Written by: #GivingThanks
My story is one of giving thanks, and through it all, I know that God has been with our family. I have a child who is a functional alcoholic. When I say functional, I mean my child can hold down a job, have relationships with others and appear to be ok. Though my child has never admitted it, at least publicly, the alcohol consumption started at an early age.
A parent always feels guilt or wants to take the blame for their child’s flaws, bad habits or addictions, and they ask, why or how did this happen? I have asked myself this questions many times. As young parents, my husband and I tried to do everything within our power, to give our child a good quality of life. Selecting the right neighborhood so that the right schools were available, involvement in extracurricular activities like sports, piano and summer camps were vitally important to us as young parents. We attended Sunday school and church and took our children with us all the time. As parents, we thought we were doing everything right to prepare our child for a healthy and happy lifestyle. One area, if I could do it all over again, would be to be very intentional about who we allowed to spend “quality” time with our child. Also, the sleepovers at other people’s home would not be permitted.
I believe in my heart that friends whom we trusted and would send our child over to stay the night and sometimes the weekend….those same friends gave our child alcohol during the precious pre-teen years. This early exposure without our knowledge, lead to more drinking. First, I believe our child thought it was a “cool” thing to do at games, parties, and socially, to have a beer in your hand…it was just cool. Later, I believe the beer became a “coping” mechanism to get through tough times. We taught our child about Jesus Christ and the power of prayer. We prayed, he prayed, yet our child continued to drink!
Over the years, there have been constant attempts to get our child help or at least to get counseling. It is always painful to see your child in an inebriated state, eyes red, and talking constantly regardless of who is listening. Each attempt to get help has always been met with “I’m ok, or “I don’t have a problem.” During all my research, and pain, watching our child abuse alcohol, the research says, if someone has an addiction, they must first admit there is a problem in- order-to get help. At this point in our lives, I believe that God has carried, protected and loved our child. There have been ups and downs, jobs and job losses; engagement and broken engagement; girlfriends and loss of girlfriends. Yet, we are thankful….I am thankful to God as a mom, knowing that our child is alive, a beautiful and loving person, and God will take the best care. Each day brings hope that our child will take one less drink and eventually, no drink!
I continue to pray and keep the faith, per Hebrews 11:1 “Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In my heart, I believe and will always believe that God will cure our child from this awful addiction. In the meantime, we constantly communicate with our adult child, even when it is a challenge. We always try to demonstrate our love by having a meal together, or just stopping by to say hello. We as parents were told by someone else with an addiction, to just love your child. It is important that our child knows no matter what, our love is real and we are present. So, in closing my words of wisdom are to teach your child(ren) about God and always give thanks to God! As a parent, we do our best to raise our children right, in hopes that they will be well adjusted adults who can live and work to provide themselves and their families with a good quality of life.
Please be aware of your child’s surroundings from birth to adulthood, or when they leave your home. It is important to know who and where your child is, all the time. Limit who you allow your child to have “sleep overs,” with and time where a parent is not present. Talk to your child about the dangers of drinking and how your mind is not yours when under the influence of any alcohol or drug. Your child’s future depends on you and how you raise your child. With God’s help, you will have a positive outcome. We are blessed despite our child’s addition to alcohol……our child is alive and God is still at work!
Psalm 145: 14-16 The Lord upholds all those [of his own] who fall and raises up all those who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you [in hopeful expectation], and you give them their food in due time. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.Leave a reply