Parents of teen alcoholics and addicts – Episode 254

How can you detach from your teen alcoholic? What is your real responsibility when your child is an addict? How can Al-Anon help?

Mary and Ellen talk about their experiences as parents of teenage alcoholics and addicts. They share what they learned, and how they navigated their difficulties, fears, and hopes.

Our discussion was grounded in these questions:

  • When/how did you become aware of your child’s behavior?
  • Were you in Al-Anon at that point?
  • How long did you struggle before you found Al-Anon?
  • When were you able to admit that your child was an alcoholic or addict? What brought you to that understanding?
  • What were some of the program tools and principles you used first?
  • What were the hardest tools to apply?
  • Did you feel that, as a parent, you needed to help or fix your child?
  • What did you do to help/fix?
  • Did you feel responsible for their behavior?
  • What is the one thing you would say to a parent who is new to Al-Anon?

Readings

We read from or talked about this Al-Anon literature:

Courage to Change, February 17, “faith takes practice”.

How Al-Anon Works, p. 30, “don't pick up the rope”.

From Survival to Recovery, p. 267-268, the “Al-Anon promises”.

Intimacy in Alcoholic Relationships, a new book from Al-Anon in which members share their challenges with all aspects of intimacy–physical, emotional and spiritual–in all relationships affected by the family illness of alcoholism.

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Parents of teen alcoholics and addicts – Episode 254”

Recovery with Young Children – Episode 243

How do you talk to your children about recovery? What have they asked you?

Spencer talks with Megan about how she talks to her children about recovery. We are joined by shares from several listeners. Our conversation was wide-ranging, touching on topics from the list below.

  • What questions have your children asked you about
    • Alcoholism/addiction?
    • Recovery?
    • Meetings?
    • Therapy? (“talk doctor”)
    • Their father?
    • Divorce?
  • What have you said to them…?
    • Mommy and Daddy’s first priority is to make sure that you are safe…
    • It's never your fault when adults drink and act badly.
  • How do you model recovery / healthy behavior for your children?
    • Do they reflect it back?
  • How do you communicate differently to different age children?
  • What do you still struggle with in communicating to your children about alcoholism and recovery?
  • What have you NOT told your children? Why?
  • Do your children attend meetings?
  • Would you bring your children to a meeting if it was the only way you could go?
  • When did you need to put your recovery needs ahead of your children?
  • Do you feel that you owe amends to your children?
    • What for?
    • (How) have you made amends?

Megan quoted from the Al-Anon Family Groups pamphlet, How Can I Help My Children?   

A listener asked about whether we have transcripts of the podcast. We don't. The best explanation I've found for why not is a blog post titled “The Dream of converting podcasts to text.

Upcoming topics include violence by the “Al-Anon”. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Recovery with Young Children – Episode 243”

God – a meditation

Nick-Esty-18

 

 

But now I know this:

I know that God exists.
I held her in my arms.
I never knew I was able to ever feel this strong.

Blue October — The Worry List

 

I have never felt more connected to God and the universe than when I first held my children in my arms. How is that we can create new life? How is it that these newly created people have their own identity, their own personality from the first moment? The love I have for my children must be something like the love God has for all of us.

As they grew up, I wanted to protect them and guide them, to insulate them from the bumps and pain of living. But, you know, they had their own ideas, their own goals, their own plans. The toddler who said “do it SELF!” became the teen whose ambitions sometimes outstripped her abilities, resulting in emergency room visits. (“Hi, this is Heather. Your daughter is OK, but you need to come and decide if she should go to the ER.”) Explorations of friendship turned into first loves, and eventual break-ups, with middle of the night drama. Late night exploration turned into an encounter with the law. Throughout, even when I was angry, scared, or just shaking my head in disbelief (“you did WHAT!?”), that core love never failed.

And so it is with God. I may or may not follow God's plan, but I know I am always loved, for what I am, for who I am, right now.

A meditation for August 16, 2013

Continue reading “God – a meditation”

Father – a meditation

3 generations

 

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.

— Jim Valvano

I am a father. When my children were young, I tried to shape their values and their beliefs, in the hope that they would become people I could be proud of. As they grew, they started to form their own ideas of right and wrong, of good and bad, of compassion and indifference. They became individuals, with beliefs and opinions, wants and desires of their own.

When they were young, I could fix their hurts and salve their wounds. As they grew, they were hurt in wounded in ways I could not cure. They struggled with identity and relationships. They came to know, first hand, that life is not fair. And I could not fix these things. I could only say, “You are a good, capable person, and I love you very much. I  will stand by you, I can comfort you, but you must work through this problem yourself. I believe that you can do it.”

Now they are adults, striking out on their own, to build and shape a life outside the cradle and confines of my family. They will do things I am proud of, and they will disappoint me. They will make choices that I fundamentally disagree with, and their life will go in directions that I can not anticipate. I am still their father, and I still love them. Whatever they do, wherever life takes them, I will continue to believe in them.

Al-Anon recovery has given me this gift. It is a gift of knowing that my needs and desires are not theirs. It is a gift of knowing that they each have their own higher power, and it is not me. It is a gift of living in the present, to neither regret the past nor fear the future. It is a gift of loving and enjoying what I have rather than ruing what might have been. It is a gift of loving my children for exactly who they are and believing in their goals and aspirations. This is the gift that all of you have given me today, this Fathers Day, 2013.

A meditation for June 16, 2013. (The second sunday in June is celebrated in the USA as Fathers Day.)

Continue reading “Father – a meditation”