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Ask The Addictâ€™s Mom/living with an addict
This question was poised to a member of the Addictâ€™s Mom–Elaine Altman-Eller.We hope it brings insight to the many transitions and difficulties that appear in the life of an Addictâ€™s Mom.Here is a glimpse into the life of one courageous mom.
When living with an addict, help us understand the process of how things unfolded from the beginning when addiction first entered your life as to how things are in the present moment?
I remember thinking when all this began to unfold in my life, how did it get from where I was to where I am now??? I didn’t like my life that way but how was I to change these dark ways of thinking all of the time? They haunted my very existence and every moment was devoted to negative ways of looking at what was occurring before me. I had no tools to navigate a better way and the ones I was using were hopelessness and despair.
I walked and carried myself as a mother who had been defeated. It was obvious to everyone I was in pain, but when they tried to reach out, I rejected any suggestion I was given because I was blaming the addict and the way I was feeling on everyone else. I had no desire to see things from a different perspective and I was slowly drifting away.
There was a pivotal point (in my life–living with an addict) that came as a blessing–although it did not look like a blessing at the time. It was when my whole life took a turn because there was no fooling anyone when you have to announce that your family is broken to pieces and you are the only one left that hasn’t been incarcerated. Still I felt like an outsider in a world where everything seemed to be wonderful for everyone but me.
I had a bad case of the “why me’s”? Well, why not me? What makes me any different than the thousands of other families that suffer this horrific existence? My only hope was to seek help for me–to realize that as much as I had tried to manage the secret, it was out.
I had to look at myself and change the way I viewed how I would go on. Would I continue this facade or would I become an advocate for myself? I had to create a life that gave me back some dignity and hope. There is no way to fight this battle alone. I know; I tried…I failed.
In reaching out and speaking out, I felt as though I was reborn. I do know now that I can only control my feelings, my reactions and my emotions. I can love my family members, but I cannot live without establishing boundaries and communicating my needs–for them to better understand exactly where the line is drawn.
It may not be the fix they are hoping for; that person is long gone. But it does bring about peace and it lights the way for a better future for everyone, including me…
â€œThe Addictâ€™s Mom,â€ founded by Barbara Theodosiou is a group focusing on the mothers of addicted children. The relationship between the mother and addicted child is unique; that does not diminish the experiences of other family members. This group however, is dedicated to addressing the motherâ€™s pain but more importantly, the commonalities of our experiences thus illustrating to the grieving mother that she is not alone nor is she unique in this respect. One line, one thought can help change her perspective for the better. (click here to explore the new Addict’s Mom membership site)
MORE from The Addict’s Mom:
-She Just Couldn’t Do It Anymore
–Expectations for our loved one’s recovery vs. reality
–Visit The Addict’s Mom Website
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living with an addict living with an addict living with an addict