Are you having a hard time letting go of fear?
Do you find your emotions get the better of you when dealing with your child’s substance use?
Fear can either mobilize us into action or it can take over and paralyze us. ~ Libby Cataldi
If you are struggling because of your child’s substance use, you will most likely feel anxious about their physical, mental, and emotional health. It can be all-consuming.
It’s hard to let go of the fear you have about your child’s life being at risk because of their drug or alcohol use. You also may find yourself refraining from saying things out of sheer fear of hurt feelings or starting a blow-up. There are no easy answers when we love our children.
Emotions can quickly bubble to the surface. They can get in the way of finding clear solutions. The more you take stock of where you are, focus on what you are doing that is working, and how to best move forward, the better.
Here are three ways to help you let go of your fear of substance use to be the best support for your child.
1. Name it
The essential shift that can be helpful is to move from a position of “can I make all this go away and get back to how things are supposed to be” (a natural reaction) to “can I invite this in, accept it, and by doing so move through it more effectively?” ~ CMC: Foundation for Change
When you feel the fear rising inside of you, name it. The more you can name your feelings, the less stress you will feel.
What is it? What is the thing that is bothering you and making you so fearful that you feel paralyzed?
You may be worried about getting the call. You may feel devastated watching your child’s life fall apart.
Whatever that thing is, decide what the fear is that you are struggling with and acknowledge it. You have to be able to name it. Clearly state to yourself or others what concerns you the most.
Consider how you can face your fear with bravery and love.
Do what makes sense for you. You could write about your fears. Or you could set time aside each day as your worry time. Your emotions will become more apparent to you when you name your fear.
2. Focus on the truth
When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. ~ Fred Rogers
Gather facts. It’s incredible how much your emotions can take over when you are concerned about your son or daughter. Focus on the truth of the situation.
The truth might be that your son is sober today. Your daughter may have gone with her friends to do drugs.
Your truth might be that your son relapsed today. Maybe your reality is that your daughter has kept her work commitments.
Name your truth. It’s crucial.
Keep your truth to the confines of what is happening now. Don’t let your mind go into the future or replay the past.
Remember, addiction fuels fear. The more you can face what your truth is today, and only today, the better.
Find the truth of the situation, and that will help you stay focused on the facts.
3. Reach out for help
Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’ ~ Brené Brown
Are you feeling lost in a situation where you need help and don’t know what to do? Healthy fear motivates us to say I need help. I’m in need.
Raise your hand and reach out for help.
It’s not a bad thing to go and talk to someone. It’s not wrong to say I will read a book about addiction because I don’t know what I’m doing.
And it’s not a bad thing to say, “I need someone to help guide me in this.”
Getting help does not show weakness. It shows strength and wisdom. We all need help in life from time to time. None of us have a superpower to protect us in every area of our life. Family addiction strikes when we least expect it.
You may not be good at maneuvering through the complications of substance use. Who would be? You need help.
Find someone in your life, a program, or a book. Look for the help you need to get you through the fear. The more support you get, the more you will have something tangible to hold onto when you need help.
You can help your child head down the path towards recovery when you prioritize what is essential. Name it, Focus on the truth. Reach out for help.
Finally, know there is hope. Your child can find their way to recovery.
Article Source: cathytaughinbaugh.com