Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Life Clean Sometimes Sucks

This is not a negative post, it is a reality check for us parents (me) tip toeing around our son's recovery.

It's hard to watch my son struggle with the problems associated with real life. We want to reach out and "fix" all of those problems. We feel this way because of our fear that bumps in the road will send them into the ditch and we are so fearful of that past life again that no problem within our power to correct  is worth that experience for us again. But, just as I imagine an addict in recovery at times must fight the urges to use we must fight the urges to fall back into our old life too. It's a matter of taking a breath and remembering my role as a father and role model, not as dad to fix everything.

It's rewarding to watch my son struggle with the problems associated with real life. He is fixing problems where in the past he would have responded by, "F it, I'm getting high." Bumps in the road are his to experience. It would be selfish of me to ride in on my white horse and solve all of the problems just to steal the pride and be the hero. It's time for my son to experience that pride and be his own hero.

Being the parent of an addict in recovery has its own internal struggles with self but I wouldn't trade them for the world.

9 comments:

The Interventionist said...

So true! My daughter's addiction gave me a precious if painful gift: the ability to allow her the struggles that go along with recovery. I'm not saying that I always do it--I don't! But I'm getting better at it; and she is getting better, period!

Syd said...

Life is full of these struggles. I think that recovery teaches us how to deal with living life on life's terms. It is a powerful thing to not let daily living get a person down.

Michelle said...

Powerlessness has a whole new meaning to me today because of this very subject..it has been some of my most painful experiences to see my child caught in the grips of addiction...being in recovery teaches me that I can ony guide them and help them obtain some real coping skills and that everyday life is not a crisis but a journey....Thank God for NA!

Barbara said...

This is so very true. The fear of him saying "F it" rather than facing the problem head on is always with me. I know I've helped him at times to avoid him running off to drugs - but the reality is that kind of "help" does more harm than good.

I am so glad you are "ahead" of me in this Ron, I love gaining insight from your experiences.

addiction journal said...

timely post for me to read... my son struggling w/ the day to day grind of manual labor etc...

i have to learn to "say nothing" ...let him figure it out...

beachteacher said...

oh boy Ron,...have you been reading my mind ? Yes...going through this myself, even if I'm multiple states away from my son working on his recovery. Just simple things,...like when he's bored and doesn't have enough to do (geez, I'd like to try that sometime !),...and doesn't yet have enough friends. He admits that it's a struggle to not have the urge to get high,...not every day (big improvement !), but in certain situations,and my first reaction is sort of an inner panicky feeling,...and that I should have some idea for him, or know the right thing to suggest to him. Believe me, I KNOW I shouldn't at all, but it's an emotional and inner feeling mentally. My husband reminds me that "he needs to learn how to figure these things out for himself",...and I certainly agree, but those first emotions initially surface in me, even if I don't let my son know it, or verbalize it to him. Again...one day at a time...

Lou said...

I don't believe I can stop my son from using, although I used to try to "entertain" him so he would be bored and go do drugs! Crazy!!

I do talk to him, adult to adult, when I see he is going to make a really bad decision. If I explain patiently why something won't work, he often sees the sense in it. Sometimes he really does not have the where with all to figure it out himself due to so many "lost years."

charlene said...

Love your comment about letting your son feel his own pride and find the hero in himself. I'm working hard at keeping my hands off and my heart on.So hard to do sometimes!

~Tracey~ said...

I WOULD trade being the parent of an addict in a minute, I think, Ron. lol

Loved the rest of your post. Good for you for stepping back.

My oldest is clean, bipolar, and doing so well. I am so proud. He's moving across the country in a month. He will be missed. He is a great example for his younger, addict brother. Will probably be his best teacher, delivered straight to him by his higher power.

My best to you... ~T~