Good Intentions of an Enabler and my Son’s Addiction
My Son’s Addiction. Where to start? Well, even before my son was born, I was in love with him. He was a beautiful gift from God, a manifestation of the spirit based love of my husband and of our marriage. Our little boy was a perfect creation, and we loved him unconditionally and always, always wanted the best for him. This is not my husband’s story, so I will now leave him out of this article. He has dealt with our son’s addiction in his own way, and I make no judgments of my husband. It wasn’t always that way, but today I know differently.
Like many young mothers of my generation, I was involved with my son in every way I could be. There were so many dangers and pitfalls, I did my very, very best to protect him from the harsh realities of the world. At least that is what I thought I was doing. Today I know that I was trying to protect myself from reality, and I was using my son as a pawn to keep myself safe from my own discomfort.
Afraid of Feeling Discomfort
I never let my son experience negative consequences for his behaviors – and this started way before he discovered drugs. When other people involved in my son’s care would question his actions or lack of action, or my attempts to cover up for him, I quickly distanced myself from them. When the school called to ask why my son was not in his afternoon classes, I would quickly make an excuse for him, even though I had no idea where he was. I would actually write out a note, and sign my name to the lies on the page, and hand it as an offering to my son to take with him the next morning. After this game got old for him, he stopped accepting my offering, and I would take the note to his school myself, mumbling apologetically for anything I could.
My Son’s Addiction
When the drug use became entrenched, often my son would be too sick to get off the couch. What was a mother to do? This mother made tempting foods and electronic gifts to comfort him. This mother cleaned his room, and did his laundry. This mother indulged his every whim. It is hard to believe looking back on it from my view now. I know that my spirit was rebelling, from the first time I drove to the police station to pick him up, while refusing to press charges for auto theft, to the last time I paid the bankrupting bail. But denial is not called denial because we know about it. My defenses were so thick, my walls so high, that I had convinced myself completely that I was doing these things to help him.
Complete Insanity of Codependency
Only another parent of a drug addicted child would understand my reasoning when I was explaining that I HAD to go to the dealer’s house to buy drugs for my child. It was only to keep him from being sick – right? I was completely and utterly addicted to my child’s addiction. It defined me, consumed me, and in my own sick way, it delighted me. I had found my true purpose in life. I was the sacrifice I made to save my son. Today I know the truth. I sacrificed my son to save myself from discomfort.
My Life Today in Recovery from Codependency
Is my son sober and recovered today? Is he incarcerated or is he visited in the graveyard? The outcome of my son’s life is irrelevant to this article. This story is mine. It is a much shortened version of the story, but anyone who knows about addiction and codependency can fill in the blank parts. My story is about my recovery. When I inquired about rehab for my son, (for the umpteenth time) I was able to turn the mirror around and see that the person who needed treatment was ME. Spirit must have dominated for the brief time it took for me to make the decision to accept help – for me.
Full, residential recovery treatment for me, the codependent enabler, saved my life. This is a new concept for most people, but it was the single greatest thing I ever did for myself. Many others have benefited as a side effect, but this recovery is for me.
If you have come to this article because you are addicted to someone who is addicted, maybe this is your time for freedom. Maybe this is your time to face the truth of your life and your actions. Consider the options for your own residential treatment. Serenity Vista has been a manifestation of God’s grace for me. I am so thankful that I accepted this help.
Residential Treatment for the Enabler/Codependent
Serenity Vista Recovery Retreat offers a unique experience of holistic recovery, body, mind and spirit for codependency and other relationship issues and addictions. For decades the focus has been on the one using or drinking, such as illustrated in this story of my son’s addiction. But no one becomes and continues to be an addict or alcoholic in a vacuum. There is almost always a family member that thinks they have good intentions, but are really acting in harmful ways. If you have tried to convince someone that they need help for their recovery, turn that around and look at yourself. Don’t you deserve to be happy, joyous and free, regardless of the actions of others? We think so!
Contact us for more information about how Serenity Vista can help you or your loved one.