They were out getting high, now they’re out going to “meetings!” Don’t I matter to them? Having a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol affects people on many levels. A big question often asked is, “Why am I not important enough to make my parent stop?” Al-anon, the 12 step support group for people whose loved ones drink too much, has a great saying: “You didn’t cause this and you can’t fix this.” Let’s say we get through this tough period and amazingly our parent gets clean and sober. Suddenly, they are in recovery meetings every night and we’re back to feeling ignored or unimportant. Let’s try a different perspective. There is a pendulum action happening, from going to bars or drinking every night to spending time getting better every night. Would you rather your parent be drunk or sober? Eventually the pendulum does find the middle.
Consider asking your parent if you can join them. Or, since the meetings last only an hour, ask them if they can pick one or two nights when they socialize after the meeting, and come home early the other nights. It’s important to support our loved ones in recovery but also to remember that we matter and that we can voice our needs.