It is said that addiction is a family disease. I used to think that "family disease" referred only to the hereditary nature of alcoholism which was a familiar concept to me - having generational roots deeply entrenched in the disease on both sides of our family. One could say the gene pool was very murky and, still, I remained in some level of denial when it hit so close to home. Our loved one suffered from the co-occuring disorders of anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I always looked to those issues as the problem to be solved, even after alcohol and prescription drugs had long been the "go to" coping method. The journey into and through the ravages of addiction consumed our family for over 7 years and it wasn't until the later years that I actually realized that our family was ill, like our addicted loved one. We had a family disease and were in need of help.
My typical method of dealing with my loved one was to rescue, assist, make easy, accommodate and prevent natural consequences. I enabled in this way because I was afraid of death by overdose or legal consequences and because these behaviors made me feel less anxious if I was physically close or involved in solving the current problem. In reality all my enabling only served to make it easier for the addictive spiral to continue.
I once heard the phrase, "Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child." I prepared the path for the child and prevented natural consequences that could have altered the course of addictive behaviors. I was just so afraid to let go of the outcome. I thought that "letting go" meant severing ties and "kicking them to the curb".
I have learned otherwise.
And now for us, in this moment, we have a beautiful outcome. I learned a new way of being a parent to a struggling adult child and we are all reaping the benefits of a new life in Recovery. I learned that through commitment and dedication to my own well-being that I could be my loved one's best chance at recovery. I learned that by taking the focus off of my loved one, caring for myself and dropping denial and expectations we all had a better chance at a new life. My loved one has a firm grip on Recovery.
I have more peace. And by God's grace
we live in that new life today.
It is my mission to share the wisdom from this journey with others through Family Recovery Life Coaching, Recovery Life Coaching and Community Education. I look forward to working with you.
Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.