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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 2nd November 2014, 12:20 PM   #31
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Thank you.

And good on both of you for overcoming such hardship.

What worked for you, does not necessarily work for everyone, the underlying causes are different. The sad fact of the matter is, relapsing is part of the journey. Yes I, and my siblings, will step away.

But THIS family will support one another. THIS family will also invest in ourselves independently. I've reached out for support, for ME, and will continue to.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 12:26 PM   #32
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Thank you.

And good on both of you for overcoming such hardship.

What worked for you, does not necessarily work for everyone, the underlying causes are different. The sad fact of the matter is, relapsing is part of the journey. Yes I, and my siblings, will step away.

But THIS family will support one another. THIS family will also invest in ourselves independently. I've reached out for support, for ME, and will continue to.
This is good to hear!

What does that look like for you? Do you know exactly where your healthy boundary is?

Do you know where you end and she begins? Where's that line in the sand?

What's hers is hers - and what's yours is yours to deal with.

If needed - it's useful to say often enough to stay sane "that's for YOU to DO, not me".

Hugs
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Old 2nd November 2014, 1:25 PM   #33
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My sponsees that have shown the strongest recovery had no family intervening during their recovery. It was ALL up to them to do the work necessary to get well and stay well.

The ones who had family meddling and stirring the pot ALL struggled to get well and never stayed well.

Can you see how my experience skews my perception about the ones who recover?


It appears from my experience that when family thinks it's THEIR responsibility more than the drinker/addict to DO IT FOR THEM the one who is sick relies on THEM to do the work - and thus, the user doesn't ever get well.

I told my family "you can't DO this FOR me - it's something I MUST DO on my own IF I am to get well."

When they backed off and allowed me the grace and dignity and respect to do what was best for myself - that's when I had the room to DO what was necessary to find a way that worked FOR ME.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 2:37 PM   #34
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Thanks Beach for sharing your insight/experience.

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I told my family "you can't DO this FOR me - it's something I MUST DO on my own IF I am to get well."
I have a question regarding the statement above. If you don't mind me asking, when/how did you reach that pivotal point?
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Old 2nd November 2014, 2:58 PM   #35
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Thanks Beach for sharing your insight/experience.



I have a question regarding the statement above. If you don't mind me asking, when/how did you reach that pivotal point?
When my large family kept bugging me every day all day long about my recovery.

I'd been working hard with a great trauma counselor who taught me how to speak up! How to have a voice and how to speak my truth.

How to respect myself - how to trust my gut and myself - and how to train others how to treat me.

Treating me as a child who had no voice wasn't working for me!

I learned how to respect myself and to act accordingly. I learned about healthy balance.

I learned to be perfectly clear with my words and actions in alignment.

Those two books helped a LOT - changed my life, seriously!
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Old 2nd November 2014, 3:05 PM   #36
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Thank you for responding to my question.

So, based on what you said, would you say their partial intervention was somewhat effective/helpful?

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When my large family kept bugging me every day all day long about my recovery.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 7:05 PM   #37
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No, it was hurtful. It sent me a clear message that they didn't believe in me to do what I needed to do - even though I was by that time clearly doing everything in my power to stay sober.

Yes, the talk they had with me BEFORE I went to rehab was helpful.

But since I've been and IF I ever need that kind of help again - I have a plan that takes the burden off of my family as they did bear most of that burden with worry that time. It's out of respect for them and for me.

What was her relapse plan when she left rehab that first time? They usually won't allow you to check out until a solid plan is set up.

On a side note not everyone relapses. But success rate is extremely low compared to many decades ago - but also there's many more drugs available now too.


Did she write out her relapse plan last time she checked out? It should be with her discharge papers.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 11:53 PM   #38
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No, it was hurtful. It sent me a clear message that they didn't believe in me to do what I needed to do - even though I was by that time clearly doing everything in my power to stay sober.

Yes, the talk they had with me BEFORE I went to rehab was helpful.

But since I've been and IF I ever need that kind of help again - I have a plan that takes the burden off of my family as they did bear most of that burden with worry that time. It's out of respect for them and for me.

What was her relapse plan when she left rehab that first time? They usually won't allow you to check out until a solid plan is set up.

On a side note not everyone relapses. But success rate is extremely low compared to many decades ago - but also there's many more drugs available now too.


Did she write out her relapse plan last time she checked out? It should be with her discharge papers.
I'm sorry it was hurtful Beach.

In response to your question, she was in rehab for around 2-3 months the first time. When she was discharged, she attended an outpatient program several times per week initially, which dropped down to 1-2x per week after the 1st year. Throughout this time, she was prescribed Klonopin. This plan was discussed and worked out between my mother, and her inpatient team and coordinated with the outpatient program. And, my mother went willingly during this time, scheduled her own appointments and kept to them.

