Category Archives for Blog

I have limited contact with my child. Why should I work on my relationship with them now that I finally have some space and time?

You finally found some time and peace of mind. Which are hard things for any parent of a child struggling with addiction to find and hold onto. Your child is either in another household, with their other parent, living in another area of the country or nowhere in particular. Or maybe they are just simply out of touch.

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My child is doing so well right now. Shouldn’t I just let this play out?

You know the feeling: When you finally see a light at the end of the tunnel for your adult child struggling with addiction. It may happen after a crisis that lands them in jail or rehab, or their current sobriety may be a choice they’ve made on their own.

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I’ve tried everything as a parent to help my child choose recovery. Why is this approach different?

When my son was struggling with addiction, so much of my time was spent researching solutions that claimed to work for helping him choose recovery. I went to parent support group meetings and countless therapy sessions, read an endless number of books on the topic, and searched the internet far and wide for anything that claimed to offer answers and results — and nothing worked.

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What happens when I’m all my child has left?

As a mother, you want your child to know that you’ll always be there for them when they need it the most. But what happens when you’re all they have left? Because of their addiction, they can no longer turn to others in the family — their siblings, another parent, grandparents, aunt and uncles — who don’t understand what they’re going through or may have even cut off contact altogether.

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If my child has an addiction plus a mental illness, where do I start?

If your adult child struggles with addiction, you may already be aware of the connection1 between mental health and substance abuse: “Substance use disorders also co-occur at high prevalence with mental disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), psychotic illness, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder.” Which do you address […]

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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 […]

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I want to take a hard line and not enable my son/daughter and my husband isn’t on board. How do I change anything?

There are many lessons you’ll learn during the course of parenting an adult child who is struggling with addiction. At the top of that list is understanding that there’s nothing you can do to control anyone around you. While this certainly applies first and foremost to your child, remember that addiction is a family disease. This rule of thumb can apply to anyone in your life — including your spouse.

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Setting boundaries with your addicted child that strengthen (not damage) the relationship

Take a minute to think about fences. Many times these fences are created for protection; they keep pets from running away, guard your home and possessions from damage or theft, or stop unwanted visitors from entering your property.

They’re clearly visible, and those who cross these boundaries do so knowing there may be consequences — but you can unlock the gate to let in those who you trust to respect your space when you’re ready.

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How to love your addicted child and prevent the worst from happening without losing yourself in the process

As mothers, we inherently put so much of ourselves and our lives on hold to care for and love our children at any age — that’s just part of what I call the “Mom Code.”

While we generally tend to do this less as our kids grow into adulthood and need us less, that can change when we find ourselves figuring out the best ways to support our adult children through their addiction journey.

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Are you struggling to overcome the fear of change?

For however long and by what methods you’ve been using to interact with your child about their addiction, it’s just not getting them to really change.

They’re still choosing addiction over recovery, and you’re still feeling powerless to help. You and your child (and likely your entire family) have developed a certain way of “dealing” with these situations, and you’re not sure if or how you should change that approach. You’re afraid.

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