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struggling with what to do with my son

Old 07-09-2012, 03:51 PM
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struggling with what to do with my son

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. My AS, who today celebrates 90 days clean, has not been able to find a job in his profession. he is living in a SLE and appears to be doing well with his recovery. My question is do I tell him I can't pay the rent for the SLE or anything else as of a certain date? I know he has been sending out his resume, going on interviews but nothing is happening. I want to be as supportive as I can be of his recovery without enabling. He goes to meetings every day and just spoke at his rehab this past weekend. Thank you for your thoughts.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:57 PM
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A lot of people can't find jobs in their profession. He may have to get another kind of job or work with a temp agency until he can find a desireable one.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:01 PM
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My son, a university graduate, is working in an ice cream shop. Your son can work, just not necessarily the job he would prefer to have. If he thinks he can live off your generosity while waiting for a job in his profession, he may just do that for as long as it takes. Speak up.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:07 PM
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I am a serial enabler. I enable when I don't know I'm enabling, even though I have a good 30 years of practically professional enabling under my belt. Here's my rule, which I still keep forgetting:

NEVER do for ANYONE, ANYTHING they can do for themselves, no matter what excuse I or they can come up with. Your AS is a grown man and grown men CAN find jobs to support themselves and pay their rent.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:10 PM
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My 21-year-old son is in the very first stages of an outpatient program, so your question is something I may have to wrestle with eventually (God willing). It's not at all unusual for someone to struggle, sometimes for an extended period, to find employment, especially if they're searching in only one specific area. The answer to your question about whether to pay the rent at the SLE (I'm assuming you've done so up to this point?) depends on what has happened before, whether he is asking for assistance, how old he is, etc.

I know many adults who have had to take whatever jobs they could find until something "in their field" became available. That's just life. Frustrating, but not unusual. And working to support yourself any way you can (I mean legally and ethically) can be an experience that strengthens the psychological muscles that are so often atrophied in addicts. All honest work is noble.

Is this his first attempt at recovery? His fifth, 10th? Are you in a financial position to provide such assistance? And, even if you are, is it repeating a pattern of enabling? There isn't enough information about your situation really, but others who have been right where you are will have more insight than I.

Blessings to you and to your son. Ninety days clean!
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:38 PM
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Praying Mama - my son just turned 23 on Saturday and has always had a job in the culinary arts. This is his 3rd attempt at recovery. He did the outpatient route the first time. His second attempt was inpatient in January and February. Relapsed in March and went back into rehab April 9th. Things seem different this time and maybe its because he is living in a SLE in a neighboring state. He has been looking for a job for just about 2 months. Had a job last month that lasted 3 days because the restaurant did not think he was picking it up fast enough and thought he would be overwhelmed. Just had another interview 2 weeks ago for a restaurant opening at the end of the month. Waiting to hear about. I shouldn't say he hasn't been working - just NOT GETTING PAID. In NYC, restaurants expect you to "trail" one or two times for them before they decide and you don't get paid. He has done this several times. I'm thinking of telling him he has one more month and then I can't pay.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:55 PM
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Praying Mama - I just want to add one more remark. He could have a job tomorrow with 2 former restaurants he worked for and who hated to see him go. But those place are in NJ, his old stomping grounds. He now lives in NY.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:03 PM
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F&B is tough--so is NYC. You have to be gritty to survive in that field, so he must have some natural, built-in toughness. A plus, as long as uses those powers for good...

Sounds as though you feel that paying one more month is what you can live with. I have to say, some of the best advice I've received here, at my FA meetings, and from some of the best books on addiction is "Do what you can live with." And I've found that can change over time. I can live with a whole lot more toughness--and a whole lot less anxiety--than I ever thought possible.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:27 PM
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Thank you Praying Mama! That's good advice. I'm hopeful he can land something soon. Although, he has chef credentials, he is willing to take anything. Applied for a spot at a deli the other day. I'll just keep praying something positive happens for him.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:02 PM
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Yeah, the job market is horrid at the moment. I've been looking for almost a year now for a job in my profession. Think about it for a little bit. I'm sure he is trying to find a job as hard as he can, but it is tough.

