Why you lose your temper sometimes when your child is using substances

Last Friday afternoon I did something completely out of character for me. 

I shouted profanities at the cable guy.

He left the gate open, my dogs got out, and they were running down a busy street.

That would make me mad on any given day, but my normal reaction would not involve yelling or profanities.

I would normally react with fear and panic but also maintain my composure.  

That day was the end of an emotional week, I was hurting, and I was making it worse by beating myself up for how I felt. 

I was resisting my feelings because I didn’t like how they felt.

Sometimes we NEED to choose to feel sadness about our teen’s substance use and that’s OK, but I seemed to forget that was OK last week. 

Most of what I share is meant for the days when you have had all the sadness you can handle, and you are ready to try something new. 

I want to make sure I share that allowing the pain and sadness about your teen’s substance use is OK

The pain becomes unbearable when we resist it or beat ourselves up for it. 

Honor your pain and sadness, but then choose not to live there.

I am amazed by the strength of any mother whose child is abusing substances. 

I know you feel out of control and like your life is falling apart, but I truly believe we are all just doing the best we can each day.

You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for

We go through enough without beating ourselves up for how we feel on top of it.

Recovery isn’t a straight line for us moms anymore than it is for our kids. 

When I get down on myself about where I am in my recovery vs. where I think I should be, I try to envision my recovery like a line graph. 

I picture it with a long time frame of a year or more so I can see the full picture because chances are if I am beating myself up, it is because I am only looking at minutes, hours, days, or weeks.

When I see the big picture, my graph is steadily moving in an upward direction with many ups and downs along the way.

Don’t judge yourself for the down days and lose sight of all the up days.

One of my favorite Al-anon slogans is progress not perfection

When I focus on perfection, I just make everything more painful. 

I find it helpful to add…and that’s ok to how I feel. 

I feel sad today, and that’s OK

I wish things were different and that’s OK

Resisting your feelings when they are demanding to be felt is like trying to hold a beach ball under the water. 

You can only do it for so long and it’s eventually going to explode out of the water. 

If you allow your feelings, you can create some space for them and accept your humanness. 

I wasn’t allowing my feelings last week and that’s why they exploded on the cable guy.

I ended up losing my temper because I was trying to hold the beach ball under water. 

I would rather just let my feelings out in a much more intentional way

Sometimes we need to feel our pain about our teen’s substance use, and that’s OK