Archive for Resources

Jul
24

Addiction: Moving Right Along!!!!

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Addiction: Moving Right Along!!!!

 

 Today’s post was inspired by The Muppet Movie and the song Moving Right Along as it speaks of the adversity that Kermit and Fozzy Bear faced on their travels but they just kept moving right along. This lead me to reflect on all the posts I read at www.addictsmom.com and in The Addict’s Mom groups on Facebook and I discovered that everyone has a similar challenge when it comes to addiction and that is dealing with the addict and the addicts behavior. As you face the challenge of having an addicted child you must understand that you did not create the problem, you can not control the problem, and you will not cure the problem and thus you should commit to moving right along. Now the question is how do you keep moving right along? The answer is accept there is a problem, face the problem, do the best you can with the resources you have, and understand that until the addict gets that rude awakening that their choices are not serving them in a positive manner they are not going to change. Once you begin to come to grips with the fact that your child is an addict and there isn’t really much you can do you will begin to have the ability to move right along. A recent study shows that 1 in 3 (33%) of families are dealing with addiction. Unfortunately because of the stigma associated with having an addicted child not many parents come forward to share and when they do many times they are ostracized from the community.  In an ideal situation a parent would recognize that their child was using drugs and/or alcohol and would be able to sit down and have a rational conversation about where the use of drugs and alcohol often lead and the child would have the where with all to understand that the parent is doing what is in the best interest of the child. The reality is that it doesn’t work that way because the parent is so concerned about being right and the child feels like they are being picked on that communication breaks down. Then there is the parental factor that you want your kids to like you so you give and give until you can’t give anymore thus putting stress on the parent-child relationship. Understand that most children lack the capacity to fully comprehend what is happening as the brain is developing and their judgment is flawed as the critical thinking elements of the brain have not been fully developed.  Think back to when you were a child and some of the things you did without thinking then you can relate to what your child is doing. Children tend to be impulsive and just do and this makes parenting very challenging especially when the child is not respectful and does things that are morally contradictory to the values of the family. The question is what to do and how to move right along? Read More→

Addiction: Wiping Away The Tears and Moving Forward!!!!

Glee actor Cory Monteith has died at the age 31, it has been confirmed ... The news of Cory Monteith’s death from an overdose came across the TV the other day and I immediately thought another lost to drugs, Why? Cory was 31 and seemed to have it all, but that didn’t stop him from using and overdosing. I then thought of all the parents who have lost a son or daughter to drugs or alcohol and how they are wiping away the tears and moving forward. It takes a lot of courage and strength to come out and say my son or my daughter was an addict and overdosed or my son or daughter had too much to drink and decided to drive and was killed in a car crash.  The first step to wiping away the tears and moving forward is coming to grips with the loss of a child and then turning the tragedy of losing a son or daughter into a positive by educating others and stopping their children from getting caught up in the cycle of addiction.  In her book Turning Loss Into Joy Vashon Marie Sarkisian gives the reader seven steps to heal the pain.

Accepting the loss and not blaming yourself is a step to help wipe away the tears and move forward. Understanding that you did what you believed in your heart to be right is the only solace that you need. By moving forward you do not erase the pain but you find ways to ease it, be it volunteering at  a local rehab center, starting a scholarship in memory of your son or daughter,  Sharing your stories to help others, or sitting in prayer will assist you in the process of dealing with the loss of your son or daughter. Read More→

Jul
10

Addiction: Overcoming The Pain!!!

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Addiction: Overcoming The Pain!!!!

 As I visited www.addictsmom.com I read many stories of the pain that the addict has caused to the mother and other family members. As I read the stories I began to think that there must be a way to overcome the pain and move forward with one’s personal and professional life. The hope of every parent of an addict is that the addict will break free and stop causing pain to themselves and their family. In many cases a parent’s  pain is so great that they shut down completely and become very distant and as a result their life goes into a downward spiral and they begin to suffer physically, mentally, financially and spiritually as they become so wrapped up in trying to save the addict that it only causes more pain for them and the family.

