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If My Parent Were an Addict

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Many are living with their parent or parents who are addicted. Many deal in different ways, and many have lost parents. May you rest in peace with the respect that’s well deserved.

For those who parents are the addicted and not the other way around, there is a predicament. Who is the one who makes the rational decisions in the family? Who chooses to implement a plan when guidance is needed and a parent may not be physically, spiritually, or emotionally there? This is a battle many go through, and it’s not easy to give advice on this kind of situation or to hear it either.

Here are the three best things I can say to those with parents who are addicted, young or old:


1) Be sensitive but firm.


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When dealing with a parent who’s going through addiction there might be an issue for a power struggle. Who is the one to make the rules in this situation? Is the parent fit to do such a thing? If the child is dealing with this, it is imperative to listen to the adult and still take the advice with an open ear and mind. You must be sensitive to what the parents are saying because they are your parent and they are older than you, right or wrong.

But, when you know something just doesn’t make sense, it’s okay to listen and say, “Okay I understand you.” Still hold your own morals firm on the right side of the line. No one wants to hear they’re wrong, especially a parent from their child. No one wants to hear they are wrong in addiction, and these two combined can be an odd and dangerous. So, with every situation arising with an addicted parent we must listen sensitively.  But as the sober ones we must hold what we know the best, firm. No one is right, no one is wrong, it just is right now and they are your parent regardless of circumstances.
2) Don’t try to prove a right or wrong.

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You don’t need to prove a point- this one kind of goes with the first one. As you are holding your ground firmly there is a crossing point where you know someone is wrong. But this isn’t a pissing contest! You’re not trying to prove a point. What you need to be doing is making sure whether the advice a parent is giving to you during addiction is okay or not.  We may need to step up and be the bigger man/woman in this situation, as the addicted’s mindset may be impaired. We’re night trying to prove ourselves right and we are not trying to prove them wrong. Deep down we will always have a love for our parents no matter the situation.  Imagine if you were emotionally sensitive and someone told you that you were wrong. Imagine this person being apart of your creation and half your age. How would you feel if you were proved wrong in this situation? Like I said it’s not a pissing contest, it’s a contest in making the right decisions for your health and the addicted health.
3) Remember no matter what you feel to say I love you

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Your parent may be feeling a sense of resentment for themselves for being in such a burdening situation. It is imperative to say the words, “I love you” more than you would normally. How many times does a normal person say it? Well, honestly I can’t answer that either, it’s what’s normal to you.

As the relationship becomes harder on each other, that burdening feeling is lessened with three simple words, “I love you.” So, remember as addicts are taught at meetings, “I will love you until you can love yourself.” The same exact rule applies for your parents, but ten fold. “I love you.”

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