June 9, 2014

Finding peace by embracing what we control

Yet another sleepless night wondering what my addicted child is doing and who they’re doing it with.  I keep asking myself, are they safe? Hoping they’re not using, but pretty sure she they are. My heart is so heavy. I live thousands of miles away, in a different state. I am so scared of receiving that phone call that will change our lives forever.  I am so sorry for all of the wonderful parents who are living this nightmare. We shouldn’t have to live in fear like this.

This house may be a wreck, but everything around it is beautiful, peaceful, and to be celebrated and enjoyed.

This house may be a wreck, but everything around it is beautiful, peaceful, and to be celebrated and enjoyed.

So true. A child with an addiction is a parent’s worst nightmare. Our children are fighting or living a life and death battle. The hurt and the helplessness associated with our inability to change the course in their lives is painful, frustrating, terrifying.

The situation hits us and hurts us the most when we finalize come to the realization we have no control over this situation. Our inability to fix the problem, take care of their situation, or make it go away is so painfully frustrating. We have always been able to take care of the situation for our children, until now.

We can do nothing to help them, stop them, control them, or change them – it is up to them.  And, the outcome could be the worst situation possible for us as parents. The possibilities are frightening.

Acknowledging the reality of the situation is the first part of our battle. The real challenge comes with accepting it and getting on with our lives in spite of it. Accepting it provides is the opportunity to adjust our mindset and our lives to this new reality. This is where I have watched many parents struggle.  Instead of adjusting their life in the face of this realization, they continue to fight to create a different outcome in the hopes they will be able to change the present situation in their child’s life.

We can only control that which is ours to control.  And, our child’s addictive driven choices are not in our control. Your child is going to do what they are going to do regardless of where you are and what you do.  You have no control or influence here. You will love them unconditionally and eternally hope for their recovery.  Other than that, the rest is up to them.

What you can control is how you live, celebrate and enjoy the life you have. Find peace in the moment. Celebrate those opportunities to change, improve, and appreciate your life. Doing this accomplishes three things:

  1. It makes you stronger in the face of your adversity;
  2. It helps separate you physically and emotionally from the chaos in your child’s life;
  3. It provides an excellent example to anyone dealing with chaos, adversity, and change in their life, including your child.

The time to begin living your life, for what it is, is now! Find peace in a new beginning. Discover other ways to celebrate, enjoy and appreciate what you have, not what you have lost or fear you will lose. There is peace, joy, and happiness waiting for those who move forward.  It takes time effort, energy, and a focused commitment to accomplish this.  But, it is much better than living in a life stuck trying to change something that you cannot change or fix.

Celebrate the life you have, not the life you have lost and you will find happiness and peace!

Parenting and Addiction, Uncategorized , , , , , ,
About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.