 In dealing with the pain remember you did not create the problem, you can not control the problem, and you can not cure the problem. Too many times I hear a parent ask what did I do wrong? The answer is you did not do anything wrong as you did the best you could with the resources you had. Many times a parent does not want to face the pain as it begins and doesn’t confront the problem until the pain is to great that the parent has to face it.  This comes from FEAR, which is false evidence appearing real. The reality is that as a parent you can not control every choice your child makes. You can guide them and hope that they listen and understand that you know a few things and if they make a poor choice to use drugs or alcohol that you confront them each time with love and show them that their choice is not the best. If they choose not to listen than it is on them. At that point is when you say you will not cause pain to me or our family and set boundaries. If they are under 18 you can send them to counseling and you can do let them know that their bad behavior as a result of poor choices will not be tolerated. Remember it is not your job to be their friend it is your responsibility to shine your light and guide them. If the child is over 18 you give them a choice either straighten up and stop using or leave the house until the time you are clean. This may seem harsh however it is necessary to stop the addict from using you for money and to stop draining you emotionally. Read More→

Jul
03

Addiction: Finding A Way Out!!!

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Addiction: Finding A Way Out!!!!

 There may be no easy way out but there is a way out.  The way out starts when you accept the fact that your child is an addict and you are powerless over the addiction. As you embark on your journey to find a way out remember that you did not create the addiction, you can not control the addiction, and you can not cure the addiction. You can however take control of your life  by making sure you let go and let GOD. When you understand that everything has happened for a reason and you find what that reason is you can work your way out of the issues created by having an addicted child. The dynamics involved are very complex  and trying to figure out what went wrong is fruitless the only thing you can do is find a way out. The way out can be in the form of detaching with love until the addict is serious about getting help and making a change in their life. This is a tough step as it means that you will cut off communication with the addict until they get help and are sober (clean) for 30 days. Another way out is to support the addict emotionally and spiritually but not financially by being a loving mirror and shining your light for them to see. You can begin to focus on yourself and the other members of your family and move toward your goals and their goals.

Addiction: Finding A Way Out – Removing Fear

 The biggest fear a parent of an addict has is that their child will die on the streets. For many parents this fear has become a reality and their way out came with burying their child. The fear can be erased by focusing on you and the other members of the family. It is when you shine your light and share your story at sites like www.addictsmom.com that you continue to remove the fear of losing your child.  The time is now to face everything and rise by acknowledging the fact that you child is an addict and all you can do is watch things unfold as it is their choice to move forward and get help. Read More→

Addiction: The 3 Rs – Reflect, Relax, Rejuvenate!!!

 This Michael Jackson song, Man In The Mirror, is the first song I think of when I think about reflection as it all starts with ourselves. It is when we take a deep look at who we truly are and discover our authentic self and embrace this that we can be of assistance to the addict. In order to be of assistance to the addict the addict must be open to receive. If you want to change the situation you must take steps to reflect and then commit to change.  It is through reflection that we can find the root cause of the situation and then begin to plant new seeds and create a harvest of joy and abundance. This is not an easy thing to do as it takes courage to recognize your own faults and to work on being a better person when dealing with the fact that you have an addicted child.

 It is through reflection that you can move forward to improve the situation that having an addicted child has created. In many cases it is when we stop blaming ourselves and forgive ourselves that we are able to detach with love from the addict and realize that when they are ready to heal themselves they will. Hopefully the decision to get help will come in time so they can turn things around and have a productive life. The fact of the matter is that when you reflect and realize that you did the best you could with the tools you had you will be able to move forward and help yourself and your other family members.  As you do your reflection exercises be it through meditation, keeping a journal, saying prayers, writing forgiveness letters, attending support group meetings, or sharing at www.addictsmom.com, you may want to suggest to the addict that they do the same. Keep in mind the addict will only do the reflection exercises when they are ready and see the value of doing the reflection exercises. Read More→

Jun
19

Addiction: You Are Not Alone!!!

