Alex stopped using a over one year ago. Today he is drug free and working to put his life back together.
There are countless books and websites about addiction, rehab and recovery. Most of them are filled with valuable pages of information that help both the addict and the parent. I won’t discredit anything on these sites in books but I want to share what I have learned about being the parent of an addict in recovery not from reading but from the experience. No long drawn out processes or pages explanations. This is just some words and actions that seem to help me.
- Recovery is hard. Sometimes they need a hand, make sure your hand is out for them to grasp when needed. But, don’t hold on too long.
- Addicts dig deep holes for themselves. Contrary to what you may think filling the hole is faster when only one person has a shovel. If you help to shovel it will take longer to fill the hole.
- Forgiveness is for me. The sooner I understand the faster I heal.
- “Believe” or “doubt”. I choose believe. Have you ever had someone tell you that they believe in you?
- Normal is right. “Fragile, Handle with Care” is not stamped in big red letters on a child in recovery. To stop using means they want a normal life again.
- I love you. That is a reassurance we ALL need.
- Nagging, suspicious looks and reminders of past mistakes really irritate me. Addicts in recovery probably don’t need them either.
- His recovery is his to manage. I know that for the last seven years he hasn’t been able to manage ANYTHING. But, we all have to learn and begin someplace.