Being a single parent can have a whirlwind of stress. Raising a child of your own all by yourself… it can be extremely stressful. But, you’re getting by. You’ve learned techniques; how to master nap time so you get both kids to bed at the same time. Or packing 4 different outfits because the first 3 will be spit up on. It’s the little things, right? Through the endless hours of crying, fighting, hitting, and biting, you can’t wait for the kids to fall asleep so you can catch a break. So you can pour a glass of wine. You drink every night, maybe use prescription drugs to mend the stress. Uh, let’s double the dosage this time. The more this happens, the bigger drug or alcohol dependency you’ll have.
Drug or Alcohol Dependency
Parenting takes patience, commitment, time, and energy. It’s challenging doing it with someone else, but even more challenging as a single parent. You take full responsibility for your children as they grow up watching you as their role model. What can you do when you become flustered? Can you leave your kids in their room and hope for the best? Maybe. Can you leave them crying for an absurd amount of time? Maybe. But children are emotional and they need love and support. And that’s where you come in. Showing love and support as their role model and parent 24/7.
As you begin drinking to cope with the emotional stress you’re going through, you start unlocking a tolerance to go with it. The more you drink, the better you feel. But after awhile, you’ll need to drink twice the amount to feel better. Eventually, you’ll be able to drink so much that your body slowly blacks out.
You might not be in this situation right now, and you might be functioning as a mom and an addict, but don’t get the mindset that you won’t become this way. If you’re drinking on the daily, not to loosen up but to get buzzed or drunk, you could lose your functioning ability and slowly become the careless mom who needs a drink at all times.
If you’re beginning to see a problem with alcohol or opiates, you’re not alone. New Start wants to help you, whether it’s going to our program or finding another program that better fits what you’re looking for. We are here to help as a resource. Our phone number is 855-737-7363, you can call us or chat with us online. We’re here for you.
5 Myths About Being An Addicted Parent
My Children Don’t Know What I’m Doing
Ummmm… I hate to break it to you, but it’s very likely you’re not as secretive as you think you are. Children are smart. If they see you fill a glass of wine once, they will always remember. If they see you swallow some pills, they will remember that. You could be invited to a parent-teacher conference and their teacher will have drawings of your actions in pen and marker. Don’t underestimate the power children have!
I’m Still Functioning like a Parent Should
No matter how much you drink or do drugs, you’re still under the influence. And just because you’re functioning now, doesn’t mean you’ll always be a functioning alcoholic or drug addict. The more you consume, the worse it will become. There is no shield over you; addiction can bring out the best or worst of you at any moment.
I Can’t Help Myself if There’s No One to Watch my Children
I totally understand. You are a single parent. What can you do if you want to get help but you can’t find someone to watch them? Lucky for you, I have some solutions! There IS such a thing as addiction programs with child care. It’s not common and you might need to do your research, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a great family program that you can attend for treatment and your children to attend for care. Other solutions include taking your kids to their relatives, cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc. If you have family, even if they live far away, it might be worth it to give your kids a vacation while you get treatment.
Treatment Doesn’t Work For Me
Relapses typically happen more than once when you’re trying to get clean. People will go into treatment, get clean, relapse, and so on and so forth. And that’s usually when people start to lose hope. You’ve been into treatment, and it’s failed you. It didn’t work. The downside is that you’re still living as an addict, but the upside is there are other options for treatment. If you’ve tried cold turkey at home, if you’ve been to detox and rehab before, there are more options. There are SO many programs that tailor to you and help you gain strength again. You can fight this.
I Won’t Be Able To Talk To My Kids In Treatment
Programs are different from one another. You could go to a treatment program that allows visitors, and one that doesn’t allow visitors. We all have different rules when it comes to visitations and outings. My guess is, if you go to a family oriented program that has child care in it, you’ll be seeing your kids more often than if you went to a program with no child care. But, many programs allow visitors after a designated time. If you’re doing a 30-90 day program, you’ll be able to have visitors during that time under some restrictions. But remember, your treatment and sobriety come first. You won’t be able to care for your children much longer with an addiction that’s controlling you.
If you’re at the point where you start to feel withdrawal symptoms from not drinking or taking drugs, this is your first sign that you have a problem. Whether you feel your fingers twitching, you’re sweating uncontrollably, or have a headache and feel nauseous. These are all symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. You might also experience seizures, hallucinations, or anxiety. If your quick fix is mixing liquor in your cup at work or sneaking to the bathroom to pop some pills, you’re feeding your addiction worse.