Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Time to do some thinking

My son is talking about wanting to move out of his sober living house. Without going into too much detail as to why, I will say that much of it has to do with the fact that pretty much all of the money he earns at his job goes towards his rent, with my wife and I subsidizing the rest.

Eventually, my son and two other guys he lives with want to get an apartment together. But until that can happen my son wants to--and this is very difficult for me to type--

move back home.

This isn't something I was expecting to have to think about, but it's out there now and so I am thinking about it. Not necessarily thinking about saying yes. At least not right now. Right now I am just thinking.

My wife and I had agreed that we wouldn't even think about letting our son move back home until he had at least a year of clean and sober time under his belt. (Right now, he's coming up on the 10-month mark.)  So there's that to consider.

I'm also not sure if I want to go back to having our son live in our house. It may sound totally selfish, but life for me and my wife has been so much more pleasant and stress-free since he moved out last July. Of course, up until that time we had been living with an active drug user. Now he's in recovery. So there's that to consider.

To be totally honest, there are probably a hundred different things to consider. But because this kind of came out of the blue, I wasn't prepared to start considering any of them. And I'm not sure if I'm even ready to do so.

My wife and I will have to sit down and talk about this, both by ourselves and with our son. For now we've told him to sit tight and keep doing what he's doing.

Meanwhile, I guess it's time to do some thinking.

P.S. I'm curious. Is there anyone who reads this blog who is the parent of an addict in recovery who lives with them? If so, how do you feel about the situation? And did you allow your child to move back into your house after you had originally kicked him or her out? Feel free to give me feedback in a comment. I would really appreciate it.

P.P.S. I'm thinking having my son move back in with us is not the best idea in the world. I feel like my wife and I would be going back on a boundary we set, and we did that a number of times in the past to less than stellar results.


  1. Take this for what it's worth, but my son gave me the same exact story at the exact same point in his sobriety last summer. I swear, it was word for word. Hopefully the difference is, my son was thinking about relapse...which he promptly did two days after returning home. We didn't catch on for three weeks. It was a nightmare I wish to spare all parents.

    Now, I'm not saying this is what your son is planning. He likely just wants to come home for a bit. I just had to comment (put it out there so to speak) because the circumstances are identical and chills went down my spine.

    PS. We have let our son back in our home exactly twice. Both times he used within days.

    PPS. Never again.

  2. The peace of mind the entire family has received came from some serious decisions and some serious action from all involved. It can be a scary thought after 10 months of calm to entertain the thought of him returning, never knowing 100% if he has really changed and built a new foundation.
    My opinion is to stick to the 1 year deal,if he can make it 10 months he can make it 2 more and then at that point I'd entertain the notion of him returning. He has to prove he can make it the entire year and is committed to his sobriety, you'd have to have a zero tolerance policy and I'd even get him drug tested randomly if he does come back, he needs to know 100% that his sobriety is THE most important thing in his life, without that he will have nothing.
    I've seen many people get sober and then start to get bored and then drift away from the things that helped them get sober, the very things that saved their life. Also known as taking their will back and thinking they have it figured out and they will be OK now, they have this figured out. All too many times they fall flat on their faces and end up worse than before. This is why I always recommend steady support,meetings and sponsorship,on our own we will diminish our odds on staying clean, together and with help we can keep addiction at bay.
    I would be careful, your heart is a good guide but in addiction the brain must be the decision maker, especially with loved ones. We want it to work, we look through rosey glasses too often, we think it will be different, we feel guilt and then we enable. He has to have proven himself 100% before coming home and even then in the back of your mind you will still wonder (addiction sucks).
    Gather all the evidence, weigh it out, pray on it and the answer will come.

  3. Your post sets off a lot of alarms in my mind. When my son was doing well and living on his own, he too asked to move home. He was struggling financially and felt he would stand a better chance if he could save some money, go back to school, etc. We let him move home despite every reservation and within weeks he was using again. We lived that way for almost a year and it was nothing but hell! In retrospect, we realized we made life too easy for him. He could have stayed on his own and worked a second job to make ends meet. Why we didn't see that then, I don't know. We'd never make that mistake again.

    Good luck with your decision.


  4. My son is currently living on his own after moving out a sober living house. He lives in another state. We went through the same living hell when he was in our home. My husband and I just couldn't do it any more. We had let him come home one time when he had gotten out of a rehab and it was our worst mistake. He's doing well living on his own. I miss him every day and I hate that he can't live at home but we know it's what has to be right now. It's scary how all the stories are the same. So many families living this same nightmare. Prayers go out to everyone. Linda