You are not alone in feeling this incredible pain. Most parents are not prepared for this emotional, heartbreaking, and exhausting journey. It can be mentally and physically overwhelming to see our children in pain. The uncertainty, the worry and the fear will often lead to exhaustion and isolation. If left unattended, this exhaustion can lead to negative health consequences including depression, anxiety, and fatigue. All of this can reduce your resilience, making it more difficult to be effective in helping your child as well.
There is an expression, “You’re only as happy as your unhappiest child.” You may find yourself yelling and even screaming, nagging, begging, crying, or just shutting down which can lead to giving up. Acknowledging your feelings to yourself can be the beginning in helping you defuse them. Just being aware, taking a breath and stepping back might help keep those emotions and behaviors in check, helping you to keep your negative emotions from bursting out. Often, letting your negative feelings simply be allows them to pass. Learning how to let them pass will allow you to process and let in positive emotions, which can be critical in helping your child. Easier said than done, right? There are tools and strategies that can help you get to this place, help you engage with your child and stay connected – all of which are critical in helping your child.
Want to connect with another parent who's been there?
Denise is one of our volunteer Parent Coaches. Like all of our coaches, she knows first-hand the challenges of helping a child with addiction. In addition to their own experiences, all parent coaches receive extensive and on-going training.