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Old 10-01-2009, 07:10 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Morganton, NC
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Looking for "Tough Love" support group

Along with her family, I am here seeking help for a friend.

We have heard of "tough love" support groups for family and friends of addicts, however I cannot find any of them on the internet. Do they exist? Under what name?

My friend is in deep denial, she has addiction problems with prescription meds, marijuana and alcohol. She has overdosed 3 times and had to go to the er. Two weeks ago, she had to go again and we almost lost her. She had to stay in the hopsital 2 days. She still says that she does not have a problem and does not need professional help.

At this point, we, her family and friends do need help, either from professionals of others who have been through what we are going thorough. We need to find out how to cope with the situation better, how to lead her to realize she has a problem and how to get her help.

We are considering local meetings of Nar-Anon and N. A., but havent gone there yet.

We are located in Western North Carolina.

Any help would be appreciated, but most especially in finding the tough love support groups if they do exist.


Last edited by bigjohn83; 10-01-2009 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Change title - would not post with more than one word in title.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: By The Lake
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Great idea to seek out meetings, and even better idea to go and commit to going to at least 6 meetings to see if they don't help you as much as they have helped many of us here.

Tough love is a broad term and depends on interpretation. My recovery might be considered tough love, but it is only tough because I love my addict son enough to let go of trying to control his addiction/recovery/life choices, thinking if I loved him enough that he just might make better choices and seek recovery. Thinking I could control it was an illusion, but I tried for years and years until the founder of this site, a recovering addict named Jon, once told me that I might just love my son right into his grave. Ouch, that was hard to hear, tough for me if you like, but it was the best advice I was ever given.

Here are a few things I did that enabled my son and prolonged his journey...

I begged, pleaded, negotiated, bribed, and talked until I was blue tryng to change him.

I provided him with a good home filled with love, good food, clothing, cell phone, car, and safety hoping he would choose to live this way himself.

I bailed him out of jail, covered for him to spare him embarassment and consequences, drove him to meetings and picked him up, turned a blind eye to what I knew was lies and small thefts from our home.

I gave him money and my husband provided him with a job so he could avoid stress and attend meetings or counseling or anything he needed to do to work on recovery.

Didn't work for him and made us crazy.

In recovery, I changed what I did...

I set boundaries for living in our home, and when they were broken I followed up with the consequence by making him leave, telling him I'd love him just as much living anywhere else. This was the hardest thing I ever did. Didn't change him, but made my home livable again and safe. I did give him a list of rehabs, detox numbers, and meetings which were all alternatives to living on the street, then left the choice up to him.

I stopped giving him money for anything. Time had taught me that most of the requests were lies and the money just financed his habit.

I stopped bailing him out of jail, stopped adapting my life to his needs and his schedules, and stopped being "the one" who could save him, because I couldn't, only he could do that.

Tough love? For me it was tough to do, for him it was what he needed to find his own way, learn his own lessons, and know that there were consequences for all our actions.

I found meetings and a recovery program that literally saved my life. I found counseling and I found SoberRecovery and my life has continued to improve ever since. Today I live a happy, blessed, peaceful life, spiritually connected to God once again (after being mad at God for many years), and I find joy in every single day...in spite of the fact that my son is still lost in his addiction.

I learned that I could no longer live in the problem (his addiction) and decided to start living in the solution (my own recovery) and that has made all the difference.

Each morning I say a prayer, asking God to take care of my son wherever he may be, and then live the rest of the day knowing that all is well and exactly as it should be right now.

Like I said earlier, tough love is only an expression and loving our addicts enough to let go is as tough as it gets.

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore

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Old 10-02-2009, 05:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome BigJohn. Glad you found SR. Great responses above!
Keep reading and posting... it will help you so much!
Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can't change! Never allow someone to be a priority to you when you are just an option to them.........
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: atlanta, ga.
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hi bigjohn, welcome to sr. this is a great place to be. i'm a recovering addict married to an active addict. i totally agree with the posters above. in my opinion, the posters above is showing tough love, like ann said, i guess it depend on who's the interpreter.

it took for my family to totally step aside and allow me to fall, suffering the consequences of my own bad choices before i became desperate enough to seek help for myself. there is nothing much else you can do to help an addict aside from doing all you can to help yourself.

as long as my family helped me by supplying me with food, a warm place to crash and whatever else i could con them out of, it helped me to be more able to supply my own drug habit. bottom line, the more they helped me, the more i was able to continue my drug use. sorry but she won't stop until she is ready, no matter what you do or say, the choice is hers and hers alone.

after 21yrs of the same old addictive behavior, i finally had to separated myself from my husband of 23yr, trying to cope with his addiction, it was literally driving me insane.

i will keep you and yours in my prayers.

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Old 10-03-2009, 07:55 AM   #5 (permalink)

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Morganton, NC
Posts: 2
Perhaps I was seeking the wrong thing, but we were told by one family member that there were some family support groups that actually went by the name "Tough Love Support" and were for families and friends who were dealing with exactly what we are dealing with.

Maybe the Nar-Anon is exactly what we need, we will certainly look into it.

We had thought things were improving with her, she had been clean and sober for almost a year, but in the past 3 months she has overdosed in pills 3 times, twice at her parents home where she has been living with her kids, and then 2 weeks ago elsewhere, and she almost was not found in time.

Two weeks ago she went to visit a male friend on Sunday and didn't come home, she stayed at his house through Wednesday. We now know most of the time was spend drinking, taking pills, smoking pot. She got a supply of muscle relaxers on Wednesday and took too many of them. The guy was at work and had to work late, when he got home, she was out cold, on the floor, having seizures or something like it.

He called her family and they came over to find him standing there drinking a beer, and had not called 911!! They called, and she was taken to the ER, had her stomach pumped and she survived. The ER folks said that much longer and we would have lost her.

She came home from the hospital on Friday, but went to see this guy again every night through the next Friday, 9/25, when she again went to his place but this time again she didn't come home and she has been there since. Her kids have begged her to come home, along with her parents, but she refuses to budge an inch. She claims to be in love with this guy, and that they are going to be together for a long time. We all know that he is nothing more than a way out of her parents house for her, a place to be where she can drink and take drugs and have nobody complain at her about it.

You would think that after she nearly died at his home that he would not continue to allow her to come there and do that, but he is, and we do not know what to do, if there is anything we can do.

She is a hair stylist by trade and had just achieved her dream of having her own shop, in a home that her family helped her buy next door to her parents. The shop was already there, which was one of the main reasons to buy it. We had put a lot of work into the place and she was just getting it on its feet. Now she is likely going to lose it because her parents will not allow her to stay with this guy at night and come there to run the shop, while leaving the kids with her parents.

Its very complicated, and so much more to the story that I have not put here, but its likely stuff everyone here has heard before.

Any help will be appreciated.
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