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Letters From Family & Friends of Meth Addicts

  • Jan

    Super Star No More

    Dear Friends. I have been accessing this Website for the past two years. My beloved daughter has been addicted to crystal meth for four years now she is only 22. Like many family members of tweakers, it took me forever to figure out what was going on. She used to be a "superstar" in our family. Blessed with unusual good looks, my blonde beauty resembled both Pamela Anderson Lee and the character "Kelly Bundy" from the old TV show. She was happy, funny, and popular but also really ambitious. She graduated high school 6 months early because she took summer and night classes. She started college at age 17. Meanwhile, her high-school boyfriend was dear to all of us we adored him, and thought that the two of them would eventually marry. After graduation, he got a great job with a pest control company she was in college. What a bright future the two of them had!

    Unfortunately, after high school was over, the boyfriend started tweaking. My daughter hated that, and broke up with him because of it. But within a few months, she missed him so much that she started tweaking, too. I'm a flight attendant, and was gone most of the time, so I didn't see what was going on right away. But something was wrong; all of a sudden, my daughter wasn't attending classes. She quit showing up for her part-time job. When I tried to talk to her about these things, she became extremely hostile to me. I'm an aging hippie and thought I was pretty savvy about drugs, but I never saw anything like crystal meth "back in the day". I can tell when someone is stoned on pot - glazed eyes, slow reactions, uncontrollable giggles. I can tell when someone is tripping on LSD huge, dilated pupils, visions, etc. I can spot cocaine use the white crust around the nose, the constant sniffling, and the teeth-grinding. Meth is something ELSE. Meth is a horse of a different color.

    You should see my formerly gorgeous daughter now. Her beautiful, thick, shiny, long blonde hair is now RED and thin and chopped off short by her own scissors. Her perfect complexion is pocked by constantly "picking her face". She has lost the early "anorexic" slenderness, and has now ruined her metabolism to the point where she is fat. She is paranoid, hateful, and feels "entitled" to steal from anyone who is foolish (or trusting) enough to turn his/her back on her. My girl has been taking full-time care of an elderly family friend for the past two years. She got free room and board plus a salary. This was a job that TOTALLY enabled her to continue her habit. She did take good care of poor old Nana, but she was easily able to leave at night once Nana was asleep, or to have her tweaker friends over. I live only a mile away, so I often dropped in just to see what was going on. But I never could find anything concrete during the day, everything appeared to be normal.

    Recently poor Nana took a turn for the worse, and the family decided to hire a full-time hospice nurse to care for her. My daughter was given two days' notice to vacate the place, and she bounced back to my home. I made it clear to her that she needed to get a job right away, and that there would be NO drugs, NO staying up all night, NO disappearing and being out of cell phone contact in other words, I would help her get back on her feet, but ONLY if she was willing to cooperate. Alas! It wasn't to be. She immediately violated every term we had agreed on. After a week of this bullshit, I sat her down and asked her: "Look! I said I would set you up in an apartment, pay all of the move-in costs, furnish whatever you needed for the place, but only if you try to help yourself! Tell the truth! Are you UNABLE to get or hold a job because of your drug addiction?" And then she admitted that she WAS. We then agreed to explore treatment options. She's 22 and not eligible for insurance coverage under my health plan, but I still called my EAP for advice. They recommended the Salvation Army. My daughter went there on her own, found out the details of their program, and I took her there (all packed up and ready to stay) last week. However, you do need a "clean" UA to enter treatment there, and she tested positive for meth. (This was after 2 days of my INTENSIVE "babysitting" of her. So don't EVEN believe that meth clears your system that quickly!) She was accepted into the program, though, and was going to get into the very last of the women's beds the following Tuesday. This happened on Thursday ALL she had to do was stay CLEAN for 4 more days!

    I had to leave for a trip on Sunday, so she insisted that she wanted to spend the weekend with her non-tweaker friend Johnny. I had my doubts I would have been happy to call in sick and then "babysit" her all the way through until Tuesday morning. But NOOOO! She had to have it her way. I told her: "Hey, this is your last chance. You HAVE to stay clean until Tuesday, and then I'll take you in. I'll pay your car payments and all of your other bills while you're in treatment; I'll keep your entire possessions safe over here. Well, what do you think happened? OF COURSE she didn't call me or contact me on Tuesday morning. OF COURSE she didn't admit herself. So, all deals are off I packed up all of her belongings and set them out on my driveway Tuesday afternoon. Then I left her a cell phone message to come and get it, or let it be stolen, makes no difference to me. She got Johnny to call me (and she was probably listening on 3-way) - Johnny said that she had stayed "clean" all weekend, but didn't think that she "had enough of a problem" to go in for a six-month treatment program. (Oh, really? And that's why she admits she can't possibly get or hold a job??!)

    So I guess we're at the endgame. I have tried and tried and tried to help my girl, but I know now that all of my "help" was actually "enabling" her to continue her addiction. I can't tell you how many times I've rushed in to pay her bills, make excuses for her, defend her, stick up for her - and all the while she continued on her course, hell-bent on self-destruction. I don't even KNOW her anymore. Now she has finally lost her last "safety net". Now, she's just like all of the other tweakers she has no home, no way to pay her bills, she'll have to rely on the "good will" of her addict friends to survive from day to day. I feel horrible about it, but there's nothing else I can do. I've heard that addicts never get better until they "hit bottom". And maybe she'll NEVER get better. What a hard thing to accept. I sometimes look up in the night sky, watching for meteors and falling stars. And I can't help but think of the words to that song, "Free Falling". That's what my girl has been doing for the last four years.

    No way to save her, no way to come to the rescue. I am so overwhelmed; I don't even know whether I'm stressed or depressed or maybe both? Anyway, thanks for reading. I'd welcome any feedback.

    Signed, A Defeated Mother
    Connie Somebody, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

1 Response to Super Star No More

  • Michelle

    September 10th, 2013

    I am the wife of a meth addict. We have been together for more than 20 years. He has been battling addiction since he was only 12. Now at 46, he is slowing killing himself. He has had times when he remained clean and sober but it is difficult to tell when those times were because they become so good at hiding it. I found out yesterday that I essentially have been enabling his behavior and use. That is really difficult to hear and try to understand when all we try to do is help our loved ones get better. I am a recovering meth user - 15 years clean! I thought I could help my husband but I can't. He has to help himself. Two treatment stints later, he still returned to smoking meth. I know the urges but in order to stay clean and sober, one has to have a relationship with a higher power (God). The addict has to want to change and not only want to change but make the necessary steps to becoming and remaining clean and sober. We can't help them any more than they can help themselves. I am so very sorry your daughter is going through this. I can only imagine how unbearable it would be if it were my child. Standing our ground, keeping our promises to ourselves, is the only thing we can do to help. We cannot allow them to manipulate us into "helping" them get clean. They have to do the work. We have our own work to do, and that is staying strong and knowledgeable about addiction behaviors. We have to learn to love from a distance. It is truly heartbreaking.

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