Negotiating Recovery


boundaries by joiseyshawaa

An Addict In Our Son’s Bedroom touches upon a very important issue for loved one’s of addicts:

We’ve all done it. Seldom, if ever does it work. We make deals, we are willing to sell our soul, our dignity and our future to an addict in an effort to stop the madness.

My efforts to negotiate recovery involved buying things, providing gifts, paying for medical treatment, rehab and rents. All this in a fruitless attempt to bargain away the addiction from my son. This all happens while we enable our addicts and deny the reality.

I’ve been working with more parents over this issue comes up over and over again, both when parents begin renegotiating their boundaries or when they are upset with us for maintaining our boundaries. We need up having a conversation about:

  • the importance of choosing our boundaries carefully;
  • knowing the purpose of our boundaries (Care of self, family and home. Not to manipulate the addict into recovery);
  • that the time to re-negotiate boundaries is not after they have been broken.

Families aren’t alone in facing this challenge. Professional helpers struggle with this too. This is a big part of why we use a team approach and talk constantly about boundaries, our motives and the reasons behind them.

Mom and Dad at An Addict In Our Son’s Bedroom reached a similar conclusion:

So what’s the answer? You must live in the world of a reality that involves seeing the picture as it is not how you want it to be. Stepping back and taking in the holistic nature of this disease and how it not only affects the addict but all those that they touch is the first step. From that place I was able to see that negotiating was hopeless. Then it came down to figuring out where I actually stood in relationship to the disease and my relationship with my addict.

At that point I began to understand what boundaries meant. At that point there is no negotiating. The only thing left is deciding where you can go and where you cannot go.