MOTHER’S DAY: THE SAFEST DAY OF THE YEAR
In Night Train by Martin Amis, the main character, Detective Mike Holihan, a recovering alcoholic, declares that one of the safest days of the year, at least for men, is Mother’s Day1. In short, on Mother’s Day, whether we are sons or daughters, we feel close and protected, we in fact feel safe. And why is that? Because we are with the ones who first cared for us when we were unable to do so for ourselves – our mothers.
With drug and alcohol addiction, it may once again be difficult for us to care for ourselves. And quite conceivably, our mothers may indeed worry about us. A drug and alcohol problem, however, can’t necessarily be solved with a hug and a kiss or a stroke of a mother’s soft hand. Worse yet, our mothers may feel helpless and/or powerless in light of the gravity of our addiction.
So with this Mother’s Day, you might want to give what could be the ultimate present she can receive at this stage of your life – the gift of recovery.
HOW TO BREAK IT TO HER
It’s no easy task to tell a parent that you may have an addiction problem. There can be guilt and shame, which are feelings that neither you nor your mother should dwell on for very long. The objective should now be to get you addiction treatment as quickly as possible.
Also, assure your mother not to blame herself for your issues. There is a chance she might feel she neglected you at some point, driving you toward substance abuse. You should instead consider your addiction as a personal problem for which you’re responsible, and with that only you can resolve.
LET HER SUPPORT YOU
While you may have vowed your addiction is an issue that only you can resolve, that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for, or receive, support. Yes, recovery is a personal fight. However, there are those such as doctors, nurses, and therapists which will offer their support. If possible, bring your mother onboard as part of your support staff. More likely than not, she will want to be part of your recovery process. She may even worry about you during your rehab, knowing that it might be a difficult process for you.
Asking for or allowing Mom to be a part of your recovery is a good way to stave off any sadness or shame she may have about your addiction, as well as giving her a positive feeling that she’s helping with your recovery.
KEEP MOM IN THE LOOP
Mom, of course, can’t be with you throughout your entire recovery, particularly if you’re in an inpatient facility. But that doesn’t mean you can’t call or write her, or if your facility allows it, have Mom visit.
Doing so will help her understand your recovery process. She will also see your progression. If you can, introduce her to the staff that cares for you, or some of your fellow patients, only if they feel up to meeting your mother.
Keeping Mom in the loop can be a very good way for her to feel involved as you progress back to health.
LET HER BE PART OF YOUR OUTPATIENT THERAPY
Whether you choose a residential program or an intensive outpatient program (IOP), be certain to include Mom in your recovery, especially post-rehab. See her as often as possible to further demonstrate how far you’ve come along in your recovery. Help her understand how recovery is more than just a limited stay in a rehabilitation facility, but a true gift of life.
We owe a great deal to our mothers. They’ve fed and clothed us, as well as protected us. But there are some things that our mothers may not be able to protect us from, such as addiction. With this upcoming Mother’s Day, consider how a sober change to your lifestyle can be a Mother’s Day present you and she can enjoy for many Mother’s Days to come.
If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.
- Night Train by Martin Amis. Published by Random House in 1997. Retrieved 2016.