Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Answers -- Syd

I will answer all of the questions. So as not to make the post too long I am going to split them up and answers will follow on each day. I'm answering them in the order they were received. This is not a one time thing, if you have a question feel free to post and I will add it to the list.

Syd asks: Do you have a specific 12 step recovery program? If you do how did it help you? If you don't, how were you able to reach an understanding of powerlessness and letting problems go?
No,  Syd I do not have a 12-step program. In the beginning of our awareness of our son’s addiction Darlene and I went to some NA, Nar-Anon and Al-Anon meetings. I didn’t feel they worked for me. Looking back I can it wasn’t necessarily that they weren’t for me it was more I wasn’t for them. I am a very focused answer oriented person. The answer I was seeking could not be found at a 12 step program because at that stage I had an answer, I was looking for an implementation strategy. This went on for me for 5 years. Personally I could never get past the powerless step because I could not see addiction as a disease, all I could see it as was a weakness of character and I took his addiction as a personal attack on me.

Just as I say in my videos to the class. The light bulb came on by way of Alex. We really did have a nasty fight about his using. After the fight we sat down at the kitchen table and he played the game with me about me holding my breath and him not thinking of drugs, wanting to use drugs and going to get drugs. He said he would lose the game very time. The light came on for me that very moment. I understood there was more to this than just willpower, want to, and poor character. More importantly I learned his addiction was not an attack on his father. When I learned that his drugs were as important to him as oxygen was to me I understood everything I had done in the past was useless. I then did a lot of thinking and deliberation on my own self. With a new paradigm I began to figure out what new life and actions would be required of me. I learned no matter how hard I fought my son was not the enemy, it was the disease. I had to learn how to battle a disease that not only I knew nothing about but had never even recognized as a disease. Peace for me came when I no longer took my son’s addiction and behaviors as a personal attack on me. I came to an understanding that one day the disease very well could defeat my son but it would only defeat me if I allowed it to happen.

Time alone, great support from family and friends along with a lot of deliberation of my beliefs and thoughts allowed me to reach a peaceful place inside.


Owen Lowe said...

Do not lose hope for your son. I'm sure he will be fine after the rehabilitation process. But did you ever put him on a program against drug abuse? Just have faith.. and I'm sure everything will be okay.

Anonymous said...

Owen Lowe: are you on drugs? or can't you read?

Dad, I like that you tell people to do what works. 12 step programs don't work for everyone. From what I know, there is nothing that works for everyone..or else someone would have bottled it and sold it by now.

You and I both realized we could only work on ourselves. No matter how many times you tell other people that, they have to come to their own understanding.

Anonymous said...

Understanding that addiction is a disease and not a character weakness was a breakthrough for me. As you said, I no longer saw my addict (daughter) as a flawed human being, but as a sick (addicted) human being. I could love her, yet hate the disease. It took me over 2 years to really get this concept.

Syd said...

I know that there are many ways to get peace. I'm glad that you found yours through understanding about the disease. Knowledge is power. But I know that my turning point was accepting that I am powerless over others and over alcoholism.

Erin said...

Like Syd my turning point also came when I accepted that I was powerless over my son and his addiction. I was never a big 12 step person, I went to a al-anon meeting several years ago and didn't like it. I recently started going to nar-anon group and I have to say that I absolutely love it, I am so blessed to have found such a wonderful group of people and it really is helping me so much, too much to write :0).