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"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Spell Has Been Broken - Part Two
Posted by:Sally--Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Spell Has Been Broken - Part Two

One has to Repeat Breaking the Spell every day. Your teenager will keep guilting you and tugging at your heartstrings and doing whatever he/she can do to be in control. So even when you state: The Spell Has Now Been Broken; it is something that has to be worked on every day in order for it to stay broken. I can feel the frustration in some of your comments and believe me, I've been there.

As you know in my last post, Cisco did not want us to stay for the Saturday visit and we left after 5 minutes. I did great on Saturday but on Sunday I had to remind myself to stay busy and not dwell on missing him. I did that and it was not easy but I am getting better at it each time. We went to see him on Tuesday because he called and asked if we were coming. He was a little more receptive even though he was still unhappy about the possibility of a half-way house for his next step in recovery.

When I asked if we should come out to visit this coming Saturday he said 'No, I am always in a bad mood on Saturdays, but maybe if I get to go to an N.A. meeting this week I'll want company.' So he left it open... I think he wants to see us but he is struggling because he is losing control of us.

Rocco and I talked about it. He is allowed a phone call tonight (Friday). If he calls tonight and asks us to visit on Saturday, we will go. If not, Rocco and I are going shopping for a bike rack so we can enjoy bicycling this spring; provided of course, there is an END to WINTER!

I'm sure it is very hard to be a single mom and to go through all the drama that happens with an addict but please look at the positive side about that. You do not have to agree with anyone about any decisions. You get to call all of the shots. It is nice to have someone to lean on during these troubles but when there are two parents involved both have to work hard to "be on the same page".

I like the comment about - becoming aware that your teenager has taken control - awareness is the first step in getting the control back.

Here are some suggestions of things to do to keep busy and therefore be less focused on your teen. a.) take a credit or non-credit class. b.) plan a mini vacation. c.) throw a small party. I am having a 'We Want Winter to Go Away' Party. d.) Learn something new. e.) Volunteer at your local hospital, school or church. f.) If you are single, go out on a date. g.)If you are married, go out on a date with your spouse. h.) Look up a friend who you lost contact with, then reunite. i.) I encourage you to write a post for this blog, it is very helpful to put your feelings down and your thoughts in order. Use a pen name, no one will know who you are and I bet ninety percent of the people who read this are in the same boat and will understand. I know some of the above suggestions will only work while your child is in placement, such as b.) go on a mini vacation. You can't do that and leave your teenager at home, for goodness sake. You don't know what condition your house will be in when you get back home. Just do whatever you can do, whenever you can do it, to keep your life as normal as possible. Addiction is a family disease it does affect the whole family. Hang in there.

I have to get to work now but next time I will compile a list of good reading material.

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The Spell Has Been Broken - Part One
Posted by:Sally--Sunday, February 21, 2010

There seems to be a general concensus among the mothers of addicts that I have met; they confess that they are enablers. It seems that it is not just in our feminine make-up but society itself that expects it of us.

Cisco knows I am a softy and why shouldn't I be? He is my son and I love him and want him to be happy......So far, he has been in treatment at Gateway YES for 30 days. We had his ISP meeting this past Wednesday. One of the subjects that came up at this meeting is the question of his aftercare. It is natural that when one sees their child working very hard at a program and doing all that he should be doing, being calm and polite and loving. Reading and studying and praying and working on the 12-steps carefully one step at a time; it is natural to wistfully sigh and say aaaww I want him to come home and do just this at home. Cisco wants to be home so bad and he will be happy. Rocco will be happy and I will be happy.

Will he work his program as well at home? You suddenly recall an incident or two of when your teenager was using drugs and this ugly mental image is your saving grace.

The spell is broken. You realize that you must focus on one particular objective. You know your child needs to stay clean and sober, hopefully forever. You know that you don't have enough experience to draw from so you rely on the experts whose care he is in to recommend whatever treatment they see most fit for your son's recovery.

Cisco wants so much to come home. And I knew that it would be suggested he go to a halfway house called Liberty Station after his stay at Gateway YES to help ensure his success. I opted not to visit him the day before his ISP meeting so that he did not have a chance to beg me with those big, sad, brown eyes. Maybe even beg me to insist to his P.O. and therapist that he should be home with us. I am very fortunate to be married to Rocco, he understood this and did not mind going to visit Cisco on his own. They had a nice converstion and Cisco asked him about coming home but did not plead or beg etc. Hhhmmm, funny how he doesn't plead with Rocco as much.

When we walked into the meeting on Wednesday, Cisco gave me an ink drawing which he made in memory of his grandma, my dear mom who died two years ago. It was carefully drawn and very beautiful so he had me crying before the meeting even started. Cisco was very prepared for the ISP meeting and presented himself very well. He did not like the mention of Liberty Station but we explained that it is not for certain but it is likely that he will go there. He said he will go if we tell him he has to. Toward the end of the meeting I thought it would be easier to stay in control of my emotions if I flip over the beautiful drawing which reminded me of my mom. I flipped over the paper and saw the words......... push me away.
The tears started to fall and I asked if Rocco and I could spend a few minutes alone with Cisco.
After I got control of myself again I let Cisco know that I understood how hard it is to be in a treatment facility and we love him and do not want to push him away. Never the less we will do whatever is best for his long-term recovery. That needs to be our focus.

