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Life long drug addicts, how do you respond, help, include?

Lifelong drug addicts, how do you respond, help, include?
Now before I receive a triad of, there's always hope, until your dead ,  let's be honest. Everyone in the world has someone in their life, brother, sister, child, husband, wife, cousin, uncle, aunt, whatever, that they are always going to be an addict  and not a recovering one. You think of them, at the family reunion, the wedding, the funeral, anything, the person, that no matter what, always makes an ass out of themselves, being drunk, high, etc? downright embarrassing. But one who, no one really faults, b/c well  (_____you fill in name) is just 'messed up'?. Everybody knows something will happen. So in that point, how do you accept what is, in the addict, and move forward? Just don't invite 'uncle Bob' to any to family functions? Just don't every have your son or daughter to your home again? Just don't ever let your children speak to their father or mother again? That seems obvious that would not be the best of solutions. B/c every time, there is always some sort of drama that happens? And its accepted.

So how do you handle addicts in your life, that say for the last 40 yrs, 10 yrs, 30 yrs. Are always going to be drunks, or druggies, or pill poppers? etc?. I mean to insult no one, so please don't give me the hope aspect. I am smart enough as I believe you are, yes, people can change, and one thing may make the difference in 40 yrs. Okay I get that. But I am saying the ones, that it is the way it is? those that when they die, they will be drunk, or high, or whatever. I am not even speaking badly.

I.e.: My whole life, my Aunt was a total alcoholic. Actually when I was a kid, I thought she was the funniest person at the party. My parents would rant and rave about what Aunt ____  'did this time' She spent 70 yrs being a drunk. And still owned a home, a nice car, and many material things. But she was always smashed every time I saw her, and family would 'dread'  b/c they knew something was going to happen when Aunt ____ got there.. So would it have been better for the family to cut her out of our lives, until she got sober? To cut off contact with her until she sought recovery? Well what about the ones that never do? If its your son, or daughter, mother, father??

When you have come to the point where you realize, your addict, is (short of a miracle from god) always going to be messed up, then what? Now to clarify more, I am talking of the addicts, regardless of drug, that are not killing people, and aren't REALLY functioning, but are functioning. Not the ones holding up the local Quick Mart. The ones, just floating through life? How do you interact with them? Obviously asking, 'so you still hitting the sauce,'  is dumb, since they A) will head for someone else to talk to, or B) pretend like they don't know what your talking about. Or C) think they are about to hear another lecture, and bolt for the door. Or D) roll their eyes, say uh-huh a lot, nod their head, and don't say anything. Or yeah I know?. Do you just accept that this is how they are, hope in your mind, someday they will see the light, and move forward, calling once in a while, whatever?

Please respond, b/c I want to know everyone's thoughts on this?
Re: Life long drug addicts, how do you respond, help, include?
I come from a family of alcoholics and addicts. I had a cousin who fits into one that just could not get clean. His parents did not allow him to live in the house however every Sunday morning he was invited to meeting them for breakfast at a restaurant in the city he was living in, he was at Father Bills, a homeless shelter. They lived in a different town. At the holidays my aunts family would not allow him there. He was allowed at our family gathers and that's where he would come. It was sad to see the deterioration for me. I always had hope that he would get clean;  he tried and tried. I also had hope that my sibs and other cousins would see what it was doing yet they still all do their thing. He died. He just could not fight the demons within. And of course at the funeral my sibs and cousins were getting high and drinking. I go to family functions and dance and have fun without drinking. I'm sure most people in the family are in shock that I'm clean. I was as bad as bad can get and started real young.

June 19, 2006 I lost my best friend. She was my maid of honor at my wedding. She was 44 years old and was another one of those who just couldn't get clean. I remember being clean a year having a huge fight with my hubby and driving to the town I grew up in. I found her and was going to get high and she talked me out of it. She told me that she was really proud and jealous of me. She tried many times to get clean she just could not face her demons. In the end she was a miserable human being. She was mean nasty and opinionated. Every year I have two big cookouts and never stopped inviting her. She just stopped coming.

I look at these people and know that by the grace of God there goes I.

I have recently taken in my 13 year old niece as my sister is an alcoholic and addicted to prescription meds. She lives with my Mom. She has three children is totally dysfunctional. My 28 year old and 20 year old nephews who are both using speed and coke drinking and smoking pot also live there. My sister also allows her 16 year old daughters 21 year old boyfriend to live there. I have tried for years to get my sister to attend meetings with me. I have also tried to get my Mom to attend Al-anon with me to no avail. My niece ended up in the trauma center as she tried to kill herself. She told the people at the center about the situation at the house. She opened up to me and told me how she smoked pot with the nephews and was drinking. She told me how she didn't want to do it and knew it was wrong yet it was all around her and she just wanted to fit in. She also filled me in with a lot of information about what was going on at the house that I really didn't want to know. The trauma center would not release my niece to my sister. I went in to see her and they asked me if they could talk to me. They told me if a family member didn't step up to the plate that R would be placed in foster care and DSS would begin an investigation. I am hoping that this is a wake up call for my sister. She has for the first time in years really stepped up to the plate. I found rooms in a rooming house for the nephews. The boyfriend found a room on his own. My sister moved her bedroom from the basement and to the main floor, which I have suggested to her for years. I pop in once or twice a week and also have a good friend that pops in as well. My sister has seemed clean and clear almost a month now. However I have no expectations. She is not getting any help for her addictions and still denies it's a problem. She is in family counseling and I have talked to R about not holding anything back. This poor girl is in fear for her mothers soul. Why my sister put these kids in ccd with the way she is living her life is beyond my comprehension. I am open and honest with R about my disease. She had no idea. She has never seen me take a drink or disappear with the rest them, and trust me she knows why they disappear. I have told R when she goes home she knows that there is really no supervision and she needs to monitor herself and not put her self in dangerous situations, she was also raped. I also told her that my door is always open and if things are bad to call me and she can come back. I pray to god to let my sister be open to getting the help she needs and I always thank him for letting me see the light. When I think about my sister once again I can say by the grace of God there goes I

