Discover What Your Addicted* Child WANTS You To Know
These are the 3 pieces of advice I wish I had known years ago. They would have helped me understand my son, Eric, and this disease of addiction.
I know the pain, the worry, and the feeling of helplessness that comes from having an adult child who has an addiction. (Or is in recovery from an addiction). Watch the video above. Listen to my story. Discover why I am so passionate about sharing this information.
Wherever You Are In This Journey,
This Guide Will Help
There are easy-to-learn strategies out there that allow parents to move from one side of this room to the other. From witnessing the first signs of an addicted child, to coping with the struggle of relapses, we can find ways to support our children without sacrificing our spirit... together.
The Burdens of Recovery
Recovery is far different from being “clean” or “not using." When my son, Eric, would come out of jail, the young man I raised would re-emerge... for a day, or two or three. You see, while he was in jail, he was “clean” so the drugs were out of his system. However, soon after being released, Eric fell back into the addiction mindset and began to use again. I asked my therapist how this could be. He was CLEAN after all.
My therapist told me that Recovery takes much more than just being “clean” or “not using."
Recovery is the work of changing this addiction mindset to prevent future use. Until the addiction mindset is sorted, the behaviors that plague our children are much like that of active addiction. Drugs are often used again and hidden from us as parents. Manipulative actions spring up because they continue to need whatever it is now, now, now! There is no real interest in other people or their needs. Eric’s clinician, who is in recovery herself, told me she was working very hard at changing this attitude a full year before her own mind started to clear.
And it is just as important for parents of Adult Children in Recovery to explore ways to strengthen their relationship during this time. We must show our children entirely new ways of being... and empower them even through their struggles. Plus, the time during recovery is a PERFECT time for parents to grow themselves because they'll have more mind-space for this type of work.
We are wise to enjoy the moments when our child is in recovery and to plan for the possible relapse because, yes, relapse is part of recovery. I’ve seen too many parents count on continued recovery and end up devastated when relapse happens.
If your child is in recovery, now is the perfect time to grow your skills in how you engage with your child and show them love in another way.
Coping During Active Addiction
It can be heartbreaking when all you want to do is help your adult child overcome their addiction, and your offers are ignored, twisted or rebuffed.
You do the research, read the books, and speak with the experts―but why can't you get through to your child? You begin to take on the responsibility of your child's actions, although you can't make your grown child do anything that they aren't willing to do for themselves.
As parents, all we want is for our child to be happy and healthy. And so, we do everything in our power to raise them that way. However, parenting an addict is just plain different from what we’ve learned our whole lives!
We can no longer trust our parenting instincts to guide us to the result we want. Instead, we need to learn to love another way!
When your kid comes back to you needing something, your instinct as a parent is to support them even if it ends up enabling them.
I’ve done hundreds of surveys and spoken to many addicts, professionals, and parents who are in the same situation.
I am more convinced than ever, that the community and support of others are absolutely required before most parents can move to a healthy place.
And the real-life results of these Moms shows why Transformative Boundaries™ is right for you...
...if you are solution-oriented and willing to just try sometime new.
You can get through this.
Why Am I Sharing This Guide With You?
As I watch through the double glass window while my youngest son, Eric, slips back into psychosis, my heart shatters in an instant. My world completely crumbles around me. The doctors aren't sure if Eric's outburst is caused by psychosis... or the drug use.
Drug use? How could I not know that he'd been doing drugs so heavily for the past 2 years? Hard drugs, not just any drugs. Hard drugs. My once handsome, fit, intelligent, loving son had become an active addict.
I don't know where to start or how to handle any situation close to this. Oftentimes, my pain is constant and intense, and I feel powerless to change things. But, eventually, I come to discover I am not alone and that there is hope. I continue to speak with many parents who have moved beyond the pain, finding peace and joy. The kind of peace and joy that is not connected in any way to their child’s well-being.
I am so inspired by the others I have met on this journey -- what I've termed my recovery-codependent journey -- that I want to connect other struggling parents with the same information and inspiration.
