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Mothers of Addicts: Understanding How the Disease Impacts the Family

It’s evident how mothers of addicts face challenges with their children throughout their addiction.  For mothers, it can be difficult to watch as your children battle addiction because you can feel completely helpless.  The sad reality is that addiction expels onward and can affect the entire family.  Not to mention, there is nothing quite like a mother and child love.  Mother’s Day is approaching this upcoming May 10 and whether your child is recovering from their addiction or still active in their use, the holiday can bring up some overwhelming feelings for you.  Continuing to learn about the disease of addiction and grasping that your child’s addiction is not your fault are both important components that can be pivotal in helping to keep your spirit lifted this Mother’s Day.

Addicts Mom

If your child is in recovery for an addiction, this Mother’s Day, you may be resting more at ease than you may have in previous years.  In times past, you might have been on edge because despite your child physically being present, they may have had their arms crossed, eyebrows pointed down, and been in a cranky mood the entire time as they obsessed over abusing substances.  They may have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs the whole time they were with you, or they may have snuck off to get a fix of their substance because they needed it immediately at any and all costs.  When your child was acting out in these selfish, self-seeking, and dishonest ways, they walked all over you and hurt you in ways they may have not realized at the time.  This Mother’s Day is different now that your child is in recovery, not just because they will be sober this year but because they will be emotionally and mentally present with you!  A difference can be seen when individuals like your children are emotionally and mentally present because their minds won’t be wandering elsewhere.  They can be engaged in the conversation.  You will be able to see them light up in conversation, ask questions about how you are doing, and you may notice they are respectful when speaking to you. 

Understanding the fear component

Aside from your child being both respectful and present, another great piece about this Mother’s Day is that now that your child is in recovery you won’t be living in the same fear you had during your child’s active addiction.  One defining characteristic of being mothers of addicts can be living in fear because you never knew when your child would be coming home, if your child would be coming home sober or safe, or if you would have to be bailing your child out of jail or picking them up in an unsafe location at a ludicrous hour.  This Mother’s Day can make you grateful that since your child is not active in their disease, they are making better choices.  Your child can think clearly, make rational decisions, and therefore genuinely want to be spending time partaking in healthy activities with you during the holiday specifically designated for celebrating all that you do.

Remember this Mother’s Day is different than the rest if your child is in recovery.  It can be particularly special if it is the first year you get to spend together and your child is sober.  Savor every moment you get to spend together.  If you don’t get to see your child this Mother’s Day or have lost your loved one due to the disease of addiction, you can always write a personalized letter, pray or meditate to your loved one out loud, plant a flower in their memory, or share a favorite story about your child on the day to keep their memory going.  Stories keep loved ones alive and spreading awareness about the disease of addiction can help to get the word out to prevent more occurrences of dangers associated with drug use.

Is someone you know and love still active in an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol?  Contact The Watershed for help today.  It is possible to be pulled out of the cycle.  Recovery is attainable for anybody who wishes to achieve it.

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