Figuring out how to best support my son


Hi Brooke,
You coached me around my son years ago, when he was in a dark place with substance abuse. How it doesn’t serve or work to jump into the pool and I can’t fix him. Provided some peace and got me to the shallow end of the pool. 🙂

He is now 32, on his own quit drinking over a year ago, lost 40 lbs,, got a new job, ended a longterm relationship. He comments frequently that he has done everything “right” and feels worse than he did before making these changes. He doesn’t like advice (imagine that :)) so I try to just say things like I think it’s awesome what he has accomplished for himself; that change in itself is not necessarily enjoyable, especially at first; that when distractions are removed, fucking growth opportunities become evident that weren’t apparent when a person is tuned or in a carbo daze. He says he doesn’t have the desire to drink but would enjoy the occasional toke, but his job does random drug testing. He is between friendship groups with the job change and sobriety. (All this kind of a microcosm of SCS coaching issues – aka The F*cking Human condition. (That thought, The FHC, makes me smile, actually.)

What I am figuring out is how to support him in a skilled way. He is aware of the thoughts to feelings connection and says he does Headspace (meditation app) regularly, joined a gym and was running regularly until recently. He has Crohn’s disease and a recent blood test showed a hemoglobin of 8, which is quite anemic and I think may be contributing to his lack of energy and low spirits. He is getting further testing this week. (Giving me catastrophic thoughts to work on, which I am.) Also it’s been a long, gray, winter where he lives.

If it were your son, how would you be for him? Just listen? He knows we love him and have his back (he, his dad, and I work on DIYing his little old house most Sundays. We’ve been on vacation for the past 2 weeks so haven’t been there.) I appreciate greatly that he is communicative, wants us in his life, and has made changes for himself. (Although I have wondered in my own mind whether the SCS material on drinking was transmitted psychically. I joined in Jan. 2017. Didn’t know he decided to let go of alcohol on Jan. 1, 2017.)

Another coach I respect has adult kids and says she thinks that saying, “when this happened to me, I….” is the kiss of death for effective communication, so I have been avoiding this kind of comment.

My intentional thought is:
T:Sam can support himself and I can (support myself and him), too.
F:Optimistic, peaceful
A: Keep present connection
R: Be the mom we both need

Ideas welcome, specifically around his comments about not feeling better than when he had an unhealthy lifestyle.

Thank you! Ann