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It is absolutely paralyzing to learn that your child has substance abuse issues. Where do you turn for help? How do you know what steps to take? What is addiction, anyway? There are endless questions and no consolidation source of answers or support. In addition, the stigma of having an addicted child causes many parents to retract and withdraw rather than seek help. In truth, many families struggle with substance abuse issues, and the support, wisdom and guidance they need are not easily found.Parent Pathway was created for parents, by parents, to provide a place to find peace of mind at a time when their world feels like it is falling apart.

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  • Knowledge = Power for Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics

    Christopher Kennedy Lawford wrote a great book, Moments of Clarity, which helped me wrap my brain around the power of obsessive, addictive thinking.  His book includes often searing memoirs from authors, artists, actors and politicians who bare their souls about what it took for them to get sober.  If they—superstars with every possible advantage – fought bloody battles with drugs and alcohol, what hope was there for my son?  If they didn’t have an incentive to quit and reclaim their star-studded lives, how could he?  What was their moment of clarity that inspired them to seek recovery?

    I held onto this book like a holy grail because it offered me hope.  It helped me understand addiction as a powerful brain disease, rather than a failure of my son’s character or an incitement on my parenting. Reading Moments of Clarity and attending open AA “young people” meetings let me see the possibility of change.

    Knowledge equals power, and knowledge gives us the power to change.

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  • Sunday Inspiration for Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics

    “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

    - Anais Nin

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  • Busting the co-dependency grip

    Freedom from controlling behavior, for a co-dependent like me, can be tricky. I have to ask myself if there are motives behind my actions. Am I passively aggressively trying to manipulate an outcome? For example, by saying to my son while he’s in the throes of his addiction, that I won’t be lending money or my car, buying him this or that, or “fill in the blank,” am I trying to manipulate him into sobriety by withholding something? In the end, this “standing new ground” might be just another form of cleverly disguised control.

    As I slowly learn to make decisions based on what’s right for me, I can relinquish the impact on others ….what they will or will not do is no longer my primary focus.

    There was a time I paid the auto insurance premiums for my twenty-something son. There were motives behind it, and when he did not “perform to my standards” I became resentful. First, it was an inconvenience. I had to trek over to CSAA each month and make this payment. Why wasn’t he doing anything to demonstrate he would be handling it on his own? I noticed he was freely eating out most every day or going to Starbucks. I’d quietly count the money he could be saving for…car insurance! Was he even grateful for what I did? Then, I’d rationalize that if I did not pay it and he got into an altercation, I would feel terrible. What if he got in to an accident? What if he relapsed? It was important to me that he had coverage because I was fearful of what could happen to him without it.

    This getting overly involved in my loved one’s affairs because of my fears about a future unknown event is a common symptom of co-dependency. My fears were squeezing him further, damaging and unproductive.  Learning to distinguish my responsibility from his responsibility has become a huge milestone in busting the co-dependent grasp.

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