Coping With A
Child’s Illness While
You’re In Recovery
Learn Coping Methods While Going Through This Difficult Time
Getting the news that your child is dangerously–perhaps even fatally–ill is one of the most difficult things any parent will ever go through. It is life-changing, and for many, it seems like a nearly impossible task to get through it without the help of drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. What those in recovery know, however, is that substances will only make things worse in the long run. They may provide temporary relief in the now, but later, the original issue is still there and is clouded by the shame or guilt that came with the substance abuse.
It’s a terrible thing, to watch a child go through an illness or deal with life-altering consequences, and it can lead to depression and other mood disorders very quickly. For that reason, it’s imperative to make a conscious decision now to learn coping methods that are healthy and don’t require a substance. It is possible, and with a little help, you can get through it.
Ask For Help
One of the best ways you can help yourself during this time is to find support. Your friends and family are one thing, but you may find it helpful to talk to a therapist or join a support group for parents of ill children so that you can talk about your shared experiences. This can be helpful not just for your own mental health, but in other ways as well; you may meet someone who has been through what you’re dealing with who can give you advice.
Let It Out
You will likely be focused on your child for a long time, and that’s completely understandable, but it’s also necessary for you to take a little time to look after yourself. Many parents find that they are so involved in being there for their loved one that they forget to shower, let alone find time to exercise. It will be very easy for depression to slip in, so find things that make you happy in order to keep it at bay. Indulge in a long shower, get a massage to relax, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eat well-rounded meals rather than relying on fast food or cafeteria food, and find ways to exercise, which can help defeat those difficult, negative thoughts.
Living through something as difficult as this can take a toll in a very short amount of time.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, for your child’s sake as well as your own.