There are visiting hours on Saturday. Rocco and I were late getting there because we were at our PSST meeting. Cisco had been napping but they called him out of his room when we finally arrived almost an hour late. He gave each of us a hug but had very little to say except that he thought we were not coming. We tried to strike up a conversation but he said he was very tired and wanted to sleep. So our visit lasted 5 minutes and we each hugged again and Rocco and I left. It was sad. I am not going to say that Cisco was trying to guilt us, he really was half asleep. The only part of this situation that I could control is how I react. I think Rocco expected me to cry when the elevator door closed. I did not cry. I put my arms around Rocco and I said. "It's you and me kid. What do you want to do for the rest of this beautiful day?" Rocco smiled. He had many suggestions. He appreciated that I was in control of my emotions. I was not going to let Cisco get to me.

When a couple has a teenager who is an addict, the addict takes control of the household.
In our household that SPELL IS NOW BROKEN. Cisco is no longer in control. For several years we could not go anywhere without worrying. There were many special events that we could not attend. We even cancelled a small but very special trip for our 30th anniversary because of Cisco's problem. It is time to put the control back into our hands. When that elevator door closed and I let Rocco know that Cisco did not have me upset it was a huge difference from my normal reaction. Cisco was not the center of attention; Rocco was. This is my new norm. This is how it should be. The Cisco spell is now broken.

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Feb 20th PSST Meeting - Very Therapeutic
Posted by:Sally--Saturday, February 20, 2010

South Hills PSST Meeting was attended by 7 parents and 5 professionals.
(Professionals are officers, therapists and directors)

After the opening announcements everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and tell as little or as much as they wished to tell about their teenager/parental relationship. There was a storehouse of information and knowledge and wisdom and laughter that was exchanged.

After a fifteen minute break we continued with two role-plays: 1.) Teenager Who Uses Persuasive Methods in Order to Get What They Want 2.) Parents Reaction when an Adult Child Wants to Come Home. We had four other suggestions for role-plays but ran out of time. They will be played out in the upcoming meetings. The other role-play suggestions were as follows: A.) I'M 18, I DON'T NEED A CURFEW. Treat me like an adult, give me freedom and let me make my own decisions. (Just keep cooking, cleaning up after me and giving me free room and board.)
B. ) How to Stop Enabling
C. ) Don't come and visit me (while I am in inpatient)....unless you change your mind about putting me in a halfway house.
D. ) My girlfriend is moving in with us mom!!

Thanks to all who attended this successful meeting. I know I walked away feeling empowered and hope you did also. The snacks were delicious and nutritious. The cheesecake was out-of-this world.

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Update: Sally Rocco and Cisco from inpatient treatment.
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Thursday, February 11, 2010

On January 19th you heard from Rocco and he filled you in on Cisco's relapse. Cisco is controlling his anger and acting calm when we visit him at Gateway YES. He is doing eerything possible to get out and get home. He was angry with his PO and had his own ideas for his future.

Then something happened.....

He was told to write his 'Drug Use History.' He filled page after page with the drugs he used and how they affected him. When we visited him two Sunday's ago he as not as angry with Lloyd as he was with himself. He was mad that he let so much of his teen years waste away. We told him to remember the addiction just well enough to keep him from going down that path again but to forget it enough so that he could move on to something better. He seemed to understand that and slowly shook his head, yes.

He said he spends most of his free time reading and asked us to bring some books on the life of Eminen. (You know him, he is the (c) rap artist who grossed way too much money last year.) Rocco and I believe that impared reading is better than no reading at all so we set off to the library and picked up two biographies on Eminen and slipped in a mystery novel which looked interesting. Cisco read the two books he asked for and now started the novel.

We received a letter from Cisco and he apologized for all the heartache he caused us by his selfishness. He also sent us the lyrics for a rap song which he wrote expressing these feelings.

Because of the blizzard we were unable to visit Cisco this Saturday so he had some additional time to be introspective. Looking within is serving Cisco well and he now has a plan for his future. He has decided to work on obtaining a GED instead of going back to Tenth Grade. When we visited him this tuesday he said he wanted to break off ties with his girlfriend and his main priority when he gets out of rehab is to get a job and apply for Community College and not to look up all of his old friends. HE does not consider everyone his friend anymore. Cisco said that when he gets out he has the option of living at Liberty Station, which is a halfway house, or at home. Cisco said he wants to come home.
At this point, I did not say anything, but when this subject comes up again I am going to ask him to think hard about this and to choose the place where he feels he will have the best chance of staying clean.

He has come to the conclusion that Lloyd is okay and really does have his best interest at heart. We have all heard that it is imperative for addicts to change people, places and things to be successful in their recovery. One can only smile when someone repeats to you all that you have been telling them over and over again but now they have heard it anew.

Cisco has been in rehab for twenty-one days. He is still calm and he is saying everything he should say. I just hope and pray he means it enough that when he gets out it will turn into action and this action will turn into a new way of life.


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