Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Just checking in - I'm up to my eyeballs in packing away Christmas decorations, un-building the tree, and billing my clients for December transcription service, etc. My daughter (DD2) was seen in court again and this time, pled guilty for a 90 day sentence, of which she'll serve 45 days (15 already served waiting for court dates/plea, etc). She estimates getting out at about Valentine's Day.

Her mentor from previous rehab/program, Milton (the guy I made a quilt for, to celebrate his 20 years clean!) always asked her a question each time she got out. "What are you going to do different this time?" She has yet to come up with an answer. She gets frustrated because she is "willing" but doesn't know what to do different. And he won't tell her.

My only suggestion to her this time, is that maybe she consider getting a sponsor that is an older woman, a no-nonsense type that does not know her personally and won't be side tracked by how pretty, funny, energetic, social butterfly-ish her 27-year-old self is, and will just help her seriously work the steps. In the past she's had sponsors that were her friends, even close friends. She even took a trip to Paris with one.

I think (and its only my humble outside opinion, and really none of my business) but I think the steps should be serious undertakings with someone who is going to really help you focus, and not get side tracked with shopping for another pair of cute shoes! but hey, what do I know?

She asked me recently for my opinion, and I stated the above to her. And then I moved on to other subjects. It just isn't my business.

However, her sister asked me this time, "Mom, maybe we should be asking ourselves Milton's question: What are you going to do different this time?"

That was kind of an eye opener. Sometimes that older daughter of mine surprises me.

I'm kinda mad, sad, resigned, and hopeful this time. I'm visiting, but not as often. It really impacts me as far as my business to take the 3+ hour round trip to jail and back, and I'm writing more, visiting less. I personally feel like I should visit (again, just my opinion concerning me), but I certainly don't have to go every week, and a letter conveys love also. I'm making sure I only accept one collect call a week, now that her case is settled and she knows how long she's got.

She wrote to her boss and got her last check from her job mailed to me. I'm holding it until she gets out. If she wants to sign it over to us, we'll cash it for her. If she then uses the money for her sober home, that would be cool. If she doesn't, that's not so cool, but hey, it's her money. She has been told she cannot come here to live. That's not making her happy. Her boss told me to tell her to get in touch with him. He's a recovering addict (did 20 years in prison) and now has his own company and a lot of clean time - and he gave me the impression she could work there again. Even if she can't, she cannot come here to live.

Interestingly, all her sober friends say that we're doing the right thing by again not letting her come home.

Boyfriend got 3 years probation extension and also an extension on some sort of drug penal code thing I'm not familiar with. She seems to think that he will stay in jail until a bed is open at a court-ordered rehab? I honestly don't know. I wrote to him yesterday, so maybe will hear soon. I really hope he's able to get back on his feet - he was doing really really well before this.

She thinks she has isolated their mistake.... says they were fine until they took that a drink. Sat there staring at the liquor store asking each other if they could just have A Drink. They're okay with just ONE drink, right?

One drink led to her slamming speed and adding in methadone..... One drink led to Boyfriend crawling around in the attic looking for another guy he thought she had hidden there. Led to the narcotics agents coming to his place (sent by their respective probation officers) and ultimately, led to him having a "resisting arrest" charge in addition to "under the influence".

Seems that since they didn't answer the door, the narcs sent for a fire truck so they could climb in and get them if necessary. (They didn't answer the door, but left a window open and apparently could be heard inside..... brilliant!) So they answered the door and turned themselves in, but the "resisting" charge was added because of that. That charge was dropped later.

I think that for the moment, she understands that she is an alcoholic/addict. Problem is, she's understood that before. Later, she thinks she's not.

As one of you wise folks said, she just keeps opening the door to That Room and going in, thinking she's not going to get beat to a pulp and left to crawl out, vowing never to return. At least until the next time she wants to open the door to That Room. Sooner or later, I guess she'll equate drunk=pain, just like high=pain. Long term, incarcerated pain.

