A Year Later

Here I am a year later.  My last post I shared my concerns with my son's substance abuse problems and worries about his coming home to live after being away for a year in residential treatment program for bi polar. 

He did okay the first 6 months at home.  He graduated HS by the skin of his teeth.  He got a part time job and had a social life.  Then over the summer he began smoking a large amount of pot which exacerbated his asthma.  Between July and November he was hospitalized about 6 times for life threatening asthma.  So finally he made the connection that maybe smoking pot isn't good for his lungs.  Then he started vaporizing it.  While his asthma improved he became seriously paranoid.  He had daily panic attacks.  So he began abusiing xanax and drinking cough syrup containing DMX.  After 2 months of this he was picked up by the police for driving OUR car with out a license.  During the night he couldn't sleep so he was practising driving in my new mini van.  Who knows what drugs he was using at the time.  That was the last straw.  Told him he was not allowed back in our home.  Within hours we ripped his room apart, found all sorts of bongs, pipes, etc.  My husband enjoyed smashing them with an ax and discarding them.  We had told our son we didn't want to hear from him until he was ready for help.

So a couple of days later he called saying he was ready.  I told him he still will not be able to live at home.  He is abusive to me and his sisters and we just can't take it anymore.  He understood and I took him to hospital.  Now him being ready didn't mean ready for stop xanax and go to drug detox.  It meant going into a psychiatric facility.  However the screeners said he didn't qualify for this as he wasn't homicidal or suicidal.  But he did qualify for drug detox which he refused.  He then became belligerent to the screener and admitted he was suicidal but now he didn't want treatment because he didn't trust they would take his xanax away.  However he said the magic words which got him committed to a psychiatric facility for a week.

He gets out today.  He is staying with a friend until Easter Seals can get him some sort of housing.   I have mixed feelings.  It's so hard to turn your back on your loved one when they are sick.  He is not doing drugs to be cool.  He has bi polar and he is merely self medicating.  Still he is not doing a good job at it and my family is suffering.  Not only was taking our car putting us at risk for a law suit and or losing our property, he was smoking in bed.  We found numerous burn marks in his mattress.  My goodness, we could have all burned to death because of his problems.

Thats about it.  I'm exhausted and doc says I have a bit of PTSD.  I'm mentally wiped out.  I am trying to let go .. but I don't know if that is possible for a mother to do.  I have 2 younger daughters.  I have to take care of myself so I can take care of them.  My preoccupation with my son's illness has made me not available to them.  So .. I take it one day at a time.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. 

want2Bhappy want2Bhappy 46-50, F 1 Response Feb 22, 2010

Your Response


You have done the right thing, bravo, you've made very good parenting choices. You can't allow one son to destroy an entire family and home. BUT, don't make excuses for him, like saying, he;s not a drug addict he's got bipolar and is just self medicating - that's BS. A lot of people who have bipolar live normal lives with treatment and they don't resort to illicit drugs, etc. If he needs pot to function because of his bipolar the his bipolar is not being treated properly and that's where the problem is.

Again, he's made his choices, and now he has to live with them. He knows he has a home that he can do to if/when he's ready to get his act together and abide by the rules of the household and have respect for other people in the home, etc. We all have standards we have to adhere to in life, and if he simply decides he does not want to adhere to anyone's standards or rules then let him live without rules, elsewhere.

My friends who went through this made such big mistakes, they weren't as strong as you, they allow their son's problems to control the entire family, the household, and everyone's lives, as a result they lost their home, the marriage broke up, the daughter's life was negatively affected and everyone's life was turned upside down because of one young man's choices - there is nothing fair about that, no young man should get that kind of power in life.