September 2, 2009


Well my husband and I had a good session with my counselor last night. We came to some agreements on dealing with my brother. We have agreed that he will no longer live on our couch. We will offer to take him to the mission or to mental health to get meds for his bi-polar, bring him food if we see him on the street and he looks hungry, give him love without living with him. This was a little tough for me because I just lost my mom and sister in the past 1 1/2 years, and I tend to look at my brother as being helpless due to his mental illness and his never living on his own before, plus many years of prison for bad drug tests. Discussed that with the counselor who advised that he had been medicated in jail/prison, he knows what it is like and he does have the ability to choose medication over running around homeless and using. My husband and I both agreed that if my brother appeared to be having a "good" mental health day, we could have him at our home to eat, take a bath and maybe do some laundry. No resentments over these agreements.

We made agreements about my son also. We have given him guidelines to follow. If he falls through with any of the chores or commitments, we will write them down, then tell him we don't appreciate it and when can he get to it. We will do this only so many times, then re-negotiate. We will take him into town if he shows up at our home high or we suspect he is using. He is making some strides so time will tell. My husband learned some important things about addiction last night (how addicts aren't really grateful until they reach Step 8 or some other means of recovery). This was HUGE for him, most of his resentment was built up over his views of my son not being grateful and also setting out to personally hurt or disappoint him. He feels quite a bit of relief knowing we have a plan and that we can re-negotiate that plan if needed. She also suggested we obtain the Big Book and read it together.

On a sad note, my counselor, whom I LOVE dearly, is taking a medical leave of absence for probably 4 months. I have been seeing her for over three years and she is more like a life coach to me. I will miss her terribly and even though she has given me alternative names of other counselors to check into during her absence, I just feel sadness and a bit of fear. Kind of like the baby bird leaving the nest...not really but kinda:) I truly pray that she heals and mends, which is of course the most important issue.


clean and crazy said...

mom used to call it tough love, today i call it setting boundaries. there is a great book by melodie beattie called "the language of letting go" it is a daily meditation book for well i don't know how to describe it. but it is beautiful. she also wrote the book "co-dependent no more". she is an amazing writer. i just thought sense you wrote about your fear of not having your counselor handy that maybe the first book i mentioned would help you through your day. i read those readings as well as the NA meditation book "just for today" i get those readings emailed to me, if you would like the link to sign up for free daily readings just let me know. take care, you are very special, in case no one took the time to say it today, i just wanted to remind you of that.

Lou said...

Excellent suggestions! There is tremendous relief in having a plan. Otherwise you just feel used and abused. I used to go from drama to crisis to drama...a plan is MUCH better.

It took my husband longer to accept the reality of our situation with our son. Kudos to your husband for going with you to counseling.

Syd said...

Those guidelines sound good...healthy boundaries. Hang in there. Your little wings are sprouting and you will be okay. The new counselor may be awesome. I find that I need to stay in this day without projecting.

Chic Mama said...

Good luck with your new guidelines....
I feel more sorry that your counselor is unavailable, I know how important that bomnd that has been built up is. I hope you manage to find someone that fills the gap.

Madison said...

Sounds like fantastic advice. You should pat yourself on the back for listening and give yourself a big hug if you stick to it.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

I just love you all!! Thanks so very much for your support as usual. As an update, I did contact another counselor and have made an appointment. Not only does she have experience with addiction issues, she also specializes in anxiety and binge eating disorders which I suffer from. So Syd, I will stop projecting:)

Lou, I am so proud of my hubby too and I think it really helped him.

Clean & Crazy, thanks so much for the book referrals. I do own the Language of Letting Go (second book) and find it very helpful. I Funny, I own co-Dependent no more and the Road Less Traveled, but have yet to read them front to back..hmmmm

Tall Kay said...

Isn't life a whole lot easier when everybody is in agreement? You are so blessed to have a husband who is willing to stand beside you.

You have put together a wonderful 'plan of action'. The best part is no resentments. Maybe the new counselor will be even better than the old one...hmmm. God can do amazing things!

Susan DeAngelis said...

I guess that's why they call tough love -- tough. It's difficult on all parties concerned.

You sound like you have good direction. Awesome.
You're in my prayer.