Caution!!!! Open and read with care. Random rantings and thoughts. Another posting from after I have been deliberating on these last few days of his sobriety.
After this last month of our son being clean I am thinking about what has transpired. I know that a month of being clean is tenuous at best but everything has to start somewhere.
People always talk about about learning from their mistakes. I guess that may be effective for many but in my backwards way I have always had my best lessons by studying successes. Somehow the thought of browbeating the failures of my life have provided me little significant learning experiences. Of course it isn't like I ignore those colossal screwups I have been apart of but, take your medicine and move on is something I have learned in my life. My preferred method of problem solving and analyzing issues is to study successes and replicate the behaviors, methods and actions in other situations.
Looking back over this month I see a change in our son's determination. Every day I have my doubts and reservations but his life and choices are his. The question then becomes what truly is my role? Too many years in human resources, I'm looking for my job description. I guess my job is simply the last line of most all job descriptions, "and other duties as assigned."
In this past month I have done a lot of self examination and a lot of questioning. Questioning of myself and him. Before my questioning was done as an accusation and I think this was more to make me feel better without regards to creating more damage in an already damaged area. Hell, 90% of the time I already knew the answer before I ask the question. There is no value to that. It's time to look at what is effective and has worked and replicate that, there is no excuse for repeating failed actions.
Another accolade to Ketch is that he told me, "It is impossible to learn from experiences that you never had." Going through this struggle with an addict is an experience I have not had, so it is more important to fall back on the learnings of all of you that have been going through this and to apply the actions and methods that have demonstrated successes in my life.
How can I help?
So much simpler than formulating an answer and developing an action plan before you even ask the question. Over the last month I have asked this question with an open mind, not with an answer already in my mind. I remind myself of my boundaries and if it doesn't fall outside of those boundaries I can do. If it is outside my boundaries I do not have to go there.
Meaningful work is important.
He doesn't have a job. We are in a bad position, we live in the outer suburbs. There is no mass transit, there are no jobs within walking distance, he has no vehicle or license. I have given him jobs. He was falling down on getting something done and I didn't berate him about doing the work, I simply ask as I would with the people I work with, "When can I expect this to be done?" I observed an energy from him I had not seen for a long time. In addition he is actually worried about his quality of work. I will pay but I know money is hard for him to handle. We have to work that out somehow but it is not a difficult issue.
Interaction in a social environment is progressive.
I had gotten to the point while he was using that I didn't want to be around him and neither did anyone else. Dad & Mom both know he is a social animal. He has been that ever since he was little, in school and everyplace. By putting him on the outside we were striking at his core but how much damage we were doing to him in the name of our own self preservation is hard to measure. My boundary now is as long as he is making progress in his actions and accepting of societies behavioral norms he should be included and accepted. I am hoping others can accept the same boundary but that is their decision and he must learn to live with that.
Hiccups are inevitable.
No one is perfect, especially an addict. Hiccups concerning behavior and actions are normal for human beings. Mistakes in judgement happen. We have to be in a position when mistakes happen we must stop and ask, "What have I learned?" Relapse is outside of my boundaries and I do not have to accept it or be there for him if I choose not to be.