In the mean time, here is a little job seeking joke.
HR recruiter receives 800 resumes for one open position. The recruiter then throws out 99% of the resumes without even reviewing them and says:
"We don't hire people with no luck".
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:43 PM
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If it's something you can live with, maybe wean him off little by little?.... Reduce his support by $25 a week, then $50 a week.... or whatever? Yeah, lots of people are not able to work in their chosen fields right now. That's life. What would he do if you weren't around at all???
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:25 PM
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tjp613 - What would he do if I wasn't around? I can't tell you how many times I've asked myself that question. I don't want him to be dependent on me. I always hope and pray that he will live an independent, responsible and honest life. In my heart of hearts, I believe that he does want to live on his own and be independent. It's something he has talked about many times. His brother (24) and sister (28) have achieved that and he has told me he wants the same. I give him about $30 a week in addition to paying the SLE. The check goes straight to the SLE so he has no involvement with that. I don't want him to come back to NJ just because that's where he can get a job. I believe he is in a good place, surrounded by people who care and support him. So, I'm just going to take it day by day and tell him we will need to re-evaluate everything in 2 weeks if he hasn't gotten a job. Thanks for your support.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:51 PM
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all,

I want echo what someone else said "Do what you can live with". If you are financially able to help at this time and WANT to - do it. But if it is a burden or NOT what you want to do then reevaluate and discuss weaning it back with him. As long as there is recovery on his part and progress . . .

I hope he finds "something" soon.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:04 PM
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Triyng to land a job in these times as we all know can be difficult, i second the "do what you can live with", maybe talk to him about a different field something he can do for the time being, my son is about 40 days clean , has been attending meetings and just landed himself a job, its not the best job out there but hey he will be earning money and having responsibility.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:26 PM
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Here's what we did with our 23 yo son. When he was going to transition from the 90 day extended care into a sober living house, we set up a schedule of what we would pay for and for how long. In our situation, we said we'd pay for housing for 9 months but only for food for 3 months. After 9 months, we expect he'll be able to move into an apartment with friends, finding something he can afford. He had a job the first month, and quit that, but now is working at a temp agency. Getting rid of the fuzzy support issues really helped me and my husband. I think it's helped ds as well. He knows he has to work to buy food at least...and plan for the future when he'll need rent money as well.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:37 PM
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Anvilhead - You are 100% right in my view, when you say doing the right thing doesn't earn you special treatment. But here's the thing, when my two other children were first starting out on their own, I gave them some LIMITED support until they got on there feet. But it was only for a month or two and from there on they never asked me for anything. Addiction was not part of the picture for either of them. Daughter is working about 6 yrs now, older son 2 years, both living on their own away from home. I realize my younger AS is a different story and needs to be handled differently. And that is why I have struggled with the decision of how much support to give him because I am highly aware of how easy support turns to enabling. If he did not have a problem with addiction would I help him with starting out on his own, getting his own place? Absolutely but it wouldn't be a blank check if you know what I mean. I can't tell you how many friends and relatives I have right now who can't find jobs in or out of their profession. The economy stinks. If I thought he wasn't actively pursuing employment somewhere, anywhere, my thought process might be different. Has he asked me for money each week? No, it's something I offered. But here's the good news - he received a paycheck from that 3 day job and has told me he's good for a few weeks. Also, on Saturday he goes back for the 3rd interview at the restaurant to cook for them. Let's hope they love his food!!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:56 PM
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I will be praying for you, sounds like he is on the right path. I have also done this when my son was out of rehab. I gave him a schedule. My son did NOT take recovery seriously but sounds like yours is.
Hugs
Teresa
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