“Crying! So sad! Eleven years dealing with my child’s addiction! First, clean then relapsing. All of this has torn me apart! Who am I anymore? So sad! So depressed! I feel guilty because I no longer have the faith I used to have that they will get clean and stay that way. I’m so so broken! I go to meetings! I pray! Why does it never stay better?!?!” ~ A mom dealing with addiction in her world
It is difficult to separate or detach from the chaos of our children’s choices. As parents we spend much of their early lives loving, teaching, advising, encouraging, protecting, and fixing our children. As they get older parents worry about the choices they are making and the older they get the bigger, riskier, and more terrifying the stakes become. Add the dynamic of a child battling an addiction and everything increases exponentially.
There comes a time when we, as parents, need to detach from our children. Their choices, actions, behaviors, outcomes, and consequences need to be theirs to choose, live, and experience. It is not healthy or productive to be that connected to their lives. They have their life and we have our own lives to live.
I know how this mom feels. I once was lost trying to save, cure, fix, guide, direct and control my son’s choices and outcomes. It got to the point where every single action in his addiction driven life influenced and defined the next step or action in mine. I was officially out of control, co-dependent, and addicted to his addiction.
Last week, Cathy Taughinbaugh shared a wonderful blog on the very subject of codependency – “Are you ready to Let Go…and Take Care of Yourself?” In this blog, Cathy reminds us of the adverse power of codependency and the superior power of finding “serenity, [and] a deep sense of peace, and learn to give and receive love in new ways. We will have the freedom to live our own lives without guilt and responsibility to others and find real solutions.”
This is wonderful advise. Included in her blog was a powerful definition of codependency by Melody Beattie…
“A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.”
I discovered on my 100Pedals journey that peace, joy, happiness, and opportunity began to exist and help transform my life the minute I let go, empowered my son to discover his own path to recovery, and began engaging in positive, productive, and personal improvement projects for myself. As soon as I made the conscious choice to start living my life, independent from my son’s addictive driven choices, I discovered a different way to love him and encourage him while celebrating and enjoying the life I have despite the chaos his addiction around me.
May you find peace on your journey, the courage to let go, and the joy that comes from the release!
Starting Tuesday, September 2, 100Pedals will be hosting a weekly chat room support resource for parents looking for advice, support, love and encouragement. This Parents’ Support Network (PSN) is a free resource for parents who struggle with the daily battle of addiction in their families. We are providing a safe, secure, and convenient forum for parents to share, learn, and listen. If you would like more information, please click on this link – Parents’ Support Network.