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Old 01-13-2011, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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When it's time to say no to the drug addict in the family

When it's time to say no to the drug addict in the family
Mary Poirier

When is it time to say no to the drug addict in the family? Maybe after they have stolen your irreplaceable jewelry and hocked it. Yes, you got some of it back, but not the ones that mattered the most. Maybe after you bail them out of jail at 3 am, and they walk away without so much as a "Thanks, Mom." Maybe after you have visited them in every rehab in the state and still they use again and again and again.

No. The time to say no to the drug addict in the family is when you stop blaming yourself. When you finally wake up and realize that you are not the one deciding to high every day. That you are not the one putting the crack pipe in their mouth or the needle in their arm. The day you decide to no longer help them kill themselves or watch them die. The day you tell them that and you tell them not to come by the house or call anymore that they are no longer welcome at home.

It is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. It is the best thing you will ever do for their life and for yours. You have spent years not sleeping because you didn't know where they were. You learn to let that go and you sleep again. True, you live with the reality that the next phone call or knock on the door could be to identify the body, but come on, you lived with that anyway.

The addict, however, now must face the addiction without the comfort of falling back "home," the safety net of stealing from you, lying to you, getting money from you. Now, it is up to the addict to be a solitary addict. Life on the streets is hard. In New England it is very hard. The winters are cold trying to live in the "tent cities," and addicts don't like to go to the shelters. So, the addict will be facing a tough life out there. How will he or she pay for their drugs, where will they sleep every night, how will they eat, where will they store their clothes now that you will no longer keep them at your house?

Turning them out to the streets is the only way for them to decide if they really want to be a full fledged addict, prostituting for their drugs, stealing or whatever else it takes to get them or deciding after a while out there that this is not the life they thought it was and realizing that they want to clean up for real.

The only way recovery truly works is when they want to get clean and it's not just you who wants them clean. If you are one of the lucky ones, the phone will ring someday or the knock on the door will come and it won't be the police, it will be the addict in the family who has been clean for a few days, maybe even a week, asking to come home because they need to use the phone to make calls to find a bed in a rehab facility because this time they really want to get clean and stay clean for good.

You will know when you look in their eyes if they mean it. I know I did when my daughter finally came home. Pregnant with twins to both our surprise! She succeeded and is clean and a wonderful mother of two beautiful healthy twin boys.

So, don't be afraid to say no to the addict in the family. Not all stories have happy endings but you can't live your life being held captive by the addict. It destroys everyone in the family. It destroys marriages, siblings and most importantly your self esteem.

If you can't find the strength alone then I highly recommend you seek help with a group like Alanon (not just for families with alcoholics anymore) or any local group you can find in your local paper.

Don't live your life in fear. Live your life.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I found this article written by Mary Poirier and wanted to share it here.

After much heartache and many sleepless nights, I decided to go "no contact" with my AS three months ago. After about a week, I noticed that my life was calmer with so much less drama. Amazingly, my husband and I began talking about current events and local happenings after dinner instead of my son. I renewed my interest in cooking and creating healthy meals. At 55years old, I dusted off my brain, took a huge leap of faith, and began a new career. Gardening, particularly organic, has become my passion.

I love my son and have not given up on him. I pray for him all the time and if I could crawl into his soul and help him fight addiction, I would. It's simple.... I can't.... I've tried.... Everything....

Going "no contact," or as I like to call it, "taking a break from my son's addiction" gave me the chance to experience my own recovery. I'm not saying it is for everyone... but, this is how it has worked for me.

with love,
Hunny
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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(((Hunny))) - as an RA and a recovering codie I agree. It was by my family letting me hit bottom AND go on and live their lives, that I was able to seek recovery. I wanted back into my family, and there was only one way to get there....recovery. I had to get pretty bad, before I got there, but I'll forever be grateful to my family for letting me get to that point.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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To me, this is such a sad but truthful thread. After 3 relapes and 2 rehabs I have let go of my son also. He has to find his way this time by himself. My life is calmer but my heart is still racing with hope that he does find recovery and kills this demon forever. My heart is with every family member that has lived through all the hurt, pain and drama that drugs cause...love to you all~~~~~
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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impurrfect-
i am getting it now

hunny- thanks for this. its right where i need to be. even if i am not 100% it is great knowing i NEED to be 100% and that is the motivation to get there.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No contact is what I am doing as well with my exab. And I read a past thread that talked about the no contact also including talking to 3rd parties about them as well. See I would call his Mom every 2-3 weeks or so to see how he is doing in his halfway house. I dont do that anymore, and I find that I am caring a little less about what is going on in his life. I let go of the fantasy that one day he will be who I want him to be and that we will be together. I live in the real world today. My Brother on the other hand is in his own halfway house too, after being released from prison, and has been clean and sober for 13 months, so I still have regular contact with him, but I am ready at a moments notice, since I have been working this great program and have found all of you guys....ready to go no contact with him too if it comes to that. Thanks for letting me ramble....and thank you for the post Steve....
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sticky-time!!!
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is pretty much the realization I came to. It makes me feel better about it when I read what you posted.

Thank you Hunny. Thanks to all the other caring and compassionate people on this list. I would have been in a much worse place if I didn't know I am not the only one in this situation and that I am doing the right thing.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I definitely agree. That first post should most certainly be a stickie! I've been around recovery for a while now and have dealt with a child who, while not an addict, needed to be turned loose to do whatever it was she was determined to do. That post spoke to me like no other I have come across here or on any other forum. Please, if any post is worthy of being made a stickie, that one is.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the post, Hunny...much insight.
In my baby steps to recovery, it gives me a lot to chew on. I am caring for my AD's 4 y/o and she comes by to see her, sometimes staying over. However, I'm beginning to think that I must stop this also. I feel that letting her drift in and out of her daughter's life is not helping matters. I feel angry at times b/c AD has the benefits of still having a relationship w/her daughter, but not the responsibility. At least I'm not giving AD any money or a a roof over her head. She keeps stating she will get her life together, but never takes the steps to do it.
Any insight would be deeply appreciated.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I wish it was possible for us to have an automatic no built inside of us.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What a powerful article! Thanks
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