One Day At a Time . . . Right?

Old 08-18-2008, 11:47 AM
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One Day At a Time . . . Right?

I gotta take this One Day At a Time right? What I've decided for the rest of this day is to not answer calls from my AS. I'm quickly falling back into being his bank and letting it happen.

I work FT Mon-Fri 7:30-4 and have just started a PT job at a nearby fast food joint. I'm doing a payday advance every 2 weeks and was doing that off my checking account too, but had gotten the checking account one paid up, but not I'm back into both pay advances . . . what an idiot I am, what a failure I am, I need help from myself!

I'm angry and sad all at the same time. I posted that I thought I had made some progress in my recovery, but all it was, was that my AS wasn't asking me for money at the time. I am scared of saying no, I wish there were someone who could just take over for me, do the hard stuff for me. I know I need to and I know how low I feel when I don't say no, when I take the easy road and give in. But who is that hurting??? ME!

Friends, give me strength. God, give me strength. Please.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:03 PM
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"If you can't say no you're not responsible enough to say yes."

That was a bit of wisdom I heard during family week at rehab.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:14 PM
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Today set your boundary with AS.
Tell him not to call again asking for $$$. If he does say "I am hanging up because I told you not to call for $, but feel free to call back another day if you just want to talk. Goodbye for today."

Then STICK to your boundary.

You should not be going in debt and jepordizing your own financial situation and your future. You have taken care of him now it is time to put your own needs 1st and foremost. The bank of JMFBurns just closed down.

Do what it is you want to do . Take your power back. Do not do for him what he ought do for himself.

There...that's not so hard.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:33 PM
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I missed both of my face to face meetings last week. That may be part of the reason I am just falling down a deep dark whole.

I appreciate the feed back, I really need it.

I just read through all of the posts on Step 1 from the sticky at the top. I guess I need to get back to basics, work my program and start to feel good about whatever progress I can make instead of beating myself up.

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Old 08-18-2008, 12:39 PM
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At an al-anon meeting a few nights ago..... I heard a father talk about his son. He said that "No." IS one sentence.

Absolutely true. In this disease, what I have learned is the craving for instant gratification in both/all parties concerned. The healthy instant gratification is to say "NO". And that is okay. In doing so, we are giving ourselves the self-respect we deserve.... as well as, allowing them to figure this out on their own - which is ultimately what they need to do.

No doubt it hurts to do so..... but it's what needs to be done. We can choose to enable addiction or support recovery. How do you feel that you can support a recovery?

Do NOT think that you are a failure..... you are a parent that is only doing what you know and feel to be right at the time. Your coming here and taking steps to help yourself..... is not someone who is failing or of failure status.

It's progress - not perfection.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:59 PM
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Dear JMF, You are hurting yourself & hurting your son also. I don't know how old your son is but mine will be 42 in Sept & cuz my parents never could say no his addiction has been going on for 20yrs!!!
Do you want your son's addiction to continue? For you son's sake and for yours say No. It is a complete sentence.
Believe me it will be harder seeing your son destroy his life than it would be just saying no. Be strong for him if not for yourself.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:08 PM
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what really helped me to say no and stop enabling was to see the co-dependent-dance, the pattern we had gotten into and how my fear kept me there...I needed to look at that fear and what I was afraid would happen if I decided to stop 'playing'

then I realized what my enabling was doing to my AD and that became way more important to me than losing her like or love...that clinched it....

this is tough stuff......detaching..
I can have a good giggle if I think back to my early outofcontrolcodie days..
you are doing fine...just keep getting back up on that horse and don't be so hard on yourself...oh yeah, and boundaries, boundaries, boundaries..
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:12 PM
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Hi JMF~~~Please don't feel like your a failure. You love your son and it can put us in bad places at times. I fed into my sons addiction for a few years while not even knowing what I was doing. Now~~talk about stupid. Until I went to counciling I had no idea about so-dependency and how I was hurting him more than helping. So~~put that outta your head!! Like I told Chris...I will not give him money for fear that he will use it on drugs. Flat out!!!!!! You have to worry about yourself and I know thats hard. There's the emotional side to this and the smart side..Took me a while and I know your getting it. Hang in there sweety~~~we are all her for you. Smiles, Bonnie
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:17 PM
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I don't know if this will help you or not, but I found a web site called

It has coping skills for adults and under the "control issues" section there is one on detachment.

It really helped me figure out why I couldn't say no. It's not a quick fix, but it helped me uncover my own wierd thinking that kept me hooked on enabling my addict. I found that just under my awarenss, I was telling myself all kinds of "reasons" why I needed to say yes and when I brought them to my consious awareness and looked at them, I was able to see how crazy they were.

