Here is Part 2 of our XNSPY dad’s story on how he dealt with his 16 year old son’s addiction. In this blog, he will be talking about the importance of realizing your child’s problem early on. We will let him take the stage…
The one thing you’ve got to do is know what the symptoms of addiction are. Sometimes I wish I had been better informed early on. This way, I could have found a way to take my son out of the darkness before it got this far. The guilt eats me up to this way and has caused me to have many sleepless nights. So I’m sharing them with you now so that you can help your kids when it counts.
If your child is using, you will see the following symptons:
- They may appear aloof and reclusive
- They will stop paying attention in school; their grades will plummet
- They may be eating too little or too much
- They might neglect activities that otherwise interested them
- They will be irritable or have increasingly more problems with their friends and family
- They will hang out with new “friends”
- They would become more secretive and would lie excessively
- They will show definite physical changes such as improper hygiene, dilated pupils, dark circles, and a big loss in weight
- They will have definite changes in behavior to the point where they will have run ins with authority such as their teachers or even the law.
I must admit that I did notice some of these things in my son, but I misjudged them for being part of puberty. When my son was moody or hugely irritable, I thought he was just being an angry teenage boy. When he stopped eating for a while, I thought he was depressed and suggested that I take him to a good therapist. Never did I imagine that my boy would be having trouble with drugs. I should have known then, but although my time has passed, you can recognize the early onset signs in your child now when it matters.
Dealing With Relapse
The other thing you’ve got to know is that whether you like it or not, you will have to deal with relapse. The key is not to be discouraged by it and recognize it as being a temporary setback in their road to recovery. It is a sweet victory when you see that your child has stopped using and is finally starting to get clean. You start to feel like things are normal again. So I know it is a scary prospect to have to go through the same horror all over again. You just have to know that relapse will be part of the process. Don’t start blaming your child right away. Don’t presume to think that just because they have relapse, they never wanted to get clean in the first place. Don’t treat the relapse as a tragedy, a horrible disaster that you can’t undo. Most of all don’t make the relapse about yourself. Focus on your child and they fact that they are suffering and that it is their life that has to be put in order. As unnerving as it can be, you’ve got to realize that this is all part of the process and that you will have to help them get on track again. It takes a certain amount of trial and error to get things right.
The best way to deal with recovery is to take it one day at a time. Relapse can occur days, weeks, or even months after a person has been sober.
Stay tuned for the final installment of this dad’s account of his son’s struggle with addiction. Part 3 coming soon!