16 Dec How Can Al-Anon Help Parents During the Holiday Season?
Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who have been affected by the disease of addiction. Members are often parents, children, or significant others of people who are either active in their addiction or in recovery.
Al-Anon provides mutual understanding and support to better the lives of both those suffering from addiction and the people who have been affected by the family disease of addiction. The only requirement for membership is that you have been affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol abuse. Al-Anon provides a safe environment where people can learn to make healthy choices and improve both their attitudes and lives, whether the addict chooses to use or not.
The Holidays Are a Difficult Time for Parent’s With a Child in Recovery
Al-Anon can be extremely beneficial for anyone who is struggling with a loved one’s addiction. Al-Anon benefits individuals and families throughout the year but can be exceptionally beneficial during the holiday season. People who suffer from addiction and their families often struggle during the holiday season. Many people hold high expectations during the holiday season. Parents go to great lengths to host family gatherings, purchase thoughtful gifts, prepare elaborate meals and travel to spend time with family. All these factors can lead to increased feelings of stress and if expectations aren’t met can result in negative emotions and disappointment. Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery related programs are crucial for recovery from addiction. But what about the parents who have suffered from their child’s addiction? How can Al-Anon help parents during the holiday season?
Al-Anon Can Decrease Enabling and Co-dependent Behaviors
Parent’s who have a child with drug or alcohol addiction often suffer from extreme stress, fear, anxiety and sadness. Parents often desperately try to control the situation and go to great lengths to try and fix their child’s addiction. The overwhelming need to fix their child’s problem can consume the minds of parents and result in unhealthy behaviors and actions. Al-Anon teaches families that they are not responsible for fixing their child’s addiction problems. Al-Anon teaches families that they have the choice to love their child unconditionally while not having to accept unacceptable behaviors. Parents learn that their rescue efforts are in fact enabling their child and making it easier for them to continue to abuse drugs and alcohol. Al-Anon teaches parents that they can detach themselves from their child’s addiction while still loving their child. These lessons can be particularly helpful during the holiday season.
Receive Mutual Understanding and Support
Addiction is a family disease. Parents who have a child who suffers from addiction often feel alone. Feelings of shame, anxiety and fear often consume these parents. Al-Anon provides a safe place for families to share their experience, strength and hope. Parents greatly benefit from the support of others who have experienced similar struggles. For parents who have a child who is active in their using, it is imperative that they have a strong support system to help guide their thinking and behaviors during such a difficult time. Just because a child is in addiction recovery does not mean that they no longer have internal struggles. Al-Anon can be just as beneficial for parents with a child in recovery. The holiday season often brings up mixed emotions. Al-Anon teaches coping strategies for dealing with negative emotions while providing understanding and support for one another.
Focus On One’s Own Goals Rather Than On Child’s Addiction
While it is understandable that parents will go to great lengths to try and help a child suffering from addiction, this can also lead parents down a destructive path that neither benefits themselves or their child. Al-Anon teaches parents to focus on their own goals rather than on their child’s addiction. This can be particularly beneficial during the holiday season when parents go to great lengths to connect with family and when expectations are high. A parent can’t effectively help their child if they are in an unhealthy state of mind. Parents must enter their own recovery from the devastating affects of the family disease of addiction.