From Each Day A New Beginning, Karen Casey, October 1:
“’Women are often caught between conforming to existing standards or role definitions and exploring the promise of new alternatives.’ ~Stanlee Phelps and Nancy Austin
…Recovery means change in habits, change in behavior, change in attitudes. And change is seldom easy. But change we must, if we want to recover successfully.”
This applies to both substance users and to those who love them, for we all need recovery.
At first, many years ago, I had no idea that loving a substance user had the potential to make me sick: denial, guilt, obsession, depression and anxiety; it would be hard for a parent to not experience one of those things.
But over time, I realized that I was doing things I never would have done under normal circumstances. These were not normal circumstances, and I let myself justify a number of things, the most damaging being not making my daughter accountable for her actions. I enabled and overprotected, which stood in the way of her growing, changing, and recovering.
Fortunately for me, I have adopted many new attitudes from sitting in the rooms and enjoying the support of many other parents. My knee-jerk habit of rescuing has stopped, and my behavior has changed toward everyone in my life. I believe that it has a lot to do with my inventory work in Al-Anon, but others find the ability to change through other means. It doesn’t matter where we gain our strength. The important thing is to make the necessary changes that will enable us to live well and be happy—because we all deserve to have a good life.