Addiction not only impacts one person, but an entire social network. Immediate family members may struggle between enabling their loved one and ensuring they seek help; friends and coworkers may get caught between informing their friend they have a problem and staying quiet; mothers go through much distress when the reality sinks in that one (or more) of their children have an addiction. It’s easy to feel riddled with shame and despair when your child is struggling with addiction; you may feel as though you’ve failed your child or that you may never be able to get them back. There are 5 main stages of grief that you may go through:
Stage 1: Denial and isolation – with overwhelming emotions, you may hardly believe that your child has a problem. You may make excuses for them, deny others if they confront you about it, act “normal” despite recurring problems, and more.
Stage 2: Anger – as you become more aware of your child’s addiction, you may begin to feel angry. You may become angry at yourself or a significant other for “allowing” this to happen, or you may feel angry at the world.
Stage 3: Bargaining – at this point, you are willing to do anything to make the addiction go away. You may believe that “if just X would happen, they would be fine.” You may attempt to bargain with a Higher Power or with yourself, stating that you will change what you can to get your child back.
Stage 4: Depression – as you realize the amount of control you have over the situation, you may become very depressed. Feelings of hopelessness and despair may creep in and stay for awhile as you feel as though nothing will get better.
Stage 5: Acceptance – after some time, you may begin to realize that life continues. You may come to new conclusions that you can still live your life despite your child’s struggle with addiction. You may set boundaries for yourself on what you can and cannot provide your child, and you will likely feel stronger.
The stages of grief are not just for those whom have passed. It can be for those living, too; at times circumstances change our loved ones and we don’t always have full control over it. What’s most important is that you take care of your happiness and health in the best way possible and attempt to host an intervention with your child if you’re able. There are many support groups for families of those with addiction. Seek the help you need today.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.