How to Preserve Your Marriage

Coping with a child’s addiction puts strain on a marriage. “The blame game was in full force, and our marriage was slowly slipping away. Then, we came to a point where we just stopped talking. Both of us were angry, but in our own ways. It seemed to be easier just not to communicate, as when we did, it was exhausting. So we just existed.”

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Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate

Every addict has a mom and dad. We parents suffer as we see our children dying a little at a time. We want to save them, jump into the fire, grab them, and bring them to safety, but we can’t. Tell that to a parent, that he or she can’t save her child—the pain is incomprehensible. I would have sold my soul for my son’s recovery, made a bargain with the Devil himself—but all this was to no avail.

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Support Comes in Many Forms: Did I Need It?

Some special day, when stigma and shame are erased from addiction, it will be obvious to families where to get help. Doctors and other professionals will become well versed in addiction. Presently, it’s almost like an underground network, and we mothers seeking support usually breathe a sigh of relief when we walk into a room and find other parents with the same issues. Until that special day arrives, support in all of its forms is very valuable.

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Let the Guilt Go

Oh, the guilt. It’s a terrible burden. All the could’ves and should’ves. All the what-ifs and what-if-nots. All the mistakes and missed clues and second-guesses piled like rubbish inside of our brains and our hearts. We do the best we can when raising our children, but when things go wrong, every single thing we’ve ever done—every word, every action, every thought, every look—becomes fodder for the fire of maternal guilt.

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No More Shame, No More Silence

Shame and silence—without them, addiction couldn’t survive. Without them, addiction couldn’t thrive, couldn’t hide, couldn’t continue its deadly march forward, consuming and killing our children in droves.

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Learning the Same Language

We rationalized, we were confused, and we were tolerant in a helpless way. Looking back, it was like the rising water of a tide. When it lapped at our feet, it was uncomfortable but not ominous. As it slowly and insidiously rose, as each new and strange behavior established itself in our lives, we focused on surviving each day’s challenge.

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