One of the most difficult aspects of sobriety as a parent is to experience your child, at any age, go down the same rabbit hole of addiction that you did. You probably want to shake them into sobriety so that you can protect them from what you had to go through although that is probably not what is happening. From your own struggle, you know that they will not stop until they are ready to do so for themselves which makes it even harder for you to endure. When they are finally ready to make the effort to get sober, you know that you will be their biggest cheerleader, but you know you need some pointers.
Focus on yourself
If you are already working a recovery program for your own substance abuse, your program will not work for theirs. They have to take the actions for their specific recovery all by themselves. To keep yourself healthy in your relationship, getting help for yourself is crucial because you need a coping mechanism for their addiction too. Navigating through your kid’s addiction is not easy and it is okay to get some assistance so that you can support them in the way they need.
You are not their sponsor
Sure, you can share your experience, strength, and hope with them although most likely they will receive it better from an outside source such as their sponsor who they picked to walk them through their recovery. Try not to nag them to get to a meeting, to work the steps with their sponsor, or worse contact their sponsor on their behalf. Depending on their age and whether they are living with you, stick to keeping them accountable for what they need to do in school, with work, or possibly their own children’s safety. If they do not live with you or depend on you financially, you should stick to being their parent and loving them the best way you can.
God does not have grandchildren
If you are not religious, focus on the message, not on the word God because everyone has their own path and something bigger is in control. Whether you have a Higher Power or rely on the universe, these entities are in control over each person including your kid. You may want to move mountains to get them sober, but the truth is that all you can really do is hold the flashlight on the path they are taking. They must follow their own path through their Higher Power, or they may resent you for it later.
The best thing that you can do for your child who is struggling with addiction is to keep being a good example for them by staying sober yourself. Leading the way for them is important and an excellent way to put insurance into your own recovery.
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