From Mom to Mom, I know how you feel because I have walked in your shoes!
As a mother of a wonderful daughter who was an alcoholic, I understand what you are going through.
I applaud you for having the courage to share your pain as it seems to be something that it embarrasses people to talk about. From my experience people feel more comfortable talking about cancer than alcohol or drug abuse.
That is why, as uncomfortable as it was for me, it was also important to stand in front of 100 people at my daughter Courtney’s funeral and admit that even though her liver failed, ultimately it was her addiction that took her life.
So I started Purse-Impressions because not only do I want to provide encouragement and support to woman fighting addiction, I don’t want any other mother to feel the pain I have felt losing my only daughter at 28 years old.
I am more than happy to talk or provide an ear listen to you.
The first and most important step, is to talk about it. Don’t be scared. Once you do, I think you will find you are part of an overwhelming large community of people experiencing the same thing. It seems everyone knows someone who struggles with addiction
Many parents have children (of all ages) who are addicts. It’s important to note, they are good people, accomplished people, loving and fun people and that their disease of addiction does not define them as a person.
Next I would suggest you encourage your child see a physician and have a wellness check-up. If they continually have been hospitalized, just like my daughter, you will both want to have a clear picture of their health and insure their addiction has not affected their liver, kidneys or blood work. They diagnosed my daughter Courtney with stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver before her 28th birthday. It’s important to have a clear picture of their physical wellbeing to assist you in moving forward.
Third look at what options are available to help. It takes a community to fight addiction and Rehab, AA, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or counseling for your child or yourself, can be your best friend through this difficult journey.
Please remember to take care of yourself. I know when you have a child that is an addict; It consumes your entire being. You feel all the stages of grief. It’s because you have lost the sweet child you once knew. Stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the people we have lost, but also applies to the ones we don’t want to lose!
Finally, try not to cope with the worry, stress and anxiety of having a child who is an addict by self-medicating. Remember to walk the talk, even if the journey is difficult for you. You don’t want to be a hypocrite. Seek help for yourself as well.
I stopped drinking right before my 60th birthday and am almost 10 months sober. I originally did it for my daughter, but it didn’t help as she passed away just 3 ½ months ago. I am glad I quit and realize life can still be good, in fact even better sober. You can’t help someone else unless you help yourself.
I am proud of you. Keep your chin up and stay the course. Use any tools available to you. I want you to have what I never will, a lifetime of enjoyment and experiences with your child.
Keep fighting, you have the power to save a life! Do it fo you, do it for me!
Love my moms to the moon and back! I am here for you!