When I was caught up in the chaos of drug use by my eldest son I found myself disempowered in many situations.
When a person has an addiction the drug use and chaos isn’t only a Saturday night out event. It is twenty four hours a day seven days a week. Depending on the drug being used the behaviours can vary. Speed or Ice and the person can be up and about for days on end, pacing, talking, constant moving, agitated or happy but unpredictable. With Heroin they can be comfortably numb, nodding off or surprisingly going about normal activities.
As the parent witnessing this your experience is very different. While they may be having the time of their life, or struggling in pain against the addiction you are anxious not knowing what might happen next, sometimes you are angry but more often than not you feel disempowered to take control of your own life. Constantly a fear abides that harm will come to them or that they may harm others. Your sleep patterns change, your eating patterns change, you grab what time you can to clean up the mess created leaving rare moments to participate in activities of your own.
During these times seeing only the darkness of the impact of drug use turns your own light off. You can be depleted of energy in such a way you cannot generate your own light leaving the darkness to overshadow.
I am now driven to change the beliefs of those experiencing this darkness to a belief that anything is possible by inspiring them to see their worth and to grab what opportunities they can to be their best selves. I wish I had been coached during my chaos to believe in the possibilities for me so that I enjoyed them rather than being swept along by the tide.
I could not change the course of my son’s actions and outcomes but I would like to think in retrospect I might have empowered myself to be stronger in my reactions, be self assured in how I set boundaries and that I would have followed through with consequences. Most of all I would not have allowed the stigma of being a parent of a child using drugs to define me.