1. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    Addiction

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by roseberryse, Jun 8, 2010.

    Does anyone else have a sibling for family member who's an addict? My sister (and her husband) are both addicts and I find it impossible to tolerate them. It's not a mild addiction either. It's to the point where it's ruining the lives of my parents. I've tried...I've tried very very hard, but even when they're getting clean I look at them in disgust and dream of what it would be like to hit them in the face.

    Any secrets in how to deal with it? I'm afraid that it's changing who I am as a person because my anger is too much for me to handle so it just comes out of me toward people who don't deserve it. Ugh, super frustrating.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This is a touchy subject so I am not giving any warnings, but I will watching this thread closely to ensure that it does not flame up.
     
  3. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only thing I could suggest is to get yourself out of that environment before it damages you any further. Addicts rarely change and unfortunately the only person that can help is themselves. Try to get yourself at a distance from them, both physically and mentally; you can still try and help from a distance without allowing them to eventually draw you into their issues. Then again, it's not your job to help either...you don't need to be anyone's doormat.
    Sadly, addicts will do this despite their usual character. It's just the nature of the illness.

    I guess that's all I have to offer, I hope your sister and her husband clean up their ways before they lose everybody and wreck themselves entirely.
     
  4. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    Sorry, I wasn't trying to begin anything controversial. I am simply looking for ways to deal with it...not to begin a discussion about addiction itself.
    Ashleigh, thanks for the comment. Fortunately, I am away from the environment. I actually live outside of the state, so for that, I'm thankful. However, I see what it's doing to my family that still lives there (and they are both currently living with my parents) and I think that's what makes it so difficult.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No need to apologize. I just want to be sure the conversation doesn't get too heated.
     
  6. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    My aunt was an addict for many years. She had no idea how much it was hurting the family until we told her that if she didn't sort herself out that we wont talk to her again until she did.

    Fortunately, after three months of rehab and plenty of support from her fiancé, she got over the addiction.

    I think all you can do is give it time, if they can't realise that they are tearing your family apart, then they do not deserve to be part of the family.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've had problems with addiction in the past: I was a boarder-line alcoholic until a few months ago.

    It wasn't a PROBLEM, but it was beginning to be a problem. I could go for days - if I had to - without feeling the need, but as soon as someone gave me a glass of wine/beer/spirit I would drink, and just wouldn't stop until everything else I could get my hands on was drank. My advice would be to hide whatever they are addicted to, and most of all, talk about it. I am thankful that I am the type who can enjoy a little alcohol now without feeling the need to down everything, but I'm a very rare case.
     
  8. SprinkleSutton
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    SprinkleSutton Member

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    Addiction is an escape from reality. I was an addict when I lived with my parents and they ended up kicking me out a few times, or I ran away. The worst part is that no matter how many times addicts go to rehab or come clean they can never truly be free from the addiction unless they change their lives. Hang out with different friends, take an interest in life sober, find healthy ways to fix the pain rather than cover it up. Have your parents confronted them about it, or has anyone done an intervention? It is really hard to change but there are lots of people who have been in the same place and can offer support. Maybe this will help you though, getting it off of your chest and talking about it with kind supportive people. Good luck Roseberry!
     
  9. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    My mother was a "practicing" (by that I mean she is now a recovering) alcoholic for most of my childhood. It is difficult and I can understand why you harbor such anger toward them. I love my mother, but I still have trust and emotional issues with her and I am accepting that those feelings probably wont go away. You should probably try to accept that you will always feel disgust for what your sister and her husband have done to themselves and to your family, but you need to remember you are disgusted with the behavior --hopefully not the beings themselves.

    When I was younger, I attended a few Alateen meetings, which is for teens who have alcoholic parents. I'm sure if you felt like you needed support, you could find a similar program for whatever substance your relatives are abusing.

