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Old 09-06-2010, 04:39 AM
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where can I find

some accounts of addicted sons or daughters who were helped because they were kicked out of the home?

everyone says that it is the best thing to do for my son, and I believe that, and would love to read some success stories.

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Old 09-06-2010, 05:44 AM
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I can think of two members of SR that might be able to share. Let's wait and see who shows up.

Some members come to F&F and ask for the success stories in marriages and relationships. They don't want to hear about the marriages that ended in divorce or seperation. When they pose the question looking for survivors, they are sometimes disappointed by the lack of responses.

That doesn't mean there aren't successes. Most people who reach out and post in these forums are struggling. Struggling with coping with a loved ones addiction or coping with their own addiction. After they find recovery, some leave and we don't hear from them again. They work their recovery in their own face-to-face world. Some members linger. They continue to reach back to the help the ones just arriving at the recovery journey. Giving back what was given when they arrived struggling.

This topic usually also brings up the definition of success. What is the definition of success in this case?

In the question of relationship success: Is it only a successful outcome if the marriage stays intact?
In my family, the marriage did not stay intact. However, I think our relationship is a success story. I discovered who I am. I am learning to stand up for myself. I am learning to love myself. I am learning to live a full and happy life.
My ex is sober. He is learning to take care of himself, by himself. He is learning to be responsible for his own life. He is facing his own consequences.
Does that mean we are not successes, because the marriage ended?
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:42 AM
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Chicory,

I don't know offhand about any books or stories that fit your scenario precisely. I do know that many addicts and alcoholics talk about recovering when their "score card read zero"--in other words, where their only hope was to reach out for help from AA or NA. As long as an addict or alcoholic has a comfortable place to live and continue to drink and use, there is no motivation to stop. Removing those supports is no guarantee they will get help. Some die rather than get well. But providing a comfortable existence while they continue in the addiction doesn't stop the disease or even slow its progression--it just drags it out longer while dragging down their loved ones who have to stand by and watch it and live in it every day.

There's a guy in my home group with over ten years of sobriety. When he tells his story, it includes a stint in prison and a period of time right before he got sober when he was, quite literally, living in a cardboard box. He jokes about the box, and about how he would get jealous of people with better boxes than he had. He wasn't bathing, wasn't eating, was sick as a dog. But he got well. He is happy and healthy and married to a lovely woman also in recovery. He works with guys who are as bad off as he once was. He had family and they didn't want him around. He's a guy whose score card read zero.

As Pelican suggested, the measure of whether kicking someone out is the "right thing to do" isn't always whether the alcoholic/addict gets well. If he or she is going to be sick, though, and there is nothing you can do to stop the progression at home (which no one can do--we can't control or cure the disease), then your sacrificing your own life is for nothing. Your son will be sick whether you kick him out or not. He will have more motivation to quit if you stop taking care of him. If you continue to take care of him, not only will he continue to be sick, but he will continue to wreak havoc on your life.

There are no guarantees he will get well if you kick him out. But he's almost certain not to if you allow him to continue in the comfort of your home.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:06 AM
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I was kicked out at 16 because of my attitude, which was due to my drug/alcohol problem. It took me 11 years to get sober, but I did it - eventually

I can tell you that I never would have gotten sober under my parents roof. Even my recovering alcoholic father, I wouldve snuck booze past him. He mightve been smart enough to check shampoo/conditioner bottles, but I highly doubt it. I'd find a way, and id try anything...absinthe is the same colour as mouthwash, very strong and smells similar too....thats a great cover, id take the dog for extra walks to score and smoke weed. Wait till mum had gone to bed till I could finally smoke in my own room! Love for my parents or anyone didnt come into the equation when i was in love with a substance. I took booze/drugs into all sorts of places I wasnt supposed to, their houses were no different. Addiction is so consuming and as a result, I was extremely selfish. Noone could stop me but me.

Good Luck.