Our family was involved, partially, moreso on an informational basis. At the time, I did not understand why she was prescribed another benzodiazapine. I spoke briefly with her doctors, was told it's "normal" and that was that.

Her outpatient program duration was about 2 1/2 years, during which, I now "presume" the prescribing doctor worked out a plan with my mother (that I was not a part of), to taper her off Klonopin completely. That's when, the trouble began (the missing Xanax, the Xanax prescription finagled from the General Practitioner's Nurse Practitioner, etc.).

The good news is, after a family discussion was had today with a bit of "turbulence", my mother seems receptive/open to further treatment and will attend the inpatient interview scheduled for tomorrow. We talked a bit, enjoyed some quiet time together, and tomorrow is a new day.

Last edited by Divasu; 3rd November 2014 at 12:04 AM.. Reason: Edit: Timeline
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Old 3rd November 2014, 6:10 AM   #39
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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.
Hey, I'm just curious, when you say that she will have the choice given to her, are you saying that you're now going to offer inpatient to her but not try and force her into it? What are the consequences to be if she declines?

Also I was thinking about you over the past day or so and had one last question for you, which I thought vaguely relevant but feel free to dismiss it:

If your Mother wasn't suffering from addiction, but instead cancer, she knew all of the risks ahead, she knew how to get better (accept chemo) and the success rate (low) and she said to you all that she wanted to decline treatment and let the illness run its course because for whatever reason, her own, and therefore valid reasons, she didn't want to put herself through that: would you be able to accept her decision?

I thought of that myself when my Mother tried to kill herself part way through her addiction... well, she never went through with it, but she was definitely strongly considering it, she got a bus to the bridge and stood there and because the tide was out she realised she'd just fall into mud and she didn't want to die slowly. I realised in that moment that her life was hers to live alone, and just because she's my Mother and I came from her, I didn't necessarily have a say in what she chose to do now that her kids were adults, she's an adult etc. I felt able to tell her that although I hoped very much to keep her around because I loved her to bits, if that's what she someday decided to do she shouldn't feel guilty for me or my brother because she has her own life to lead and decisions to make, and that I'd understand.

Refusing treatment is a similar thing in my eyes. She got offered a place at inpatient treatment actually (which is few and far between in the UK!), but when they called her to tell her it was ready she backed out and said it didn't matter. I didn't know any of this had gone on, a month or two later I just happened to ask how the waiting list was going and she told me (or a doctor did when I was there, I can't remember) that she had backed out because she was too scared. It was frustrating yes, but again, it was her personal responsibility to make that choice.

It's not me or you that has to go through the journey of getting clean, do all of the hard work and face the terror of what life will be like afterwards with a clear head and all of the same problems to face as before and all of the feelings to sort through without the warm fuzzy blanket of Xanax or Alcohol.

I wish you all the best, it's good to see that your Mom is at least open to further treatment ideas, however I hate to be a negative nancy but in my experience of working with addicts, many will understandably just start lying and saying all of the right words to get their pesky meddling family and friends off their back and to shut up and leave them alone. So while I used to take my Mother's proclamations of being ready to change as being hallejulah moments, I got to realise that only time and watching her actions would give any insight into how she was truly feeling and her level of motivation.

On December 23 it'll be four years since she died, and I can honestly say I haven't for a minute regretted the things I tried to do to help her get clean and sober (she also had an addiction to over the counter weak opiate painkillers btw, to the extent she used to beg her partner to sneak them into hospital when she was hospitalised), but I'm glad in the end that I was able to focus my energies on loving and supporting her as she headed towards the end rather than fighting it tooth and nail every second when it clearly wasn't going to do a thing. On the day I'll be settling down to finally getting around to watching her favourite film in the world (Great Expectations), listening to some Rachmaninoff and Motown for her and having a look at my favourite photos of her.

I'm sure you'll agree, however much our Mother's addictions have taken from us, as people they have given us so much more. And years after she died it's those gifts she gave me that come to mind easily, and the problems caused by the addiction that are more difficult to bring to mind.

Best of luck <3
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Old 3rd November 2014, 6:40 PM   #40
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Did you locate her prior relapse plan? She must have had one.

And my next suggestion is - make it perfectly clear when she enters the inpatient program that she needs to line up a solid plan to live somewhere else when she gets released.

That way the facility will find a place for her when she gets out and you won't have the situation of her living with you.

Since it didn't work last time there's no reason to do it that way ever again. A program of recovery is designed to invoke change for her life.

So I recommend that nothing be the same moving forward.
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Old 3rd November 2014, 11:22 PM   #41
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These are some of the best and most invaluable posts that I have EVER read on this forum, from beach and acrosstheuniverse.

Just an incredible thread with you two posting. Everyone who is dealing with this in their lives should have the opportunity to read this. Unfortunately most won't have that opportunity. OP, please listen to them - they are so right IMO and they both speak from experience. There is no better voice.

