been in charge?

You have been involved with appointments, drs, group counseling, managing all her actions and care.

The time for change is now - not later or even a few days.

She should leave your place. She knows what she can do IF she wants help! She can show up at ANY meeting and ask the group to help her. They will help her. Trust god to help her.

It's not yours to do. I saw a saying I like - it said, don't pick up $hit that isn't yours!

And to be honest - when I came home from rehab my very codependent family members wanted to "help me" so much they were willing to do my program more than me!

That's not how this works! I had to sit them down and tell them to back off - give me the respect of doing this myself! That THEY couldn't DO IT FOR ME! It was something I had to do for myself (or not).

And when they started respecting that (which, by the way was the suggestion from my trauma counselor) I started to take my sobriety seriously and made effort to INVEST IN MY RECOVERY.

You can't do it for someone else. I've found it's best to let them find a way that works for them - whatever that looks like for them. But when others make MORe as effort than the addict - that is backwards!

So a good rule to go by is: IF SHE isn't making more effort than anyone else then she's not doing enough.

But the ones doing MORE than she is needs to STOP doing that.

I'm not trying to hurt you ( so don't take it personally) it's just from my extensive experience that I've shared with you what I've seen work (or not).

Have you read the book the four agreements? It's very good! Have you read codependent no more? That's very good too!!!
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Old 1st November 2014, 5:05 PM   #21
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Ah, ok. I guess we shall see if she makes any decision...


What medicine did she steal? Or rather, what went missing?
Yes, we'll see.

The medicine that "went missing" was Xanax. If I counted correctly, close to 150 pills I believe.
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Old 1st November 2014, 5:14 PM   #22
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Can you see that the entire time she's been "trying" to get/be clean you've been in charge?

You have been involved with appointments, drs, group counseling, managing all her actions and care.

The time for change is now - not later or even a few days.

She should leave your place. She knows what she can do IF she wants help! She can show up at ANY meeting and ask the group to help her. They will help her. Trust god to help her.

It's not yours to do. I saw a saying I like - it said, don't pick up $hit that isn't yours!

And to be honest - when I came home from rehab my very codependent family members wanted to "help me" so much they were willing to do my program more than me!

That's not how this works! I had to sit them down and tell them to back off - give me the respect of doing this myself! That THEY couldn't DO IT FOR ME! It was something I had to do for myself (or not).

And when they started respecting that (which, by the way was the suggestion from my trauma counselor) I started to take my sobriety seriously and made effort to INVEST IN MY RECOVERY.

You can't do it for someone else. I've found it's best to let them find a way that works for them - whatever that looks like for them. But when others make MORe as effort than the addict - that is backwards!

So a good rule to go by is: IF SHE isn't making more effort than anyone else then she's not doing enough.

But the ones doing MORE than she is needs to STOP doing that.

I'm not trying to hurt you ( so don't take it personally) it's just from my extensive experience that I've shared with you what I've seen work (or not).

Have you read the book the four agreements? It's very good! Have you read codependent no more? That's very good too!!!
Yes, I see. I know you're not trying to hurt me and only trying to help. And, I'm listening.

I've read many types of those books over the years. Not that particular one. I also have my brother that helps keep me somewhat grounded as any time I bring up Lucy, he responds "f*ck her"! Realism.

I voluntarily moved thousands of miles away years ago and was separated from her for many years, up until a few years ago. So yes, a bit of a co-dependent dynamic there which I am trying to break free from.
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Old 1st November 2014, 5:15 PM   #23
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Why should she do anything about it when YOU are willing to do it all for her?
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Old 1st November 2014, 5:19 PM   #24
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Yes, I see. I know you're not trying to hurt me and only trying to help. And, I'm listening.

I've read many types of those books over the years. Not that particular one. I also have my brother that helps keep me somewhat grounded as any time I bring up Lucy, he responds "f*ck her"! Realism.

I voluntarily moved thousands of miles away years ago and was separated from her for many years, up until a few years ago. So yes, a bit of a co-dependent dynamic there which I am trying to break free from.
But, you see, you aren't breaking free from it. You own it like it's yours.

I don't see one single thing you're doing that indicates breaking free.

Breaking free would look like:

Having her move out NOW
Not calling her drs
Not checking up on her
Not making her appts
Not doing things for her - she can find a way to do for herself
Not making effort for her - she can make effort herself
Not discussing her care
Not coddling her
Not engaging her in any conflict

But still encouraging her to do this herself. And by telling her you don't like her bad behavior but you love her.

Then hand her a bag and say "bye for now" see you later.
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Old 1st November 2014, 5:50 PM   #25
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Do you understand she's "reasonable" acting when she's gotten her drug? She's not reasonable when she's jonesing and needs to find her supply? (Withdrawing)...

Andwith benzos it is suggested to wean off by slowly reducing her amount/frequency of use over an extended period of time - sometimes even a year or more.

That's why if she does get help she would be helped most by being under supervised monitoring for at least a year where someone else doles out the meds on a schedule based by drs orders. All while being in a place where no family brings her anything except love and support to get well.

She also needs that time to address her anger and fears. Counseling can help HER address and work THROUGH what CAUSED her to want to get numb so she doesn't feel the pain of what's bothering her.

Long term care - that's what's best. She's likely to get more open to it if she's miserable before she goes in - scared even, is best.

