Thursday, May 18, 2006

Back from the counselor

The meeting with the rehab counselor went well.

She is directing Evan to make up all the meetings he failed to go to. She also said that she is calling the social worker and that they will monitor his compliance more carefully. They may ask me for feedback, but they will be responsible for responding to any non-compliance. So that is all good.

Evan and I had some discussions which I am pretty sure he still has not "heard."

The counselor realized she had not asked him to sign a release so that she could talk freely to me. Evan said that he did not want to sign it. We explained that she was not going to be revealing secrets, she just needed to be able to keep me reassured that he was "in recovery." He resisted and she told him that she thought that I was probably covered under the general release to the program, but that even if I wasn't she would still be talking to his social worker who would talk to me.

He refused to take all this seriously. He laughed and he left.

Last night I sat down and talked to him about it. I told him that it would be a lot easier if he did sign it. The way it is now it will be like the old game of "telephone" or "gossip." If the social worker misunderstands anything than that is just likely to be exagerated.

Actually, I should say that I tried to explain this to him. He kept interrupting me and asking if I understood how he felt, how vulnerable all this made him feel. I said that I did.

He said, "I could just retract all those releases, right?"

I tried to explain to him that yes he could. If he did, then the agency would stop paying for the treatment; he would no longer get to see the counselor; the delicate balance that allowed us all to feel safe living with him would be destroyed and he would have to move. He laughed. He heard the words, but he responded as though I had said, "Of course, but then God would smite the earth with fire and water and we would all die."

I have come to the conclusion that he will not or cannot understand that I am serious when I say that he can only live here if he is working cooperatively with his social worker and counselor. That is just another thing on a list of long things that I have to accept. Right there next to "Evan will not really accept help with recovery until/unless he fails trying to do it alone."

One way of putting it is though Evan has and continues to be required to attend 12 Step meetings, he has not taken the first step.

He does not think he is an addict. He is just a kid who made a mistake, took some codeine, got dependent and needed a little help with detox. Now he is clean, young, strong, and bullet proof once more. The biggest problem in his life is a bunch of over-anxious adults who want him to jump through a bunch of hoops in order to get what he wants.

In any case I have been in recovery long enough that I understand that I really cannot change this attitude. A few months ago I would be anxiously trying to figure out how to make him understand. I would feel guilty about knowing I was prepared to follow through with consequences and he did not "get it." Now I just find it sad.


  1. It's really hard when someone you care about can't or won't be responsible for their own recovery. I'm so sorry you are going through this, and I wish there was something helpful I could say or do.

    FosterEema and I are watching a similar thing unfold with our friend's 25-year-old son. He's been using meth, and was kicked out of rehab for getting into a fight. The judge offered him 30 days in jail and then back to rehab, but he opted to take a year in jail with no rehab or probation afterwards. He thinks he'll be able to stay clean once he gets out of jail.

    Knowing what I know about our jail, it will be surprising if he's able to stay clean while he's in jail.

    All I can say to you, I guess, is that you are in our thoughts.

  2. Krissy,
    thanks for pointing out my need for editing! I deleted your comment, but I appreciated it!

  3. Hi. It's a disappointing outcome but not unexpected. "Self will run riot" to quote a good friend of mine.

    Some people manage to stay clean through self will. The results are usually unattractive and not something I'd recommend.

    Thinking about you, as always.


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