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Addiction: You Are Not Alone!!!!

 

 As I prepared for the day today I heard this rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone by Barbara Streisand and thought about all the parents who have addicted children. I began to think how you are not alone in your challenge and desire to have your child become clean and sober. I then visited www.addictsmom.com and The Addict’s Mom Facebook page and saw the similarity of patterns of dealing with this cycle of addiction. As I saw some of the troubling stories I also saw many stories of hope dealing with the turn around the addict has made to become clean and sober as they stay on the path or recovery.  The important fact is to realize you are not the only one dealing with this as addiction has become a great health concern in our society.

 Once you accept the fact that your child is an addict and there really isn’t much you can do about it you will be able to move forward in a positive direction to get back on track with your life. The key is to accept the fact that your child is an addict and to understand you are not alone. After accepting the fact that your child is an addict do not try to figure out why or how it happened understand that there are groups you can turn to  in order to get yourself help to cope with this situation. By understanding that the addict made choices that were perhaps brought on by their perception of how they were treated you remove the problem of playing the blame game.  In many cases it is the attitude you bring to the situation that will determine the outcome. Take a step back and evaluate your behavior and see how it is affecting the behavior of those around you. Ask yourself how are my actions serving me in a positive way?  One phrase I always recommend to people is: In the past and up until now I had a problem with (fill in the blank), starting today I will (fill in the blank) to move forward in a positive direction. Read More→

Addiction: What About The Grand Children?

     Thank you to Carmen Janet Sanchez of The Addict’s Mom LinkedIn Group for asking me to write a piece about protecting the grand children in dealing with the challenges of addiction. Today more and more grandparents are facing the challenges of raising children because of this epidemic that has come to be known as addiction. The addict has a child but is incapable of raising the child and turn the responsibility over to grandma and grandpa. The challenge for grandma and grandpa is that they know must be the buffer between the child and the addict. The question is how do they protect the child from being hurt or becoming an addict themselves?  This is a difficult task as the child feels abandoned and unloved by his mom or dad. This insecurity brings on a challenge to grandma and grandpa because they do their best to explain the situation but the child still wants that bond with mom or dad. The thing to remember is that children like everyone else are looking for two things love and acceptance. The child may not be able to process the fact that mom and dad love them but aren’t able to care for them at this time so grandma and grandpa will be taking care of them. This dynamic is difficult because grandma and grandpa may be frail and limited to what they can do for the child. The child doesn’t process this and becomes angry and resentful. The child is fragile and needs love and acceptance and to protect them grandma and grandpa must be aware of their feelings and communicate in a loving way.

In some cases it is only grandma or grandpa raising the child. This dynamic is difficult because of the limitations that they may have and this further hurts the child as they begin to feel let down and disappointed. How do you protect them from this disappointment or feeling of being let down? You begin by being honest and up front with them. You monitor their activities and who they hang out with. You take an active role in their life keeping the lines of communication open. The best way to protect the child is to not make excuses for the addict and the addict’s behavior. Explain to the child the situation and what you will be doing to make it better.

 In helping your grandchildren who are now in your care to grow you must get to know who they are, what their passions are, how they feel about their addicted mother or father, what concerns they have. The best way to help them grow and to protect them is to communicate. Read More→

Jun
05

Addiction: Cleansing The Wounds!!!

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Addiction: Cleansing The Wounds!!!

 As I visited www.addictsmom.com, a FREE Membership Site, where mothers of addicts can share without shame, find resources, and see that they are not alone I saw many comments about the wounds left by addicts. These emotional scars carry a huge burden until they are released or cleansed.  Just like a wound on our body these emotional scars should be treated with our own peroxide. Our peroxide can be in the form of spiritual guidance, seeing a counselor, making a decision to detach with love from the addict, and making the conscious decision to stop allowing our child’s addiction to be the focus of our life.  Just as the rain cleanses the earth and replenishes we should see to cleanse and replenish ourselves by making a mind, body, soul connection. The moment we decide to cleanse is the moment we will begin to feel liberated and thus have the ability to move forward with our lives and thus positively impact the lives of others in our family and outside our family?

