“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”- Buddha
Forgiveness is a difficult thing to offer, especially if you’re forgiving your drug-addicted parent or parents. When you’re considering forgiveness for a drug-addicted parent, it’s important to understand that forgiving your parent (or parents) is about you, not them. Forgiving those who have hurt you will allow you to finally move on from the harmful emotions, negativity, and toxicity you have been harboring. We cannot begin to heal if we keep reopening a wound, and harboring anger towards your drug-addicted parent will only keep you in pain. It’s time to forgive them, for your sake.
At Banyan Treatment Centers, we know that many families of individuals who are finding sobriety have a tough time forgiving an addict. This is especially true with children and adult children of addicts. You feel wronged by your parent’s addiction or alcoholism, and chances are, their behavior when addicted has been difficult to deal with. Holding onto resentment for your drug-addicted parent will only hurt you in the long run.
How to Forgive A Drug Addict Parent
Forgiveness is about letting go of the anger and negativity that you harbor towards your drug-addicted parent. Therapists at our drug and alcohol treatment center understand that forgiveness can be a tough path. Here are tips on how to forgive after addiction:
- Recognize what you can learn from your past. Harboring animosity towards your drug-addicted or alcoholic parent only hurts you. To begin on the road to forgiveness, you need to recognize that you cannot change the past. Instead, you can learn from it. When you refocus the lens of your past, you’ll be able to see the pain as something you can learn from, not something you should remain angry about.
- Educate yourself about addiction. When a loved one is an addict or alcoholic, their behavior can be difficult to understand. When addiction is in control, a person does not have the same control over their behaviors. Their hurtful actions were likely ones caused by addiction or mental health disorders, not actions performed in malice towards you. Recognizing the difference can help when it comes to forgiving an addict.
- Reach out for professional backup. Family therapy and family programs for addiction treatment can help when it comes to forgiving your parent. Families can attend programs that enable all family members to heal together, allowing for everyone to grow and forgive.
Forgiving your drug-addicted parent can help you heal from the challenges created by addiction. You can finally move forward and let go of the anger that has been holding you back.