There’s nothing like the bond between a mother and her child. But when a mother is held captive by addiction, this disease attempts to make drugs or alcohol the most important thing in her life, until she becomes blind to everything else.
If you have found yourself in the depths of drug or alcohol addiction, there is a way out. For the sake of the ones you love so dearly, here’s how to tackle obstacles unique to mothers so you can achieve sobriety.
How Addiction Uniquely Impacts Mothers
Moms are not immune to a substance use disorder. As you rush about your day, caring for your family and giving yourself little time to breathe or relax, you may find yourself turning to unhealthy habits. What starts as a prescription for pain or anxiety can escalate into a full-blown addiction. That’s because many mothers struggle with underlying issues unique to their situation, such as:
- Stress and negative emotions
- Low self-esteem
- Unhappy marriages and other relationship difficulties
- A belief they have to do it all
- Lack of purpose or meaning
- Undiagnosed psychiatric issues, such as depression or anxiety
- Past trauma
Barriers to Recovery for Addicted Moms
Admitting you have a drug or alcohol problem is difficult for anyone, especially addicted moms. There are many barriers moms face when it comes to their recovery, including:
- Difficulty coping: Drugs or alcohol can become your little secret, allowing you to cope with the challenges of daily life.
- Time away from kids: For some moms, the idea of leaving your kids for an extended period of time seems impossible.
- Cost of rehab: Quality drug and alcohol treatment centers can be expensive. However, the cost of not getting help is much higher.
- Stigma of addiction: There is a negative stigma surrounding mothers with addiction. Instead of viewing it as a disease, many see it as a willpower issue or character flaw. This judgment is worse for mothers who struggle with drugs or alcohol.
Best Approaches to Addiction Recovery for Moms
The best approach to help mothers recover is to help them see how their addiction is affecting their family and impacting themselves.
Most moms choose to get treatment because of their children and partners. They know they’re not truly there for their kids because of alcohol or drug abuse. Plus, the thought of putting their children at risk through their continued substance use offers a huge source of motivation.
Mothers addicted to drugs or alcohol often struggle with self-loathing and guilt. When they realize that treatment could help them feel happier and healthier, this gives them a push toward getting help.
Tips for Long-Term Sobriety for Mothers
Mothers with substance use disorders have a unique set of challenges when going through the recovery process. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure you have the support you need to face and overcome each obstacle.
Here are some tips for moms in the addiction recovery process:
- Incorporate your family into your treatment: Many mothers feel good about including their children and partner in their addiction treatment. In fact, attending family therapy together could help heal past hurts, mend relationships and benefit your recovery.
- Build a strong support system: Surrounding yourself with people you can trust is crucial to building a solid recovery foundation and becoming a sober mom. Talk to other moms healing from substance use, as they will understand the unique pain and challenges you have experienced.
- Let go of bitterness: Resentment and blame can keep you in a victim mode and prevent you from moving forward. By letting go of negative feelings, you can learn to deal with bitterness and anger in healthier ways as you heal from the disease of addiction.
- Practice spirituality: Addiction is a dark place. To regain a sense of light, many recovering addicts incorporate spirituality into their daily lives. This could include volunteering to help others in need, self-reflection or prayer.
- Take care of yourself: As part of the healing process, be sure to take time for your own health and wellness. Get sleep, eat well, exercise, slow down and take time for yourself.
Help for Moms Struggling With Addiction
If you are a mom and an addict, then it’s time to take the first step toward healing — for yourself and for your family. At Gateway Foundation, our evidence-based treatment programs are designed to help you reclaim your life and break the chains of addiction. We offer specialized rehab for women, addressing your specific needs to ensure you get the support you need.
If you would like to find out more, contact us today. Our compassionate team is waiting for your call. Reach us at 877.379.9078.