Headaches, indigestion, stomach aches, sweaty palms, sleep difficulties, back and neck pain, racing heart, restlessness, tiredness, ringing in the ears, dizziness, skin rash, increased allergies, frequent colds, and more I can’t think of at this moment. These physical symptoms were all typical for me at the summit of trying to manage my son’s progressive drug addiction. These warning signs were only vindicated by my current drama event of the day; I became more obsessed with his disease, wanting him to change, urging him to get recovery, pleading for his sobriety, believing that if he’d do what I wanted him to do, I would also get better. To exasperate matters, I would take sleep aids, buy skin ointment, or treat myself to a massage believing this would fix my ailments. All the while, never quite understanding, I was merely affixing a Band-Aid to a severed artery. The underlying issues of my physical symptoms required a drastic 360 degree turn-a-round in the way I was living life. I didn’t go to a doctor because I was tired from last night’s restless sleep. I went because of three, four, five years of continuous symptoms from something that progressed beyond my understanding. Other “stressors” became unmanageable. What used to be easy; work related challenges, staff interactions, management meetings, and interpersonal relationships, all became monumental. All facets of my life were impacted. Loving someone in addiction would require drastic measures and a new way of living. This became possible, but change didn’t happen overnight, and my health would not bounce back in a day or two. There is hope, help and a light at the end of this dark tunnel – it required effort on my part, it began not with him changing, but with me.
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