Being a parent is a hard job, but surprisingly enough from the people I’ve talked to – it can actually be easier in recovery. People say put your kids first always but in the program of recovery we have to remember to always put our program and God first and being a great parent ends up being a bi-product of that. Below I’ve put a list of 9 things only parents in recovery understand, some of them joking around and some serious. All based on opinions (not facts) and feedback I’ve gotten from friends of mine who are parents in recovery.
9 Things Only Parents in Recovery Understand…
1. Your kid crying during the quietest part of a meeting (and then you take them outside and they’re silent.)
2. Continuing to go to meetings, work steps and God must always come first (wouldn’t have this life if you didn’t.)
3. If you keep up with your recovery it makes it a lot easier to handle the sleepless nights and non-stop crying (seriously, that whole no sleep thing is rough, stay spiritually fit.)
4. If you don’t keep up with your recovery you lose it a lot faster than before being a parent (like feel like you’re losing your mind and want to kill somebody.)
5. Debating whether to start a college fund or save up for rehab (joking, maybe…)
6. Looking at your kid and certain behaviors they display and thinking “yup, you’re an alcoholic” (happens more frequently than you’d like to admit.)
7. Everyone in the rooms knowing your kid (and loving him as if he was their own.)
8. Knowing the only reason you have a relationship with your kid today is because of the program and being sober (and what an amazing relationship it is.)
9. You realize that if you stay sober you can be the parent that your child truly deserves (and why wouldn’t you want that?)
Being a parent is crazy, obnoxious, testing and nothing you can actually put into words but being a parent in recovery is one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever witnessed. I personally don’t have a child; but I have a lot of friends in the rooms with kids and seeing those same people broken and unable to take care of themselves to grow along spiritual lines and turn into the most loving and caring parents is truly a miracle.
To be able to go through all the struggles of parenthood and stay sober is a big deal. It can be very stressful being a parent (even when you’re not an addict or alcoholic) let alone also having the disease of addiction. The great thing is that, just like we always do, being parents in recovery together is just another thing that brings us closer together. I have a friend who recently started a mommy’s meeting for women with babies, pregnant or just interested in being around women for a meeting. As long as you keep your program and your higher power first, you can truthfully get through anything. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.