No one is denying that being a single parent is hard. Every family development and care specialist in the country will agree that it’s better to share the financial and emotional responsibilities of parenthood between two loving adults but sometimes that just isn’t an option. Whether your original partner walked out or leaving them was the best possible decision you could make for you and the kids, there are millions of single parents today facing the stark responsibility of being both the breadwinner and primary source of love and guidance for their children.
Alcoholism in Single Parents
For many, you may start with determination but eventually stress at work, trouble at the kids’ schools, or your own untended emotional needs become too much and alcohol becomes the go-to solution. “Just to take the edge off” you said to yourself once and it’s all been downhill from there. People under an incredible amount of pressure are among the most susceptible to alcohol addiction because it’s not just physically addictive. You form an emotional dependency because it has been one of the few things that seem to make a hard life as a single parent a little easier.
At first, it may have seemed like you could finally relax but alcoholism is progressive. It grows over time. A glass of wine at the end of the night is something a lot of people do to help them unwind before bed and many kids grow up in healthy households where one or two parents drink a little bit with no harm done. But as the stress mounts, that single glass of wine or aged tumbler can all too easily turn into two, then three, then half a bottle a night. You may find yourself drinking earlier in the day, pouring a glass as soon as you get home and drinking throughout the evening and eventually passing out on the couch.
When Alcohol Affects Your Children
One of the hallmarks of addiction is denial including justifications and excuse-making. You may tell yourself that your drinking is just to handle the stress and that your children aren’t being negatively affected, but they are. You may feel that as long as you’re still going to work and buying groceries that you’re doing your part. But when was the last time you spent the evening helping your children with their homework or talking about what they did at school? Do you know the names of your children’s friends or what troubles them most in class this year? Alcohol addiction makes it easier to completely forget about the needs of those around you which can quickly lead parents to forget about being there emotionally for their children.
And while children in single-parent households tend to be understanding that their mom or dad is busy and they have to handle some things for themselves, there are also the very worrying signs of something being wrong that every child can recognize. Do you drink so much after work that you fall asleep on the couch instead of going to bed? Do you become irritable with cartoons and happy chattering instead of an amused participant? Have you started to care more about your next drink than you do about signing permission slips and going over report cards? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” then even your children know you have a problem.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment for Single Parents in Fresno, CA
But what can you do? Many single parents who know they’ve slipped too far down the path to alcoholism don’t know what the right solution is because treatment to them means leaving their kids. We all know about residential rehab treatment where you remove yourself completely from an addiction-triggering situation but that’s just not an option for single parents. You still need to be able to go to work and come home to your children every day which means that any kind of treatment that takes more than a few hours of your time a week simply isn’t going to fly. This can seem like an impossible situation, but there is hope. You don’t have to go to AA and surrender to a higher power you may or may not believe in to find the help you need.
Outpatient alcohol addiction treatment programs have been designed to help parents and other professionals with ongoing responsibilities get better and deal with addiction. What ‘Outpatient’ means is that you don’t have to check into an isolated facility and ‘get away from it all.’ Instead, you can choose a treatment center that focuses on expedient detoxing, medical support, non-addictive IV therapy to restore your body to a non-addicted state, counseling, support, individual and group therapy sessions.
Finding the Right Treatment Center
If you’re ready to turn your life around and get a grip on your alcohol addiction for the sake of your sanity and the wellbeing of your children, we’re here to help. For single parents, we are dedicated to helping every one of our community members find the treatment they need. There are many different ways to approach alcohol addiction treatment and help you cope with a long-term condition or family history of alcoholism. Here at First Steps Recovery, we will help you determine the best possible treatment plan that fulfills your needs while allowing you to continue caring for your family.
Over time, you will be able to rediscover the enjoyment and care with your family before alcohol became a destructive part of your life. Without alcohol, you will find yourself more energetic, be able to spend more quality time with your children, and can achieve a return to upward performance in your career.
The clinicians, counselors, and support team here at First Steps Recovery would be proud to be entrusted with helping you reclaim your life as a responsible and loving parent by escaping the weight and destructive force of alcohol addiction. For more information on finding the right single-parent-friendly alcohol addiction treatment options for you, please contact us today.