When do your kids become just another excuse?
There’s a distinction between motivation and reason regarding going to treatment and continuing a program of recovery, such as going to meetings. The motivation or motivations for getting and staying sober are generally things such as career/job, family, health, etc. But the reason must always be ‘you.’
People tend to put off getting help or, once they do get help, they might put off their program and this usually happens when they start confusing their motivations with excuses. For parents, and mothers in particular, who struggle with substance abuse and addiction, having children can become an easy ‘out’ from doing what you need to do in order to get better and maintain sobriety.
So, when do your kids become just another excuse?
I work in treatment and one of the aspects of my job, besides writing articles and blogs, is that I get to facilitate a detox group. And believe me, I hear it all the time, “I need to get back for my family.”
And to that I say, whatever you put before your recovery will be the first thing you lose if you rush your recovery process. It’s true. I’ve heard it and seen it time and time again. In fact, if I was a bettin’ man, I’d put money on it.
This is also the point in time during the group that I speak into the distinction between reason and motivation.
Another way to look at is this: just how good of a parent were you able to be while you were drinking and drugging? I mean, honestly. Think about it. All those times you were too drunk or too high to take care of your child properly or, if you were a so-called ‘functional’ alcoholic or ‘functional’ addict, you might have been holding things together good enough. But think back to those times you were too irritable, too tired, too sick, or too distracted because of wither being under the influence or being preoccupied about the getting and using of your DOC. Also, think about the potentially dangerous situations you put your child in.
The bottom line is this: you were not being their parent 100%
But going to treatment, or continuing your program of recovery and not making excuses, such as lack of childcare, or simply that you “need to be there” for them.
Maybe you’re freaked out about leaving them behind, or anxious about leaving them in the care of others. Again, it’s time to shift your perspective. Going to treatment and/or going to meetings is really a small sacrifice – an investment in yourself – to get the real YOU back. Secondly, consider yourself lucky to have people who are willing to support you with childcare. They wouldn’t accept the responsibility if they didn’t care about you and your children.
If you find yourself using your children as an excuse to not go to meetings, I’m gonna go ahead and call you out right now. Because there are tons of parents who are in recovery and who bring their children to meetings.
The truth is that going to rehab and continuing your program of recovery by attending meetings, doing step work, and sponsoring others, will increase your quality of life and enhance your productivity at work and in your daily life as a parent and significant other because your addiction will no longer consume all of your their time, energy, health, and money. If you are considering getting help for yourself or a loved one and you’re not sure what step to take next, call us toll-free at 1-800-777-9588 to speak with an Addiction Specialist. We are available 24/7.