As an addict growing up, and being the “identified patient” until I was around 40 years old, I had it down to a science. I was the glue that held the family together. I knew my role and played it well, never a lie left untold or a family member left un-manipulated. Through my years of using as an adult, I got married and had kids. My mom always threatened, “Just wait until your kids are teenagers, you’ll get what you gave ten-folds”
Well, right she was. I got sober in 2009. At this time my kids were between Ten and sixteen. They had been exposed to many things growing up that they should not have been. In sobriety I learned that you cannot feel guilty for the things you have done in the past and that the way you make things right, or “make living amends,” is by doing it differently now so that’s what I do. I am a great mom and though I am not perfect, I do my best and always do what’s best for my kids. I don’t know why I did not see what was coming… My daughter, now sixteen and in high school, is on drugs. Not just recently on drugs, but on them for quite some time. How did I not know you ask? That is a very good question. As a recovering addict, you would think that I would have spotted it a mile away. Well I didn’t. Looking back in retrospect, I can put a million and one scenario together that were big red flags, however I didn’t notice until now. Maybe I was not looking, maybe I didn’t want to see, or maybe I was just plain stupid. I would agree to all of these. Being the addict for me came easy, but being the worried Mom is a different story. There are no words that can describe what it’s like to wearing the shoe on the other foot. It’s a new role for me, one that requires all of my attention to get my daughter help. I must use the same drive that I used to score a bag, to help her. I am selfish in nature. All addicts are. But this is her life at stake. What I do now to help her will be the difference between her living and dying and I am in 100%. Setting rules, boundaries and cutting her off from all of her friends including phone and internet was where I started (She didn’t like this too much but it was a must). I drug test her randomly every week and drive her to and from school (This is to prevent any “freetime” where she can get into trouble), she is in therapy and is being of service. I am always available to her when she wants to talk, even if it is inconvenient for me. If I had one word of advice for other parents that have teens, it would be to talk to them. Pay attention to them. Spend time with them. Just because they are going through their teens, doesn’t mean that they don’t want quality time with their mom.