Everyone wants to be the best parent that they possibly can. Unfortunately, hiccups happen along the way that can make parenting difficult. One situation that can take a huge toll on the relationship that you have with your child is addiction.
There are times when people get into an accident or have a surgery that leaves them in a lot of pain. The doctors prescribe pain pills and you may become addicted to them accidentally because you simply want to be able to live a life that is pain-free.
When drug addiction occurs, it becomes encompassing and can quickly cause you to neglect other important factors in your life, including providing your children with the love and support that they need. Many children don’t understand what an addiction is and even if they are older now, there is still a good chance that they feel that you picked the drugs over them. When this happens, it can be hard to fix the damage that has been done and mend the relationship. Fortunately, not all hope is lost. Use the following guide to learn a few things you can do to try to mend the relationship with your children so that you can have the best future together possible.
Get Professional Help for Your Addiction
Telling your children that you are done using drugs and that you are going to build a better life for yourself and them is often not enough. Addicts often claim that they are going to get clean time and again only to fail and relapse because they didn’t get the professional help that they need. It’s important to know that an addiction to drugs isn’t just physical. You become addicted to the drugs, mentally, as well as physically.
If you want to show your children that you are serious about rebuilding your relationship with them, you need to get professional help for your addiction. There are outpatient treatment programs available that allow you to get medications that can make it easier to withdraw from the drugs physically and meet with a psychiatrist who can help you battle the mental withdrawal from the drugs, as well. You can learn how to better handle cravings when they arrive and learn what triggers you to want to do drugs so that you can avoid them altogether.
Offer to Go to Counseling with Your Children
It’s important to make sure that you let your children know that you recognize the impact that your addiction had on them. Many children feel overlooked and like their feelings aren’t taken into account by an addict. You need to offer to go to counseling with your children so that you can hear how your addiction affected them and learn how to rebuild the relationship in a positive way. The counselor can help you and your children learn how to communicate with one another effectively and may be able to help them let go of any resentment that they have toward you for your addiction.
Right Your Wrongs
A great way to show people in your life that you really do want to stop using drugs and are trying hard to better yourself is to right the wrongs that you did while you were on the drugs. There are many addicts who destroy many aspects of their lives while they were addicted to drugs simply because the addiction took over their life.
In order to show your children that you really are ready to change, make amends for all the wrongs that you did. This may include telling someone you are sorry for something that you said or did, repairing something that you may have damaged while you were high or replacing something that you stole in order to get more drugs.
Making amends for the wrongs that you did allows you to heal too. The guilt that you feel from the poor decisions that you made when you were high can quickly take over your psyche and could cause you to relapse. You want to be sure that you are upfront and honest with people when you are making amends though. Explain to them that you made many huge mistakes and how sorry you are for those mistakes. You will start to heal when you right your wrongs.
Try to Help Others
Another great way that you can show your children that you really are turning over a new leaf is to do things to help other people. Addicts are inherently selfish. They are only worried about how they are going to get their next high and don’t care who they hurt in the process. If your children saw this side of you for a long time, they will more than likely think that you are a self-absorbed, selfish person.
Take the time to make a change in your life and focus on helping others rather than helping yourself. Volunteer at a local shelter, animal rescue, or with a community outreach program that helps members of your local community. Showing that you have the ability to care about others will let your children know that you aren’t the person that you once were. Volunteering can also help you because you won’t have time to focus on the negative aspects of your life. It can often make you even more appreciative of the great opportunities you have in front of you and spark a desire to take advantage of them as much as you can.
Rebuilding your relationship with your children will take time. You cannot force your kids to forgive you for everything that you did or didn’t do while you were on drugs. You need to be patient, kind and supportive of the fact that they may not be able to get over the past as quickly as you would want them to move on from it. Just be ready and willing to help them in any way that you can and provide them with the love and support they have needed and deserved since the day that they were born.
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