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Parents of addicts and alcoholics, ditch the guilt!

Hands releasing oxygen bubblesThere is an endless supply of guilt and shame in the world of addiction. And when your chemically-dependent child is in early recovery, you certainly don’t have to like him or her. That can be near to impossible to do, anyway, because the hangover of deceit and blame can take a while to blow over. Don’t feel guilty about feeling resentment for the chaos created by addicts and addiction. You don’t have to like your child at the moment. But you do need to love them if you hope to have a healthy relationship in the future.

You also need to love yourself. If you are wearing a hair shirt of guilt, you need to take it off and stop the “Why didn’t I…?” and “I should have….” Self-flagellation never helped anybody get better.

“When we know better, we do better” applies to both addicts/alcoholics and their parents. When our beloved children begin to confront their chemical dependency, they become more capable of managing it. And when we confront our relationship with them and their disease, we can begin to heal as individuals and as a family.

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  1. I have such a hard time during this last time of dealing with my child who is 35 years old. I am now sick to my stomach and I already suffer from many illnesses myself from dealing with his addiction. His behavior started in elementary school and continued throughout his life. At one time I worked at a church camp and he came in at night and stole from the very place where he went to camp on a scholarship and also worked at the Camp. He not only stoled once but five different times. It was so sad when in this small community of workers I had to get the money he stole and bring it back in a Wal-Mart plastic sack.
    Later he stole the priest’s truck and my boss would never press charges but during this time he was on probation. I called his officer and told him that Chris was on drugs again and I wanted him locked up. It was a hard thing to do but I felt it was the right thing to do. I took him to see both of his grandmothers and beat the warrant to the jail.
    I could start my own BLOG on what this son has done to me but this last time was the worst because he got violent with my husband and I called the police. Instead of taking him to jail they just dropped him off in a neighboring town. He went to my ex-sister-in-law’s house and bragged that he was hidden in my rental house with his girlfriend. He cried because he said we wouldn’t forget his past which was a lie. We’ve welcomed him home again and again but we just can’t do it anymore. Chris can turn the tears off like we do the water faucet. During this time he’s probably costs us somewhere in the amount of $4000 and we’ve had to fight pawn shops to get some of the items out. At times in my life I thought that maybe if I died he would straighten out and thanks be to God I didn’t take my life because it wouldn’t have made any difference. I don’t want to see him anymore. It’s come to that in my life. I would love to sell everything I have and moved somewhere where no one knows me and live in the woods never to let him know where I am living. In place of my Bible I read Codependent No More and I know I need meetings but I don’t want to listen to anyone else’s problems and share my own! Then my Bible comes in second then my Tao book. I feel so alone. I’ve started a book, An Addict’s Story and need to get it out there for others but I am so full of hate that I cannot stand myself. This is what addiction does to a family.

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