For mothers of addicted children, we know how hard Mother’s Day can be for you. Fearing you’ll lose your son or daughter to addiction is an unbearable pressure. Seeing the harm that addiction is doing to your child can be as frustrating as it is frightening. Not knowing what to say or how to help a loved one in addiction is painful for most parents. You feel responsible to care for and guide your child – and yet, there are times you don’t know what to do or where to turn.
To women who long to be mothers, whether you’re in active addiction or recovery, we wish you peace this Mother’s Day. We hope you find a resolution and create the family you want.
From teenage mums to foster mums, IVF to adoptive mothers, mums whose children have long ago left home – whatever your personal story, we hope you’re feeling well this Mother’s Day. For families affected by addiction, we wish you to be free from the negative impacts of addiction – today and all days.
To mark Mother’s Day, we have three stories to share from mothers in recovery from addiction. Whatever has happened in your past, whatever you’re addicted to now, there is hope for your future. You can recover if you get the support you need.
“When I was using prescription drugs, all I was concentrating on was getting my next fix. In recovery, I’m able to be there for my children in a physical, emotional and spiritual way. I can deal with things that come up in our family because I don’t feel crappy all the time.
“My kids were quite young when I first came into recovery. I’ve been able to get them up for school, make breakfast, listen to what’s going on for them. We have good conversations. In recovery, I support my kids with their important decisions.
“It didn’t all come overnight because it takes time to repair relationships after 20 years of opioid addiction. But as I got better, I was more and more able to be present.
“My boys are 18 and 19 now. Today, I have a normal mother-son relationship with both of them. I understand them and they understand me.”
To read more about Nicki’s recovery from opioid addiction, please click here.
“My addiction to alcohol and drugs began in my teens. I was 15 when I started drinking to get drunk – strong cider, cheap spirits. My friends and I all lived for the weekends – and it wasn’t long until the weekends began on a Wednesday for us.
“Everyone around me seemed to be doing the same thing – we drank a lot, some of us got sick, we stumbled home. We laughed about it the morning after or on Monday back at school. The hangovers were always horrible for me – sweaty, sick, feeling embarrassed about the night before – but other than that, there didn’t seem to be any consequences.
“In my late teens, I started to mix alcohol with ecstasy and cocaine – because I felt more alert that way, not so out of it on drink. I remember thinking that drugs sobered me up – but really, the mixture made it more likely things would happen beyond my control.
“At 19, I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified. My boyfriend didn’t know what to do. He tried to be there for me at first but soon he clammed up. He said it was up to me what I did about the pregnancy. I felt angry with him. It seemed like he wasn’t really taking responsibility.
“I craved drink and drugs more than ever when I got pregnant. I felt guilty but I couldn’t stop myself. It was so much pressure and I just didn’t know who to talk to – yes, I told a couple of friends, but I was too scared to tell my parents.
“In the end, the decision was made for me. I lost the pregnancy. I just felt numb at the time, no sadness. I continued drinking and taking drugs because it was a way to forget.
“I didn’t face up to what had happened until over a decade later. Finally, in my thirties, I got professional help with addiction, which allowed me to look at difficult events in the past. It was hard to talk about such personal things at first – but it was such a relief to finally acknowledge all the confusion and fear and guilt.
“I am so grateful that I have become a mum in my recovery from addiction. My little boy was born after eight years in recovery. For several years before he came along, I feared that I wouldn’t find the right partner or I’d left it too late – but in the end, my wish to become a mother was fulfilled.
“I am celebrating the day with my son and partner. It’s simple – breakfast, a walk to the park and then we’ll go to my mum’s house for lunch.
“This Mother’s Day, I want to say to anyone woman who is pregnant and struggling with addiction, please don’t let fear keep you silent. I don’t regret my past anymore but I wish I’d asked for help as a teenager. It might not have turned out any differently – but I wouldn’t have felt so alone.”
“Addiction runs in my family. My ex-husband is an alcoholic. I think my son is too. My daughter suffered from bulimia in her teens – thankfully she’s in recovery now.
“As a mum, you just want to make things better for your kids. You want to take away their pain, put a smile on their face. I would always say to friends of mine that I’d go to the ends of the Earth for my kids, especially when I knew they were in pain.
“But truthfully, I had no idea how to handle a teenager with bulimia in the house. She was so volatile and I was too. I reacted to the cycles of my daughter’s illness, trying to predict her behaviour and stop her from hurting herself. It just caused fight after fight. She hated me questioning her but I couldn’t stop because she’s my daughter.
“The worst and best day of my life was when I asked her to leave the family home. She had refused my offer to help her get treatment. I said things couldn’t continue the way they’d been going. She walked out, absolutely furious with me. Two days later, she called me. I cried when I heard her voice. She said she would go into treatment if I was still willing to help her. Of course, I would – no question. Like I say, you just want to know how to help your children.”
If you’re a mother affected by addiction – your own addiction or your child’s – please call UKAT for a free addictions assessment. We’ll explain the options available for UK addiction treatment.
If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment program, we guarantee you'll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.