    I feel I have to say this before I recommend any kind of "___ Anonymous" program, however: While I met some wonderful people there, I never returned after the fourth meeting because the principles raised some red flags for me. The first was the religious aspect, but I wont get into that. The second was the idea that if your addict refuses to give up the substance once and for all, you need to leave them. I was fourteen. Did they actually expect me to abandon my mother? What a horrible thing to tell children.
    Perhaps this is suited for someone else, especially someone older and more stable in the world, but not for me.

    Now for me, I have it easy; my mother is clean now. I dont understand from your post whether your sister and your brother-in-law are or not. If they arent... Maybe you want to talk to her about how you feel. Sometimes just saying things to the one who has hurt you, helps; try writing her a letter with no intention of sending it first. Maybe you want to try to convince them to abandon the drugs once and for all. There are a lot of ways you can do this, some might even be done legally. (After all, if she is breaking the law and / or is a danger to herself, the state has an obligation to intervene.) Maybe you would want to forget about it altogether and take the "abandonment" road.

    Until then, what I do is love my mom for being my mom and remind her of that as often as I can. Because addicts dont just become addicts. Usually there are problems (external or internal) that drove them to it, and so they may need extra reinforcement. Treat them with love and care and most of all respect. Just because they made stupid choices doesnt mean they themselves are. And I just deal with my anger by taking it out via exercise or through writing.
     
  10. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    Well, their drug of choice is oxycontin and we did intervene once we realized what was going on. Unfortunately, they have 3 young children, one of which is recovering from a bone marrow transplant, which puts everyone in a rough spot. We can't ship her off to rehab because her daughter can't be around many people, let alone be sent to a daycare or school of any kind. She needs her mom. And the bad part is, when she's on the drug, she's fully functional. It's once she's run out that things get ugly.

    I try to be supportive when she does something right, but as soon as something goes wrong, my temper flares...as does hers. I think the problem that I'm having the most difficulty with is that I can't understand what it's like to be an addict or why she'd continue to use after we've been through so much. I've thought about the programs run by the 12 step belief system...but I don't think they're for me. For now, I suppose I'll just keep venting to my better half until he finally tells me to shut up :)
     
  11. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is just my opinion, but perhaps wait until the sick child has completely recovered? I feel very sorry for her, 3 kids and one of them has just had a major, major operation. I don't blame her for seeking out prescription meds to cope. I am not condoning her behaviour, but I do understand. If she's fully functional on the medication, I think you should just leave it alone until a more appropriate time. Coming off an addictive prescription drug is extremely difficult ; she will obviously need ALOT of emotional support, medical intervention and psychological counseling, if she's going to recover. I know it's horrible to see someone destroy themselves, but sometimes you have to accept there's only so much you can do. My Mum was a chain smoker, (a habit which ended up killing her), and I implored her to quit for years, and she did want to but was never fully able. It came to stage where I just accepted that smoking was means of coping for her (she was a very psychologically tormented woman), and that maybe quitting smoking was just something that could not happen until she was more psychologically and emotionally prepared.
     
  12. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    This is also tough, and I'm in no way suggesting any insult when I say, her sick child gives them a free pass to a lot of prescription medication. Of course I don't know if they're doing this, but it's not unheard of.

    I had a friend who went to a mental hospital for conditioning. He was immediately put on the drug and alcohol program there as well, I wouldn't recommend it. The environment assures you can get a fix at least every 4 hours if you're complacent and not demanding. You'll be educated about drugs of course, but in his case, the education was an old man talking about his crazy life as a young adult. Hardly something anyone cared to hear.

    I believe in 12 step programs, though I may not believe in God, which is of course what is at their core. What you must do, among other things, is to admit to God that you are powerless, and give yourself to him, etc. But, a lot of these N.A./A.A groups have become pretty secular since they realized, even at the height of their success, they had a 90% failure/relapse rate. If you know Christians though, you know that they demand progress, so the only way they'll leave you behind is if you stop going - and throw your cell away.

