Thursday, August 4, 2011

Recovery Doesn't Mean Perfect

This post isn't about any specific action or thing. This is simply a reminder to myself and others that recovery doesn't mean perfect.

It's important that I think of my son and treat him as a human being, not a special case of someone in a weird place called "recovery". Human beings work, play, think, have dreams, wants and are free to do whatever they believe is important to succeed financially and spiritually. A person in recovery is free to live that life and it is important that I recognize that fact. A person in recovery must also be free to make mistakes and experience hardship just as the rest of us do each day. Without the freedom to live learn grow and make mistakes there can be no growth.

Through fear, past experience or whatever it is not fair for me to put unrealistic expectations on my son just because I fear the past so much. Unrealistic expectations not only hurt me they hurt everyone around me. I must not walk lightly around my son and I must not expect perfection. He deserves to be treated and loved just the same as my other children. Each of them are different and have different needs based upon their own lives.

The past is past, I will get better as learn to allow the past to be in the past.


Brandi said...

I very much agree with this and I have to remind myself of this everyday!

A Mom's Serious Blunder said...

You are so right! Thank you for the reminder.

Terri said...

We need allow ourselves to be less than perfect in our own recovery as well.

Lou said...

I treat my son as an adult because he is an adult! I talk to him as I would any other adult. Occasionally, I feel like I'm still talking to a child because of "addiction remnants" in his brain, but I talk to him as an adult anyway.

And so true Dad (and Mom), it's hard not to walk lightly. I find myself wishing people wouldn't drink at our parties because of Andrew. But what can I do, post a sign "no drinking allowed."

Gledwood said...

I like it at NA when I hear people say "my friend who isn't an addict doesn't have a programme"... meaning you're actuallly better off than a non-addict for having a programme like NA (if you can stick to it) ~~ I do believe in NA despite some reservations. It annoys me that my mood swings get put down to drugs when they're worse OFF drugs, in fact the heroin covered a lot of them up so well I honestly believed my depression cured in the early years (fool that I was~!)

I'm glad things seem SO MUCH MORE POSITIVE these days for all of you

Hattie Heaton (Mom of an Addict) said...

I agree with this post. I think every human, in recovery or not, needs to feel the emotional attachments of family just like an infant. Maintaining that special connection aids in recovery as much as anything else. In other words foster those loving relationships despite the fact that addiction is part of our lives. Those relationships are our safety nets.

Barbara said...

Good reminder. I'm just waiting for the moment that there is a "past" to forget. So far its all present.

I know its different for everyone, but how do most people determine when their addict is truly "done" and have that good feeling that the past really is the past?

VJ said...

Yes, this is a great reminder to me, for sure. Those unrealistic expectations can be very hurtful to everyone.

Thanks for your post

Syd said...

Thanks for this post. It is true with just every day people too. I cannot expect them to do more than they are capable of doing. If I keep my expectations to myself then I am okay.

yaya said...

Addicts in recovery are addicts in remission. And like any person in remission; there is the possibility the disease will strike again.

We can't ignore the possibility of a relapse; we are not stupid people. But we can opt to treat the addict like the person he is and not the disease which lays dormant in him.

We have to realistic with outselves. We've been hurt and we have scars. And while I believe our relationships can be mended, and sometimes become even better than before, we have to admit our relationship has forever more been changed.

We can't be too hard on ourselves if we tiptoe around our recovering addicts. We've been through alot. And while we can forgive and start to trust again, we will never forget.

I have a son in recovery 3+ years and a daughter in recovery 5 months.

All that said, I agree with Ron.

God Bless

Gledwood said...

I was just thinking about this again, and it's amazing how many people seem to assume recovery means little more than staying off the nasty drugs and away from active addiction!

My understanding of the issue was that you stay away from the drugs; recovery is just about All Else In Life. And for someone who's put their life on ice for the sake of drugs, sometimes for many decades at a time, that Recovery is a pretty tall order! But "easy does it... we didn't become addicted in a day"... as the NA literature says.

NA have helped me a lot. I've decided I'm doing their programme for a year before I decide where to go on from that point. I have to be off my methadone to count as clean for them, so it's going to be quite some time before I can even start this thing!

I've found a new group ~ mostly active in America, though they have groups in London, called Dual Recovery Anonymous, for those of us who have felt misunderstood or out of place or simply not understood or accepted at NA. They sound very interesting and do several meetings a week round here; I'm going to give them a shot.