September 10, 2015. A day that would change Naina’s life forever. It was the day when she realized that her opiate addiction was taking over her life. She was a busy, hardworking mom with a family, career, and hundreds of obligations to fulfil every single day. Taking the time for a routine surgery merely six months before, she was prescribed some standard narcotics as a course of recovery. Choosing to take them was the worst mistake she made.
She quickly became addicted to the euphoric feeling that these opiates gave, and although she thought for a short time that they enhanced her ability to perform as a professional, wife, and mother, she was soon to find out that the gig was up.
The morning of the 10th, she was in kitchen lamenting over a recent phone call that she’d made to her new best friend, her pharmacist. He told that the prescription refill request that she had repeatedly tried to put in had been denied yet again, and that her doctor was not about to approve any more refills. Her carnival had ended.
She was in the middle of arguing with him when her 8 year old daughter walked into the kitchen. She was attempting to get the attention, as her frustration level rose. As the little girl struggled with this conversation and her mum’s emotions, she continued asking a question innocently. Naina, saddened with her addiction denial, did something reprehensible—She backhanded her daughter. She landed on the floor, clutching her cheek. Tears sprung to her eyes as she gave a look of betrayal, she could hardly stand it. The phone went clattering to the floor as Naina fell besides her daughter, stroking her hair and begging for forgiveness. “Mom, what is happening to you?” she cried softly as she scurried away.
Naina cried and apologized, she picked up the phone, but now with a new purpose. She called the local hospital for the treatment options, and never looked back. Naina would never again fall victim to the substance that threatened to destroy her entire family. What she learned about her potential for downfall that day, and what she learnt through opiate addiction treatment made Naina a better parent and a much better person.
Here are some takeaways that can perhaps help you become a better parent through her experience. Do it for yourself, do it for your children.
1. Acknowledge your Weaknesses
Naina used to think that she was infallible. Now that she has become acutely aware of her weaknesses, she used this information to steer herself away from those things that could result in self-destruction. She chose to gravitate toward things that uplifted, inspired, and were healing in nature. These behaviors need to be infused for children, in hopes that they never fall victim to the tethers of addiction.
2. Be a stronger advocate for your Children
Through education, teach your children about the effects that addiction can have on a person and on their life. Through showing them the uglier side and making them aware of substance abuse, we can hope that children will choose not to go down this road.
3. Choose to “Squeeze the Marrow”
Be aware of things that makes you truly happy, and be grateful for every single experience that this crazy ride called life brings in. Savouring the family, friends, and cherishing simple joys of life brings in the real ecstasy. And this is what Naina has to say!
4. Embrace a higher state of Health
The destructive nature of all addictive substances truly takes its toll on the body. As Naina began to learn what prescription drugs had done to herself, she decided that she would embrace a higher state of health for herself and for her whole family. She adopted a healthier, more vibrant lifestyle for her whole family.
5. Building Something Better…For Children
Focusing on building a legacy through your children is something every parent should take joy in. Teaching your children to become better people is one of the greatest things a parent can do; Shift your focus from “I” to “Them”, and you’ll be clear of the tremendous responsibility and opportunity you have, to make this world a better place through raising kids with morals.
6. Learn the value of creating Quality Relationships
One thing that was severely lacking during the time that Naina was stuck in her addiction was her relationships. As she says, she neglected everyone as she sought to shut herself down mentally and emotionally. The day she was out of stupor, she realized that the richness of human experience is enhanced and fulfilled through relationships and heart connections. Today, Naina is focussed on creating quality relations, with the hope that her children will learn to do the same.
7. Apologising is not enough
No amount of apologising will take away the pain and agony her daughter felt that day. Apologizing will never give you the lost time and the disconnection that resulted from the selfish and self-serving behavior. Better, right from this moment create new happy memories and heal through love and devotion.
8. Healing via a Spiritual center
One major component of addictive behavior is the inability to turn off obsessive thoughts. Naina says, “Through finding sources of spiritual comfort and a return to my centre, I have found healing and “mind quiet”, a gift that I cannot even begin to describe.”
She is teaching her children to find their centre as well and to always return back to that when they experience turmoil in lives.
9. Accept that you cannot control everything
Regardless of the fact that we all would love to control every little aspect of our lives and to shield everyone we love from pain and suffering that life can cause, accept that we just can’t. We need to find healthier ways to “let go and go with the flow”. While not all things that life throws at us are welcome, we can learn to find that peace from building a foundation of faith in the greater good.
10. Appreciate your inner Strength
Through admitting your weaknesses, you will also find your strengths. She continues, “I commit to being a shining example of integrity and strength for my children in hopes that they will desire to emulate the same qualities that will ultimately enhance their lives in ways that I can only imagine.”
Naina has become an inspirational figure for the people who know her today. Have you ever been close, really close to someone with Addiction? I would like to read your stories in the comment section.
Don’t fall for the clutches of Substance Use!