PARENTAL ADDICTION

People impacted by a parent's substance use and society's stigma of addictions need
to know that they,too,
can heal.
 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
 
IN CANADA, APPROXIMATELY 18% OF CHILDREN ARE IMPACTED BY A PARENT'S SUBSTANCE USE, SO IF THE STATISTICS ARE TRUE, THEN WE CAN EASILY SAY THAT WE ARE NOT ALONE.

IF YOU ARE LIKE US AND HAVE HEARD THIS ABOVE STATEMENT BEFORE. YOU MIGHT BE THINKING
"IF IT'S TRUE, THEN WHY DO WE FEEL SO ALONE?"

 
TODAY, THERE CONTINUES TO BE A LACK OF SUPPORTS FOR CHILDREN IMPACTED BY A PARENT'S SUBSTANCE USE, WHICH IS COMPOUNDED BY THE STIGMA OF ADDICTIONS.
 
THAT IS WHY WE EXIST: WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT IT IS OUR HEARTS WORK TO TRANSFORM THIS FEELING OF HOPELESSNESS INSIDE OF YOU, AND WITH IT, THE SYSTEMS THAT ARE MEANT TO SUPPORT YOU. BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ALONE, AND WE WILL HUSTLE TO MAKE SURE THAT NO CHILD EVER FEELS ALONE IN THIS AGAIN.
 
WE ARE SO GLAD YOU ARE HERE.


 

If you or someone you love is in immediate physical danger, please call the distress centre closest to you, or 911. 

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Parental Addiction is STRESSFUL.

PARENTAL ADDICTION IS STRESSFUL. OVER TIME, THIS CHRONIC STRESS IN CHILDHOOD CAN IMPACT HOW WE SEE AND FEEL IN THE WORLD, AS WELL AS MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR US TO COPE WITH STRESS AS ADULTS.

living with a parent with an addiction is an adverse childhood experience, and increases the risk of other ACEs such as emotional abuse, neglect, and domestic violence. Simplified, this means having a parent with an addiction is stressful and increases your risk or MORE stress.

This stress in childhood can strengthen our bodies ability to recognize ANY SIGNS of danger as we get older: This is GREAT. However, this can be exhausting when our body keeps recognizing signs of danger when there aren't any.

Healing is s journey, not a destination.

  1. Eat, sleep, and exercise

    • we are so trendy, we know! BUT, there is truth and healing in eating well, having good sleep habits, and moving our body (it literally increases the amount of feel good hormones in our body!.

    • so, eat more veggies

      • even if you start with 1 a day

    • sleep with less distractions

      • get off that phone before bed!

    • and move your body more

      • start with 15 minutes a day, and add 5 minutes every few weeks.

  2. Seek out JOY:

    • yup, you heard us! What makes you giggle like a kid? Swinging on swings, playing in the sand, splashing in water-whatever it is, DO MORE OF IT!​

  3. Pay attention to how you feel:

    • if you have spent your entire childhood hiding your feelings, it is going to take practice to be able to FEEL them. 
    • start by recognizing common emotions, reactions, or thoughts that go through your mind. Acknowledge them and make time to feel them.
  4. Challenge internalized beliefs: ​
  5. Grieve: It's 100% ok and important to grieve the childhood and the parents you didn't have. ​
  6. find and connect with your safe people and places (pssst: a safe person is someone you feel 10000% comfortable to feel and exist exactly as you are).

  7. identify triggers.

  8. challenge beliefs you have about yourself 

  9. Seek out professional and community suppport

    • counselling​

    • cultural supports

I HAD NO IDEA I NEEDED TO HEAL.

HEALING DIDN'T TAKE AWAY MY EXPERIENCES, BUT IT DID REMOVE THE REMINDER AND CONTROL THE EXPERIENCES  HAD ON MY EVERYDAY LIFE.

                                       -AGNES

compassionate boundaries:

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RESPITE:

A caregiver is someone who just does that: cares for another with a mental health or physical health issue.

If you regularly care for your parents, or another person with an addiction, you likely need respite!​

Respite may include taking a few days off from visiting or even taking phone calls.

Initially, this may feel really hard. But letting your loved one know in advance, lining up others to help you, and remaining firm in your time off will become an important and needed part of your self care routine.

Here is a sample note you can leave the day before your respite begins:

EMPOWERMENT IN COMMUNITY:
PEER SUPPORT
FOR PEOPLE IMPACTED BY A
PARENTS ADDICTION (AND SOCIETY'S STIGMA)

STARTING UP AGAIN MID-SEPTEMBER