Eventually, the parent of an addict blames themselves for their child's addiction to drugs or alcohol. When that moment arrives they begin to look for help instead of trying to deny it or hide it completely. I grieve for them. I want to tell the parents, "Don't blame yourself!" Did you cook the dope, fill the syringe, tie them off, and stick it in their arm? You didn't open the beer and make them drink. They did that themselves, their own choice.
There are choices the parent(s) can make to help their addicted child, but giving them free rent, money for gas, or seeing to their continual comfort are not the right choices. First of all, the parents need to be in recovery themselves. Either Celebrate Recovery or Al-anon are both great places to hear from people in similar situations, and find proper help for themselves.
No amount of pleading will get them in a rehab that will work. The key word is, "pleading." If you get to that point forget them going to rehab to get better. They will not be going for themselves, but to make you happy, and lighter in the wallet.
You're not off of the hook entirely. Like most of us, we do not see OUR child ever doing anything but being better than their friends. The only communication we offer is to warn them to stay away from friends that drink and take drugs. They respond, "okay mom, sure dad...I wont' go near them." We want them to stay away from the wrong type of friends. What we don't see is, they may be the wrong type of friend.
What Can a Parent Do?
The best help you can give your child, spouse, or close friend that have an addiction or substance abuse problem is to be involved in your personal recovery. Codependency is a major help to the abuser's continued use. Like the one addicted, it has to be dealt with. As mentioned above Celebrate Recovery and Al-anon are powerful programs that teach attendees how to help by not helping.
I met a man some time back whose wife was a crack addict. Her addiction had nearly bankrupted the family. He decided to remove her from all money related accounts after a couple of trips to rehabs failed. She cannot touch household income. She remains in the home, a heavy user, disappearing for days or even weeks at a time. His reasoning for allowing the wife to remain in the home is that the kids mother is alive and present in their lives, even though it is really screwed up.
Will his children see the value of living drug and alcohol free? Doubtful. As noble as his line of thinking is, crack is illegal, her constant disappearing acts have to place the kids in constant terror of their mother's demise. Those young people will possibly grow up thinking it's okay to be addicted and see anti-drug programs, the police, and any or all authority as bad.
There is woman, friend to my wife, whose daughter and son have addictions to drugs and alcohol. Though they are well into adulthood, late twenty or early thirty-somethings, they live with her...along with their children. They abuse her, yes physically beat her, mentally torture her. She gets back at them...she sits and cries. Whose the addict? According to her, she tries to help them because their father is AWOL, life-long, and she feels sorry for them. They know that, and play the abandoned child role, a performance worthy of an Oscar.
As I sat in a group meeting the other night, there were several men in attendance from the Hope House. These young men were in the same life-style as the man's wife and the mother's children. The major difference being that their families said, "Enough!" They took the chance of stopping their enabling their child, stopping ALL communication with them, knowing the risk of never seeing them alive again. That, some may think is cruel. Others say, it's about time.
"Plans go wrong for lack of advice: many advisers bring success." Prov.15:22 NLT
The truth is, some of these parents have went to the morgue to identify their child. Some have watched their child get well enough to get a job, a place of their own, a life free of drink and drug. The risk is real. Through CR, and Al-A, that decision can come much easier when those codependent friends and family listen to advice from others who have been there.
I could go on, tell you more and more stories that have happy endings, and sorrowful tales that wrench your heart. Don't be deaf, don't deny, stop hiding. Most importantly, pray for God's intervention for this country's denial. Pray for families going through this terror and ensuing misery...especially if you have kids. You could be living their story by turning your head, or saying, "that's their problem." If you think that way, watch out, trouble is looming.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
With all of the beauty visible on this blue marble we live on, weather conditions can quickly turn beauty into ugliness. Tsunamis, cyclones, hurricanes, all have horrendous power, and can turn our lives upside down in seconds.
