I usually post about subutex and want to thank all of you who have been sooo helpful. This post is a little strange. As many of you know, I'm a little older than a lot of you (thus "Oldtimer"). I have 2 married children and 3 grandchildren and another on the way. Well, 3 years ago I went into a terrible depression and my daughters from CA decided that I MUST go into rehab because I had a few not so good habits (always have). I raised these kids alone and they're doing wonderfully. Anyway, they got together with some people including a professional "interventionist" and arranged for me to be admitted to the Cleveland Clinic at their expense.
Believe me when I say, I was so demoralized in treatment that I came out in worse shape than I went in and made a lot of bad decisions including selling my house (which I loved) and getting rid of a lot of possessions. I had trouble walking and I was pulling my hair out before I moved. I dutifully went to meeting for about 9 mos. Since then, I "Picked up" again (watered down wine and prescribed meds for arthritis)....now I'm on 4mg of subutex plus a few other things in moderation. Anyway, I"m scheduled to visit my children over Thanksgiving and I'm not ALLOWED to have a glass of wine or anything else addictive in their homes. Once, my younger daughter took the baby and walked out of my house because she saw a Vike prescription. I"M SO AFRAID to go there, I'm ready to cancel the reservations. You know, my Dad had a terrible drinking problem but I NEVER judged him, nor did I put restrictions on him, it was unconditional love. I've tried to talk to the kids, but they really fully expected me to be "clean and sober" forever....now they watch with disappointment. I'm sorry this is so long. Any suggestions??? I know it's a toughie!!!
I don't know quite how to answer you or help you but share with you my experience with my parents. (The roles are reversed for you and I.) I think your children as well as my parents do not understand the true meaning of addiction. My mom just recently said, "I don't see how you could look at those sweet babies of yours and knowingly take these pills that could result in losing them and everything." Your children probably feel that same way. They think it is simply a matter of will power and just "being able to do it." We all know it is so much harder than that. I feel sure your children love you very much and just don't understand. I can imagine how hard it will be at Thanksgiving being under a "watchful eye," but maybe you can go and focus your attention on those sweet grandchildren of yours. They need their grandmother and they could provide you with alot of joy. Try to be patient with your children and know they love you and if things continue to become more and more uncomfortable, maybe you could share some of your feelings with your children. I hope this helps a little. Best of luck to you and God bless,
Linda . . . it sounds like to me your kids have set some healthy boundaries with you. That's not a bad thing, in fact, it may help you more than hurt you (even though you sound hurt right now!).
These "other things in moderation" that you refer to, if they are mood altering than you should stay away from them completely, and I think you already know that. An addict or alcholic cannot take mood altering substances, including alcohol, in moderation. It just can't work that way. You're playing with fire and your kids probably know that and are setting these boundaries because they love you.
I wish I would have set more boundaries with my husband early on instead of enabling and trying to control him for so many years. That didn't get me anywhere.
Good luck, I hope between now and Thanksgiving you're able to get in a better place and enjoy your family!!
Michelle . . . I totally agree that those who do not know anything about the disease of addiction think it's just a matter of willpower. I used to think that as well. But through Al-Anon I've learned so much more about the disease and my part in it. I encourage you guys to ask your family members to go to Al-Anon meetings if they already haven't. I had a counselor one time say that with the disease of irritable bowel syndrome that willpower doesn't keep the afflicted one from stopping the diahhrea. Same with addiction . . . it's much more than that!
I just wanted to take a moment to tell you both that your posts are ALWAYS
so uplifting and supportive to me - even when they are not to me - I lurk alot!!! You are both very smart people and I respect very much your thoughts on all questions, etc. There is NEVER any malice in your replies - even when there needs to be some "tough love". Thanks to you both. (((((((HUGS))))))) Kitty
PS: Lisa.............how are you? I've kept you in my prayers. 16 days???? I'm
so proud of you and I hope your family is, too.
OldTimer, our positons are reversed, my daughter is my addict. Like your children I have told her that I do not want to see her when she is using her DOC. I know that I have no control over whether or not she uses, but one of my boundaries was - don't come around me while using. It kills me to see her under the influence.
I will always love her, but if she can't refrain from using, then don't expect me to be happy to see her under the circumstances. She understands this, for a while we didn't see each other very much at all. We finally got together and discussed what we needed and wanted and expected from each other. One of my boundaries was she could not come over if she was using, too painful for me to see. One of her boundaries was that I not bring up her addiciton in any way, shape or form. She told me she is perfectly aware of the mistakes she has made and understands my pain, but if I bring it up, it just makes her angry with me. I understand her, I have made many mistakes in my life and do not like to be constantly reminded of them - I have learned to respect her wishes.
