mandybrownaz sees glimpses of hope in her Loved One and continues to work the CRAFT method. But her son still uses even when things seem to be looking up. How common is it for people with addiction to sabotage themselves when they see success in the real world?
I have been trying to apply the CRAFT principles I’ve learned here and through the book; Beyond Addiction, with my 25 year old son. Previously we were in “tough love” mode (my husband still is: too hurt and angry from years of chaos, lies, stealing etc.) but it was not easing my own peace of mind so I’ve tried to spend time working out, or having lunch with my son when he seems to be doing the right things. Occasionally, he will come to church with us and go to lunch with us and friends (who are always warm, welcoming and encouraging to our son).
Last week, the gym where he trains (he is a strength and conditioning coach) clients, hired him as their operations manager and coach. He was very flattered as he greatly respects the gym manager, a former Army Ranger, who asked my son to work for him because of his work ethic and talent. It’s the first employee he has hired and he’s been in business for 5 years.
I thought it was great news. But two days later, my son was clearly using (usually high quantities of adderral), and I had to tell him that I loved him but could not be around him when he was using. He was upset and called and texted me later to apologize (never did that previously).
My son is terrible with money. He gets it, he spends it: no discipline, despite being raised and tried to teach him restraint, saving and prioritizing. In addiction, like many, he’s gone through thousands—both his AND ours.
My question, and I apologize for the lengthy backstory: is it common for addicts to sabotage themselves when they start to see success in the real world? A friend’s daughter (heroin) has relapsed after quickly rising in a job and being promoted, then: boom! She was lost.
Thank you. And how should I encourage my loved one to stay the course?!!!
I am hopeful for your family. Your son is responding to your CRAFTy strategy and is behaving in ways that get him noticed and got him a job offer. Yes, substance users use in both good times and bad. It makes little sense to those around them.
He gets a great job offer and then pops some aderrall. So he isn’t out of the woods yet. He has very hopeful prospects; he also has your support and encouragement. But external circumstances don’t always immediately bring about internal changes. He still has work to do.
Keep the course. He’s doing what he knows to do. Your response and behavior are RIGHT ON! Perhaps your husband can see that things are a little more quiet, that his son is heading in the right direction. CRAFT is easier on the spirit than Tough Love. It is also way more effective. Dad: I promise you will feel better if you also practice Love Love when your son is doing well, instead of just Tough Love all the time.
People get abstinent in increments. It will continue to look incremental until the internal decision to stop is so profound that it changes their landscape. Then they hang on, and don’t use, one day at a time.
Does your son have a learning disability? Or is the Adderall just easier to get than other drugs – is his problem stimulants more generally? Stimulant addiction is very psychological. There is very little physical dependency. To the degree you can, keep influencing his immediate family environment that way you are doing. Come on Dad, you can help here. Let the job keep him structured in daily life… the exercise field is such a good place for someone who has lots of energy and likes speed.
Hang in there. Don’t get too hung up on his use. Take it one day at a time. Just keep reacting the way you have been. Step in when he isn’t high; step away when you see use.
You said “Sorry son, I can’t be near you when you’re high” …. and he apologized!!!! This is amazing. Way to go!
You are working it. Thank you for keeping this up.