I am often asked how I got through the pain of having multiple children involved in addiction. The heartache was so deep and went on for so long that it consumed me for so many years. Every thought was about my children and their safety. I found myself going through the motions of living but not really enjoying anything until I took the focus off of them and put it onto me. That may seem selfish but it's the only way to not go down with the ship. So many things surrounding their addiction was out of my control. When I used my energy to attempt to "fix" one of them it just blew up in my face, leaving me more convinced that I was a failure as a parent. I felt like if I focused on my life that in some way i was saying that I was giving up on them. But as I started learning about the disease of addiction and their skewed way of thinking, I began to understand that I couldn't fix any of it. That's when I started focusing on the healing of ME!
It was a multi-step program, one where I educated myself about the destructive behaviors of enabling and codependency. I came to accept that all my fixing was enabling and further allowed my child to stay in their addiction. I joined groups like Concerned Persons, and Celebrate Recovery to unite me with others going through the same thing. I prayed for my children's recovery everyday but now started asking God to heal me and reveal changes that I had to initiate. I couldn't control anything my child did, but I could control what I allowed to affect me. I started turning everything over to God and giving him the control. Little by little I started finding my joy and healing by stepping back and allowing God's plan to unfold.
As I stopped enabling and allowing my child's behavior to dictate how I felt then this freed me up to experience joy despite whatever my child was doing. I was no longer a prisoner to their decisions, but made the choice to keep allowing God to have the control. I later used my healing to minister to other parents going through this awful nightmare, and offer them hope of recovery not only for their child, but of THEM! I felt a profound peace and addiction had not claimed another victim.