Being a mom is a tough job that can drain women physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you add to it the struggles that come with addiction, it can feel as if your situation is beyond any help or remedy.
The good news is that’s not entirely correct, because as difficult as it may seem, there’re ways to help you get back to sobriety. What’s important is understanding how the addiction began and its potential triggers.
There are many forms of addiction that can affect moms, but they’re mainly categorized into two types.
One is chemical addiction, which is the use and abuse of substances, and the other is behavioral addiction, which is the dependence on habits and behaviors that don’t offer any real benefit.
While recovering from both types of addiction is, without a doubt, difficult, it’s possible and doable.
What you’ll need is a strong mental capacity, a willingness to improve, and most of all, a strong support system from family, friends, or mothers with the same struggles as yours.
Here are some practical ways to manage and speed up your recovery process:
#1. Build Support Around Yourself
Serious cases of addiction can be very damaging not just for the mother, but also her family.
However, having a strong support system, especially from other moms going through the same struggles of addiction, may be helpful on your journey to finally becoming sober.
This is because most people feel they can be understood better by those with the same experience. When you’re with people with the same struggles, your path to recovery won’t look too difficult.
For mothers, there may be more shame associated with addiction, making it difficult to seek help. There's also a lot of stigma from society, which can make you feel like you’re a bad mom whenever you fail to keep things under control.
While women are generally more giving, on the contrary, they often find it difficult to ask for help even when they badly need it.
But moms who have successfully traveled the difficult road from addiction to sobriety understand the importance of both lending and accepting a helping hand when needed.
Furthermore, having the support of people who won’t judge you by your failures can help create a firm foundation for the beginning of your journey to recovery from addiction.
It may also help to regularly meet with supportive moms who are genuinely concerned about your recovery.
#2. Learn To Recognize Triggers
It’s very common for a mom recovering from addiction to relapse and go right back to the position she so desperately wanted to leave.
This is something you can avoid by learning to recognize the things that stimulate your urge for drugs, alcohol, or whatever you’re addicted to.
Once you identify these triggers, you can find better ways to avoid them before they affect you.
Take note of these common types of triggers for most moms:
- Social triggers-spending time with people who can expose you to drugs and alcohol, such as keeping in touch with your drug dealer, or your friends with addiction issues. This can pull you right back to addiction. You'll need to deliberately cut ties with anyone who can trigger your addiction, no matter who they are.
- Environmental triggers-these are the physical places that may remind you of your object of addiction. When trying to be sober, don’t hang out with friends at the pub or attend a party where drugs and alcohol are flowing freely.
- Emotional triggers-the most common trigger fueled by a psychological reaction to a situation or object. This often involves extreme emotions, and could be feelings of joy, sadness, stress, anger, or exhaustion. The best way around this is to be mindful of any extreme emotion before they take over you. Once you know your emotional triggers, you can process your feelings better and keep them from intensifying further.
#3. Seek Professional Help
Addiction is often much more than just your dependence on a particular substance or habit.
Any underlying factors should be identified and dealt with to minimize the chances of relapse, something that professionals can help you with.
Most professionals will recommend methods that involve the use of prescription medicines, or behavioral therapies where you may have to work with a group.
Another reason to seek professional help is to have someone properly manage the withdrawal symptoms that individuals recovering from addiction often struggle with.
The most common withdrawal symptoms are insomnia, anxiety, excessive sweating, hallucination, and depression.The best help you can get is from professionals, especially when you want to understand the root causes of your addiction, and how to handle challenging withdrawal symptoms.
With a friend or family member who understands you, you can visit any rehabilitation center to ask about the most suitable treatment program for your case.
Reputable rehab centers like https://www.jacksonhouserehab.com/ can offer comprehensive treatment services to help in the successful recovery of moms struggling with addiction.
#4. Keep Yourself Busy
Taking the first steps of your journey towards your recovery from addiction can be challenging especially as you shift from the old ways you're accustomed to.
If you often feel that nagging void left by addiction, keeping yourself busy, especially when you’re idle or bored, should help keep your mind off any temptation.
Here are a few ideas that can help:
- Find consolation in your faith. You can start by attending faith-oriented gatherings and activities that can keep you busy while surrounding yourself with support from positive people. There’s also great comfort in positively feeding your spirituality through religious practices, something you can try to do to replace your idle times with.
- Dedicate more time to your hobbies. Or better yet, find new hobbies! It’s a great way of spending time and meeting new people to replace friends from your past who are negative influences on your sobriety. A hobby can also reveal abilities that you may never knew you had before, which might also help you cope better in life.
- Get into exercising. While recovering from addiction, exercising won’t only help use up your idle time, it’ll also improve your physical health, which may have already deteriorated from your use of drugs and alcohol.
- Volunteer in different ways. Most moms struggling with addiction often feel like failures who cannot offer help to anybody. But when you give back in whatever way you can, you can redeem your sense of self-worth while also taking extra time off your hands.
#5. Have A Daily Alone Time
Early in your recovery, the idea of spending too much time alone might not sit well with you.
However, learning to be comfortable with yourself can improve your sense of independence, and take away your fear of relapse in the long run.
This idea will also be particularly difficult for moms because they're always surrounded by people who rely on them for everything, which also consumes most of their time.
You can save yourself from the guilt. Think of your alone time as a way to reconnect with who you were before the addiction.
While getting back to your ‘normal’ self sounds easier when you have people taking care of you and offering their support, trying to figure things out on your own will keep you from being too dependent on other people.
But don’t mistake this as a suggestion to totally isolate yourself from others.
It’s a way to also help you deal with the discomfort of being alone. You can take more practical steps by:
- Setting a minimum and a maximum limit for your alone time. Find an activity that you can do around a specific time and make the most of it. It could be taking your dog out for a walk, or reading a book. You can begin with short periods and just work your way up.
- Being persistent. With time, a regular alone time will start to feel more normal as you build the habit. Each day you complete your time alone, it’ll give you more confidence in your ability to overcome your fear of being alone.
- Asking for help. When you feel unsure about how to proceed, ask for help from your therapist or counselor. A professional will have the best idea to help you overcome any hurdle you might encounter on your journey.
- Staying in the positive. You’re alive and doing the best you can to be sober despite the many challenges of being a mom struggling with addiction. You’ve already done great by choosing yourself, your family, and your life over your addiction.
#6. Learn To Take Care Of Yourself
For most moms, addiction begins with a seemingly harmless habit of relaxing or unwinding by taking alcohol.
Sometimes they use it for better sleep, or to numb the feeling of being overwhelmed or lonely.
Over time, they look for more excuses to indulge in alcohol or drugs, just because it makes them feel good for a while.
The best thing you can do to start healing is to slow down and take some time away to take care of yourself more often.
Putting focus on yourself and remembering your best qualities instead of dwelling on your weakness will help you appreciate yourself better, especially your efforts to recover.
A positive mindset and a good self-worth can go a long way to help you feel better about yourself and reduce your reliance on substances.
Forget about the expectations of others, and just concentrate on yourself every once in a while. Clear up your mind and think of no one else but yourself.
Learn to tell yourself that it's okay to take a break from it all. While you’re at it, you might discover better alternatives to help yourself recover from your addiction.
Make yourself a priority. You’re more deserving of self-love and compassion than you might think.
Life is unpredictable, and there are times it’ll hit you with unexpected losses. As a mom, you’ll constantly face difficulties in your job, at home, and in your marriage, and that’s just normal.
While the journey to sobriety can prove to be a difficult path, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long it takes you to get there.
Continue pressing forward, keeping in mind that this fight isn’t just for yourself, but for your family too.