Last edited by Ainslie; 09-06-2010 at 08:08 AM. Reason: added and deleted words
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:06 AM
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Go to the Tough Love organization. They have lots of stories about it, plus a methodology of how to do it, and lots and lots of support for parents who are going through it. They work a lot with families of addicts.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
As Pelican suggested, the measure of whether kicking someone out is the "right thing to do" isn't always whether the alcoholic/addict gets well. If he or she is going to be sick, though, and there is nothing you can do to stop the progression at home (which no one can do--we can't control or cure the disease), then your sacrificing your own life is for nothing. Your son will be sick whether you kick him out or not.
But even if he doesn't get well, you can. That's a success too. Your well being matters. If you are saved, that's a victory, no less so even if he isn't.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bucyn View Post
But even if he doesn't get well, you can. That's a success too. Your well being matters. If you are saved, that's a victory, no less so even if he isn't.
Yeah, that was my point. Used too many words, thanks for saying it more clearly.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:52 PM
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I'm sure if you posted the same question in the alcoholic's section, you'd find many of the type of success stories you're looking for.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FormerDoormat View Post
I'm sure if you posted the same question in the alcoholic's section, you'd find many of the type of success stories you're looking for.
GREAT idea. And in the substance abuser's forum.

Bear in mind that these are mostly those who HAVE recovered (or are working on it). You won't hear from those still living in boxes. Still, I'd be willing to bet that an awful lot of recovering addicts/alcoholics have stories about their "support system" crumbling under the weight of their addictions before they were able to face the REAL problem.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:23 PM
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For parent/child relationships, where the offspring is the addicted, I would always check out the F&F of Substance Abusers. There are many more on there speaking from the parents perspective rather than that of the spouse. I have always wondered why the "anons" are defined by the drug of choice of the qualifier rather than their relationship to them, because each role brings its own set of problems to deal with.

Success stories are always a tricky area. Don't forget that things have to be pretty bad for most people to search for help on line. Someone with strong boundaries who puts their child (or spouse) out in the earlier stages and the addict gets into recovery is unlikely to ever post on here.

Setting and keeping to a boundary is always much healthier if it comes from a place of protecting you, rather than saving them. And sometimes it is enough for a bottom to be reached. Happy by-product is probably the best way to look at it, heart-wrenching though it undoubtedly is.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:41 PM
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Hi Chicory...I'll try not to make this long

My daughter remembers that I kicked her out, but I was just really clear that her behavior had to change asap if she were going to remain at home...

I was a single parent and we were very close...
we battle through her cancers together...
homeschooled...first year of highschool, she met a young man...
everything changed....he was a drug addict, alcoholic..she was in love...her behavior changed, her presence in the house was intermittent...
I was shaken to my core to see what was happening to my child...she was of age...
I drew my line in the sand...she left...
I knew that our home , the home she knew all her life, and I, must be constant.

She couched surfed for the next few years, lived on the street for a bit...and then rented a room for year....and then one day, she called...I went and got her...helped her find a little bachelor...she wasn't done using and couldn't come home if she was...
for the next few years her addiction progressed but at least she was off the street...
every once in a while I would hand her a card with the name of a really good counsellor(free) that I had found...two years later she finally went to see her...
a year after that she walked through the door of AA and hated every minute of it...went off and on
almost a year to the day later, she quit drinking...
Today she has 1 year and two months sober...she is the treasurer at her home group, chairs regularly...works with the newer young girls coming in and walks with confidence, has a spark back in her eye, and smiles and laughs a lot...
she has some health issues from her cancer days and so can't yet work full time, she talks about school, her writing, she is gifted, and what she wants to do with it...and she tells me at least once a week how good her life is, with a little surprise in her voice...and how much she appreciates her sober family(AA)

I give thanks everyday....

I suffered so much until I realized I had to let go, and let her fall and trust and pray, that her HP had her and that she would find her way...I had to remember that she had everything within her to heal her life...she was not broken, just lost...
I could not love her sober...and I needed to step out of the doorway so that she could walk through...

Tough love was key for me in helping my daughter to see that she needed to fix her life, no one else was going to do that and especially not her mom. and that was a huge learning curve for both of us......I think when she really understood that, that was when the shift in her took place towards the end of the first intermittent year at AA.