In the realm we can't see, a massive storm is gathering to change the face of our lives. I, and others that are in the thick of this storm have watched this force consume lives without regard. Addictions run across classes, destroying families, bankrupting wealthy, robbing good minds from rational thought, while most people sit quietly comfortable, until they are paid a visit or affected personally in some way.
Maybe, like all other evils that come and go, this storm may pass too. Tell that to the families of the 350 people that will die of heroin overdose today. Give that info to the families of those killed on the highway by a drunk driver this holiday season.The attitude, "it's their decision to take drugs," is the wrong way to think if you say you care. Our approach and attitude like this has helped us arrive where we are today...in the thick of this silent storm.
What should be done?
Change. Whether we are directly or indirectly involved with someone using drugs or are alcoholic, we may feel it is wrong to interfere. Interfere anyhow. If we think it is wrong to speak out, speak out. If you don't believe in prayer, pray. Storms don't care who they destroy. We should rage against the storm when everyone says, "you can't, it won't work!"
Jesus was sound asleep as he and the disciples crossed over the Sea of Galilee. A major storm hit as they sailed. These men were seasoned fishermen, and knew this storm could destroy them. They woke Jesus up and said, "don't you care we're about to die?" He said, "where's your faith?" He Rebuked the wind and sea, and there was calm sailing the rest of the way. (Luke 8:22-25) He could sleep through the storm because He is the Master of the storms...all of them, even ours.
Where is our faith? The situation is dire. We need God's help to show us what to do. One thing for certain, something must be done. Pray, be aware that the storm here.
Thanks for reading, God bl
Recently I wrote about being better in 2014, making those self-improvement changes, growing at every level, body, soul, and spirit. I also added growing in recovery too. You see, if I don't improve my serve, I become less effective in helping others recover. With the gift of sobriety I received from God, I received the honor of giving back that gift to others as I improve and mature in Him.
There is a huge difference in helping others and trying to control others. This may not be clear to me at times so I need God to remind me, which He does so painfully well. Truly, the pain is more aggravation to me because I thought I had learned that lesson, YOU CANNOT FIX THEM. Helping them, however, is making suggestions, listening intently to their issues, and giving warnings of what may be from personal experience.
I had a young man hit a bump recently, and another hit a milestone. With both, what was learned carries weight in determining their tomorrows. I have more concern for the one who reached the milestone, than the one who relapsed. The relapse is in the humble state of remorse, needing God's forgiveness, as well as the forgiveness of others. The other is at the jump off stage, "thanks for the help God, I'll take it from here."
"To learn you must love discipline, it is stupid to hate correction." Prov. 12:1
"If you search for good, you will find favor. If you search for evil, it will find you! Prov. 11:27
I laid out a plan of attack for my sponsor-ees to work with in their recovery. It is a compilation from my recovery, and from the hundreds of stories of success I heard in meetings and through reading. One thing to avoid is fear of change. By making little changes in attitude and actions, the bigger, more difficult changes become easier. This will sound crazy to you, but read on to the explanation.
Little Changes/ Big Differences
If you shave the right side of your face, shave the left first. If you button your shirt from the bottom up, go from the top to the bottom. Change which foot you put your shoe on first. If you are at the bank or store, get in the longest line, not the shortest. Drive in the slow lane on the highway.
I'm not Crazy
Even if these seem stupid, they are dramatic and challenging for the alcoholic/addict. The way they always did things throughout their life, landed them addicted, homeless, incarcerated, etc. By making these little changes, they begin to feel like a different person, not the addict they were, the drunk who chronically relapsed. It is effective, and truly helps them move to greater challenges.
In both of these young men, and the others I work with, trouble can be avoided by working a plan, not our plan. AA, NA, CR, et al, have laid out "how it works" for all of us to attack our addictions. God, I believed, designed them. If we want to improve, the fear of relapse has to go. If we want to improve, each milestone reached is not a stopping point, but a reaching point...reach a little further. By God's grace and help, there is always more.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!