How do I not loose my cool and still be supportive of my son 3 years clean?



I made plans with my son who has been in recovery for close to three years now, but sometimes he struggles to get places on time. Any setback or negative thing he hears creates a barrier to his motivation. Example: My husband tried to wake him up three times and told him he was “disappointed” that he didn’t wake up. How do I cope with this so far into the recovery experience, not loose my cool when he’s late, and still be supportive? And is this normal??!


Natural consequences if he’s an adult and he’s late it’s not on your shoulders I know it is hard to watch but nagging never works I let my son know that I believe in him and that he is capable of taking care of himself I tell him you got this you’re smart enough to figure this out I do like to help when he’s gratiful and remind him that no matter what I love you


Some people do seem to run late all the time. I have a friend with ADD (who doesn’t have addiction issues) who really struggles to remember and keep scheduled commitments. She knows she has a problem and tries to find tricks to help herself with this - really it’s like a mild disability. Somehow she makes it and has a job!


@amy.j.bol @Julie_Smith @Marie_Marie @katie Thanks so much for all the responses. It helps knowing others can relate :slight_smile:


I hear ya! Sometimes I believe they are feeling something that makes them feel something like being unsocial or not welcomed. Recently my son invited to the dinner table came out then quickly left. It may be hard for them to socialize yet we know so important to be connected. I ask yet many times they don’t know why or what they feel in recovery. It is hard to work through and build a relationship. Yet going to continue plug away and use kind respectful words with detachment. It’s a journey!


Oh, sometimes I get so stuck in an unpleasant emotion. It can be so hard to shake. Here’s one exercise that I find helpful to practice when I “lose my cool:”

  1. Reflect on what situation made me react in this way. When, where, with who?

  2. Ask myself: Where in my body am I experiencing this emotion?

  3. Then, channeling my energy to that place, thank it for trying to teach me something. Ask it: What are you trying to teach me through this frustration that is positive?

  4. Make a note of the answer.

  5. Then, with that answer in mind, ask myself: If I have that outcome fully, what is it that I would want that is even more important?

  6. I keep going with those questions until I get to the heart of it. Maybe it’s patience, or gratitude, or understanding.

  7. And I ask myself: In what way does having [gratitude] as a beginning make things different?

Obviously, it’s not always a perfect practice - but getting clear on the positive intent behind why I sometimes react the way I do actually helps me respond better the next time this kind of situation comes up.

Thanks for giving me the chance to share, @Ginny!


This is a great exercise, thanks for sharing! When we’re in the chaos of the moment it can be hard to implement practices like this. One idea is to practice exercises like this in situations that are less intense, yet still activate us in a negative way. For example: being late to work, getting stuck in traffic, waiting in a long line, or waiting for someone to call you back about something important. If we practice this enough it can become a somewhat automatic response to more intense situations and help to not loose our cool!


I’ve been in the same shoes !!! I have come to have very few expectations and try ever so hard to not have conflict. If I’m driving him somewhere, I start early trying to prevent tardiness. I feel depression definitely plays s role in my sons sleeping all the time. My older ( in recovery ) son is quite the opposite and is very punctual. He is gets a little verbal when anything is spoken that can be construed as negative. I am human and say things that really upset him at times. That’s when we have to sit and discuss the negative communication that I’m so guilty of. He tells me it is a slap in the face and makes him feel less than human. So I’m really trying to be positive and not to speak while I’m angry or stressed. Practice and time will help me overcome this. Give your son several alarms to wake himself up. Sometimes allowing him to be responsible for his lateness will help. It’s learning responsibility, regardless of the consequences. ( hard )


Really good distinction, @erica. Thank you!