We all have our process, and I had to learn to appreciate and respect that this was hers, her journey, even when the stakes can be so high...

Chicory, this is the stripped down version...lol....please feel free to pm me if you would like to, sometime...
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:49 PM
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AA has a publication called 'The Grapevine'. There's lots of stories like you're looking for in there.

But the one thing I sense you're loking for,
just a sense -
I am pretty certain you're not going to find in any publication.

There's no pre-guarantees in this gig.

We are, all of us,
unique individuals
while at the same time we are the same
in that we've gome together
sharing a common problem.

We have, will have, and have always had ... free will.

That includes your son, hon.

It includes my sons.

The greatest gift a parent can give their kid
is the use of their own free will.

We have no say
in how they use that gift.
Because it's not us who gave it.

It was theirs when they got here.

Maybe AlAnon has a 'grapevine' kind of paper.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:02 PM
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Yeah, what Barb said is right. When I kicked my son out I knew I had to be ready for any and every outcome...success AND failure.

My son has been about 90% on his own since May. (I say 90% because his dad canNOT let go completely and pays the rent in a tiny old apt. and a $150/mo. for groceries and gas...and that's ALL.) He has applied for the Navy and had to get clean to do that. Once he got clean he found he had the motivation to hunt for a job...and he got one! It took him a long time but he finally found one and he's feeling real good about himself now that he has a paycheck. He's definitely not out of the woods yet...not by a long shot...but he is making progress and LEARNING A LOT!!

I do have my serenity and that's very important to ME.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by barb dwyer View Post

There's no pre-guarantees in this gig.
The greatest gift a parent can give their kid
is the use of their own free will.

We have no say
in how they use that gift.
Because it's not us who gave it.

It was theirs when they got here.
I love this, Barb...

when my daughter was 4 1/2 and fighting two cancers, I had to turn her over to God each day.... I wasn't afraid of the cancer...I was very worried about the poison they were going to pump into her over the next four years even tho they said "this is when she will relapse and this is when she will pass"...God's truth...
My mind was on what she and God would decide....

In her battle with Alcoholism, my heart was chewed up in a million little pieces, and wondered what God and she would do and I turned her over again...

Our mom hearts are tender and we all need hope, nothing wrong with hope
Even tho I knew what I knew: free will, no guarantees, she is God's child not mine etc...my heart needed hope, as I let go..
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:52 PM
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(((Chicory))) - though I was not living at home, when I was using, I knew I couldn't COME home unless I was clean.

I did eventually come home, clean but not recovering. I relapsed, for about 2 weeks, and I was allowed to stay home, but only because I was throwing myself into recovery. I never used at home, though, as I knew I'd be kicked out. When I relapsed, I "disappeared" for that time. I had lost my job, but immediately started applying for others, and was allowed to work in another restaurant of the same chain I'd been let go, only because I was a darned good worker. They knew all about my history (I was locked up in a diversion center when I was hired).

I knew I would have to build back trust, so I did. I called if I was going to be late, I always answered my phone or called back asap (me disappearing and not answering phone calls was a BIG sign that I was out using). I contributed at home, in whatever way I could. I finally JOINED SR, after lurking for over a year, and clung to it as my lifeline. I learned that I'm as much a codie, as I am an addict, maybe moreso, and I couldn't work ONE recovery without the other.

I'm almost 11 years older than your son, and still living at home because of the financial ruin I put myself into when using. However, I pay bills, I work 2-3 jobs, and am about to go back to college next month.

Had I been allowed to stay home, and use? I'd not be coming up on 3-1/2 years clean. I wouldn't know that consequences SUCK, and I wouldn't be at the point where I'll do everything I can, to not have any more BAD consequences come back and bite me in the butt.

I had to be a street-walking, homeless person to get to this point. I could have come home, at any time, but wasn't ready to give up the life of using until the consequences just kept coming, and coming, and coming.