I pray that you can find some ways to detach. Recently I figured out that if my addicted niece has the inclination or ability to get better, its up to her. If she is not willing or able, allowing myself to be dragged down wastes two lives, hers and mine. I think my HP has more of a purpose for me in this life than allowing myself to be dragged down with my addict.

Love and Prayers, just like the airlines, put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others... please take care of you first.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:51 PM
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They do get over it when we refuse to give them money. My AD does call me from time to time (never when she says she will. Usually not when I leave messages asking her too. Only and always on her terms, but she does call) and she knows not to ask for money. when I see her, she sometimes will ask me to buy her something (a candy bar, a soda, etc.,) and I am fine with that. It hard to figure out the boundaries we need to keep and hard to enforce them once we figure them out. but it sounds like you are struggling to make ends meet yourself and its gotta **** you off to realize you are working a 2nd job to support your kid's drug addiction...
You got good suggestions here already, so keep the faith - you can do this!
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:04 AM
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Don't go beating yourself up over this. The fact that you know this exchange is wrong for you, is good.

IT IS HARD! As parents it can go against an innate response. Its the same one that wants us to grab our child if they are crossing the street in front of a car. It is our first gut instinct to want to protect.
It takes reprogramming ourselves mentally to begin to STOP before we react and REALLY LOOK at what help and protection looks like, not what it feels like.
Another reason it is SOOOO hard is that they have learned over the years to work us to get what they want. They know all their excuses for why the need money from us are lies and manipulation but at that time, they have one goal and it's not to take care of us but to take care of themselves and their addiction.

I had a counselor once ask me, " How could your son possibly take the time to care about how this is affecting you when you have spent so many years teaching him that his needs come first.?"

So we have to begin to show them that we matter, but THEY WILL FIGHT IT! It's their natural instinct to protect what works for them.

I have learned it helps when my son asks me for something to never answer right away. I tell him I have to think about it, I will call him tomorrow. If he pushes it, I tell him the answer will be no and that I have to go now.

This gives me time away from my first reaction of doing what might make him happy, and gives me time to LOOK at what he really needs, not what he wants.
It also keeps me from starting the lecturing ( absolutely non-productive with him) and stops me from looking at possible bargaining strategies. ( If I do this for you will you stop . . . ?)

Sometimes I decide the answer is yes but sometimes it's no. But It stops my second guessing every decision.

But again, I still can make the wrong choices. I am far from perfect. Nothing about any of this could ever feel perfect. Sometimes it feels successful, and even good, sometimes its struggling and painful, but because I have learned so much, I want to move myself forward.
hugs, :praying
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:30 AM
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This post may sound a bit out of place but maybe you can relate this situation to NO in your case.
One day I was talking on the phone with my girlfriend and one of my teen daughters (then) came up and asked for the car a couple times and I finally just waved her off and shook my head yes.
My BF at the time was there and said Do you know what you just did again? I was sort of bewildered as I was on the phone, so I hung up and said what did I do? He said you just gave the kids your car and didn't you just ground one of them earlier? I was like shocked because he was right.
He said I have noticed when I am here, they always ask you for things when your on the phone because they get it . I stopped to think about it and you know what it was like an awakening to me, I wanted to talk and they knew it.

So from that day on I had a little chat with them both and said from now on whatever you ask me when I am on the phone will be a no. They of course resented my friend terribley but it worked and they stested me and got No everytime, soon no more asking.

I think you can apply it the same way here with yourself. Just a story I thought I would share for No.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:36 AM
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Stop being so hard on yourself. I think saying "no" is one of the hardest things for us codies.

You've gotten some great ES&H above and you ARE making progress.

Tell him the Bank of Mom is closed, and if he needs money, perhaps HE can work 2 jobs??!?!

Hugs and prayers!

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Old 08-19-2008, 10:25 AM
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JMF, you and I were together yesterday on the lake and you didn't even know it.

Not long after I posted, my daughter went for a cruise on the lake with one of our jet skis. After she put some distance between us - her on the lake, me on the dock - she called me from her cell phone.

She asked if "Joe" could come over and ride with her. Joe was one of her local drug buddies whose mother dragged him back to MO to clean up. Supposedly Joe is in recovery and was in town yesterday for court stuff and leaving last night.

I said no and, when she asked me why, I said because I don't trust him. "When will you trust him again?" she asked. "It isn't today," I answered.

I told her I was open to trusting him but first I had to get to know him again, though it wouldn't be at my house. The kind hearted part of me wants to trust him but he has to earn it. I wanted to say yes, but in a split second I thought about what I posted to you and said no.

I can't tell how good I felt after saying no and I was sending you some of those good vibes.
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