November 15, 2017

The healing process begins with you

This week, I continue my discussion on habits and behaviors and the impact they have on our interactions and our emotional and relational health.

In the blog and podcast from two weeks ago, I talked about the benefits of breaking the habit or routine which have become a familiar, repetitive response to the behaviors and choices of our addicted child.

Last week’s blog and podcast centered around three behaviors which will bring healing into the lives of families struggling with a loved one’s addiction.  As a refresher, the three habits are:

  1. Eliminate criticism, judgement and condemnation from my dialogue.
  2. Focus on only on what I have authority over and responsibility for.
  3. I will not engage in behaviors or activities which hurt me.

As I was reviewing the content from the past few weeks, the common thread in the previous posts were around how our responses to the difficult experiences and behaviors of our children active in their addiction.

The core message: If we want the situation to change in our child’s life, we are responsible for adjusting, learning, evolving, growing, and altering our behaviors. Many of the responses I have received over the past few weeks were from parents who have embraced the need to better educate themselves, adjusted or altered their interactions with their addicted loved one, or started focusing on what their loved one needs most from them, not what they expect/demand of their loved one.

  1. You are making a difference: To those who have begun to engage in a mindset of unconditional love, meeting their loved one where they are, living in healthy balance, this is awesome. Continue to commit to the process of being the parent they need you to be, not the one you want to be. You may not know it or experience it immediately; but, I am quite confident adjusting your behaviors, shifting your away from you to them, and changing your vocabulary will not be lost on your loved one. They may not acknowledge it, but they will notice it; it will interrupt the habit forming, often toxic patterns which have become part of your addiction driven interactions.
  1. Stick with it: If you become frustrated with a lack of desired results or measurable, immediate impact of your efforts, read the above paragraph again. I know they will notice the change, the commitment, and sense the opportunity for healing you are providing them. They may not be ready, or they may still be learning to trust the new you. While your actions may not guarantee a clean and sober loved one; it will, at a minimum facilitate the formation of a path to healing a broken relationship.
  1. This is good for you: While we all would love to have our loved fully recovered, healed, sober and on the life path we dreamt for them. The reality is, this may never happen. Interrupting your toxic exchanges, engaging in healing behaviors, and facilitating healthy interactions provides a road back to some form of relationship, increases the chances of a healthy recovery, and brings healing into your own, personal broken life. You are of greatest value to all members of your family when you are healthy; these activities put you on that path.

If you have not examined the content in the previous blogs, I encourage you to spend some time there. If you have questions, concerns, or need my support to better understand what I am sharing, please let me know.  Discovering a path to adjusting your behaviors and responses is critical for your personal development and for the healing of a broken or damaged relationship.  This is a fundamental step for every parent struggling with child’s addiction.


Want more insights from this blog?

Join me on the podcast “100Pedals Talk: Inside the Blog” as I delve deeper into this post and share personal stories or reflections behind the article. (Note: The podcast relating to any particular blog is released on Thursday of the same week this blog is posted.) Subscribe to this podcast on I-Tunes here.

This week’s blog podcast episode:

I would love to hear from you.

What issues are confronting you today? Where are you currently experiencing fear and shame relating to the struggles in your life? I have some pretty cool tools to guide you and would love to help.  Please let me know if you need more:


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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.