I will forever be grateful to my family. They loved me enough to say "we DO love you, but you've got to be clean or you won't live here". Interestingly enough, my dad and stepmom are codies. The only thing my dad has held a steadfast boundary in, is my using. I use, I'm out. He enables everyone else in the family, except me, and I consider that a gift...one I'm going to take every advantage of, because him being tough on me, helps me.

I am blessed to know love from my family, but also to know it has boundaries. This helps me stay in recovery. My family went on with their life, while I was out using, and when I finally got my head clear enough, I realized I wanted back IN that life. Though I know I caused them a terrible amount of pain, I'm glad that they went on in life. I missed out on my nephew being born, he and my stepsister almost dying with his birth. Today, I can go down the road and visit them, and am shown unconditional love. The same stepsister later got addicted to klonopin, and she came to me for help. What a gift!!

I know this is long, but I guess my main point is I wouldn't be able to enjoy all the gifts in my life if my family hadn't let me find my way to this point. My recovery is mine, I've worked it more than anything I've ever done in my life. However, I can truly appreciate the people who love me, because they stood back, while I was hurting them to no end, and said "we'll be here for you when you get your life together". YOU can't do this for him, he has to get to this point on his own.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:56 PM
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I forgot the best part...this young woman who was was angry, resentful, abusive and depressed, calls me out of the blue to say:...Mom, I love you SOO much...
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:31 PM
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Don't know how my daughters recovery will play out, but 1 month after she turned 18 we asked her to leave, She has done some horrible things to herself in those 8 months.I kept telling her we love you and will help you when you want to get clean.She tried on her own and progressed to shooting up. She was sholess, filthy, had bronchitis and a horrible UTI when she said she was done and we took her to a hospital. She has now chosen to go to a different town to a sober living environment when her 30 days of rehab is up. Time will tell, but I sooo listened to Impurrrfect and went on with my life.I wanted her to have a model of what a (Quasi) healthy person looks like and a safe (not crazy) place for her to go for help when she was ready. No guarantees on how this, or your situation will work out, but I had NO CONTROL over her anyway and the best thing I ever did was LET HER GO.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:37 AM
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yes, it is amazing where we can find the strength as parents to let them go, in the face of the dark places their using takes them. my daughter has gone to some really dark places with her using and that house I picked her up at that day was one of them...
I agree with you, Keepinon.... while I eventually figured out my boundaries with her, I always let her know that I loved her and believed in her, but that I refused to be dragged along with her...I had to choose me, my serenity, and my life...that was important for her to see..and I know it made a difference...
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:05 AM
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Also, you might want to read and compare the stories of all the wives and girlfriends who gave the alcoholic one more chance on this forum.

In a similar way we did this with my Mom. It was me who spent a lot of time and energy and unhealthy codependency getting her or attempting to get her the help she needed.

First time we got her into a program it was wonderful. I thought this was it. She actuallly did not drink for a while.

Then one day, when visiting her, went to the garage and found one half empty cold beer. I went bonkers calling other family members wanting to know who had bought this, huge fight. It was awful - she did not want to stay sober. And I had worked so hard to get her sober.

I stayed away for a bit but then would come around and help her around the house and there we were back to square one.

Then I exerted more energy on other plans to get her forced help.

I know how truly painful this is.

Other members may correct me here for this advice which is not taught on this forum:

Let him know he is being left out of the house, find out if he gets a job or goes into a program, gets help for his depression, etc and then take him back in. Don't go to the "he's going to be homeless under the bridge" just yet. That is causing you a lot of worry.

This is your decision, but if it causing you so much angst and worry - just assure yourself you won't let him be homeless - for now - to get some peace.

Then read the stories, post on the alcoholic thread, read books. There are a some good stories, but very likely you might be back at square once again in a few months. And that is where you find out how this becomes a mental health issue for us the enablers.

Since this seems to be happening right now for you I believe I read that meetings (such as Alanon) are not feasible after your work day - they might have online Alanon that could help you deal with this.

You are at the point where you have made the decision he is out of there, hopefully you will be strong enough to stick to that for now and go through with it, but if not at this time you can at least temporarily (don't tell him this though) demand he leave and find out if there is any interest in progress on his part after he is out the house and facing the reality of his situation.
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