Dr. MacAfee wrote: As addicts become increasingly drawn into addiction, their families get drawn into dysfunction. The common dynamic shows the family polarizing and moving into either/or thinking. The addict becomes the major focus for some family members. For others, the addict is a target for rejection, disdain, and fury.
My reflection: The drama of addiction took over our family’s life. The fear of watching my son fail was frightening, and I spent most of my time defending him to people who knew little about this disease.
Today’s Promise to consider: The pain and confusion of addiction became more manageable when I took the initial step to name and define what was going on. When I got honest and quit living in delusion, I became open to the help of Al-Anon and started to accept the wisdom of other recovering individuals. I also became transparent with our beloved addiction specialist. By taking addiction out of the shadows and bringing it into the light, I started to heal. So did my son.3814
I hit my bottom last year. When I think of how sick I was, sticking my nose in ALL of my son’s affairs, I am amazed. I was so convinced it was my job to live his life for him. I have found a wonderful AlAnon home group and I rarely miss a meeting. Not only has it helped me to “mind my own business” it has helped my son to live HIS life on HIS terms.
Dear Mindy, I understand how you hit your bottom because I walked the same road. I, too, thought that I could ‘fix’ my son, live his life, take care of him to the point where he would change. My Al-Anon group was my salvation, where i found people who had walked in my shoes and helped me with compassion and knowledge. I started to regain my health, and I was better able to allow my son to regain his. My love to you and your family.
Thanks Libby, best suggestion a parent will ever hear. A mom was visiting our support group for parents of addicted children. She came regularly for several weeks and then stop attending. I ran into her at a grocery store and asked if she was going to return to our group and she responded, “I don’t think so, it was too structured.” I understand completely as that was my mind set at one time in my journey. However, what I have learned is I needed structure and accountability in my own life just like my addicted child would eventually require the same thing when he found long term recovery.
You’re right, Pat. Just as our children have to be ready to find sobriety, we have to be ready to find our sanity. It’s not easy to face the demon of addiction; it’s not easy to share our heart with others; it’s not easy to break the secrets we’ve been carrying. We each walk our own walk and in our own time. I join you in prayer and hope for all those suffering.
I read somewhere that when we intervene, we try to act like their higher power. That was a shocking revelation for me. We still need to have contact with our addict children, we still need to show and express our love when ever possible, and provide them support when they ask for recovery. My intervention was out of fear and pain.
I agree, Del, and my intervention was also out of fear and pain. I was so afraid my son would die, but he almost died WITH my enabling. Once I got out of the way, my son took over with HIS Higher Power. Prayers for all those suffering.