by MARK KILLARJuly 20, 2012
I would like to make the claim that addiction is also a family disease. If you don’t help yourself, you can’t help them.
What a terrible day it was when I discovered my daughter was involved in drugs. Still I admit, I was so relieved when she said the drugs were stolen from her in school and weren’t actually hers—she was just holding them for a friend. What a relief. After all, she wouldn’t lie to me (right?), she’s my child. I raised her, taught her good values, gave her my time and love; why would she lie to me, and why would she use drugs? Looking back, my friends must have thought I was blind. Even when they told me the things they saw about her, and she denied them, I’d believe her instead of them.
I continued to do things for her, and over time, started seeing things with a little more clarity. She was in fact more involved than I thought. So I finally sent her to a wilderness program, and she did great! She loved it, and was totally sober for 8 weeks. And when she came home, she seemed to be doing just fine. But in less than a year, she went from being “ok,” to being worse than when she first sought drug treatment.
I thought: “If I had only seen it sooner, maybe the future would have been different, or maybe not.” It was all very hard to reflect on and understand, asking myself, “What should have I done better? Should I have been stricter? Nicer?”
And finally I got my wakeup call—she overdosed. And my daughter almost died. That’s the only good news, “almost.” She had another chance. What I realized, was “So did I.”
She was released from the hospital after 8 hours, and I drove her to a therapeutic boarding school in upstate New York. They would care for her and help her learn about recovery for the next 30 months. But what about me (I too suffered from a pathological condition and wanted treatment)? If I didn’t do something, I would be unable to take care of her or me. I was lucky—I found Families Anonymous.
That was over 5 years ago, and here’s what I’ve learned: She has an addiction, and so do I. Her addiction was to drugs and other substances, while mine was having an addiction to her. That’s right, I am a co-dependent (someone who is psychologically dependent on another person’s behaviors and needs), and unless I learned to manage my addiction, I would continue to be a person I didn’t like. Indeed, the past would repeat itself, over and over, until I changed. So for the 30 months that she was learning about her addiction, and I also learned about mine.
I still go to meetings every week, and find them to be extremely important in my life. Nothing gets in the way of me attending. Recovery is real, as real as relapse. I’ve often said if it’s this hard for me to recover from co-dependency and stay well with it, I can only imagine how hard it is for a drug addict or alcoholic to cope with treatment.
I would like to make the claim that addiction is also a family disease. If you don’t help yourself, you can’t help them. Remember what they say before takeoff on a plane: “In the event of a loss of pressure, if you are traveling with someone who needs assistance, place the mask on yourself and then place one on them.” I learned a valuable lesson the hard way—help yourself first if you want to help your loved one. And then just love them. It’s all you can do.
There are many different addiction treatment programs for families to choose from. Families Anonymous is one of them. Remember: You’re not alone. We all understand where you are—we’ve been there ourselves. Welcome. You may like the new and improved you even better, too.
If you are looking for a comprehensive drug addiction treatment program, one that will take you from Detox to After Care, then Florida Center For Recovery is the right place for you. Offering a unique blend of traditional and holistic approaches, we’ve been helping clients in drug addiction recovery for over 10 years.
Usually those suffering from a drug addiction cannot safely detox on their own. In fact, in some cases, attempting to do so can be deadly. If you or someone you know is in need to drug and or alcohol detox, contact us at:
Florida Center for Recovery – Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-960-5041 MyFloridaCenterforRecovery.com ©
Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Recovery
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