Guest blog by Tina Theroux
It has taken decades and literally tens of thousands of deaths to get people to finally question the “tough love” approach to addiction. I admit that before addiction touched my life I assumed that was the only approach that worked. Probably because a great many addicts in recovery say it saved their lives.
Unfortunately there is no one size fits all in addiction treatment. I think many have found recovery in spite of tough love. Addiction is complex, baffling and insidious. Every time I read a blog or blurb about how tough loved saved the life of an addict I can’t help but feel such sympathy for the thousands of moms who got “the call” after turning their child away. If tough love was the answer we would all know it, the opioid epidemic would not be claiming thousands yearly.
If methadone, suboxone or vivitrol was a the answer we would all know it. I have walked alongside my son for over twenty years now as he has fallen in and out of addiction. I have learned a lot over the years. What I say now is we must continue to talk, the scientists and Doctors must continue to search because we don’t have an answer. Those of us who are trapped in this madness must continue to speak the truth about our loved ones.
The truth that they are ill, they need our compassion and love not judgment and wrath. My heart breaks whenever I read a post from a mom who has little left but anger and bitterness toward her child. Addiction drives people to do things that appall them when they are sober. If they are able to find recovery the memory of their actions often keeps them from moving forward because they have lost any sense of self esteem and family has abandoned them.
How sad is it that in meetings across the country there are addicts who have found recovery but they are alone because their loved ones have had to abandon them out of sheer self preservation. I have no judgment for the families either. My son is once again in recovery (five months). We speak regularly. Yesterday as he was sharing about a new job and his goals for the next year it was more clear than ever to me that he is a warrior. I have watched him battle his whole adult life. I will never abandon him. I will continue to walk alongside with the wisdom I have acquired over the years. When I am able to offer help that propels him forward towards recovery I am there. For days, months and hopefully year’s.
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