There was an intelligent discussion on Facebook today. ( Stop the music folks! )
A POA’s child was returning home from a rehab stint and they were wondering if they should clear all the alcohol from the home.
The popular reply was to lock up or throw out all temptation. The mom’s were adamant they would clean house before the return of their baby. I was taught differently.
Pg 101 of The Big Book states:
Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn’t think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so.
So I ask ,” If I want to have a glass of Pinot Noir or whatever glass of temptation, should I not be allowed to have alcohol in my home? Do I have to change my life in an effort to CONTROL my child’s addiction?“
I was taught we “cant control it” yet the same folks chastise those of us who might have a beer watching our favorite sports team. I am not in recovery, my child is. Did my home in prohibition ever help his sobriety? Nope.
My son taught me that he had to accept his disease and learn to live life on life’s terms. Thankfully he did.
This alcohol free home issue gets complicated when the recovering “child” is say 18 or younger. Do we not allow them to live at home? Each situation, though eerily similar, is uniquely different. Should we use the same approach for a seventeen year old as we do for a “child” that is say over thirty years old? But again, as in most of my blog posts, I digress. (I don’t think people coming home from rehab over 21 is a good idea but that is another post for another day. I have to stop rambling… )
My son celebrated Christmas this year with us and the wine flowed and he was fine and still is on this very hot July day? Bottom line is I can have a drink and he can’t. We are wired differently.
Should POA’s remove all the triggers from there home when a kid is coming home? Again I will quote my son
“Life is my trigger.“
I don’t think we can shelter them from the storm. If they are going to pick up via your Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, they are probably not ready to accept the life changes needed to deal with their allergy. It’s hard for the younger kids, I watched the experiences of relapse strengthen my son’s sobriety. He got tired of the addiction bullshit.
But my opinion is my opinion. My point of view is not always popular but I write them as I see them.
We have all done it. A quick glance at our actives child’s Facebook or Twitter.
The social media sites become some abstract barometer of our child’s sobriety. We cling to any possible insight we can find.
After a while I found it too frustrating/heartbreaking or maddening to watch the stuff my son posted when active. I would read and be devastated yet his drug abuse continued.
Dark song lyrics and diatribes against society punctuated his wall. Finally I stopped reading. There was nothing I could do and I found the reads to be counterproductive to my health. My health mattered too.
I was taught that we must learn to keep our own health in check. Reading their Facebook rants is not always conducive to our recovery. Try not reading for a week…
It’s tougher to write a “parent of addict” blog when your child has attained a period of sobriety. (Trust me, that is not a complaint on my part.) I would rather follow nfl.com, watch reruns of Modern Family (I am obsessed), and work in my yard than write about addiction.
I tend to blog more when my son is active. Thankfully, I write far less frequently these days. Perhaps we are all in a better place? Things have been quiet for an extended period; today is a good day. I don’t really do the “guest post” thing too often as I find blogging a far more personal outlet.
I am enjoying the newfound peace. As a bonus my daughter moved out (love her too but yahoo! ) which allows me to get up and get a bottle of water in the middle of the night dressed only in my boxers! How liberating. Life is good. If you are down in the dumps today remember “There is always hope” Change happen when changes occur!
I think back to the HELL days that I thought would never end. Endless visits from cops, missing money, and chaos ruled the home front. Thankfully those days are in the rear view mirror. Should the sh*t hit the fan again I at least know what to do.
My son visited last night. It was his customary quickie visit but enjoyable. He is working and the job is tough but seems to be a source of pride for him. His progress is great to see. I watch from the bleachers these days as playing in the game never helped!
It took him a lot of work to get back to where he is. His life was in tatters not too long ago. The thing is,”he is fixing it”, not me. I hope things continue on the right path. In the mean time Sophia Vergara awaits. That’s the stuff!
peace and strength
( Uh if you are wondering that is me in the photo haha )
My son and his girlfriend visited us again this past Sunday.
It was a great visit. Hopefully his continued recovery will help some parent who is in the midst of their child’s addiction chaos today. My son was deep into his addiction a bit over a year ago and has fought back bravely. There were times I was not sure if he would live to see the next day. There is hope.
We sat in the back yard and talked of what was going on in his life. New job, money issues, etc. All the “normal people” issues as he calls it. It was all-good.
Then for some reason he brought up some old War Stories. I never understand why people in recovery wax poetically about the times in their lives that almost killed them. I listened politely but refused to play in.
He smiled and said “I did this and I did that” ..all the crimes associated with addiction are often looked back upon with some twisted fondness by those working recovery
I am not in recovery and don’t profess to understand those that are. I used to attend AA meetings with my son many years ago. (We all do it ) The same thing would happen, the stories told by the young speakers were often sometimes glamorized bragfests.
It’s as if when in recovery they long for the chaos tied to their addiction. Truly a weird recovery phenomenon to experience as an outsider.
In the end of the movie Goodfellas, Ray Liotta (playing gangster Henry Hill) enters the witness protection program. Dressed in his bathrobe and picking up the daily paper off his front steps, he states:
And now it’s all over. And that’s the hardest part. Today, everything is different. There’s no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can’t even get decent food. Right after I got here I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.
I am hoping my son develops a taste for egg noodles and ketchup. It’s a far healthier diet. I hope he can play the tape back to the tragic times and places his addition put him. Today is a far better day. Today is all we have.
I have seen my son far less frequently now that he is living his life in recovery on his own. Some might ask how long? I have not a clue. I stopped counting days many years ago.
He came in a few times this week and continues to “look good” and seems normal. Is he the 12 step Big Book thumping motherf*cker I hoped he would be? Nope. But that is not my call anymore. His recovery ( Or your child’s recovery) will belong to them.
My son still has his knucklehead moments. He thinks that all traffic rules are for the rest of us and don’t apply to him. Thankfully he is working and can pay his fines. You can bet “sure as sh*t” I am not opening my wallet for that nonsense. Those days are in the rear view mirror.
He is working and tells me he likes it. ( As much as anyone likes work )
A year back his life was a disaster. Drugs and addiction basically controlled his every move.
Today he is trying. I give him a lot of credit. Sadly a lot of our kids never come back. I hate even typing that fact but it is the truth.
Maybe he will relapse and maybe he wont. But over the times of his addiction I did learn that there was not a damn thing I could do to prevent it. I joined support groups and learned to cope with his illness. I learned later down the line that there is a life outside of addiction/recovery. As parents we need to break free and live our life. A parent can write all the books and blogs he wants. He can attend all the meetings under the sun, but there is not a damn thing we can do if our child is going to use drugs.
Accept that we have no control. We can help by not enabling but ultimately the choice to recover belongs to our child.
I guess today my son is dealing with what he calls “normal people” problems. Things like parking tickets and such nonsense create most of his drama today.