Talk to your children, I am sure they just don't want to see you continuing to use, it hurts them too much. Let them know your feelings on the subject and if you can't reach an agreement of sorts, wait until another day and try again. They need their mother, sober and aware, it is most likely too painful for them to watch you slowly killing yourself and they want their children's grandmother to be someone they can trust and be proud of, not watching her for signs of drug use. You said you never drew any boundaries with your own father, were there any times when you were embarrassed by his actions? Did you ever wish you could just see the man, not the man drinking too much?
Once again, talk to your children, try to reach an understanding of sorts. Once my father was in a terrible depression, I limited my children's exposure to him during this time. It was what I thought was best for my own children, I didn't
want them to see their grandfather in such a sad state. He got better and has been able to be a loving, caring grandfather for many years, he still has his problems and when they get too much, my children still don't go around him, we, his children are always there for him, but the grandchildren need to be spared some of his antics. His youngest grandchild is 10 and has a hard time understanding why GrandDaddy is acting the way he is.
tthank you all so much for your caring replies. I'm sill scared but I'm trying to dwell on the positives. It helped so much to post the story and to get replies from so many points of view. Rudder, I'll look forward to your reaction since you said you'll be having similar problems.
My gratitude to all of youl
THANK YOU SO MUCH for your sweet words. I don't EVER write to people in hopes that I will receive any "glory," but it is nice to know that what I say is helpful to anybody who reads my posts. I have said before that I am a sensitive person- sometimes maybe too much- but I try to keep that in mind when I post. Usually people tend to be defensive when they are struggling with a problem- I know I was and I try to be as positive and sensitive to their "issues." It's nice to know that someone recoginizes your desire to help others. You made my day! I am not familiar with your story and struggles, but whatever they may be, God bless you and keep you in His hands! Take care of yourself,
Just wondering if you have talked with any of your children- shared your feelings with them? I did not think to share this with you the other day, but I have a first cousin whom I am very close to. His mother has struggled with drug addiciton for as far back as I can remember. He was at my house the other day and was sharing with me about her third relapse. (She has been in rehab twice and has just had a hard time most of her life.) He said, "I told Mama, three strikes and your out- I am just sick of watching her throw her life away, and she is never keeping my daughter again without supervision..." and on and on. Now, no-one in my extended family knows about my problem, just my immediate family. So, I am understanding and feeling for both sides of the situation. I told him please not to give up on her- that she is sick and needs help. And she may get sick again and need help again. She needs him now more than ever, yet, I can understand how he feels, too. Even though I am an addict, I would be leary of anyone watching my children if I knew they may be on drugs. (I know that sounds hypocritical, but I still want the BEST for my children.) It is such a hard situation for all involved. Family members that do not have drug problems will never understand (unless they get educated about it) and will eventuallly want to "give up." My cousin feels like his mother is knowingly destroying her life and just doesn't care. I can understand how he feels because he doesn't realize it is a disease. And I feel for my ex-aunt so very much. Maybe that will shed a little light on how your children are feeling- they DON'T understand. They want their mother clean and sober and you have to understand that, but I know it hurts when they make you feel "incapable." I hope so very much you can come to a understanding with your family. Family is so important and I wish the very best for you and yours. Keep us up-dated on how things are going. My prayers are with you,
Hey oldtimer, just wondering, you said you are on the sub., right? has that helped you stop the pills then? I know I use to drink loads of beer, I mean atleast a twelve pack EVERY day of the week for four or five years, but when I went to thanksgiving to my parents , out of respect to them, I didnt drink, and I was ok with that for just a few days, therefore no problems. I was just wondering if going just a few days without the wine would hurt, you tell me?I do agree with everyone elses view also that they could be more understanding but if it were me and I have been there, I would just refrain from drinkin just a few days and take the sub. You wouldnt have to take the sub. in front of them, and you do want to see the grandchildren? that is what I did on thanksgivings in the past but I do not drink anymore at all, thank the Lord!
