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Being the Mother of an Addict Isn’t Easy

I’ve been on the journey of recovery with my daughter for six years. Today she celebrates twenty months sober!

That’s almost two years. Remember, I said we’ve been on this journey for six. My daughter, who’s twenty-five, has been trying to get sober since nineteen. Even before that, it was clear something bad was going on.

Over the past twenty months, I’ve learned my daughter’s sobriety is in her own hands. Her sobriety isn’t in my hands. Her sobriety isn’t in her father’s hands. Her sobriety isn’t in her friend’s hands. That wasn’t an easy lesson to learn. It took years to accept and even longer to really feel in my heart.

I’m active in my own recovery as the parent of an addict. That means I go to Al-Anon. I go to a support group. I have my own therapist. My husband and I have a marriage counselor. My daughter, husband, and I have a family therapist.

Being the Mother of an Addict 02

Halfway Houses Help Addicts

I’m a firm believer in the value of halfway houses. Aside from my daughter going to treatment, going to a halfway house was the best decision she ever made.

Halfway houses are a vital part of any addict’s recovery. I’ve seen the benefit firsthand. My daughter lived in one for eight months. She didn’t always like it, in fact, she often didn’t like it. She stayed though. She stayed and learned how to get better.

Residential addiction treatment sets the stage for long-term recovery. However, it’s putting those skills learned in treatment into daily practice that ensures long-term recovery. Practicing behaviors like accountability, honesty, responsibility, and reaching out allow addicts to enter the “real world” with their heads held high. Practicing these behaviors allows addicts to meet the expectations and challenges that come with being a sober adult.

Halfway Houses Help Families Too

A child’s time in a halfway house helps their family as well. Simple as that.

The months my daughter spent in her halfway house helped me and my husband to address our co-dependency issues. The halfway house staff was invaluable in bringing this issue to our attention. I learned it’s easy to fall back into enabling behavior.

I wouldn’t have been able to work on myself, nor my husband on himself, if our daughter didn’t have the support she needed. I wouldn’t have been able to work on myself if my daughter didn’t have the structure, reinforcement, and personal guidance she received at her halfway house.

My experience of good halfway house providers is that they know how to support addicts in early recovery.

This support includes:

-Holding newly sober addicts accountable for their actions

-Helping them contribute to the house (chores, cleaning, etc.)

-Helping them maintain employment

-Introducing them to recovery communities

-Ensuring participation in twelve-step fellowships

One final benefit of halfway houses is their rent is realistic. It won’t break the addict’s bank. There aren’t any leases to sign, rent is paid week-to-week. This ensures that if someone does relapse, they can be immediately kicked out without losing a lot of money and, more importantly, keeping the rest of the residents safe. These small financial steps help addicts to budget and rebuild their financial life as well.

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