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Addiction & Body
Posted by: Michael
Reading time: 6 minutes. 6 minutes to wake up and look around you.
Sometimes addicts are so locked up in delusion, they have no sense of how much damage they are causing to themselves, their partners, and their children. Today is the day that I call you to look at reality.
It is a given fact that your addiction to drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, shopping, porn, or video games is damaging you. You are wrecking your body, which may be very obvious to see, but you are also destroying your mind, heart, and soul in ways that you cannot easily see. If you don’t believe this, at least consider the possibility that your delusion is so entrenched, that you’re not willing to admit how bad things really are, and check out our articles on how addiction is destroying you in slow, painful ways HERE and HERE.
You may already fully realize how bad your addiction is, and how unhealthy you truly are, but you may not see how badly you are abusing your children. Yes indeed, you are abusing and traumatizing your children while you choose your addiction above them.
Addicts that are really deep in their addiction believe that their kids are “doing just fine”. Your children are neglected by you, feeling alone and insignificant, but you don’t ever physically strike them, or shove them to the ground, or choke the life from them. So they’re “fine”.
Today is the day of your reality check.
Today is the day that I call you to look at the evidence around you, look at the effects of your abuse, and then look in the mirror and know that you are doing it.
1. You are depriving their body
There was a comfort that you denied them, maybe food or clothes or a safe vehicle to ride in, because you wasted your money on your drug of choice. There was a security that you took away, like helping them learn a sport, join a team, and find a tribe, because you were too busy scoring and then getting high. Look around you and see the evidence, where you gave little effort, or none at all. Do your kids have decent clothes, good nutrition, a safe vehicle, and a vibrant, active life with friends? It is your responsibility to provide for a human being in your care. It is your job to give them what they need to develop and thrive. It is your duty to be the coach that shows them how to become self-reliant, and shows them how to do the same for others someday.
2. You are poisoning their mind
The framework of your child’s entire belief system is built early in life, and they learn by watching you. They have watched you in your addiction, as you hid from the world and escaped reality. They learned by your example that it is normal to be ruled by fear. Can you see them acting in fear of not getting enough? Perhaps they over-indulge in junk food or use video games or TV whenever they have the chance, before those things are taken away. Can you see them acting in fear of not being enough? Maybe you have seen them trying to appear as someone they are not, or lacking confidence in trying new things. It is your responsibility to show them that they can have enough, and they can be enough. It is your responsibility to teach them how to face their fears. Instead of hiding in drugs, avoiding with alcohol, burying with dopamine, you must lead them by example to see the fear, let it happen, stand up, and charge through it.
3. You are breaking their heart
They do not build self-worth alone, without help from you. You are the first reference point where they will first look to determine their significance. The attention and care that you speak about and show for them matters more, coming from you, than from anyone else. When you choose addiction above them, you neglect their need to feel valued by you. The first relationship your child has in their life is with you, and this sets down the template for every single relationship in their future. When they feel insecure and insignificant to you, they will feel this way with others. Look around you at the proof, at the way they treat others. Perhaps you see them teasing, mocking, disrespecting, or fighting others. Maybe you seem them ridiculing or judging others, making them feel small so that they can feel bigger by comparison. It is your duty to make them feel big, to make them know they are important to you. It is your job to be the leader that shows them, by doing it, that every other person they meet is also important to someone.
4. You are crushing their soul
When they are young, your children need a sense of confidence in themselves and the feeling like they belong somewhere. It is important for your kids to know that they belong in a family because they will understand automatically, at a deep level, that there is a reason for their existence. Helping them master a craft, or become excellent with a skill, they will learn that they can become something greater and that there can be purpose to life. This is not a lesson they get from a textbook, or a classroom, or a preacher. They must experience their own journey for themselves, to learn how to direct their attention, their care, their energy, into the world in some way, and how to find joy in doing it. If you renounce this aspect of yourself because you choose addiction, your kids will be lost. Look at the evidence around you. Perhaps they are quiet and mistrustful of others. Maybe they do not love learning or are afraid of change. Or they squander their skills and talents and passions. You cannot walk their path for them, but it is your duty to guide them in their unfolding.
If you are in active addiction, you are leaving your children to wilt and die. Don’t hide behind the delusion that you never physically abuse them. From your neglect and lack of care, you are striking them in the heart. You are shoving their mind to the ground. You are choking the life from their soul.
How dare you treat another person this way? Do you see that your selfishness, that your cold indifference is destroying them? You must understand how important you are to your kids. You must know that if you are hurting, you are not entitled to spill your pain onto them, and make it their pain.
You must stand up, wake up, and take action to fill the needs that your children have for their bodies, their minds, their hearts, and their souls. There is no other option. You cannot lie down, you cannot walk away, you cannot give up.
Your children are alive so that they can make their own unique contribution to the world. You will either be the one that feeds, helps, and cares for your child to unfold fully into who they must be. Or you will be the one that withholds, denies, and twists the life from them.
Look at yourself in the mirror, right now, and ask,
Are you loving them, or are you destroying them?
Michael is the Lead Sobriety Coach and Head Blogger of Addiction Reality.