Hi All,Thank you again for your comments and insight. I'm trying to think positively about this but I just had to add a few things (you'll probably think I'm "protesting too much") but When the intervention occured in Mar of 2001 I had just lost my ENTIRE retirement nest egg in the Tech Bubble burst.....I was so depressed thinking I might be living in a little room somewhere for the rest of my life that I started to lose a lot of weight from the depression. I didn't drink or drug more, just the same. I only wish my daughters had come in and talked to me about options but it was a done deal. I think they know that my being able to sustain a 12-step program was a long shot. However, my youger daughter's father is an avid AAer for over twenty years. My child knows nothing of what really happened during those years and how I raised and protected her, she only know Dad is in AA. Also, these same daughters, only a about a year before brought special wine from Napa to celebrate my birthday. Also these same daughters brought a "stash of Hash" to my home in NY once and were rolling on the floor laughing while trying to get me to "hit" the pipe properly. Also, my older daughter had to go to a special school for a year and then to Pheonix House for a teenage substance problem (booze and quaaludes and pot). Also, my kids love wine and my two sons-in-law smoke grass. Now, all of this is in extreme moderation. But I can't seem to shake the resentment I feel. don't get me wrong, I LOVE them and I MISS my grandchildren but still can't understand how and why they thought that I could get a quick fix in rehab and then proceed to re-invent myself at age 62. We're talking about 40+ years of life
habits. And now, dammit, I really DO have arthritis and I really am moderate. The wine is a DAILY habit....and I LIKE it before dinner and at celebrations.
Sure, I can do without it and will but I really hate being told. Again, sorry for the rant....but I'm just getting thinkgs off my chest so that I can LOOK FORWARD to seeing the people who are the closest to me in the world.
Please don't come down on me too hard.
I totally understand how you are feeling. It is somewhat as if they are being hypocritical. I would have to guess that your children feel your problem is "out of control" and theirs is not. I would also guess that they are worried about you because of your age and the fact that you are their mother. But you are right in that, with age, comes some pain. I am not all-together familiar with your story. Did they catch you abusing pain meds/alcohol or did you go to them with this problem? I am a little unsure of how this all played out, but I can imagine if you went to them, they probably "panicked" and did what they though would "fix" you. Children often do not remember all the sacrifices parents make for them and it sounds like you raised them to the best of your ability and you should take pride in that. I know it is easy to get angry about this whole situation, but without sounding too repetitious, focus on their love for you, because if they didn't love you, they would not have tried to help you or continue to do what they think is helping. Focus on those grandchildren of yours- they need their grandmother. I hope the best for you- take care,
Thank you for following my thread and taking the time to try to understand what REALLY happened. You are absolutely right. They did NOT see me abusing (we were 3000 miles apart) but they knew my habits. What happened was I was very open and verbal with them about my depression, hopelessness and especially my weight loss (I am 5' 1") and I went doen to 97 lbs. I have been told that they were afraid I for my life (even maybe suicide)...I never voiced that but they came to the conclusion that the rehab would somehow make me OK and with the ongoing support of AA, I would have people around me. Part of the problem was because of the distance, there was little they could do other that turn it over to professionals. I am trying to keep my focus on all those positives you mentioned. Thank you again.
You sound a little better today. I feel sure your children want the best for you and were so worried about you they did all they knew to do. That is probably why they are "keeping an eye on you." They want you around for as long as possible! You should be thankful for that- alot of mothers would love for their children to show that they love them or want to help them. I know the situation is a little hypocritical, but you just have to look past that. They will have to answer for their shortcomings, not you. You have to take care of you. I KNOW you will have a happy holiday with them- focus on all the good in life right now. My prayers are with you and if you ever need me, just post! Take care today,
P.S. This mom needs an extra prayer today- my five year old has strep and one year old has the flu. My four year old little boy is climbing the walls from being inside for so long. AAGGHHH!!
I just wanted to thank you all once again for helping me through those days of high anxiety. I read what you all said very carefully and followed advice. I made sure to let my children know about my fears before leaving, also what I've been doing to help myself. Well, the visit was wonderful!!! If anything was said or thought about me, I didn't know it bacause they were so understanding of my fears. I was even "allowed" a little wine on Thanksgiving (it was actually offered) so we shared a family toast. You all helped me do the right thing and also helped me keep my sanity. Now I have some pretty terrific memories. I hope everyone had a good holiday and Michelle I hope your children are all recovered and back to their normal antics. My good wishes for all of you.
I am so glad to hear that you and your family had a nice Thanksgiving and I am so proud they LISTENED to you- that makes a difference- to know someone is hearing what you are saying. I am really happy for you that things went well. My one year old is better, but my five year old is still having some problems- she missed her Thanksgiving program at school for having to come home sick. I took her back to the doctor and they did some lab work and are checking for a questionable blood count and mono- YUCK! I should hear something back Monday or Tuesday. We had a fairly nice Thanksgiving though. We got our Christmas tree today and the children are beside themselves. I was decorating the tree and remembered last year decorating the tree "high as a kite-" don't know what made me think about that- strange, huh? Little things like that trigger my memory of the "old days!" Well, now that Thanksgiving is behind you and went so well, maybe you won't have any tension about the upcoming Christmas holidays! Hope so! Again, Linda, I am really glad you had a nice time and am also glad you filled me in on it. Keep me updated on how you are doing. I'll do the same. Take care and as always, God bless you,