Saturday, October 9, 2010

Taking responsibility...And yet...

The first act Daniel took after rehab was to turn himself into the sherrif's office for not completing diversion training for a DUI 3 years ago. Upon hearing that he's 4 months sober, has a sponsor and is living in an Oxford house, the judge let him go without bail and simply said to show up to court 3 weeks later.

3 weeks ended this Wednesday and Daniel faithfully appeared in court in his Sunday-best looking better than ever. His 3 buddies (all graduages from the same program) tagged along for moral support. Daniel was sentenced to 48 hours in jail, 2 yrs parole, and some fines, of course. He was disappointed, but the judge explained that had he resolved it within the year, he would not have been sentenced as such. But it had been over 3 yrs, so that was that.

Driving him home (48 hrs later), I heard all about how terrible jail is and of all the rules included in his parole. Rules like not setting foot in a bar, not leaving the state without permission, being subject to random drug screens, etc. After getting an earful, I asked, "Do you think any of this will help you?" To my surprise, he said, "Absolutely, I need all the accountability I can get." And he went on to say how it will be easier to tell others that he cannot go to a bar/club due to parole rather than to divulge that he's an addict. I immediately understood that there are just some people that don't need to know. I've got my own list of them.

So off we went to IOP (intensive out-patient) where I joined him for a family session. Sigh.

Yes, it's great to be in this place of recovery. I never imagined we could have come so far in 5 months. I am quick to share with my close friends the good things that are happening. And yet, deep down, I wonder if it will last. And I am deeply grieved the my son's social group consists exclusively of recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. How I wish he was shooting the breeze with college classmates. I wonder why he is so quick to identify with the criminals he met in jail. He seems fascinated with their stories; I can only take so much of them.. They are so far removed from the life we had together, it confuses me.  Outwardly, I am upbeat and positive. Inwardly, I am still so disappointed, grieved, and sad. I don't know how to explain it. Maybe I'm in some sort of denial and not wanting to face the ugly reality that my son is still an addict and will struggle with that his entire life. I'm tired trying to figure it out. Good night, everyone.


  1. I often have felt the same things you are feeling. My family counselor (who specialized in addiction)often reminded us that our addicts, in recovery, learn a different dance, and that it is rare if ever that they go back to the life we expected or hoped for, for them. So our job, as family members, is to release our expectations of that past and find new expectations in the life they are living now. Then the outward signs of being upbeat and positive can and will become inward feelings for you. Simply said, you must release your expectations otherwise you may continue to feel disappointed. Like everything else we've been through, it is easier said than done. Congratulations on five months, that is fantastic!

  2. I totally get just what you're talking about. It still,at some level, amazes me that my son relates to people that have been in jail(he has too), have had lots of dysfunction in their lives...just such sad stories, if that's what is normal to him. It also gets to me that he's not away at college doing what others his age(that he was in school with) are doing, especially since our son(also a Daniel) was always such a strong student. But like Lisa said, the 5 months clean IS fantastic, so just focus on that. Our son isn't clean anymore, even though he's been through 3 rehabs and had over 100 days clean the last time. He's not living with us now and seems content to be out of here and using. Sigh. I'm very happy to hear that your Daniel is doing good things to turn his life around.

  3. Recovery is a journey unto itself. My son is clean for just about three years and still I am ever aware that he is only one step removed from relapse. I don't dwell on the possibility, I choose to be thankful that "today" is a good day. He is clean "today". Enjoy the present!

    I also have a daughter who, after having done several bouts with rehab, has chosen to keep using. I'm raising her three kids. I digress...

    Enjoy the present. Don't think too much about the future. Who knows, maybe further into his recovery, he'll start thinking about college. Maybe not. But whatever, enjoy his sobriety "day by day'.

  4. I think that the alcoholic/addict will be that and is one moment away from a drink. That's why I choose to live in the day, lower my expectations, and keep the focus on my life and living it the best way that I can. I can't walk around with the axe ready to fall on my head all the time.

  5. there is such wisdom here. thank you, everyone.

  6. It seems to me that for all our efforts to transform the child, the child and his disease ends up transforming us! We conform to the child's new life of either recovery or continued addiction.

    In prayer

  7. I am in the first stage here. I am hopefully sending my son to rehab on Monday. Things have been really terrible lately. I am glad to read this blog. Prayers to everyone dealing with this!

  8. Hey,

    I've been a heroin addict for nearly fourteen years, starting at 17.

    Ive struggled for years with it, and the damage and pain you cause your family is awful, it also feeds back into the cycle of using though through the guilt!

    Interesting blog anyway, I know writing really helps me.. I've recently started blogging about it all anyway


    Ive blogged about it anyway

  9. With drug addiction, relapse is common and even expected. But thankfully, as recovery progresses, addicts usually have an easier time bouncing back after falling off the wagon. rehab facilities Indianapolis