Staying Sober Through a Parent’s Illness is Tough, But Possible: Here’s Why

When a loved one struggles with sobriety, it is hard to watch. It is usually a family who wants to step in and make things easier, to enable their behavior and keep them stuck in the old patterns. When a parent becomes ill, or very sick, sobriety becomes even more of a struggle. It is hard to figure out how to help the loved one while staying sober and dealing with all the subsequent emotions and physical issues. Find out what happens when a loved one gets sick and how to handle a parent’s illness while maintaining sobriety.

Reversal of Roles

Taking responsibility is difficult for people in sobriety and recovery. It happens over time that addiction takes over and they don’t want to own the issue. Perhaps when a parent gets sick, it is quite devastating, but it may also be a reversal of roles that people experience which makes them feel responsible to care for them. Relationships can be difficult but all the resentments can go away eventually. There is no room for resentment when a loved one is sick.

Lack of Responsibility

As a person in recovery, it may be the first time an individual has to learn how to manage a budget, learn how to work a steady job, and stand on their own two feet without help from others financially. They must learn how to become adults, especially if they spent their teen and young adult years inside of addiction. Life skills cannot be underestimated but are sorely lacking for people in recovery. When a parent is sick, it feels like a punch to the gut. It is like it is all a sudden more difficult to accept things and they lean more heavily on someone else to cope with the situation.

Relapse Risk

Relapse is a real risk when highly emotional situations arise, like serious illness or the possibility of death. There may not be a lot of time to address past issues, make amends, and seek reparations for wrongs done and harms committed. It can feel like the urge to use drugs is jumping against the skin, pushing against everything a person learned in recovery. To numb out is to return to the old ways that didn’t work well for a long time. But, still, people do it because it is too hard to cope without drugs. More others decide not to do it, also and seek help for coping better through i.

Better Ways of Coping

Staying sober requires an amount of work that feels immense. The helplessness is overwhelming, along with grief. Talking with a sponsor, getting back on your feet, and finding support are going to be key. Not letting sobriety take a backseat to illness is going to help you cope better, support that loved one, and makes any amends necessary if there is little time left with them. Affording that time as a gift to yourself is, along with staying sober, the best gift to offer a loved one.

Don’t put your sobriety at risk because you are struggling with addiction. We are here to help. If you are suffering from possible relapse risk due to a parent’s illness, or have relapsed and need help, call us. If you are struggling to quit drugs or alcohol and want our support, we are here. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.