Addiction: Cleansing The  Wounds – The Steps!!!

 The first step is to remove the stigma of being a parent of an addict. There is no shame in having an addicted child as stuff happens. In many cases there was nothing you did right nor wrong. Addiction happens because of many factors such as low self-worth, the addict doesn’t feel accepted or loved. In some cases it was just a matter that the only parenting skills you had were the skills you learned from your parents. The addict may have felt that you were judgmental and  non-supportive and thus turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to get your attention.  You as a parent probably began to internalize the notion what will everyone think and thus fed into the problem  and thus made it worse, you are not to blame as you were doing the best you could with the tools you have. The key is to remove the stigma stop worrying about what others will think and step up and say my son/daughter is an addict and we are working things out. Read More→

Addiction: Saying Goodbye Gracefully!!!

 

 Today’s blog entry was inspired by this Seals and Krofts song, We May Never Pass This Way Again. As I listened to the lyrics I began to think how important it is to realize that we get one chance to positively impact the circumstances that we are facing and how saying goodbye gracefully plays an integral role in all that we do.  As a parent of an addict you may have had to say goodbye to a child that was called home to GOD or you may have had to let go and let GOD as you have realized that you did all that could. having to bury a child is the hardest thing a parent will have to do. This challenge is magnified when your child was an addict because all types of  guilt comes over you as you wonder what could I have done differently? You begin asking why and you may never find the answer as we never know why, we can surmise that they felt unloved, unaccepted, and lacked self-worth. The key is to say goodbye gracefully by honoring their memory the best way you could by helping other families who are struggling with the challenges of addiction.  When your child is living and still choosing to live the addicted lifestyle all you can do is to say goodbye gracefully telling them you love them however until you are clean I can no longer support you. There comes a time to let go and let god. This takes a lot of courage because the second hardest thing for a parent to do is to separate from their child. In many cases saying goodbye gracefully and allowing things to unfold have proven to be the best as the addict decides to get on a path of recovery and the parent then is able to reunite with the child by being loving and supportive. As a parent it is important to realize that you can guide your child, you can educate your child about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, and you can be their emotionally for the child but despite the greatest efforts they may still use drugs and alcohol. The road your child takes will be mostly determined by the way you handle the 1st incidence of use. It is at this moment when you must commit to saying goodbye gracefully.

Addiction: Tools To Say Goodbye Gracefully!!!!

Mandisa expresses the importance to saying goodbye to the person you used to be in her song  Say Goodbye. When you use music as a tool and you truly internalize the lyrics you can say goodbye gracefully and move in a positive direction of your goals. Read More→

May
22

Addiction: Changing Your Attitude!!!!

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Addiction: Changing Your Attitude!!!

 Today’s blog post was inspired by Whitney Houston’s song, The Greatest Love Of All, as it helped me to shift my attitude and move forward in a positive direction. Whitney Houston was called home to GOD as a result of an overdose. Her beautiful messages delivered in song were a mask for the pain she was suffering. This led me to ask a question what pain are you masking as a result of having an addicted child? I then began to ask what challenges are being heightened because of the attitude you are showing toward the addict?
  Think about all the interactions you have with your addicted and the attitude you displayed when dealing with your child? Did you come from a position of love or a position of anger? Did you come from a position of hope or a position of fear?  When the phone rings and it is your addicted child do you cringe and say now what or do you take a deep breath and say I will be loving and supportive? When you see their name in an email do you say oh no delete or do you read and respond in a caring and loving way? The energy and attitude that you display will be the energy that you get back.  I know it is hard to do what Beverly Buncher suggests and Be a Loving Mirror. In past blog entries we touched on forgiveness, which generally leads to having a better attitude when dealing with the addict. Read More→

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