Reposted from: Addiction Journal: The Guarantees of Addiction/Recovery
The Guarantees of addiction/ recovery
October 31, 2012
You are advised by other parents to not enable and to put your child out of your home if they are active in addiction.
Their advice is intellectually sound, yet you feel it is unloving and cold. The advice goes against everything you did as a parent prior to your child’s addiction. You study these parents and see their children found recovery, thus they must know something. You begin to follow their advice and your child is asked to choose between a drug free life and life on the streets.
One fact of addiction that I will guarantee if your child ends up on the streets is that it will be the most painful period in your life.
Tough love is tough on the family as well. Your mind will race relentlessly to dark places. Projection will tear at your heart. I hated those times when my son was out of my home. Thinking of those dark times still brings episodes of post traumatic stress.
A parent who I think has a great mind for parent recovery reminded me yesterday in a comment she made at this blog is that there exists no guarantee of recovery if we apply tough love.
She reminded me that I am lucky that my son embraced recovery after I applied tough love. I appreciate both her words and how lucky my family is. She is a wise advisor. I never take for granted that he is currently in recovery.
My recovery friend is correct; there are no guarantees your child will find sobriety if you practice tough love in your home.
Despite following the advice of other parents,Your child may still die. Your child may remain an active addict. Sadly there are no promises! The preceding statements are the dismal facts of addiction. Even writing those facts make me feel uneasy.
I was fortunate that in my home, tough love worked. Prior to inflicting the tough love principles, I had to come to a place in both my heart and in my head, that if he died on the streets I would accept that I had done all I could have done to help him.
In my life I knew there existed a guarantee on the flip side of tough love. Had I had remained in denial and enabling mode, my son would have died. Enabling would feed the disease that would eventually kill him. I would wager my own life on that fact. He ran hard and had overdosed multiple times as I was getting my tools together. Thankfully I applied what worked in my home in enough time.
Today, as a sober young man, he thanks me for my tough love back then. It was a long road that was very unpleasant and heartbreaking.
Looking back I would have made one change. I would have learned and dealt with his disease more quickly. I remained in denial for far too long.
The guarantees of addiction are;
– If you make it easy to do drug in your home. They will continue to use.
– If you live in denial they will continue to let you deny as they continue to use.
– If you don’t allow them to experience consequences while using they will continue to use.
– If you save them when they use, they will continue to use.
I understand these facts because I lived them. I made all the mistakes. Finally I began to change and continue to work on my recovery. I share what worked for me to help others. As Al anon preaches, “take what you want and leave the rest.”
It’s ultimately a private choice but I ask you,”Do you want your child to continue to use?”. I hope my experience helps you.
peace and strength
*If you feel this post will help another parent please feel free to to link, share, or retweet this Addiction Journal.
Just wanted to add, this is one of the most honest, down to earth, gut wrenching, and helpful articles I have come across. I posted some of the comments from your article on twitter using the hash tag: #addiction journal. Thank you again so much for sharing openly about your family’s struggle with addiction.
Thanks Bill! Always searching for quality articles and resources to pass along to families. Will check out The Healing Game book.
thanks for the share.. please feel free to check out our book of recovery and hope called THE HEALING GAME – found at the amazon kindle store.