I'll catch up with you all as soon as I finish billing my clients so I can eat next month!

Happy New Year to us all! I sincerely wish each of us a year filled with learning, wisdom shared, acceptance, personal growth and serenity.

(And I am crossing my fingers for more time in my quilting studio!)


  1. Thanks for the update, I was wondering what was going on. I agree with you about the sponsor, I think that would make a huge difference. Never good to have a male/female sponsor situation or someone that's too close. I hope she does that this time.

    You're doing all the right things. I am watching fromt he sidelines learning. Kev gets home in 6 weeks.

    Hope you have some quilting time soon!

  2. An addict cannot do anything--a beer, a Tylenol with codeine, a little of this, or a little of that. Until they accept that, relapse is inevitable. We actually used to allow Andrew to drink in our home till I understood the sickness.

    Will she still be seeing the boyfriend? I know you like him, but don't know if that situation is the best for either one of them.

  3. Two addicts living together have highly diminished odds of success I hear. Since we're talking life and death, I hope that's what she does differently.

  4. I see a lot of deeper things IN recovery. There are easy cut and dried answers for people who want someone else to recover, well, because they see a lot clearer.

    Addiction is not purely chemical. If it were, then you would provide a chemical anecdote and the person would break free of the chemical addiction and move on.

    Abstinence has to be the first thing you hope for. It is not the long term answer, but it is much needed in the beginning steps. Jail creates the atmosphere for abstinence, but she will have to want to fix the things that make the chemical high so appealing.

    I learned through my abstinence and recovery, that it is possible to feel good on a consistent basis without drugs. The fear of withdrawal is close at hand when ever I consider going into "that room."

    I am strongly hoping that this time she WANTS to do something different and uses this time free from the chemical addiction (while in jail) to work on the emotional problems that support the addiction.

    I am also hoping you are able to continue not providing a comfortable place for her to continue the addiction, and that will lead her to be uncomfortable enough in addiction to work on the emotional pain outside of her addiction.


  5. I ran across your blog last night and I am really glad I did. I've always wondered how my family felt about my using, going to jail etc.. They tend not to talk about it and seeing it from your prospective is eye opening. Thanks!

  6. I love the question your other daughter asked the 2 of you, "What are we going to do different this time?" Impressive! And so important.
    I agree with you about the sponsor situation, although I'm not sure you'd have much control over it, other than to pray and ask God for a favor :) Since I don't know where my daughter is (well I know the general city), I've been praying every night that God will put someone of good influence into Heather's life. I will add that to my prayers for you and DD2 too :)
    God bless and wishing you a happy and serene new year as well!

  7. the true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting DIFFERENT results.

  8. You my friend have shown incredible strength and conviction and I learn so very much from you. I know you probably don't always feel "strong" and may even hate when people say that to you, but it is a hard thing to do, keep your daughter away from your living environment. I know you had to go through years of hell before you got to that place but I still admire you so much for it. I have stood in my son's way so much that it has just delayed all the things he probably will still have to go through. I hope the new year brings us all some relief and some recovery and renewed health for us and our kids.

  9. Good question your daughter asked and one that I think each of us has to ask--I intend to not enable and to keep boundaries when it comes to others. I have trouble with being overly compassionate which translates to enabling. Balance is a good thing.

  10. "Become the change you want to see in the world"

    You will be surprised at how much your daughter changes if you do the things you want her to do so badly. Get a sponsor, seriously work the steps, put the focus back on your own life.

    Be willing to do the things you want your daughter to do. Maybe she will want what you find in recovery. My prayers are with you all.

  11. Glad to catch up, and continuing to pray for you and yours. For the record, I agree about your daughter's next sponsor. I also like the way your older daughter thinks... sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders.


  12. Just checking in. Lifting you and both your daughters up in prayer. Asking yourself what you will do differently this time is a wise and powerful thing.