“Where did my life go?”
“Why do I feel so powerless?”
“What can I do to get back the relationships and life that I lost?”
It starts with the signs: Your child is using drugs or alcohol and could be addicted, and you know it. They no longer look or act like the child you raised, and they’re constantly facing crisis after crisis without navigating through them. You hide this from your friends and family because you feel responsible and like a failure as a parent.
No matter what, you’ll still love your child, but seeing them like this is painful. Will they ever get back to a decent life? Will they reach the potential you know they have inside of them? All you want is to see them healthy, happy, and doing well again. You are in pain watching them struggle.
Why do I feel powerless when it comes to my child’s addiction?
Even simple things make you feel stressed out. When the phone rings and it’s your child on the other end, or they knock on the door to visit -- you don’t know how these interactions will end, and it’s stressful for you and for them. Stress can manifest in the following ways:
All of this contributes to the feeling that you’re powerless. You’re a mother; your role has always been the one to keep the peace. It’s clear that your adult child is struggling with addiction but you don’t want to speak up. You’ve lost your voice -- when you do finally speak up, nobody listens to you, or you end up not saying everything you want to say.
When you feel powerless even after trying to get back to a place of control
You’re feeling this way because your child is struggling with addiction. You’ve likely tried these strategies:
Negotiating — You offer time or money as an incentive for your child to change or get help;
Arguing — Your frustration and stress often leads to arguments stemming from your pain;
Pleading — When all else fails, as a last resort you beg your child to seek help;
Crying — By yourself, you find that you’re crying more often because of your child’s addiction;
Yelling — You raise your voice when you feel like your words are being ignored, time after time;
Threatening — You threaten and issue an ultimatum that you hope your addicted child will take seriously.
First, part of the way this disease of addiction behaves is to blame everyone else but themselves. You need to know that you are not at fault for your child’s addiction.
Second, addiction is a disease of the brain, and negotiating never works. Your addicted child will say anything to get what they want from you without living up to their end of the bargain.
Third, someone with an addiction will continue to take from you as long as you’re willing to give the disease what it needs -- your time, your money, your life. This disease leaves no room for your wants or needs.
So what makes my approach different? And why does it work?
There’s a good chance that none of those strategies have worked; otherwise you wouldn’t still be seeking out a way to encourage your addicted child to choose recovery. It’s time to take a new approach -- the one that I learned -- and I want to help you learn how to do it, too.
I call this approach Love Another Way, and it will fundamentally change the relationship you currently have with your addicted child. You’re no longer the person that gives into their demands because you’re simply too stressed or tired or frustrated. You become a person who takes control of their life and speaks up, voicing your own needs and ensuring your priorities are met.
Ready to regain your power? Try this simple experiment today.
It’s easy to assume that others in our lives know what we want, but that’s rarely ever true. Taking back your power means being able to let others know where your boundaries lie, and what needs you have. This is nearly impossible when you’re interacting with your addicted child.
Today, forget everything you’ve done up until now. Take a small step forward in finding your voice again: Download the Personal Power Experiment. You’ll find the results to be one of two things: You’ll either W:Win or you’ll L: Learn -- either way, the outcome will be a step forward in knowing how to speak up and regain your power.
Click here to get your Personal Power Experiment.
Choose a safe space to practice expressing what you need, what matters to you, and how you feel. The more comfortable you get with this process, the easier it will become when you’re ready to talk to your child about these often-uncomfortable concepts.
Keep working on finding your power again by watching this webinar.
Remember -- you’re not speaking to your child; you’re having a conversation with their addiction. Whether or not you’ve tried the Personal Power Experiment, this webinar workshop dives deeper into the challenges that surround these types of conversations. Let me know how it most helps you please.