Parents of Addicts – Give Yourself Permission to Be Happy Again
If you are the parent of an addict, I can say with a high degree of certainty, that you are not happy. After all, how is the mom or dad of an addict supposed to be happy while their son or daughter is self-destructing? How can you possibly move on with your life, while your child (no matter their age) is on a freight train headed toward a brick wall? Is it right for you to be happy again? Is it possible?
When my daughter’s life took a very wrong turn at the age of 15, I stopped being happy. It happened so slowly, that I have no idea at what point I was no longer happy. Yet, it happened so fast it seemed as if one day I was a happy person, and the next, I was not.
I was at a very low point when I made the decision to take my life back. It wasn’t easy. Let’s face it – it is challenging to make a life change when most things are going well. When your heart has been shattered into a million pieces, it can seem nearly impossible.
How did I go from saying to my husband, “I don’t want to be here anymore; it’s just too hard,” to the point where I stood up to fight? I found a reason to fight. In the beginning I stood up for the sake of my son. He had been through enough: his only sibling had been shot by her ex-boyfriend; his first best friend was losing herself to the drug addiction Beast, and I was afraid that if I did not show him that in your darkest hour, it is possible to stand up and fight, who would. So, I took the last shred of self-confidence I had, and a tiny bit of hope, and I stood up and began to battle my own Beast. I stood for the sake of my son. Find your reason to get up off the mat and begin to fight – to battle for your own life.
Eventually you have to stand and fight for your own sake. This requires you to give yourself permission to be happy. Many people tried to give me permission during my thirteen year ride on the Roller Coaster From Hell. It helped, but it was not until I gave myself permission, that things really began to change.
These insights into my own journey will help you:
- I figured out that I was not walking away from Jordan. She had walked away from me years ago, and is choosing to stay where she is. Actually, she has chosen to go backwards in life. I just don’t want to go there with her anymore.
- I faced the reality that I am not Supermom, and I don’t have the ability to singlehandedly save my child.
- I worked to free myself from the need to control the uncontrollable.
- Every morning I pray for a miracle, and then I let my daughter go.
- I stopped obsessing over where she might be and what she is probably doing.
- I gave myself permission to be happy again, no matter what.
- I chose to love myself, at least as much as I love my daughter, and to prove it by taking care of me.
- I started to believe that I am much stronger than I realized.
- I started to make meaning from the madness.
- I refused to be defined simply as the mother of an addict; believing that I am much more.
I encourage you to Decide to Stand Up & Fight. You may not have control over your child’s Beast, or another loved one’s Beast, but you can control yours. We are in this together.
Standing with you,
“Fight as if your life depends on it, because it does.”
Valerie Silveira is an award-winning author, international speaker and Beast slayer. Through the devastation of losing her daughter over and over to the addiction Beast, and finally losing her to a senseless murder, Valerie empowers others to stand up and fight for their lives. She is the creator of Nine Actions to Battle Your Beast and the Still Standing Sisterhood membership program. Valerie uses her books and Sisterhood to guide women in their quest for happiness, peace, and purpose. She builds up women of courage who stand strong against any Beast in their lives.
Until her death in August 2016, Valerie chose to call her daughter Jamie, “Jordan.”