Addiction and Tough Love

A child’s love for their parents

I’ve heard of women having children because they wanted someone to love them forever. That right there shows the belief that a child’s love for their parents is truly unconditional.

I also know this to be true because I feel it. The love that I have for my parents is something I can’t describe and I want to see them happy and healthy, just much as I want see my daughter happy and healthy.

I also know what my daughter feels for me. I see the way she looks up to me and the love she has for both of her parents.

The love between a parent and child is something that is beautiful and very important for the development of the child.

I just wish that many of these relationships haven’t been ruined by addiction.

Addictive behavior

If you’ve been reading my blogs then you already know about how both of my parents were addicts and how it impacted my life and continues to impact it.

When my Dad was living in his addiction, I didn’t see much of him when it was really bad.

My Mom on the other hand, she was the start of it all. She struggled with addiction for years and some years were better than others.

I’ve been forced to learn the behaviors of an addict, because it’s important to recognize that there are so many lies and manipulation going on that you don’t know what to believe.

You have so much guilt to deal with because you don’t want to be an enabler, but you also don’t want them to hurt themselves or do anything stupid.

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An addict will use the love you have for them against you just to get what they want from you.

As my experience was with my mother, I was on an emotional rollercoaster because she was a master manipulator and would take advantage of me.

But the older I got, the more began to learn and catch on to those tactics.

Growing from love to tough love

Being an enabler is not good for you and the person who is an addict. Yes, you may think that you should just give them what they want and everything will be okay.

But it won’t be; they will always come back for more until they suck you dry. Things may seem like they are getting under control, but with time, only the opposite will happen.

There is going to come a time when a loved one’s addiction will affect your mental health, so you will need to choose them or you.

This is may sound harsh, but no matter WHO IT IS that’s battling addiction, you need to pick yourself EVERY TIME. No matter the reason, a person gets addicted to drugs at some point you cannot allow someone to bring you down into their nightmare of a reality.

It’s important that you set boundaries and this is for the sake of your mental health. You are the most important person in your life and it’s time to put yourself first.

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You must find out what works for you and you enforce it. If you don’t want that person to come to your house or stay the night, then enforce that.

I know my Mom was not allowed to stay the night at my house and I would not give her money.

There was a time when my mother called me to ask if she could sleep at my house for the night because she had nowhere to go and it was cold outside. She said she wanted to do better and she was going to start working to get into a treatment facility.

As hard as it was I was for me to say no, I had to. I had helped her in the past and I was taken advantage of. None of my help did anything to prevent her from making the decisions she was choosing at the time.

I knew I would be just opening the door for more manipulation if I had said yes.

I let her know I loved her so much, but I couldn’t allow her to always come to me for help. This time she needed to save herself, this time she needed to do something for herself before I was able to do anything else for her.

I told her that if she was serious about getting her life together, she would have to start making changes now, despite the circumstances she was in.

After I said what I needed to say, I was shocked by her response.

She said she understood and that she appreciated my honesty and tough love, and that I was right and she needed to first do things for herself.

I told her to show herself and me that she was serious, to call me every day just to check in, because she would usually go months without contacting any of her children.

But soon after we made the agreement, it was broken.

This showed me that she wasn’t serious and I did make the right decision.

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Always be there for support

Dealing with someone with an addiction can be draining and take a lot out of you. I had to learn to leave it to God and if and when she wanted to get her life together, I would be right there to help her.

But as long as she continued to make bad choices, we would not be there and she would not be allowed around our children.

I am so thankful that she is currently 9 months clean and doing really well in her life. As long as she continues to make the right decisions, she will have my support forever.

I’ve never stopped loving my mother or thinking about her.

Tough love looks different for all of us, depending on the situation, but know that it is needed if you are dealing with an addict.

Question of the week

Do you have experience in dealing with an addict? Do you enforce tough love or are you an enabler?

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