In this episode of Living Upp’s Conversations with Smart People, I talk with Shar Jones of Beyond Hope Radio about using self-care to navigate addiction. Shar, whose beautiful daughter is struggling with substance abuse, talks about her personal journey as a mother, doing her best to balance self-care with being a supportive caregiver.
“To say that it’s been difficult doesn’t seem strong enough. It has been the most painful experience of my life.”
Watch the full interview here.
If you are the mother of a loved one battling addiction, you are not alone. Shar created the Beyond Hope community to shine a light on these issues, and to help shift the focus away from shame and onto a life of hope, where healing begins. Beyond Hope is dedicated to the mother of the addict, or anyone who knows what it means to love someone battling substance abuse.
The Role of the Caregiver
As a caregiver, it can be difficult to understand where the boundary lies between fixing and loving.
“That was my biggest mistake. Our children don’t need fixing. It was not my job to fix my daughter. My job was to fix myself.”
Learning to pick ourselves up from life’s heavy moments is where self-care comes in, and early intervention, as Shar explained, is what makes self-care so powerful.
“It’s my job to model joy for my child no matter what life throws at us. That’s such a heavy burden to place on her. She’s having a hard enough time. But for her to somehow feel responsible for my joy…it’s too much.”
So what is the role of the caregiver? According to Shar, it’s this:
“Our job is to listen, to lean in, to get curious, to know when we’re in over our head, to reach out, find our people, find like-minded moms, get yourself into a mom support group…”
Indeed, self-care is not a solo gig. Trying to survive without the support of people who understand what you’re going through will inevitably lead to excruciating and prolonged suffering for you and the addict. Self-care is an important survival tool for caregivers who are helping loved ones navigating addiction.
Where to Get Help
Addiction touches 1 in 5 people in America. None of us are immune to its reach. Beyond Hope is dedicated to all my Moms out there, and anyone struggling to cope with addiction in their lives.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, Lifeline is a phone call away 24/7, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Reach out for help. It could save a life. It might be yours.
Do you have a story that you’d like to share with Beyond Hope? Connect with Shar at Shar@BeyondHopeRadio.com: