My daughter is an addict

I feel like I have been on this roller coaster ride for too long,she became a heroin addict at age 19 she still remains with her boyfriend 11 years later and says she is tapering off methadone,she smokes pot to help her sleep,and goes to meetings and also sees a counselor.Lately her behavior has gone south,she basically says no one cares for her and has shut out every member of her family including her siblings.So I have been worried,not sleeping and imagining her suffering alone is unbearable despite how awful she has been.Im not sure if I should be celebrating she is trying to get off or waiting for the call...I hate this..Im at the point I just want her suffering to end,
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  • @Mommasheathen83... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing with us. As the father of an adult son who has struggled on and off with addiction since he was 16, I know exactly how you feel.

    Being the parent of someone with an addiction problem is so maddening, because no matter how much you want to "fix" your can't. As parents, we're so used to solving our kids' problems while they're growing up. Then this big one comes along and we're totally helpless.

    I think you should be optimistic that your daughter is trying to get off of heroin/methadone. There's no guarantee that she'll be successful, but if she's trying that's definitely a step in the right direction. So embrace it and support her efforts. 

    The best advice I can give you is to take good care of yourself. I know that might seem like strange advice. A lot of parents think I'm crazy when their child is struggling with addiction and I tell them to take care of themselves. But it really is the best thing you can do. It's like they tell you on an airplane before you take off. "In case of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first; then try to help others." Because if you don't do that, then everyone will suffer.

    I also want to remind you of what Al-Anon and Nar-Anon teach us about a loved one's addiction: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. The only person who can take the steps to "fix" your daughter's addiction is your daughter. And it sounds like she's doing that. 

    I want to share a passage from a book with you. It's from David Sheff's book Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction, and it's a passage that really changed my life. I read the book early on in my son's addiction and over time I kept coming back to this passage. I must've read it 100 times before it really sank in.

    "Like many in my straits, I became addicted to my son's addiction. When it preoccupied me, even at the expense of my responsibilities to my wife and other children, I justified it. I thought, How can a parent not be consumed by his child's life-or-death struggle? But I learned that my preoccupation with Nic didn't help him and may have harmed him. Or maybe it was irrelevant to him. However, it surely harmed the rest of my family--and me. Along with this, I learned another lesson, a soul-shaking one: our children live or die with or without us. No matter what we do, no matter how we agonize or obsess, we cannot choose for our children whether they live or die. It is a devastating realization, but also liberating. I finally chose life for myself. I chose the perilous but essential path that allows me to accept that Nic will decide for himself how--and whether--he will live his life."

    That passage pretty much saved my life. And my family. Maybe it will shine some light on you, too.

    Please know that you are not alone. We are here for you, to offer help, support, or just a place to vent. You may also want to look into attending an Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, or SMART Recovery Family & Friends meeting in your area. Being amongst others who know exactly what you're going through and feeling can be incredibly helpful and comforting. (My wife will tell you that Al-Anon saved her life.) 

    I'm sending you lots of positive vibes and big hugs full of hope. I'm also keeping your daughter in my thoughts and prayers. Remember that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. Your daughter isn't a bad person; she's sick. And it sounds like she's trying to get better, which is a wonderful thing.

    Love and light to you both. If there's any way I can help, just let me know.
  • @Mommasheathen83 ;welcome. I'm sorry that you are struggling so much . as a mother of adult children, I too can understand your pain. Dean has given you some really great advice. Thank you so much @DeanD for sharing that passage in that book. It really helps me too.

    I have a son who's 22 and has all the characteristics of being an alcoholic. I understand the worry and concern. Or sleepless nights. I went through a period Where it was really tough for me, and then I started reading more on how to take care of myself when a loved one is addicted to something. 

    that part of that quote that says it's a devastating realization, but also liberating. Choosing to live our lives and accepting that our kids will decide for themselves how they will live. Someone once told me each of us comes on this planet with opportunities to learn unique lessons . some have the opportunity to overcome addiction, But ultimately it is up to them and not us. That's tough for us parents to hear because we're so used to taking care of them and leading them in the right direction. And to know that they are suffering... Shew... that can certainly be heartbreaking.

    I resort to prayer and affirmations for my children. It helps me, and I believe it's helping them. Check out a support group if you would like face to face to support from those who are in the same boat.

    We are here for you and believe in the best for your daughter.
  • @dominica... Glad you liked that quote, too. It really did change my life, even though I had to read it 100 times before it finally sank in. :)
  • @DeanD  I hear you! I had to remind myself today... and I think I will print it out! This forum helps me too...has helped me with navigating parenting adult children in general... Always lessons to learn! :)
  • @Mommasheathen83... Thinking of you and your daughter today. :)
  • Thanks Dean I appreciate that so much!
  • @Mommasheathen83... Don't mention it. Unfortunately, we're both part of a club we never wanted to be in. So we have to stick together and support each other. :)
  • Thanks so much Dean! You are pretty strong to share this,as you know when its your child I think its difficult to let go of yourself.I do need to find Al-Anon..Thanks for your support!
  • Sending you lots of love and hope today, @Mommasheathen83. :)
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