When our child has significant sobriety Parents of Addict’s begin to relax.
We attend our parent meetings and we watch the devastation and chaos swirl around us. We remember back to the times that our child’s addiction had our mascara running down our face and think we made it through. We think “I am so glad I don’t have to live like that anymore.” POAs that have kids with significant time may possess a certain confidence. I know this because once upon a time I was one of those parents. My confidence bordered on arrogance. “My son made it through!”
My son was trucking around close to three years of sobriety when he relapsed. He didn’t “slip“.. he relapsed. Relapse is a dirty word and often tough to say. There are no pretty words to describe drug usage. Either you are practicing sobriety or you have relapsed.
After he had attained some clean time, I thought to myself “ He should be fine as no one in their right mind would ever go back to that life. He has good friends, a job, and seems happy. “ Man was I naive. I would learn a hard lesson.
My son’s relapse kicked me in the balls. I was devastated. I took the lesson learn and would never cloak myself in that “sobriety comfort zone” again. I got a bit “less naive” and accepted sh*t happens.
This is not to say that I live in fear of a relapse but I no longer take long term sobriety as a given. “One day at a time” was punctuated like it had never been before.
Kids that have lost long-term sobriety usually get back on track pretty quickly. They have their network and understand what it takes on their part to be sober.
Any addict I have ever spoken with has told me “it sucks running around when you have the concepts of the Big Book whispering in your head”. Today my son is sober.
I pray today for all that have lost long term sobriety. I pray that they reflect on “what happened” and get back what is so attainable for them.
Other posts about relapse :
peace and strength
When a young child begins to dabble with drug use, POA’s with years of experience will know. We are second to a drug sniffing dog when it comes to detection. (However this skill will often be less honed w/ our own child. We are often blindsided.)
What do we do when we know another person’s child is starting to use drugs? Do we alert the child’s parents? Should we email them anonymous notes?
Parents of addicts just entering the “game” are often overwhelmed. They are not receptive to our help. Their reaction often will be “Just because your child does drugs does not mean everyone’s child is using” It’s the “NOT MY BABY” mentality.
As POAs we know what a long road ahead they will face. We don’t want to see any other parent experience the court appearances, sleepless nights, stealing, health issues, and heartbreak that addiction brings to so many families. I wouldn’t wish this sh*t upon my worst enemy.
“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”
This idiom fits new parents to a tee.
Are we obligated to enlighten these parents? I really don’t have an answer. I used to try to force my will upon parents new to addiction, I have mellowed with age.
At this point of my journey most folks know that I am somewhat active in the recovery journey. I often get emails saying that “ I have a friend….Would you mind talking to them?….” I will offer my two cents (or 20 cents if they care to listen) to their friend and point them to local resources. I stress acceptance and I stress they are not alone. I remain available to them.
I guess as experienced parents we should try to remain available for those newly affected. I remember when people told me my son was “on the wrong road”. I was not ready to accept. Eventually we all accept and want someone to talk to…
When that parent wants to talk be available …it’s good Karma.
Peace and strength
I watch a lot of NFL ( Pro football is my favorite sport) I watch some Bruins hockey and enjoy when they play (beat) the Penguins. I will even admit to the fact that I watch MMA occasionally and am patiently waiting for someone to unseat Ronda Rousey.
OK enough of proving what a bad a*s I am. (Do bad asses use asterisks? )
Here is my dirty little secret. I am a huge AMERICAN IDOL FAN . Ok stop laughing, get up off the floor. I guess I have the same television tastes as a 14 year old girl but I have always been paritial to up and coming musical talent. I have enjoyed AI over the past 10 years. Hey Drew Brees is a fan too!
I was watching last evening when a former AI winner performed. Now the following is only my opinion but it was kind of sad to watch past champ Phil Phillips. I always thought Phil Phillips was stoned during his season, often missing “group” events on the show. But his return to the IDOL stage last evening had me wondering what he was on. Eyes rolling and an out of control performance.
I hope I am completely wrong. But if he is “using”, I hope he pulls his ass out of the tailspin. We have lost far too many young talented people both famous and not so famous.
For the record Im not the only person who thought PP’s performance was given in an “altered” state:
Read here – http://americanidolnet.com/phillip-phillips-raging-fire-american-idol-performance/
Peace and strength.
How many days can you go without trying to manage your adult child’s addiction? Come on mom be honest…
It has been stated, “We are addicted to their addiction” Those simple words have been quite the understatement for me at times. Books, Blogs, Bitching, and Badgering are my specialties! I was the consummate control freak.
All POAs try to “control” their addiction as subtle as some of the attempts may be. Control is the newbies most common mistake.
Step one reads “We admitted we are powerless ..” yet in the very next breath POA’s try to be all powerful.
“Did you go to a meeting? Did you talk to your sponsor?” We have all tried in vain to steer our kids asses to a meeting room. Parents lust for the power to control their kid’s illness. I have been guilty of this lust.
We slowly begin to understand that all our attempts to control their sobriety failed in the past. Unfortunately some parents take years to figure this basic concept of sobriety. I have heard of forty-something year old addicts still sleeping on mom’s couch. My son found his sobriety when he was ready. He will maintain it or he will fall into the toilet again. His issue…not mine.
I have not asked any of those subtle questions in a few weeks. Damn it I think I deserve a chip.
How many days “clean” from control attempts do you have Mom? There is no better time to give up your attempts to control your precious child than today. Sure it is difficult and will feel lousy. You might feel some guilt but how has your controlling worked out thus far.
Probably not so well if you are reading this blog…
Peace and strength
A big part of the reason POA’s attend support meetings and read blogs like this one is that they are seeking a solution.
They are seeking a solution to cure their addicted child. Panic stricken and broken hearted they will buy the snake oil of the many vendors who will profess have the key to cure the child.
I spent a lot of time in meetings and rooms listening to parents preach about this treatment or some great sober home. I would get my son into said treatment or recovery facility and he would relapse.
He was not ready.
I would read opinions on the social media sites about what do to to cure my son. I would apply the suggestions and guess what? He would relapse.
He was not ready.
After a while I learned that people find recovery in their own time and in their own method.
A sober house that worked for your friend’s child might be the sober house that my son relapsed in . Some of them 12 step…some try other methods. There is no single path.
It makes me crazy when support groups tell members that their method is the best, or suggest recovery facilities that oftentimes have financial ties back to the group. Just because it sits on a blog does not make it the Gospel… ☺
I have learned a few things along my journey is that recovery can only happen when they are ready to get sober in the program of their choice. (Not mommy or daddy’s choice!) If one method worked all the time don’t you think we would all apply it?
I was once advised to sit on my hands and let him figure it out. I am sitting and there are a few seats available next to me… think about it!
Peace and strength.