5 Coping Rules for the Addict's Child

By Rachel Trimble

Without a Voice or a Choice of Their Own:
“A moment of silence for the babies born into this disease without a voice or a choice of their own.”

Many recovery meetings end this way, a prayer for the innocent ones affected by the choices of their parents.
Addiction affects every member of a family, but no member endures more than the child of the addict. Just as recovery can help save the addict, it can save the child.
If addiction is a family disease, and it is, recovery is a family solution. I know this because I see it every day. I see recovering addicts reenter their children’s lives, and trust me, this is hard to do. Addicts are, by nature, self-centered people. Once that self-centeredness has melted away, only waves of crippling guilt and shame are left, and that is where the work begins.

So, what does the child of an addict do?

1. Get into recovery yourself. Me, you say? I didn’t use, you say. To that, I respond, service to others is one of the things that is saving your parent. Maybe you can help save another child from pain. It’s a family disease, it takes a family recovery.

2. Know your loved one’s clean or sober date. Myself, that date is more treasured than any other date on the calendar; because that’s the date my soul woke up.

3. If you have questions about recovery, ASK! Watch their faces light up, we love to share what we are learning.

4. Let your loved one know you are open to coming to our events; we have events; dances, camp outs, speaker events, conventions, parties, barbecues, especially in the summer. (Warning: We have potty mouths sometimes, don’t be shocked! We are good people, and we are fun!)

5. Never give an addict money! EVER!

Rachel Trimble is a friend, a mother, a woman, and a lover all because she has been set free from the chains of addiction through recovery and love. Follow Rachel on Twitter @RachelTrm
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