I was talking with a friend whose is experiencing the pain of addiction in her life.
She had read some of Chapter 8 (To Wives) and a few posts here at this Addiction Journal. She was very upset and feeling guilty that she should not be allowed to feel angry. I told her we all feel angry at some point.
Anger is a totally normal emotion for POAs and others affected by addiction. I had written a post a while back about the 5 stages of addiction and ANGER is on the list. There were times that I was very pissed off at the stuff my son had done while active in his disease.
We would be quite unusual if we immediately accepted the things that our kids do to us.
Yahoo! I so happy you totaled my car as you drove it into the city to get drugs.
Yippee! You got my credit card and bank information and I am bankrupt.
Awesome! You have managed to have your face on the front page of the daily news where all my judgmental friends can see the train wreck of a life.
Be angry..it’s ok. The key for my recovery as a parent was not to remain angry. The anger that helped me in the beginning would have ruined my life had I held onto it. At some point we must accept that our kids are sick and struggling. It does not help them to enable, yet remaining anger and living a bitter life will help no-one, especially you! POA’s become excellent jugglers of emotions.
A reader commented on my last post that she was saddened that her child’s “normal” friends abandoned her when she began using.
This reader’s comment struck a nerve. I remember being very pissed off at my son’s “normal friends” for abandoning him back at the start of his heavy drug use. I could totally relate to her comment. If they had only told me …How could they simply leave him to his addiction?
Back in high-school, my son spiraled very quickly into his addiction. He became a very scary and dangerous person. In retrospect I don’t hold any bad feelings towards the kids that left him alone back then. I guess through a lot of good teachers, I have become more cerebral about his disease.
It is not cool to be a RAT so I understand why no one tipped me off back then. Additionally, my level of denial back then was off the charts and I probably would not have believed his friends had they told me.
Fact:My son is a complete d*ck when he uses. Its part of his allergy, he is the consummate Jekyll and Hyde.
Those former “friends” were probably terrified, and justifiably so. I would not have wanted to cross him back then.
Today is a good day, my son is doing much better, and has new friends. Life changes as do the people that surround us.
I talked to my son this weekend and asked what he was doing.
At that time he was hanging with someone who just got out of jail and the other person had used drugs for years. I hung up the phone and let them be.
p.141 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
How could we know that thousands of these sometimes frightening people were to make aston- ishing recoveries and become our greatest workers and intimate friends? Was it credible that A.A. was to have a divorce rate far lower than average? Could we then fore- see that troublesome people were to become our principal teachers of patience and tolerance? Could any then imag- ine a society which would include every conceivable kind of character, and cut across every barrier of race, creed, politics, and language with ease?
But wait, both of his friends are in recovery today. One had a brief slip the other has some substantial time. They live at a few well-respected sober facilities in the Northeast.
I remember being a total mess when my son would hang with former drug users. Guess what?? People in recovery have all used drugs. They become our child’s support network. I bet there are more than a few sets of parents that pray my son, even today, never darkens their doorstep. It’s the nature of addiction and recovery.
Who my 25-year-old son hangs with is none of my business. In fact none of his life is really my business anymore. I have learned to accept.
I pray for him, as I pray for all my family, and hope that his good health continues.
There was an intelligent discussion on Facebook today. ( Stop the music folks! )
A POA’s child was returning home from a rehab stint and they were wondering if they should clear all the alcohol from the home.
The popular reply was to lock up or throw out all temptation. The mom’s were adamant they would clean house before the return of their baby. I was taught differently.
Pg 101 of The Big Book states:
Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn’t think or be reminded about alcohol at all. Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so.
So I ask ,” If I want to have a glass of Pinot Noir or whatever glass of temptation, should I not be allowed to have alcohol in my home? Do I have to change my life in an effort to CONTROL my child’s addiction?“
I was taught we “cant control it” yet the same folks chastise those of us who might have a beer watching our favorite sports team. I am not in recovery, my child is. Did my home in prohibition ever help his sobriety? Nope.
My son taught me that he had to accept his disease and learn to live life on life’s terms. Thankfully he did.
This alcohol free home issue gets complicated when the recovering “child” is say 18 or younger. Do we not allow them to live at home? Each situation, though eerily similar, is uniquely different. Should we use the same approach for a seventeen year old as we do for a “child” that is say over thirty years old? But again, as in most of my blog posts, I digress. (I don’t think people coming home from rehab over 21 is a good idea but that is another post for another day. I have to stop rambling… )
My son celebrated Christmas this year with us and the wine flowed and he was fine and still is on this very hot July day? Bottom line is I can have a drink and he can’t. We are wired differently.
Should POA’s remove all the triggers from there home when a kid is coming home? Again I will quote my son
“Life is my trigger.“
I don’t think we can shelter them from the storm. If they are going to pick up via your Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, they are probably not ready to accept the life changes needed to deal with their allergy. It’s hard for the younger kids, I watched the experiences of relapse strengthen my son’s sobriety. He got tired of the addiction bullshit.
But my opinion is my opinion. My point of view is not always popular but I write them as I see them.
We have all done it. A quick glance at our actives child’s Facebook or Twitter.
The social media sites become some abstract barometer of our child’s sobriety. We cling to any possible insight we can find.
After a while I found it too frustrating/heartbreaking or maddening to watch the stuff my son posted when active. I would read and be devastated yet his drug abuse continued.
Dark song lyrics and diatribes against society punctuated his wall. Finally I stopped reading. There was nothing I could do and I found the reads to be counterproductive to my health. My health mattered too.
I was taught that we must learn to keep our own health in check. Reading their Facebook rants is not always conducive to our recovery. Try not reading for a week…