Leaving a Legacy of Sobriety

Leaving a Legacy of Sobriety

While you are living in denial with your addiction to drugs like Klonopin, it is often difficult to overlook the negative consequences of your addiction. Addiction is so consuming that you may not even realize some of the harm that you are causing to others. Addiction also prevents you from looking to far into the future and giving thought to the type of legacy you want to leave. To understand more about your legacy, you may want to explore the consequences of your addiction on your family, get insights on how your sobriety can actually help reduce the risk of addiction in others and learn about additional benefits of sobriety.

How Your Addiction Impacts Your Children

In their pamphlet, What Happens to the Family When Addiction Becomes Part of It?, the National Association for Children of Alcoholics describes the common characteristics of adult children of trauma or addiction including the following:[1]

  • A person loses the feeling that they can affect or change what’s happening to them. She gives up and becomes helpless which can also affect other areas of her life.
  • Unexpressed and unfelt emotions have a myriad of outcomes. A person may become depressed, anxious, angry or sad, which can be turned inward.
  • Free floating anxiety and worries often lead to phobias, sleep disturbances or hyper-vigilance.
  • People exposed to the overwhelming pain associated with living in a toxic environment often become numb or shutdown as a defense mechanism. When this occurs, these people often find it very difficult to engage in caring and meaningful relationships.
  • Living in an environment that is often chaotic, confusing, frightening or painful does not help a child learn logical reasoning skills.
  • Because children of addicts often feel that they cannot rely on their parents, they frequently lose a sense of trust and faith.
  • Hyper-vigilance is a protective mechanism that requires the child to constantly scan the environment and relationships for signs of potential danger.
  • Children often engage in unhealthy bonding resulting from power imbalance in relationships and lack of other sources of support.
  • Children have difficulty in responding appropriately to stimuli. Anything that is reminiscent of trauma, such as yelling, loud noises or criticism, can trigger a person to either shut down or act out.
  • In an attempt to overcome the numbness or pain that they experience, children of addicts often put themselves into high risk situations, such as speeding, sexual acting out, spending, fighting or other risky behaviors.

Because of these various characteristics, these adult children of alcoholics or drug addicts often self-medicate in an attempt to quiet and control their turbulent, troubled inner world through the use of drugs like Klonopin and alcohol or behavioral addictions.

The Positive Influence of Your Sobriety on Your Children

Children are sponges; they watch what you do and copy it, they hear what you say and repeat it and they often look for guidance from you. Your sobriety allows you to become a model for your children as described in the post, Reducing the Risk for Substance Abuse.[2]

By being a model for your child and creating an environment that is supportive of healthy decisions, you are reducing your child’s risk for substance abuse. If alcohol plays a daily role in your life and you speak of having a drink to unwind from a stressful day or to reduce your inhibitions, what you are saying to your child is that alcohol is a viable choice to overcome stress or increase popularity. On the other hand, if you don’t drink and have candid discussions with your children about underage drinking, drunkenness, driving under the influence and other irresponsible behaviors, then you have equipped your children and teenagers to make sensible decisions later in life.

Another aspect of your everyday life that can reduce the risk of substance abuse for your children is your relationship with prescribed medications. Even when medications have been prescribed appropriately, overuse and even addiction is possible with certain types of drugs, especially those prescribed for chronic conditions. If you model responsible use and couple that with a commitment to find other types of treatment, such as physical therapy, exercise or counseling, you are giving your child the tools to seek alternatives and make healthy decisions. In addition to you modeling appropriate behaviors for your children, you are also setting a fine example for your teenager’s friends.

Benefits of Sobriety

The person who most benefits from sobriety is you. In the post, The Benefits of Quitting Drinking, you are reminded of just some of the benefits of being sober including the following:[3]

  • Fit and healthy – Without alcohol and drugs like Klonopin, you’ll get more fitness from your exercise. In addition, you’ll have more energy during the day, and you will get more restful sleep at night. If you are trying to lose weight, it will make the process much easier.
  • Think more clearly – Drinking has the potential to seriously clarify your ability to think clearly. Without alcohol, you will think better, having rid yourself of something that makes learning and the formation of new memories much more difficult.

When you are physically healthier, your appearance improves. When you are emotionally healthier, your self-esteem and confidence improve. When you are mentally healthier, your decision-making is enhanced. With all of these positive personal outcomes, you are in a better place to engage in rewarding and meaningful relationships with others.

Get Help to Learn More About Leaving a Legacy of Sobriety

Please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and provide you with useful resources.


 

[1] http://www.nacoa.org/pdfs/The%20Set%20Up%20for%20Social%20Work%20Curriculum.pdf

[2] http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting-challenges/kids-and-substance-abuse/reducing-the-risk-for-substance-abuse

[3] http://www.keepinspiring.me/the-benefits-of-quitting-drinking/