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Having a Mom Who Is Struggling With Addiction

image symbolizing having a mom who is struggling with addiction

Addiction is a deadly disease that affects not only the addict but their entire family. Having a mom who is struggling with addiction is challenging to the entire family. When mothers become addicted to substances like alcohol, crystal meth, heroin, cocaine, or prescription painkillers, their children experience painful emotions such as disappointment, rage, confusion, humiliation, and sadness. They may also face neglect and abuse. If your mother is struggling with substance abuse, we understand how troubling it can be. Our hearts are with you and your family during these difficult times. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely made the brave decision to stage an intervention and are seeking guidance on writing an effective intervention letter to your mom. We’re here to help. To learn more about addiction programs, call us today at 888.483.6031.

What is an Intervention Letter?

Staging an intervention involves motivating someone with addiction to seek sobriety through drug or alcohol rehab. It typically includes friends, family, and a professional interventionist. Intervention letters express emotions, encourage sobriety, and establish boundaries if the addicted person refuses help.

Well-written letters serve as a powerful wake-up call. They allow family members to express thoughts and experiences in an organized way, preventing impulsive anger or speechlessness during the intervention.

The Benefits of Writing an Intervention Letter

Writing an intervention letter to your mother has several important benefits. Firstly, it creates a controlled environment to encourage her treatment. Reading your letters together can lead to a moment of realization and spark a desire for recovery. Secondly, it provides a safe space for you to express your thoughts and feelings. Writing the letter alone and sharing it with your loved ones can be healing for everyone involved.

Lastly, the intervention letter allows you to clearly communicate what you will no longer tolerate. It’s time to prioritize your own well-being and let your mom know you’ll be taking care of yourself from now on.

9 Helpful Tips for Writing an Intervention Letter to Your Mom  

Most people have no experience writing intervention letters, and that’s okay. It’s not an exact science, and there’s no “right” or “wrong” way. However, many people psych themselves out before starting. Here are nine tips for writing an intervention letter to your mom. They should ease any fears and provide direction if you’re stuck.

1. Allow Yourself to Feel Your Feelings

Writing a heartfelt letter can be an emotional experience, especially when addressing a codependent relationship developed during your mom’s addiction. Allow yourself to feel your emotions as you find a quiet and safe space to write the intervention letter.

Take your time and avoid rushing the process. Remember, it’s okay to feel angry, sad, frustrated, scared, or confused. Let your feelings guide your words, allowing yourself to release any pent-up emotions.

2. Be Authentic and Let the Words Flow

Now is the time to be honest and authentic about how your mom’s addiction has affected you personally. Don’t worry about sounding eloquent or using big words. Just write down whatever comes to you, even if it takes multiple drafts. This letter can be a healing experience for you. Focus on sharing from your heart and expressing things you’ve wanted to say for a while.

3. Begin With Love

Start your letter by expressing your love for your mom. Share why you believe she is a good mother and an amazing person. Recall a happy memory you shared before her addiction. Let her know that you miss her and want to create more joyful moments together. It’s normal to feel both love and anger towards your mom.

Remembering the wonderful times you’ve had can soften your heart. Opening your intervention letter with kindness will capture her attention. Avoid starting with criticism, as it may cause her to shut down emotionally and ignore the rest of your letter.

4. Show Compassion

We encouraged you to be honest and let your words flow, but it’s also important to show compassion in your intervention letter. Avoid expressing rage, calling names, or belittling your mom. Instead, focus on motivating her to get sober by offering your support and unconditional love. Remember, addicted individuals may use any excuse to stay in their addiction, so avoid lashing out in anger. If you need help managing your anger, seek assistance.

5. Keep in Mind Your Mom is Not Well

It may be easier for you to show compassion to your mom if you remember that she suffers from addiction. Addiction is not a choice or character defect, but a chronic disease. Your mom is not bad, she is sick. If you’re unsure about addiction as a disease, please do some research. Addiction causes poor choices and harm to loved ones.

Although your mom is responsible for her actions, remember that she isn’t fully present mentally. It’s important to consider her mentally ill if she’s addicted to alcohol or drugs like crystal meth. Understanding this may help you extend grace and mercy to her.

6. Share the Knowledge You Have Learned About the Disease of Addiction

Ensure you share the knowledge you’ve gained during your quest to understand the disease of addiction. Explain to your mom, even if she may not comprehend it presently, that she is unwell and requires assistance to regain wellness. Despite any outward appearances, your mom is burdened by profound shame and guilt at this moment. She harbors no pride in the person she has become, as addiction has taken control of her life, leaving her feeling powerless to break free from the cycle.

Your mom will acquire a deeper understanding of her illness during her recovery journey. Meanwhile, it would be beneficial to let her know that you have extensively researched her condition and believe in the possibility of recovery.

7. Offer Your Personal Experience

It’s important to share concrete examples of how your mother’s addiction has directly affected you. Addicted individuals can be skilled manipulators, often deflecting blame onto others. Stick to the facts. For example, you could mention how she endangers your life by driving while intoxicated or recount an embarrassing incident caused by her drunkenness or drug use.

By providing two to five specific instances, you can help her see the true impact of her actions. It’s possible that she may not remember or have justified these occasions. Sharing how her addiction has negatively affected you can serve as a wake-up call.

8. Set Healthy Boundaries   

An intervention aims to motivate addicts or alcoholics to get sober. Set specific objectives and desired outcomes, such as going to rehab. To encourage your mother to change, establish consequences for inaction and set and enforce boundaries.

For example, inform her that she cannot spend time with her grandkids unless she gets clean. If she lives with you, consider asking her to move out. Lay out these boundaries in the intervention letter. Be prepared to uphold them if she refuses help, to avoid enabling and maintain a healthy relationship.

9. Do Not Have Any Expectations

When writing your intervention letter, it’s important to have no expectations. While it’s natural to hope for your mother’s sobriety, there are no guarantees. Addiction, especially in mothers, is a complex disease that may make it difficult for her to admit she has a problem or seek help.

Instead of predicting the outcome, focus on stating how her addiction has impacted your life, encouraging her to seek help, and explaining the consequences if she doesn’t. Remember, her refusal to get help doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about you; it’s a deep-rooted denial. This is not about you but about her journey to recovery.

Seek Support and Begin Your Own Healing Journey

It’s a good idea to seek support while navigating your mother’s illness and recovery. You may be exhausted from dealing with her addiction and have made significant efforts to help and protect her. Interventions are often a last resort for families when other approaches have failed. Regardless of whether your mother seeks help, you need to get support and undergo your healing process.

Consider attending Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings, and support groups for families of alcoholics or addicts. Additionally, counseling with a licensed mental health professional can provide valuable guidance. Having someone to talk to during your healing journey can make a significant difference.

No Matter How Hopeless it Seems, Healing is Possible

If your mom makes the brave decision to get clean, you will be amazed at the beautiful things that can happen to your relationship. At some point, she will work on Steps 8 and 9 and make proper amends to you. With time, things will get better and before you know it, you will have your mom back. If you think your mom is a hopeless case, think again. Millions of addicted people around the world have found recovery and turned their mess into a message.

From the entire team at Northpoint Seattle, we wish wellness for you and your family as you write your intervention letter and share it with your mother. If you need us, call us today at 888.483.6031 or use the Northpoint Seattle online contact form.