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The Addicted Mother

If your mother is addicted to drugs or alcohol there is no doubt that it has affected your life greatly.  You have felt the shame of having your mother show up to school functions high, or her neglecting your childhood needs, leaving you to take care of yourself and possibly other siblings.  As an adult, chances are good she comes to you to help her by giving her money, food or shelter.

Now is the time for you to heal from this pain.   To start with, if your mother is still addicted, remember- it is ultimately her choice.  You cannot force her to stop her destructive behavior, or to go to rehab or Alcoholics Anonymous.  She has to decide to take those steps herself.  It is not your job or responsibility to sober her up, although if she chooses to do so, supporting that choice is a very wise thing to do!

While your mother has the right to stay an addict if she is so inclined, you have rights as well.   You have the right to put distance between her and yourself if you are unable to tolerate her addiction or if she is dangerous or abusive.  You also have the right (and obligation!) to protect your children from her.  You have every right to set and enforce healthy boundaries with your mother to protect yourself and your children.   You are not obligated to enable her behavior by giving her money for drugs or alcohol.   If she is in need, it is much wiser to give her the item itself, not cash that she could spend on her next high.

A good move for you to do would be start attending Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meetings.  These meetings are for the family members of addicts- to help them rebuild their lives, to cope, and hopefully to learn solutions from others in similar situations.   Never neglect to care for yourself- you need to be cared for just as much, if not more, than your mother.

On the road to recovery, I personally found my relationship with God to be my greatest help. He helped me to heal, and to learn ways to deal with my dysfunctional mother. Prayer and meditating on His word, the Bible, helped so much. Learning who the Bible says I am as a child of God is not only inspiring and comforting, but helpful in the healing process. If you do not have a personal relationship with God, please read the page Salvation Through Jesus Christ for more information.


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