Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tough Love - The Language of Negativity

The language of addiction is laced with many terms that seem to be designed to scare everyone. Many words and descriptors of addiction make me cringe “Hitting bottom”, is a term I have written about before. Another term that I recently been exploring and considering is “Tough Love”.


TOUGH LOVE is harsh. Tough Love is another descriptor that bothers me. For a parent to do what is necessary with an addicted child isn't "tough love" it is REAL LOVE. Real love is letting your child sit in jail (protective custody) when for only a few dollars you could get him out and spare them from the confines of jail. (Only to find them using again with two hours.) Real love is telling your child they cannot live in your home as they continue to use drugs. Real love is seeing your addict hungry, dirty and homeless, buying them a meal and giving them info of people that can help them and encouraging them to seek help and not offering to "fix it" for them. Real love is selfishly taking the time to work on yourself so that when your addict has a "profound experience" you ARE able to help in the right way instead of just falling back into old habits of enabling.

Addiction is a disease. When we see a parent sitting bedside of a child with cancer taking chemotherapy, holding their hand, wiping their head, combing their hair as it falls out, holding the pan as they get sick we admire that parent and comment how much they must love their child to be by their side. That parent doesn’t love their child any more than you or I. That parent is only doing what they can and must to help their child get better; just like we are doing when we practice tough love real love.

Real Love is why you are here reading this post.

Tough love is easy, throw them out and leave them to the world.

15 comments:

kel said...

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, for this post today. It is exactly what I needed. Well said!

Anonymous said...

Well done!

Barbara said...

I'm sharing this.

Erin said...

Well said Ron.

Lou said...

Good post Ron. The people insisting on tough love always made me feel I was doing something horribly wrong and stupid.

How about a new phrase--"real common sense love"

Anonymous said...

Perfect Ron. Perfect :)

Anonymous said...

Haha that was me accidentally anonymous :) and I'll say it again...perfect !

Tori said...

That was so well written. It is very confusing for a Parent especially when they first find out. This was perfect.

parent of addict said...

Nice post.. we must remember that "tough love" can be tough(er) on the parent as well.

Taking that first stop on the REAL LOVE highway and leaving your baby girl on the streets is frightening. Truly frightening but letting the feel the "sting of consequences" is often what needs to happen before our "addict child" ( another term thrown around often) can begin to find recovery from their disease

I am glad today that I am not having to make those choices ...today is good day

Syd said...

Wonderful post, Ron. I think that it is real love when we can walk side by side with each other without having to be enmeshed. Not enabling out of fear is real love.

Annette said...

Oh Ron, thank you. You made me cry. This needs to be shared....maybe a new Partnership post? I'm having my husband read it in the morning. EXCELLENT piece of writing here.

yaya said...

Makes me feel so much better about all those "tough love" decisions we made when our addict was using.

In my heart I knew it was "real love"; the tough part was doing it.

I like to think of it almost as "sacrifical love"

Thanks for the wonderful post.

Bristolvol said...

Well said, Ron! Tough and love don't really go together anyway!

Anonymous said...

Amen Ron, thank you for your post!

allcon22 said...

I need help, my son is an addict and I cant bring myself to give up.I have sectioned him into rehab twice he has done 1 month in jail and now is looking at going back. he does percs and I am so scared it will go to heroin.... I am afraid if I give up he will,,,, he has manipulated me ,,, lied right to my face ... I am dying inside and my husband (his dad) has had it... I told him he will go before our son... our son is currently staying with another addict......some advice i can try and follow please