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Impressive SLE, too hopeful now

Old 03-28-2012, 06:39 AM
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Impressive SLE, too hopeful now

Hi, everyone. Well, I picked my AS up from rehab yesterday and we spent the day getting him situated in an SLE. This is my (and his) first experience with an SLE, and I am so positively impressed. The organization has quite a program. It is run with military-like rigidity, which I think is exactly what my AS needs and which I didn't have the strength to provide. Must be early out of bed, curfew every night (10 p.m. for the first 2 weeks), no overnights out of the house without permission, daily chores for all residents, at least 6 NA meetings a week (9 if unemployed), plus a program meeting every Monday. Must get a job within two weeks, and there are specific guidelines for the job hunt (X-number of apps per day filed, detailed records of where he looks). House supervisors and program directors visit the house several times a day, and the place was spotless when we got there. Met two of the assistant program directors, both recovering heroin addicts (my AS's DOC) who have been successfully in recovery for a year or more. My AS immediately connected with one of them, who is only a year older than him. This guy loves NA meetings, and runs one once/wk. Told me he is eager to include my AS in his activities, befriend him, etc.

I'm EXCITED!! Before this last rehab stint, virtually all of my AS' friends had abandoned him (a good thing, since they are drug users too, tho mostly not addicts), and he is in the market for new friends. He is very social, and really wants close friends, and I anticipate that he will become close with these people who are in recovery, which would be a GREAT thing.

So at the moment, my house is empty of craziness and is peaceful, and I feel like my AS is in a good place and has a real chance for recovery. I'm trying to not get too hopeful, but I'm already there. I know I will be WRECKED if he has a big-time relapse and gives up on recovery this time. And yet I also know that so many people on this site have addicted loved ones who have done just that.

Any words of wisdom from y'all? I think I need some stories from reality to bring me back down to earth, or else I may soon be posting sorry messages from the depths of relapse despair.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:15 AM
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Good morning!
My boyfriend is a recovery heroin addict. He was clean for 2 years, then relapsed around Thanksgiving. He willingly went into a detox facility in January, stayed for the 5 days to "get the drugs out" of his body, came home to a hero's welcome for getting help, and within days, he was using again.
The using went on until late February when he once again went into a detox. I kicked him out of our house together and so he had no choice but to go into detox, or he would have lived on the streets. After detoxing for 5 days, he went to live in a sober house about 30 minutes away from home. This is his third week living there and it's been such a blessing for him!
The house he is staying in is also strict with rules and certain expectations they have on the residents. He goes to meetings 7 days a week, has started working again, they all have to sign in and out of the house in a book so the people who run the house know where they are going, when they left, and how long they were out for before they returned. He gets drug tested 3 times a week, and has a 6pm curfew. He's allowed 1 overnight visit every other weekend, and on Saturdays he's allowed a day pass so we can go to lunch, or the movies or something for the day that is close to the house.

When dealing with an addict, you just really never know what tomorrow will bring. Relapse is a very real, and unfortunately likely part of someone's recovery.
If you go onto the forums on this website that are for addicts, you'll read many posts talking about how someone had YEARS of clean time under their belt, and then relapsed.
Unfortunately, you have to just keep in mind that there's no cure for addiction. Just because someone is getting help, working a 12 step program, and has significant clean time behind them, the chance of relapse will always be there.
Don't hold unrealistic expectations for him. I'm not saying to EXPECT him to relapse, however just understand that it is always a possibility and something that you may need to prepare yourself for.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:34 AM
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Hi Seeking, My son was in a very strict rehab for 4 months and then moved into an SLE. The first SLE he moved in was on 2-24-12. My Mom passed away the next day and he relapsed about 10 days later. He left his SLE, was put in the hospital for 5150 (suicidal thoughts), checked out on 3-13 and went on a 9 day "sabbatical" from life(dropped out of all contact with us) and then finally called me on Saturday March 24. One of his friends from rehab had been in contact with me and he was in a more structured sober living that has 21 people in it and an onsite cafe , 13 meetings a day and lots of recovering support. My son accepted that opportunity to join that sober living that day. I picked him up and dropped him off there. I was at first nervous because it is a converted hotel, but after I met a few people, I could see how it works. Like a commune, everyone has chores and can offer to volunteer to help get the work done. They have required meetings, random drug testing and they work together to help each other. I think that the more structured sober living programs, like the one your son is in, is EXACTLY the right kind. My sons first one was a house with 9 residents, but no real formal requirements. I know for my son, going from jail then to the strict structure of his rehab and then the sudden "freedom" and then grief losing his grandmother (who was his number one support), was too much for him. Your sons program sounds excellent as a first step from rehab to acclimating back to life. I will pray for you and your sons success and commitment to this new program.
Hugs,
Teresa
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SeekingGrowth View Post

The organization has quite a program. It is run with military-like rigidity, which I think is exactly what my AS needs and which I didn't have the strength to provide. Must be early out of bed, curfew every night (10 p.m. for the first 2 weeks), no overnights out of the house without permission, daily chores for all residents, at least 6 NA meetings a week (9 if unemployed), plus a program meeting every Monday. Must get a job within two weeks, and there are specific guidelines for the job hunt (X-number of apps per day filed, detailed records of where he looks). House supervisors and program directors visit the house several times a day, and the place was spotless when we got there.

Sounds like boot camp for adulthood. Just what the doctor -ordered.

So at the moment, my house is empty of craziness and is peaceful, and I feel like my AS is in a good place and has a real chance for recovery. I'm trying to not get too hopeful, but I'm already there. I know I will be WRECKED if he has a big-time relapse and gives up on recovery this time
His reaction to this opportunity does not validate or invalidate you.
Can you use this time to learn how you can prepare to disengage from the outcome, whatever it will be. It's not rational or healthy to allow yourself to become estatic or WRECKED about a situation so beyond your control.

The only thing we have control over is our own reaction.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:04 AM
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Cynical One and Outtolunch - Thanks for refocusing my attention on me. My excitement over the SLE has thrown ME right back into codie relapse. I took him grocery shopping before he moved into the SLE (reminds me of dorm shopping for my other son who is in college), and he had no idea what to buy, doesn't know how to cook, and selected basically lunch meat, bread and cereal. So I'm worried about him getting healthy meals, fruits and veggies, etc. This morning, I was thinking that I would make a tray of lasagna for him and cut into single-serving portions to freeze so that I could be sure he would have decent dinners during the week. He has no money AT ALL, so he can't just run out and buy something for himself.

However ... I have to GIVE IT A REST, don't I? Let him and the SLE steer for awhile while I get back to living my life. Geez! Lasagna! Over the top, right?
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:41 AM
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My reality is that my son did a 4 month "boot camp" SLE end of last year and is still doing well. We helped him out with some things when he first went in and then tapered off and did our best to "wait for the question".

My other reality is that he is, and always will be one bad decision away from relapsing and there's nothing I can do. Although I find that quite frustrating, I have learned much from reading here and can only hope I will handle things properly if that day comes.

"pink cloud of recovery...journey not a destination" - awesome.

Wish you well.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:10 AM
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When my happiness is contingent on what others are/aren't doing, I am headed for a huge codie relapse.

The best thing that happened to me after rehab was I had to stand on my own two feet, as the single mother of an 8-year-old child.

There was no luxury of an SLE. I was thrust into the real world and it was sink or swim.

Sending you hugs of support.
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