Sobriety and Motherhood: Is it Alleviating or Attributing to Stress

Few have it as hard as mothers who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.  To add to it, a lot of people think that after a mother, or after anyone for that matter goes to rehab and completes it that life simply becomes easy and simple.  It does not.  Life after rehab is often just as hard as life before rehab.  True, one is no longer abusing drugs and alcohol, but now one has to deal with a lot of other problems and concerns that were not once there.  Mainly, one has to keep from abusing drugs and alcohol.  One has to keep from relapsing.  One has to keep from going back to his or her old habits and problem areas.

The threat of a relapse is one of those ever-present problem areas that a recovering addict is always faced with.  It’s just always there.  It’s an ongoing and every present problem that those who are going through recovery are always thinking with and that those who are going through recovery will probably always have to be thinking with for the rest of their lives.  There’s nothing wrong with that unless they fall prey and do relapse.

Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is not a temporary affliction or a disease that comes and goes.  I do not believe in the, “Once an addict always an addict,” pessimistic nonsense, but I do believe that once one has become an addict, one can beat addiction permanently, but one always has to be cautious to a degree.  One always has to be mindful and watchful to ensure that a relapse does not occur.

Life After Rehab for The Average Mother

Mothers are some of the most difficult individuals to convince to go to rehab for their addictions in the first place.  “Oh, I just can’t leave my children for the time it would take to go to rehab.”  Honestly, though, how great of a mom is she being when she’s doing drugs on the side or abusing alcohol?  This is the point that needs to be gotten across to them, and most mothers eventually do get the idea.

Once they have completed rehab, mothers step back into their lives and begin taking care of their children.  What next?  Will life be easier or more difficult?  What of the future and what types of benefits or pitfalls that it holds?  Where is the future headed?

Mothers have it pretty hard in those first few months or even the first year after they beat addiction because a lot is expected of them and they often never really have the chance to, “ease back into it.”  For mothers, they need to be especially diligent to avoid a relapse.

Here is my advice to mothers to ensure that they don’t fall back on their old habits:

  • Make sure to make time for your recovery.  Absolutely start going to an aftercare program after you have completed rehab.  You need a place to go to be away from your children for a few hours every week where you can continue to work on your recovery.  An aftercare facility is just such a place, and your rehab center you went to for treatment should be able to help you find one.
  • Focus on your goals too.  Remember all those goals you made while you were in rehab?  Stick to them, follow them, and keep up with them.  Don’t let your goals be forgotten just because you have a lot of responsibilities to keep up with now as a mother.
  • Let your family be a reason to stay sober, not a reason to relapse.  Ensure that your family is not stressing you out, and if they are then they need to know it.  Make your family a bastion of safety and security that causes you to maintain your sobriety and your recovery.  Don’t let your family be something that causes you to relapse.

Mothers have it hard yes, but they can make it just like the rest of us.  The path to sobriety is available to us all.

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