I continue to learn as much as I can because there are so many parents in need. And today, I want to share some of what I've found with you. I invite you to download the 3 Surprising Things Your Adult Addicted Child Wants You to Know So That You Worry Less, Feel Less Pain, and Reclaim Control Of Your Life as a starting point.
In this downloadable guide, you discover what the addicts themselves have to say--and what the addicts want their parents (and other parents) to know.
Now, I know there is so much we feel we can't do... can't control... can't change. BUT, this is something we can do. We can begin to understand the disease of addiction and share our experiences in a supportive, confidential community.
So, add your email address, and I’ll send you this guide. Your email will remain completely confidential. I’ll also send emails from time to time on related topics - my own stories and experiences, as well as writings that I’ve been told, are really helpful to parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What I really want to do is help my child. Why do you work on and write about helping me when I’d much rather help my child?
A: I believe with my whole heart that helping YOU is really the only way you can help your child.
Now, this may be a controversial statement, and it’s okay if you see things differently. There is room here for lots of different points of view. This is my belief and it is shared by many recovery professionals and by many of our addicted children as well. There is nothing I can do that will directly get your child into recovery/
There are very real, simple things I can share that will help you! Amd by helping you, by changing you, your give your child the gift of opportunities to choose recovery.
Q: You talk a lot about boundaries, Transformative Boundaries™. I am worried that boundaries of any kind will push my child away from me or cause him more harm.
A: Never jump into setting a boundary that doesn’t feel right for you at that point in time.
Choices are not “right” and “wrong”. The best choices are the ones that are right for YOU, at that point in time. And as you consider each boundary, you’ll be surprised to discover all the options you do have. Often, it feels like black and white; yes or no. Usually, though, there are often a number of options available which are really shades of gray. You are always in charge of the boundaries you choose to put in place and when you choose to do so.
Q: You said several times that you were at peace long before your son entered recovery. Will you talk more about that, because it seems impossible?
A: It seemed impossible to me at first also. I didn’t get to peace all at once, and it wasn’t like being hit by a lightning bolt and suddenly being at peace.
A part of this transformation is really believing that my worth and value as a person are not dependent on my son’s health. That I am a “good enough” parent. That I didn’t cause his disease. And that I can’t fix it. But I can still be happy in my own life, no matter what is happening in his. Stay with me - join the journey and conversation. This transformation is possible for you too.
What Parents Like You Have to Say...
"Barbara pulled me up when I was drowning!..."
"I am so proud that I took this step, researched what would work for me and found Barbara. I was a basket case, feeling all alone, lost, devastated..... now I’m hopeful! I’m much more peaceful because my son is slowly getting it, and I’m less stressed. I am excited because I can now set a strong boundary and feel confident about holding firm with it."
"I feel emotionally better on a day-to-day basis..."
"I am very excited to have discovered that there is a process that really makes the boundary setting clear and I can use it whenever I need it. And I feel proud that I can stand up for myself and set boundaries clearly and stick to it. I am more confident that I have my own life, deserve my own happiness and it’s so important to take a step back and let my children grow. I am striving for growth and peace in my life. I feel emotionally better on a day-to-day basis because I am taking the time to think issues over more and not reacting in the moment which has helped with my approach. I am proud that I am now sticking up for my boundaries even though I know I will get defensive backlash, crying and yelling. Oh well – too bad for them. I am confident that I am asking normal requests and my feelings are important and if you can not follow them you do not need to be here."
"Wow! I have grown in confidence and courage..."
"I am excited about being able to wake up in the morning and the air is clear and I don’t have to plan my life around my addict. The peace and the quiet! I feel like my life is back and I am not so isolated and drowning in the addict’s chaos. I can even have company over. I am so grateful that Barbara created this! The isolation caused so much depression and emotional chaos for me and my grandson. I now have the peace and control I have so longed for. I have learned to create boundaries and that has made me a stronger person."