And just as an aside, I'm a little concerned that there were 150 alprazolam tablets for your mom to steal from your sister. It is pretty unusual for someone to have that quantity of Xanax in their possession except in rare instances, as most pharmacies won't fill for more than 30 at a time (at most). Are you sure your sister is not in a similar situation of abuse?
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Old 4th November 2014, 6:26 AM   #42
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These are some of the best and most invaluable posts that I have EVER read on this forum, from beach and acrosstheuniverse.

Just an incredible thread with you two posting. Everyone who is dealing with this in their lives should have the opportunity to read this. Unfortunately most won't have that opportunity. OP, please listen to them - they are so right IMO and they both speak from experience. There is no better voice.

And just as an aside, I'm a little concerned that there were 150 alprazolam tablets for your mom to steal from your sister. It is pretty unusual for someone to have that quantity of Xanax in their possession except in rare instances, as most pharmacies won't fill for more than 30 at a time (at most). Are you sure your sister is not in a similar situation of abuse?
Thank you, that's one of the nicest compliments ever. Not to derail thread, but I really really appreciate it.

When I was losing my Mom and trying to help her I had a friend, twenty years older than me and now an absolute best friend I've been through so much with, both on his and my side, who had a father who had some similar issues. I remember him telling me that I couldn't help her and me thinking I could. It's a process I think most people go through. He came to visit her with me in hospital towards the end (but before it was critical, so she really could have gone another year, another few years, there was no template) and he turned to me on the way out gave me a huge hug (unusual for us) and looked me in the eye and said 'you know that she's going to die, right?' and I remember feeling kinda shocked and like... but is she? How can you know? He knew, and within a month she had gone.

But every situation is different, every family is different, maybe the poster's Mom isn't quite in that situation yet. I think the waiting around for something bad to happen was the worst part, once she was gone I was heartbroken but at least I wasn't anticipating it any more, not knowing if it was going to be later that month or in five years time!

But yes, I did learn that lesson. That you can never change someone else's behaviour. You can lead a horse to water etc. It's an important life lesson to learn and I wish it'd come under different circumstances but it has really enabled me to let go of a lot of stuff I was carrying around and I think set me up for how I relate to people in the future. Especially as I tend to be a little bit of a control freak usually!
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Old 4th November 2014, 9:29 AM   #43
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You are welcome. You have great insight. I'm sorry for what you had to go through to get there. I'm really sorry about your mom - I can't even imagine how hard that must have been.
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Old 4th November 2014, 11:24 AM   #44
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Wow Hope - thank you.

I'm touched. And you know that's saying a lot.

Hope her Mom gets admitted soon and a plan is devised to have Mom take responsibility for her own actions/self.

My suggestion - do not allow Mom to come live with you again. That route has been explored and didn't work. Only try NEW things to see if she allows change to become part of the way she lives!

If nothing changes then nothing changes!
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Old 4th November 2014, 8:12 PM   #45
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Hey, I'm just curious, when you say that she will have the choice given to her, are you saying that you're now going to offer inpatient to her but not try and force her into it? What are the consequences to be if she declines?
Without going into too many details, I've communicated as such that if she continues abusing Xanax, her options are living on her own with no financial support for her healthcare (me and my family contribute to help pay her deductibles)/help with housing, or, we will have her involuntarily committed (which I've looked into and believe is now viable).

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Also I was thinking about you over the past day or so and had one last question for you, which I thought vaguely relevant but feel free to dismiss it:

If your Mother wasn't suffering from addiction, but instead cancer, she knew all of the risks ahead, she knew how to get better (accept chemo) and the success rate (low) and she said to you all that she wanted to decline treatment and let the illness run its course because for whatever reason, her own, and therefore valid reasons, she didn't want to put herself through that: would you be able to accept her decision?
Thanks for thinking about me. In response to your question, I guess, she would die. The difference I see here, is that the underlying anxiety and depression that led up to the addiction is treatable and manageable, without an automatic and/or implied death wish.

Your story is sad, I'm sorry that you had to go through that. I see where you're coming from. If my mother told me, "let me die, I want to die", well maybe I'd feel differently. What I saw was a cry for help, and, help is what she will be given. If she wants me "out of her life", well, all she has to do is say the word and I'll be gone.

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I wish you all the best, it's good to see that your Mom is at least open to further treatment ideas, however I hate to be a negative nancy but in my experience of working with addicts, many will understandably just start lying and saying all of the right words to get their pesky meddling family and friends off their back and to shut up and leave them alone. So while I used to take my Mother's proclamations of being ready to change as being hallejulah moments, I got to realise that only time and watching her actions would give any insight into how she was truly feeling and her level of motivation.
Thanks. I know she'll probably fight me along the way. I expect it. She's been reminded of the repercussions, and, she's been given a small set of choices of which road she wants to go down. So until then, I have my own stuff to do/tend to. Thank you again for checking in and all your kind words and support.
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