Addicts and alcoholics of any gender, age, race, socioeconomic status, life responsibility, or eye color are prone to judgment. The mental illness of addiction receives a lot of shame and stigma, causing judgment and criticism along with unfair and polarizing stereotypes. It’s easier to characterize and outcast addicts than it is to understand them. When a population of people don’t want to be helped to help themselves, society is quick to turn a blind eye. Canada, thankfully, is not one of those countries. Recent research revealed that the average intravenous drug user is 42 years old in Canada. Many of those addicts are mothers.
It’s not the SUV driving, sports practice going, school board attending, dinner cooking Mom you expect to be shooting up drugs in the bathroom during family game night. Whether it is intravenous drug use, pill abuse, or alcoholism, many mothers in Canada are struggling with addiction. With time, responsibility, and a flailing sense of identity, mothers find in drugs and alcohol what every other addict and alcoholic does: relief.
Treatment centers can be full of mothers who are full of shame for their behaviors. They feel an immense amount of guilt for their actions. Driving kids while drunk, neglecting them, abandoning them, and often abusing them, are not things mothers struggling with addiction are proud of. Those who don’t understand the depth and complexity of addiction or alcoholism might ponder what would cause a mother to drink. What’s so hard about being a stay at home mom? Many mothers lose themselves in their motherhood. Without proper boundaries, adequate self-care time, and equal support from a partner (should there be a partner at all) a mother can feel as though she’s buckling under the pressure to be a mother. In their efforts to maintain face, take care of their kids, and keep going, they keep their addictions hidden. Suffering in silence, a mother’s condition worsens.
Overcoming The Shame
If you are a mother struggling with addiction or alcoholism, there is no shame in asking for help. Temporarily leaving your children to work on yourself and get help is no abandonment but perhaps the greatest thing you could do for your family long term.
Aurora Recovery Center provides a spectrum of care from detox to sober living, meeting the unique needs of each individual member on their journey to healing. Designed to treat mind, body, and spirit, Aurora Recovery Center seeks to light the pathway to lifelong recovery. For more information, call us today at 844-515-STOP.