You didn’t sign up for this. It’s every mother’s worst nightmare. Your pride and joy is an alcoholic or a drug addict. It’s the end of the world – or is it? No, it’s your time to show what you’re made of.
When you became a mother you dreamed of all the beautiful moments you and your child were going to have together. From the first steps and the first words to school days, finding out what they’re good at and nurturing them, to make them the best they can be.
Well guess what: the vast majority of all the drunken, addicted, messed-up humans had a Mom who thought like that too.
If life deals you lemons, you make lemonade. That’s a terrible old cliche, I know, but like all such sayings, it has an element of truth.
Here’s another saying: “Cometh the hour, cometh the man.” Woman, actually. It means when the going gets tough the tough get going, which sounds much more doable.
We weren’t put on this earth and given the gift of children with a lifetime guarantee of good behaviour and health – we cope with things as they come up, and if they’re good things we welcome them.
But if they’re bad things, we have to deal with them and make them better to the best of our ability.
One Boys Story About Addiction:
I have a great Mom. But when I was born she wasn’t thinking she was going to spend almost half my life (so far) keeping me away from a precipice my reckless nature kept dragging me towards.
Her darling little boy started drinking at age 9. Drinking spirits, that is. The hard stuff. And he liked it.
My teenage years were far from the idyllic canvas of school sports days, sitting through two hours of Shakespeare to watch me trying out my acting skills, going to the beach on vacation and seeing me develop into a fine young man.
I developed into a problematic young man. Sure, I did all the growing-up stuff, like homework and learning to play the guitar. But when my Mom’s back was turned I was drinking anything I could find. I had a serious alcohol addiction and drug addiction.
I was a teenage expert at rolling joints and when I had mastered marijuana I moved on to the sort of chemicals I should only have been reading about. I was a precocious student on a drinking, smoking and snorting course, majoring in meth.
I must have given my parents a thousand sleepless nights, but they stuck by me. They did their best to steer me away from the bad stuff, but I wouldn’t listen. Not only was I rebellious by nature, but all too soon I had the terrible, deceitful, lying voice of addiction putting words in my mouth.
I did two years in prison when I should have been at college. And my Mom and Dad came to see me in there and they were there for me when I came out. When I thought I had beaten alcohol addiction and drug addiction, but relapsed and decided to kill myself, my Mom read my mind and intervened at precisely the right time.
My folks found help for me in alcohol rehab and drug rehab. I owe my Mom (and my Dad, but this site is for Moms) so much, and I want to tell other women how they can help their wayward kids who are heading for alcoholism and drug addiction. So here goes…
1. Love your problem child
Never give up. A mother’s love is the very foundation of a child’s sense of wellbeing. They will abuse your good nature, they’ll take you for granted, they’ll think you’re out of touch, they’ll stay away from you because being near you makes the state they’re in uncomfortably clear to them.
But you’re their bedrock, and if you try everything you can think of to help them and nothing works, don’t forget that deep down in their soul they know their Mom loves them, and that is like a lifejacket.
2. Advise them
Common sense is a wonderful thing, but if you have a child careering down the road of alcoholism or drug addiction, you will need to add a bit of specialist knowledge to your arsenal. Find out about what it is they’re hooked on, so you can talk with a little authority on the subject. Get some information about addiction. And along the
3. Protect them
Alcohol addiction and drug addiction make people reckless. They can’t see trouble coming, because they’re at the wheel of this juggernaut barrelling down the mountain and they find it exhilarating rather than terrifying.
But you, Mom, can see
Your masterstroke could be to get them into Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. If you achieve that, you’re putting them into a kind of protection where trained people and fellow sufferers can help them.
If that doesn’t work, you could get them into a rehab clinic somewhere, which would effectively take them out of circulation long enough for them to take the first steps on the road back to normality.
4. Be firm
Tough love can be the most appropriate form at times. So along with all the nice, fluffy
5. Forgive them
Addicts hurt everyone. Yours will hurt you. They
That’s all you can do, but don’t underestimate it. And one day, when (we hope and pray) it’s all over and your grown-up little soldier is back on parade, bloodied but unbowed, you will once again reap the love that you have sown.
Now that I am clean and sober (been that way for nine years and I intend to keep it up forever), and I am a successful businessman, respected in the community and living a good life, I have made it my mission to pay back in some small way what my parents gave me. They took the family out of the danger and madness of our native Colombia during the country’s own dark days. They took us to California and a better life. But now that Colombia is sane again, I am back there, and they would love to retire here. I’m going to use my prosperity to make that happen now that I’ve recovered from alcohol addiction and drug addiction.
So, Moms, have I touched a nerve? This website is dedicated to Moms and the particular issues they face, including women’s well-being generally.
I hope I’ve colored in a small part of the overall picture. Have I missed something? Please tell me in the comments! It’s just one son’s perspective on alcohol addiction and drug addiction, but if you’ve got something to contribute, please let me know.