Are you trying to get your life back in balance now that you’ve discovered your son or daughter’s drug use?
I’ve been talking with some moms recently who are concerned because their teen is either experimenting with smoking pot or drinking beer.
Other moms are stressed because their older children have continued using drugs, and have become dependent. Their lives are falling apart.
You as well may be feeling stuck. Common feelings are feeling anxious about your child’s situation. You want the problem to be fixed so that your child will be healthy and live a healthy life.
I’ve been there and wanted the same things for my family.
Drug and alcohol use affects the entire family. Family dynamics are always a part of the picture when trying to understand why your child’s life is taking this devastating turn.
If you are the parent of a child with a drug or alcohol issue, it is important that you take care of yourself through your child’s struggle.
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” ~ Deborah Day
Here are some tips that can help you maintain your family’s stability during this stressful time.
Understand drug use
I know when I first reached out for help when my child was having a problem with drug use, I wanted someone to fix my child. One area that is often missed is taking time to understand what motivates your child to use.
Some questions to consider are:
- Are they using alone or with others?
- What does your child think about or feel when they are using?
- What do you think your child likes about using?
It is important to look at the family dynamics, the genetic link, the child’s environment, earlier trauma, mental health issues, and issues surrounding early substance use. These all are factors that play into why your child started down this road. When you take a closer look at what your child is going through, it will be easier to feel empathy and compassion for their situation.
Having an understanding of why the problem started in the first place lays the foundation for healing.
Take care of your body
Get out and start exercising! You can use your body to help heal your mind. Practice recovery like you want your child to practice their recovery and part of that is taking care of your body.
Go outside every day for at least 30 minutes, and allow yourself to breathe some fresh air. Walk at least 20 minutes every day or do some other form of exercise such as yoga, tennis, running, or whatever suits you. Your mind will be given a rest from the stress and worry and you may find that your best thinking comes with a brisk walk. If you want your child to be physically fit, which will help in their being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, be physically fit yourself.
Take care of your brain
Consider taking up a meditation practice. You don’t even have to call it meditation if that is too woo-woo for you. Start small by sitting, walking, or lying down for 1 to 5 minutes a day and notice your breath. Everyone can sit quietly for one minute. Start there. If you want to know how meditation can benefit you, read 7 Compelling Reasons to Start a Meditation Practice or How Mindfulness Meditation Can Lead to a Happier Life: Meet Sandra Pawula
Meditation can heal your mind and stop all that constant mind chatter that keeps your worried, anxious and stressed about your child’s future. You want your child to give their mind a needed break, give your mind a break as well.
Embrace a new dream for your child other than drug use
Know that the dreams that you once had for your child are going to be different going forward. Your child will never be the same and neither will you.
From my experience, you can start with a different dream for your child. This dream can be a bigger and better dream than you ever expected. Your child may grow and change in ways that you never knew was possible.
So many young people in recovery have evolved into new, confident amazing people. They have risen from the ashes to live their life with meaning and purpose. For that to happen, they need a parent who has risen from their own ashes and changed their life too!
Write about your feelings
Writing in a journal has helped me in immeasurable ways. Watch out or it may turn into a blog. Take a few moments each day to journal about how you are feeling.
A journal is a great place to get out all the anger, frustration, and fear. It can be a source of new ideas, a place to write quotes or other things that you want to remember. It is one of the keys to your inner being, a doorway to your innermost thoughts.
If your child is at a treatment center, most likely they will be writing about their experiences and feelings. There is a reason for that. Give it a try, you may find writing helps you as well.
Give your other children the attention they deserve
One last thought is that your child with drug or alcohol issues so often receives all the attention when they are in the midst of their destructive behavior. That can be center stage with the rest of the family-focused on their problems. I just spoke to a mom recently whose other children are resentful of her child with substance use issues, and this is not uncommon.
If you have other family members, especially other children, don’t cut them short of the attention they deserve.
Give them your undivided attention each day and keep their life as stable as possible. If you have an understanding of why your child has drug or alcohol issues, hopefully, that will help your other children miss this detour in their life.
Fix yourself first and then you will be in a better place to help your family.
What do you think a parent’s role is in their child’s drug or alcohol dependence? What can you do to support our children’s recovery? Share your thoughts in comments.
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By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: 6 Practical Tips That Help With the Chaos of Drug Use
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/6-pracrtical-tips-that-help-with-the-chaos-of-drug-use/
Published Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:16:21 +0000