Re: Lifelong drug addicts, how do you respond, help, include?
Gravegirl, you are of a new generation and a new education and sorry, but you know about hope and you know about miracles so, you can't pretend they don't exist. You will never be able to get the Experience Strength and Hope you have found here on this site outa your heart, head and soul. So, like Lisa said, Acceptance and Hope....But, you also know that acceptance doesn't mean giving up at all-if it were that easy to stop loving, this website wouldn't be a reality.

Re: Life long drug addicts, how do you respond, help, include?
The funny thing is that I was that person. I was the one people hand finally accepted the idea that I was just never going to get sober. I would show up at family functions when I could manage to get there and I would be a wreck. I would have fights with boyfriends that the family would have to witness .... In and out of jail .... I just messed up.... and this went on for years and years ....
Even when I went to rehab no one really expected me to stay sober .... it didn't even phase them and I had never been to rehab before ...they pretty much skipped right past having any hope and just moved on with their lives with the thought ... Angie is just a Screw up messed up drug addict. PERIOD. End of story.

I have since also run into people who were pretty messed up themselves when I was out there using and the first thing they say and they are STILL actively using....

"Your sober!? Your the last person I ever thought would get sober !!!!"

Re: Lifelong drug addicts, how do you respond, help, include?
There are a couple of long-term drug addicts in my family who I also wonder if they are simply "always going to be that way".
They have been using 25-30 years or more. One is a speedfreak, the other a coke head.
They have both been to dozens of rehabs, recovery homes, halfway houses.
I have attended multiple Salvation Army graduations for the same two people.
We have a joke that there is a "family bed" at the Sally for us.

It's been such a long journey for them both. One of them I am no longer in contact with. His mother (my grandmother) has enabled him so hardcore, it's not even funny. She's had to move several times to get away from him, but always ends up folding and contacting him. It breaks my heart the way he has broken her heart.

The other one is my cousin, who used to baby-sit me. I always loved her as a child, so fun and mischievous. It breaks my heart that she still suffers so much, even though she has the veneer of a functioning person. She is a major thief, and /her/ mother has bailed her out so many times with fancy lawyers that it's kind of sickening. She has a little boy who lives with his 70 year old grandmother.

I miss my cousin.

I have had to learn from a young age that I cannot exactly trust the addicts and alcoholics in my life. They are like wild animals, you cannot push them, or they will either strike or retreat from you. I have to focus on myself and staying well, not jaded, and still have love and compassion for these people. Compassion meaning, no, I will not lend you money if you call me cousin! But I will always hold some hope for you, but I won't hold my breath.

I am lucky, there are family members I have who are in recovery. I have another cousin who has completely quit meth, and drinking too! He wrote me a letter when I was in rehab. We rarely talk, but the other night we did, and he opens up to me and gives me hope.

If we can stick together and get well, maybe it will help spread hope in our family. They need it so much.

I have isolated from my family in many ways because of the sickness that surrounds me. But then I isolated and engaged in the same sick behaviors, secrets, unwillingness to surrender.
There is hope in my family, but for those who are so far gone it seems like they will never get better, I can only put that energy into myself.

It's a sad topic for me.

Re: Lifelong drug addicts, how do you respond, help, include?
Wow...you guys and your families take dysfunctional and addictive personalities to a higher level......I'm perplexed!

I'm full-blooded Sicilian and am the off-spring of serious, well-known organized crime families -- the happenings and other assorted ways of this group of family members I come from, are a whole different type of addiction.......to be more clearer in my thoughts....

Even without meth, or booze or anything outside additives, a Sicilian family -- from the very beginning all the way down to my generation -- could be thousands of years......are like a drug-trip all on their own.

I come from murderers, cheats, violent, trigger-tempered beings.

Taking drugs, drinking and disconnecting from the family has been like going to a deserted place of peace. Dope and Dagos don't mix well together.

Re: Life long drug addicts, how do you respond, help, include?
When you've fallen flat on your back, with no where else to go, look up--God is always just a whisper away.

I love that. I've added it to my wall of quotes

See also:

Recovery and Treatment of Crystal Meth / Methamphetamine Topics

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