YOU need to get willing to let HER get good and miserable.
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Old 1st November 2014, 11:25 PM   #26
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How is Lucy related to you?


And why did Lucy's sister have 150 xanax on her? That is a LOT! Does her sister have an addiction problem too?
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Old 2nd November 2014, 9:30 AM   #27
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Thank you acrosstheuniverse.

Wow it really hit home. But as tears stream down my face, I can't, I just can't let her go. I love her so much, it kills me inside. I feel she has been abandoned her whole life and I just, can't.

She sacrificed so much for me when I was growing up and I've had my share of difficulties being raised in the environment I was in, if I had a child like me, I would have probably already been dead.

So there have been a couple more turbulent instances after being around Lucy where she backed me into a corner, it seems like she was "raging" got up close to me and I put my hands in front of me and told her to back away. She cornered me again later that evening but I was able to keep it from spiraling out of control. I'm spending time with friends this weekend so it will give me some distance.

This morning I had a heart to heart with Lucy and I basically just hugged her and told her I loved her. She hugged me back and we had a very nice conversation, talking about both our childhoods and things like that. So we're at a peaceful stage at the moment.

She is going back to inpatient, there is no other way around it. This must be done. I just need the strength to get through it and I feel I am managing it pretty well. I have little moments here and there where my chest hurts and tears pop out from my eyes but I quickly gather my composure and move on.

Thank you for taking the time to write all of that. (and I like your profile pic )
You don't have to let her go sweetie. You can still be there for her, you can still be by her side, letting her know you love her. You just can't take control of her path to sobriety. Only she can do that. Hey, I didn't let my Mother go. Once I stopped trying to force her to treatment agencies and groups etc. I simply let myself 'be' with her. Spend time with her. Pop round and say hello without giving her a lecture or mentioning the twelve empty litre vodka bottles in the kitchen. Stopped trying to emotionally blackmail her into sobriety, told her that whatever she decided to do either way it was okay, because I knew she wasn't doing it to hurt me or my brother, and it was her own life to lead. Our final months were surprisingly peaceful in our relationship and when she died I felt that she had died with her daughter as her friend and ally, not her controlling parent figure trying to force her into things she wasn't ready for.

I don't think you're getting the message I'm trying to give you, you say that you can't give up on her and she's going back to an inpatient. It doesn't matter whether you want to keep trying to make her get clean or not, it won't make any difference. The choice is whether you want to exert all of your emotions and energy on something that simply won't work and risk damaging your relationship and your own life in the process. It's not simply a case of trying hard enough sometimes. I urge you so strongly to reconsider trying to force her into inpatient. It's not fair on Lucy when she's not ready and it's a space someone else could be taking who is ready. And it won't work.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 9:34 AM   #28
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I hate to say it but at this point, don't you see that none of this is for Lucy? It's for you because it makes you feel less upset and better if you feel you are having some control over the situation instead of letting go. It's understandable, I've been there. But you've already provided so much support, it obviously hasn't worked because she is back where she is now, now it's time to let go and let Lucy make these choices herself. Because none of this benefits her, and you're putting her through it in order to feel better yourself. From what you said 'I can't do it, I'm not ready to let her go' it's obvious that you're letting your feelings about the situation guide what you think you should do, contrary to all of the evidence around how it has to be the addict themselves who are the ones to take charge of their own sobriety. I honestly get it and you're a selfless person to put yourself through this but please, try and get to some Narc Anon meetings and discuss this before committing to pushing Lucy into inpatient rehab.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 10:46 AM   #29
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Thank you both for your replies.

The fact of the matter is, my mother is sick, if she had cancer or some other disease, I would be there to help her just the same.

I am upset because my mother is suffering and I am powerless to "save" her. I know I cannot "save" her from herself, that is up to her. I am upset because yes, it is effecting my emotional well being. My belief for recovery to be successful, she has to be committed to it first and foremost, but the entire family also has to be committed to it. I am committed to providing her a safe environment, and that CHOICE WILL be provided to her. She either accepts it, or not. If she doesn't accept it, then there will be consequences.

While you may say "it hasn't worked", well it DID work, for a time. She has relapsed, but relapse to me, does not equal all hope is gone. I don't expect someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety for decades left untreated all those years to get better overnight, let alone in a couple of years. My mother deserves help, the tools for her to work with to get to a better place, and that is what she will be given.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 11:29 AM   #30
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Of course she deserves help.


Unfortunately, help doesn't work until she gets desperate enough to change herself.

As a gal that's been sober for more than 6 years I can tell you that it's up to her to decide when she's sick of herself enough to decide to change everything.

It hurts to see you feel that her sobriety is YOUR responsibility - it's not.

The less you DO - the more it falls to HER ( where it belongs).

Often when I speak to al anon groups I say the more you DO the more the drinker/addict resents you.

She may fall or stumble but in that she will begin to learn what does and doesn't work for HER - that is part of the process.


And if she isn't addressing the pain that caused the using then she's likely to use again. So it's up to her to sift through that pike of crap too - hopefully... So she doesn't have a "reason" to get numb.

She's angry with you but stop giving her more reasons to be angrier. You can't make her do this. Going to battle with this disease is a war you will never win. Let go and let God do for her. You are not God - you are standing in her way of finding that strength that she needs to find within.

Step away and allow things to unfold as they are supposed to. Trust that there is a plan and you don't need to know what the plan is.

I say all of this with compassion for both of you.
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