Those of you who know me personally, and maybe some of you who don’t, know that our little family has been learning quite a lot about addiction over the last few years. We’ve seen it in all stages, and felt just about every emotion as we have been in the midst of it. Some days I can stare it bravely in the face, and others, I feel hopeless want to hide and let it win. I have to be honest, most days, it’s the latter.
But on both of these kinds of days, I have to sit back and say to myself, “you can’t control this.” Like a lot of things in life, addiction of a loved one is out of our control. And sadly, but in reality in some ways, out of the addict’s control too. I like to be in control, don’t we all? Its been super hard to grasp this idea that I am powerless. But when I learned this, things changed for me.
Regardless of where my family is at in this recovery, and despite the outcome, I am grateful to have this opportunity to learn about this disease. Wow, it is prevalent in our world! Now you may wonder why I’m wasting my breath, and I’m certain there is a large portion of you who don’t feel the need to be enlightened, and that’s perfectly fine! But there is also a another portion of us who are dealing with it first hand, or know someone that is. I know that the more light we can bring to this topic, the more likely our struggling loved ones are to get help.
Why is this written on a children’s blog? I would have asked the EXACT same question before this struck our family. But let me tell you, the most important thing I’ve learned thus far in my husband’s recovery, is that it GREATLY impacts our children.
One of the leading players in addiction is shaming. I’ve heard countless addicts talk about being shamed as a child. A lot of the time, in mild criticizing, and many times, completely innocently by the parents. But these are things that stuck with these children throughout their life and caused them feel less than, worthless and have a lack of hope, and in result, turned to things that can cause addictive habits. I’m as guilty as anyone. But I feel that learning this lesson early in my children’s life is one of the most beneficial things I’ve ever been taught. As a 4 year old, your mistakes are small and simple, (although sometimes they seem to be the end of the world, when our couch or rug is ruined because of a accidental spill). As they grow, their mistakes may be more substantial, and sometimes even occur out of rebellion. In any case, shaming them for wrong doings will cause damage that sometimes is irreparable. Instead of shaming, there are healthy ways to help children learn from their mistakes, without bringing them to such a low place and causing these emotional wounds. I’ve decided as a mother to constantly build them up, and help them feel valuable and important, always. When mistakes are made, they already feel sad enough. As humans, we have guilt built into us, our conscience, and we know what we have done is wrong.
Now, I’ve also learned that addiction is a life long disease that cannot be cured. But I do know people can overcome it and be in remission, sometimes forever! I don’t know what this will mean for my family tomorrow, or in a year from now. But the lessons I’ve learned have changed ME and will change the life of people around me permanently, especially my children and how I treat them.
If you are in as great need as I was to learn more about Addiction Recovery, I have found this resource to be the most wonderful and beneficial to me.
Read Nicole’s brave first post about addiction right here.