I’m not sure how and when along this journey with my daughter and our co-occurring addictions – hers with drugs and me with her in my co-dependency – did I start developing a deep faith. It is a faith not just in a power greater than myself, but a faith that if I learn from others and their wisdom and try my best to follow their footsteps, that I can have the faith to move forward and break the cycle. It seemed that although I had made a lot of improvements in how I interacted with my daughter, I still had much to learn. One of the traps that I fell into is when she was doing better, I had the urge to reward her, help her, jump in and make things right for her. I had this overwhelming urge to clean the slate for her and make all her troubles go away. Wasn’t getting clean and sober a big enough burden? Wouldn’t I help a family member be free of a stress if I could?
While logically it may make sense that if you had the ability to do these things, it is the very things you should not do. The reason is that part of recovery is making things right and cleaning up the wreckage of your past. If I were to pay DUI fines and clear other slates then what lesson does that teach my loved one? It teaches them that if they fall then someone else will pick them up. This is not a good lesson. It can reach disastrous proportions if not quelled and nipped in the bud early on. I learned this lesson painfully, but I did notice that with each time my daughter and I had an opportunity to engage and evolve in our relationship, we both grew when we broke the cycle of her having an issue to be solved and me not jumping into solving it. Progress not Perfection!