I am a daughter in long-term recovery and I have something important to share with the parents of any addict or alcoholic:
It is not your fault and there is nothing to be ashamed of!
Parents Of An Addict
I would never share that I was an alcoholic/addict before I got sober because I was scared about what people would think of me. My mom and dad also would not share that I was an alcoholic/addict when I was struggling.
Or even when I was in recovery, because of the stigma associated with it. There is a common misconception about addiction and it’s killing our nation. Here are some things you need to keep in mind, Mom and Dad.
My parents thought my addiction was their fault for a long time, and I am sure others blamed their parenting, too. They tried so hard to save me, fix me, and help me, but nothing seemed to work. At a certain point they just needed to let go and let professionals take over, and looking back, that had to be the hardest thing for any parent to do. In the same regard, it was that very decision to support and not enable that would save my life.
Related: Parents, You Need To Stop Doing This
I Blamed My Parents For Everything
I thought my addiction was my parents’ fault, or at least the result of my upbringing. When I had a lot of anxiety as a kid, which I thought was a direct result of my parents’ parenting, but as I have grown in my sobriety, I see that it had little to do with them. I was always an anxious kid. As far back as I can remember, I had anxiety and I think it was more chemical than anything else. I believe I was born with the disease of addiction, so the behaviors were always there. My mother and father had nothing to do with me becoming addicted. I never picked up alcohol or drugs with the intention of becoming an alcoholic or addict, either. That part happened because the disease is progressive and it takes time to become ill. Once my parents could let go of guilt, shame, and blame, recovery was easier for all of us.
Parents Of An Addict, It’s Time To Stop Blaming Yourself
Addiction is a disease and it’s time we stop blaming it on ourselves and others. It’s a brain disease that affects an alcoholic/addict mentally as well as physically, and it needs to be treated as such.
For those that keep blaming themselves for their child’s disease, it’s time to stop. If we don’t start treating alcoholism and addiction as a disease, we will see little change in how they can recover from it. The first step is acknowledging there is a problem; the second is recognizing that you didn’t cause it and therefore can’t fix it; the third step is asking for help.
If your child is struggling with addiction, stop enabling and start supporting them into recovery.
Call us now at (800) 861-1768. The way out of addiction is through recovery.
Written by a mother’s sober daughter.Tags: 12 step programs, alanon, parents of addicts