It breaks my heart to see my son going through addiction. It took a lot of time and effort before I got him to change. I saw how he ruined his life, how he lost everything and even how he lost his righteous mind. Even though many times he pushed me away, I stayed and it never crossed my mind to ever leave him. No words, no gestures, but I know how much he needed me. My love for him won’t change even if drugs have taken his soul away from me.
Going through this kind of hardship is never normal to any mom. As I saw him going through recovery, my hopes were high. I always wanted to help him, but I can’t do that until he’s sober. Now my son’s been sober for years now, and I would like to share with you what I did when I got the chance to help him. If you have someone who wants to give up their addiction habits and you want to support them, I have provided some ideas for you. In my experience as a former addict’s mom, I have proven all these to be effective in my case:
- Encourage them – the best support you can give to your loved one who has been suffering from drug or alcohol addiction is encouragement. You can ask them to share their feelings with you. Just remember to create a safe environment for them, so that your struggling loved one can trust to be open and honest with you.
- Prevent negative words – words describing addiction like being clean or dirty, or patient and addict, can draw your loved ones away from the help they badly need. We need to start changing the way we talk about addiction with and about our struggling loved ones. Through this, you can either bolster or overcome the patterns, animosity, and lack of compassion that keeps our loved ones from getting the proper treatment they need.
- Encourage routines – you can encourage your struggling loved one to have a healthy diet, to eat nutritious food, to have enough sleep, to do daily exercise, to take prescribed medicines, and to commit themselves to all the recovery appointments and meetings. You can also ask them to live a healthy lifestyle and keep their recovery at a top priority.
- Be realistic on expectations – Your struggling loved one’s recovery my take time, so be patient. Think how long it took your loved one to hit the rock bottom before getting into treatment – it will also take time to reverse the effects of what he had done. Behavior changes step by step, and doesn’t happen overnight.
- Go to meetings with them – If your struggling loved one is attending 12-step programs or self-help meetings, you can come along with them. If you are asked to come to a meeting, feel free to join them. It will help to motivate your struggling loved one if they know that there is someone who is supporting them. Plus, you can also learn and meet fellow recovering individuals and learn about the recovery process itself. Personally knowing what your loved one’s been through will help you better understand how they feel.
- Keep them away from substances and alcohol –express how much we believe in their sobriety, and celebrate it. To help your loved one avoid temptations, it’s better to help them stay away from substances and alcohol. This can help them prevent relapse, which is one of the keys to long-lasting sobriety.
- Forgive though you cannot forget – accept that it happened. Accept that he was caught in addiction’s clutches. By accepting comes forgiveness. Don’t ever try bringing up the past mistakes your loved one has done, this won’t help at all. All he needs now is your unconditional non-judgmental love. Show him how much you love them. Give them a purpose in life. Never leave them and learn to understand their issues, and encourage positive behavior. In the end it will all pay off. You will see how much renewed and blissful your loved one will be.