Lessons for Parents of Addicts

How many times will I need to learn these lessons?  Do we ever remember them, or do we continue to slip away, climb back up, slip away…. ?  I realize I’ve been at this a short time.  It’s only been eight months since I first learned that my son even tried heroin.  A shorter time since I first used the word “addict.”  I’m already tired.  How do you do this for years?


9 responses to “Lessons for Parents of Addicts

  1. My experience has been that my recovery is a lot like my addict/alcoholic’s. It’s more a maze than a path, filled with obstacles and “relapses.” I’ve learned that it’s a process that happens gradually, and I try to have as much compassion for myself as I have for the addicts/alcoholics in my life.

  2. i don’t have a ‘recovery’ because i don’t have a problem. my daughter, however, has a BIG problem, she is a heroin addict. I no longer enable, i no longer let her drama infect my life, i move on and move forward. i am civil to her. i do not participate in her recovery or her decisions, becaause it is her life, not mine.

    you distance yourself. it is the only sanity you have.

    as always, just my opinion.


  3. Thank you both for your responses. Two different approaches to the same issue — both of which I completely understand. Right now, I probably lean toward kathy’s description of things. And yet, when I think of this going on for years to come, I feel I need to create the distance that Dawn describes to keep my own life (and the rest of my family) intact.

    I wish you both the best that life can be. Thanks for being here!

  4. They call it “detaching with love” and it is part of the journey. I have now been living with the same issues in terms of my son’s choices for two years. It does get easier; and there are moments when I am not letting his choices and his life rule mine. I do feel that I’m sometimes on a roller coaster though and sometimes the struggle is really tough. Hang in there. ((Hugs and prayers))

  5. Thanks, Lisa. I am familiar with the “detachment with love” idea. But some days are definitely harder than others in terms of keeping one part (detachment) or the other (love) going, that’s for sure!

  6. I am only a few months ahead of you in all this and often wonder the same thing: how do people do this for years????? I am so tired.

    • I know, Barbara. Some days I feel strong and capable, with a healthy outlook. And others…whew. Thanks for being here!

  7. I have just found out on New years eve my daughter has been hooked on heroin for 4 months after using oxycontin for a year. She is in rehab right now, day 9 so this is fresh. We will see her for the first time tomorrow and I hope I dont do the wrong thing. Is guilt, blame normal during this process? Thinking I did something wrong and not knowing what to do. It all makes sense now that we look back, her boyfriend and herself were hooked and changed tremendously in the last year or so. I have really bad days where I cannot eat or sleep and hope for minutes of peace. I am hoping it comes in the next few years but i understand this is a lifetime. I am worried that I cannot be the tough love person that it will take once she comes home, but I cannot enable her anymore. Please leave some words of wisdom as noone else understands our pain but another mother who is or has gone through this.

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