I was desperate for answers when teen addiction barged into my home and heart. “Why did my child use drugs to the point of chemical dependency? How can I make my child better? Why, oh universe, is my child singled out for this horror?” Guilt, shame and finger-pointing were the keynotes of my questions.
I didn’t have any answers. In fact, I was not asking the right questions. To begin my own recovery, I needed to ask, “What are the risk factors for addiction? What is my role in the family disease? and How can I support—and be supported by–other families who are shamed and isolated by their child’s chemical dependency?”
Asking the right questions helped me get my bearings. I began to understand addiction as a brain disease, rather than a disease of will power or character. I began to explore my role as a Blue Chip enabler. I read many, many books on addiction and learned how to sever my sick attachment to my child and to forge instead a healthy relationship with him. I transformed my guilt into action, reaching out to other families who were voyaging through the dark Land of Addiction. And so this blog was born.
At the end of the day, I didn’t have all the answers. I still don’t. But I’m asking the right questions, without judgment or guilt, and they help me stay on the path of compassion, understanding, and healthy boundaries.