I often hear overwhelmed parents venting about what their addicted child is doing to them.
How their child is treating them.
This unhealthy relationship with no balance happens over time.
Addiction rears its ugly head in their home.
Parents don’t know what to do.
They try to research for help, but all they find is conflicting information and no real answers.
Over time the addiction takes its toll on everyone in the family.
The parents become overwhelmed and are out of resources.
They feel hopeless and helpless about their child’s addiction and what it has done to their relationship.
The best thing that can happen at this point (besides sobriety) is for parents to start thinking about how they are treating themselves.
Are they treating themselves with love and respect?
We have to treat ourselves with love and respect and model that behavior and then our relationships change, not the other way around.
When I was at this point, my self-talk was not good for me.
I was very critical of myself.
I had higher expectations for myself than anyone else.
I was focused on all the things I did wrong and none of the things I did right.
If you see yourself in this scenario, don’t use it against yourself.
Use it as awareness.
Self-talk is a habit that can be changed.
Awareness is the first step to creating change.
A great question to ask yourself is what do you want everyone else to think about you?
How do you want them to see you?
The answers are what you need to practice thinking about yourself.
You know how when you buy a new car you suddenly see that car everywhere?
That is because there is a part of your brain that looks for the things you have been focused on.
If it works with cars and criticism, it can work with positive thoughts too.
Use this function of your brain to your advantage!
You can train your brain to start seeing evidence that those new thoughts are true.
We can’t give what we don’t have .
Self-acceptance increases our capacity to accept others.
Self-love increases our capacity to love others and accept love from them.
In the beginning, our kids start using drugs because of how it makes them feel.
Then they keep using them so they don’t have to feel and to quiet their inner critic.
The way our kids behave is about them and what they are going through, not about us.
Since self-love and acceptance includes healthy boundaries and communication, when we start modeling that behavior, it will naturally bring about a more balanced relationship.
It becomes about what we are doing for ourselves and how we are treating ourselves instead of how others are treating us.
There is so much freedom in that.