It’s very nerve racking as your child’s discharge date from their treatment center approaches. You may start to wonder how to handle each day now that they’re not in a structured environment. They’re now going to have freedom again. The panic and worry start to creep in, along with guilt. Shouldn’t you be proud of your newly sober child? The truth is you can be both; cautiously optimistic.
The discharge plan is set with their counselor and hopefully they have chosen to go to a halfway house to help ease back into the “real world” and still have the accountability needed in early recovery. Typically, you might receive a few phone calls telling you about how great everything is and maybe they’re a little nervous. Soon the pink cloud will fade away. As a parent it’s very import you have a full understanding of enabling verse helping, a fine and deadly line.
We as addicts, early in recovery, often forget that 30 days sober isn’t enough to rebuild years of abuse and lies, it’s only the beginning. One of the biggest ways to help your child is by not giving them money or paying their bills. Every situation is different so it’s hard to make this one black and white. The bottom line is if everything comes easy they will never be able to build the necessary skill to be independent from you or their substance. That doesn’t mean mom can’t send a care package or two with a heartfelt card. But if your child is going out with friends every day instead of looking for a job it’s safe to say you shouldn’t be sending them a box of grandma’s cookies.
Addiction isn’t a spectator sport, eventually the whole family gets to play. This is a line I’m sure you probably all know too well. Your child’s addiction has hurt you as well. It’s very important, for you and your recovering child, that parents attend Al anon or Nar anon meeting to begin their recovery too. These are meeting just for the family of an addict or alcoholic that are just as important as the twelve step meetings your child is suggested to attend.
Lastly in early recovery we tend to do some pretty off the wall things. We’re still learning and balancing out. Be prepared for the purple hair, new tattoo, or childlike tantrum because a roommate has stolen peanut butter. The important thing is that there are steps continually be taking forward.