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How to tell my Children

Whether or not your children are living at home is irrelevant. Having a loved one who is not balanced in their own life can be difficult, unpredictable and confusing.  When they children suspect or know that substance abuse is a problem, they will sometimes even believe the alcohol or drug abuse is their fault. They are scared that they will lose you. Compound broken marriages, unhealthy communication, and broken promises and it can lead to a lot of instability in their own lives. Over time, they will have experienced dealing with the chaos and unpredictability of their home life, caused by unhealthy coping mechanisms that have included your addiction. Your children have received inconsistent messages, and can feel guilt and shame trying to keep the family “secrets.”  They often feel abandoned due to the emotional unavailability of the addicted parent. One of those children often follow in their parent’s footsteps and that is something you do not want.

Being honest about your addiction is very difficult. Telling your children may seem very terrifying. However, being honest about your situation is crucial. It is the first step to living an honest life.

Abusing substances not only puts you at risk, it also puts your relationship with your children at risk.  Your fear is that if  you reveal the truth there may be consequences to your disclosure, but the reality is that people that care about you want and need to know  how best to help their loved one in their time of need.

There may be times when you are not sure if all of your family will feel that way, and you don’t feel that entire your family will be supportive of your decision. The reality is that in those situations, it is still best to be truthful. The discussion still needs to happen, and you need to take control of your relationship with your family. Some of your family members, may also recognize that they need help too and may follow your lead. You are not asking them to support you in your addiction, you are requesting that they support you in your recovery, and that is the best case scenario for families that love each other.

  • Create a list of what your addiction has cost you or your family
  • Create a list of what your addiction could cost you if you don’t get help ( financially, relationships, career)
  • Do research to understand your addiction ( physical and mental afflictions)
  • Understand what areas of your life have been impacted by your addiction ( physical,emotional social, spiritual)
  • Develop a stragetic plan for success that include a team to help you obtain your goals (short term and long term)
  • Understand everything that is involved in treatment ( what you need to do to get there)
  • Understand that obtaining healthy habits and a postive attitude doesn’t happen over night….
  • Tell your family that they can, and will obtain support in this recovery plan as well.
  • Check into Habitude™ with an open mind and motivation for change