Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

Post by Dannie » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:19 pm

For the first time in ten years my AS is in his 4th month of recovery. Last year he relapsed after two weeks out of rehab. This time he has been out for three weeks and in a sober living home and still testing clean. He is even working part time. I am so thankful and happy but feel so afraid he will relapse. My concern is that I am doing too much. I have learned so much from this group and I fear that I am doing this recovery thing wrong.

I take him to work when he cant find a ride (maybe twice a week). I took him to the DMV and other places to get all of his affairs in order so he could start his life again after so long. Maybe this is too much. I don't now what others have done for their recovering adult kids. I had stopped doing most things for him while he was using so now I am worried I am doing too much and don't want to ruin his chances at staying recovered because I am doing things I shouldn't be doing to help him.

I am feeling nervous when I should be feeling relieved that he is doing better. It has just been such a long road as you all know. I would love to hear what others have done in this situation so I can try to get this right.

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Re: Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

Post by Suejan » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:31 am

Its such a scary time isnt it? You hope and pray for a solid period of recovery, but when its there you have to worry about loss again! Its just hard.
For me, when my son has been in recovery in the past, I have no problem with things that assist him in his addressing his issues and trying to help himself. If buying a bus pass to help him get to work didnt hurt me financially- I did so. My parents did that and much more for me in my life- I wasnt an addict- just their child working out her life.
I have read on here so many times- if it causes you to feel resentful then dont. Thats what I always go back to as my barometer.
Today my 25 yo son is 7 months into a 24 month program. I am so proud of him I could cry- and have the 3 times I’ve seen him. Because the program hes in is so stringent, we have minimal contact, and his requests are few and far between. I have helped with emergency dental care- a few pairs of jeans and t- shirts. A jersey for our home town hockey team when he was lucky enough to he able to attend a game with his peers and counsellors. That was a big luxury!
For today doing these little things to support him makes me happy- so I do them. I reserve the right to do or not do so at my discretion. Hes working a great program today- and is really putting his life back together. If that were to change, so would my support.
Good Luck to both of you:)

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Re: Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

Post by Ronni » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:59 am

Seemed like forever before I even thought to put that R in front of my AS's ;) I'd been referring to him as my addict son for so long, it just didn't even occur to me, also because I'd fully embraced at that point the fact that he would always be an addict, using or not.

For me, the longer my son has been in recovery (3+ years this time, the longest so far) the more willing I've become to help him. I've always been there for all my kids with a helping hand when needed, and they've never abused the help, and seldom asked or accepted, but they know I'm willing. The rules were completely different with my RAS for the longest time once I realized that my "help" in his case was flat out enabling.

But more and more now, with him I'm less rigid and more flexible, and I'm beginning to deal with him the same way I deal with the rest of my kids. It was weird for the longest time to have different rules of conduct towards him than I did with everyone else. Necessary of course, absolutely so, but still weird.

I spent some time driving him around and helping him get a bunch of stuff in order so he could get his license reinstated. I've helped him a bit financially here and there. He doesn't ask, he seldom asks any more. But if I offer, sometimes he'll accept and sometimes not, just depending on whatever else he has budgeted I guess. He pays me back (that's new!!) in a timely manner.

As long as he's approaching life in an adult fashion and being responsible, I see nothing wrong with the occasional help. Because if he's actually being a responsible adult, then the help won't be abused and wasted as it was for so long in his addict past, and it will actually contribute to his forward progress rather than keeping him from progressing at all.
My son's addiction is something that happened TO HIM. It is NOT something he did TO ME.

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Re: Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

Post by DianeB » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:30 pm

One of the things I don't like is labeling.

My son is an addict.
He is an addict in recovery.
He is in stage 4 kidney failure.
He is on disability.

Those are facts.
But really....the only label I use is "son".

To label him RAS - Recovering Addict Son, just opens up a pandora's box of issues.

It sets my expectations at recovery and expectations are just premeditated disappointment.

To label him am addict....while factual, doesn't encompass his life, his story, his challenges.

So I stick with he is my "son". I take my life one day at a time and allow him the dignity to do the same.
I also allow him the dignity to label himself however he chooses. It is not up to me to judge and make a determination of his recovery. That's up to him. Because he lives with me now, there are certain boundaries that have been established.

As to what I do for him....I use a couple things as criteria:

Am I enabling bad or inappropriate behavior
Can he do it himself without my assistance.
Would I do it for my other son.
Would I do it for my neighbor.
Am I helping him on a productive path.

I also look closely at my motivations...why am I doing it.
Am I taking the ability for him to solve it himself away from him.
Am I trying to control his direction.
Am I doing it for me or for him.

Lastly....my son got to his knees on his own. I held out a hand to help him stand and steady himself. Then he had to walk on his own. Kind of like when he was a toddler.

There is no right or wrong way. Only what is right for you...your instincts will tell you. Listen to them.

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Re: Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

Post by Dannie » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:59 pm

So very helpful. Thank you. I feel much more at ease after all of your shares.

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Re: Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

Post by hope1 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:37 am

I help my daughter with the same things now that i would help anyone with. I have loaned her money for a couple of things with no expectation attached and if i get it back great if i dont oh well lesson learned. She has been responsible thus far in making small payments towards her loans as she doesn't make a lot of money right now but it is the effort that is appreciated . She has been in recovery for over two years but has had a couple of slips. I take each one as they come and decide what the next right thing is for me. If i dont feel comfortable doing something then i don't and she accepts that. I have no crystal ball as to what the future holds but i have leaned towards the slogan progress not perfection. I will always help anyone whom is willing to help themselves .

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Re: Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

Post by flash » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:34 am

My boundaries and help was always much more confusing once my son was in recovery.
It seems weird to say but I sometimes feel like my anxiety was also greater when he was first in recovery.
We pray for that and then it is scary.
It was clearer when he was active.
I did nothing for him.
Other than stand by and assist him to treatment if needed I bought nothing, did nothing and didn't even speak frequently.
Then things would become gray when he entered sober living.
I often jumped in head first doing way too much.
It was my controlling coming back into play.
If I took him for the job he would have a more stable life and stay clean.
I was always doing what I thought would help him stay clean.
My life would often become more unmanageable at those times.
I finally learned from many here that I couldn't control whether he would relapse or not.
Completely out of my hands no matter what I did for him.
So, I would also use the resentment meter. If doing something for him made me feel resentful I would not do it (or not do it again).
It took a long time of recovery before I could relax and treat him the same I would my other child.

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Re: Putting an R in front of AS for the first time but feel confused

Post by Dannie » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:26 pm

Again, thank you! I love this group. It is my only saving grace sometimes. So much help.

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