    I do get a little miffed reading your posts. The description of your "anger" and "disgust" seems ignorantly motivated. Similarly, the disgust you may feel towards them in no way compares to the disgust they feel for themselves. So, since you are a person who can do something about it, change that feeling, or you're no better than they are. A lot of addicts do fail because their love and support system is as hollow as well, an addict is hollow.
     
  13. VegasGeorge
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    VegasGeorge Member

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    It sounds to me as if you, and especially your parents, need to go to Alanon at least to check it out. Take a look at their website and go from there.
     
  14. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    I am in agreement with you in that I think I should get over my anger and forgive them. I've tried so so hard. I just can't do it...not yet. Fortunately, they never got the meds from their sick child. Her husband was actually prescribed the drug by his doctor, but they went through the bottle in a few days and begin spending all their money to buy pills off the street. As a result, my parents are left draining their life savings due to the needs of their children (food, clothes, a place to live, etc.) I think that's where most of the anger stems from....that they're choosing the drug over their 3 children.
     
  15. Smelnick
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    Smelnick Member

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    My older brother struggles with addiction. Initially it was pot, but he moved on from that to popping pills. Anything he could get his hands on really. Tylenol, Advil etc. Getting mad at him would be useless. I understand why he does it. He feels the need to escape, and he's got a lot to escape from. Thankfully, now that he has two kids, he's working hard to keep clean and be a good father. My younger sister struggled with a bit of a drug addiction in her last couple years of highschool. But she smartened up, and went back for her grade 12, and is now in college to become an addictions counselor. Myself, I'm a borderline alcoholic, but I've been doing really well with keeping myself under control. Helps to have friends that help too.

    It's easy to look from the outside and think "They can see it's hurting others, why don't they just stop". It's not as simple as that really. Generally addictions form when you start using something to deal with something. Ie. Drinking to drown the pain of losing someone. Eventually you start to feel like you need it. Generally, the need over rules your common sense and you just get it. It's hard to get over an addiction, and it's hard to get to the point where you actually wanna try. Don't feel bad about being angry. I know how frustrating it can be to watch a sibling destroy their life. It's too bad your parents are taking the fall. I know my mom ended up taking some hits because of my brother and sister as well. Addictions sneak up on you, so just continue being supportive and I'm sure things will turn out in the end. Never give up.
     
  16. SprinkleSutton
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    SprinkleSutton Member

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    Ah, better halves are good for that. :)

    Is she getting a prescription for her pills, or buying them off of the street? If it's a prescription, her doctor should down grade her slowly, wean her off of it. If it's off of the street there isn't much hope unless she want to change. What she's got is pretty much a heroine addiction, untill she can wean herself off of them her withdrawal is going to be really, really bad. I was addicted to oxycontins when I broke my hips. Coming off of it is the WORST. Not only are you having to deal with the pain you are trying to cover up, but the withdrawal is very painful, too. And if there is anything demanding your attention so that you actually have to think you just want to crawl in a corner and die. Hopefully one of these days your sister will realize she has so much to live for and find a way to get away from her addiction.
     
  17. Karwedsky
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    Karwedsky Member

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    I have had alot of experience with addiction, personally and in my family. Almost every adult in one side of my family is an alcoholic or a recovering alcoholic. My brother was addicted to oxycotins and xanax for awhile, and my mother also struggled with xanax. Thankfully I've never experienced a physical addiction to anything, but I can definitely say I have the same addictive nature runs through my family. Physical addiction can be hard to overcome but the psychological addiction is almost impossible to get over. Once someone is addict they will always have that urge to go back to whatever they are addicted to. There is nothing that you can say and do that will change an addicts mind because they don't view what they are doing in the same way as you. Addiction is an escape from reality. The only way to overcome it is by learning to be happy with reality.
     
  18. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally I dont got any experiencing but there are support groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon for family members/lovers/friends of alcoholics and addicts. They are pros at handling this.
     

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