I have an understanding about positive reinforcement, but am I suppose to be praising my son that he is on Methadone yet nothing else has improved and in my eyes some things have deteriorated? He seems to think that I am ignoring a very important element in his recovery, that he is not using opium any more. It is not that I am ignoring that, it is the fact that his behaviour and lifestyle seems to be worse than ever. Do I expect too much?
He has not washed in a week and doesn't even go to bed any more. He passes out at his desk...like for this morning for example: Up all night. Still awake at 6;45 am when I wake up. At 7:00 he is eating his "dinner" which I cooked 12 hours before. He is drinking a beer with it and on the computer. Later I look in at him, say about 8:20, he is slumped over, hand on his computer mouse, dinner on his lap and fast asleep.
How can I praise him for being on Methadone when he is living like this? He spoke to the people who run the Structured Recovery Program a few days ago and had a nice conversation and said he would be in this Thursday at 10:00 am. Well, here we are, it is Thursday and it is past 10:00. We have managed to speak, he even managed to half coherently call the clinic and say he wasn't coming. He then went back to sleep slumped over in his desk chair.
His room is filthy, he stays in his room more and more. He has not had a shower since I don't know when. He is eating less. How is this improvement? Yes, it is GREAT that he is not taking opium, but he is still smoking cannabis and taking benzos. I might be able to overlook this and say, "one addiction at a time" if he was living a more "normal" life. I want to see a slight improvement in mood, structure, activity...not a lot but some. Am I wrong? Am I thinking like the non addict here and not understanding the addict? I wish I knew. I think that is why groups are sometimes helpful because than we hear other people's experiences.
My son does not like group situations. I except that because I am also less comfortable in group situations. However, I wonder if the worry that he has verbalises, that he will make drug contacts in group and the temptation to "score" will be heightened, may be a load of rubbish and a rationalisation. I am wondering if maybe my son is also slightly worried that in group he will encounter people who are desperate to recovery and trying really hard to make big improvements in their lives and willing to try anything. If this is the case than it may magnify within himself that he is not at that place, or it may make him feel his previous arguments are less valid and that it really can be done to try to change your life? Or maybe it is both fears, meeting contacts as well as meeting people who are desperate to recovery? I really do not know and I wish I did know. I want to find a way to understand more of what it is to be an addict.