As parents, our children’s well-being is of the utmost importance to us and is usually our highest priority. We are responsible for their upbringing and their health, and we take our responsibility very seriously. We feel honored to be their parents. When we’re struggling with addiction, our priorities can become totally skewed. The toxic substances and behaviors we’re dependent upon become our fixation. Our main focus is on how we can keep up with our addictions and the lifestyles that enable them. Our energy goes to perpetuating our addictions and allowing them to continue with as little obstruction and interruption as possible. Our neediness and unhealthy attachment become the driving force in our lives. When we’re in this state, there’s no way we can keep our addictions from affecting our children. As much as we would like to think we’re protecting our children and keeping them away from our addictions, they can’t help but be impacted.
We will often go to great lengths to shelter our children from the realities of our addictions. We’ll keep the drugs away from them. We’ll send them to family members’ homes. We’ll try to hide any evidence of our substance abuse. The truth is, though, children absorb everything we do energetically. No matter how much we might try to avoid it, we’re transferring our energy to them naturally, as their parents. They might be too young to articulate what the problem is, they might not yet understand it or even be conscious of it, but deep down they know something is wrong. They know their parents are suffering. They can feel instinctively that their parents are not whole or happy.
Our addictions can impact our children in various ways. We can find that they start experiencing anxiety, depression, panic attacks and other mental health issues, even from an early age. They can start to act out in what is often a cry for help, their way of telling us they need more attention and support than we’ve been able to give them. They might feel abandoned or neglected. Our addictions may have caused us to abuse them, mentally, emotionally or physically. They might misbehave, get in trouble at school, or start having more attitude with us. They might talk back to us, lie to us, or bully other children, including their siblings. They might start having performance issues at school, or stop showing interest in the things and activities they once loved. They might start developing addictive tendencies themselves, experimenting with drugs with friends, or trying substances in the home such as medications or cleaning products.
As much as we want to protect our children, our addictions can and do impact them and often lead to severe consequences for their health and well-being. Knowing how our addictions are affecting our children can help us come to terms with just how problematic our situation has become, and it can be the catalyst we need to make the very important decision to finally get help.
Better lives begin here. Let Bayview Recovery support you as you do the important work to get your life back on track. Your health and the health of your family depend on it. Call 888-570-7154 today.