How Love Can Turn Your Parent’s Drinking Problem Around

How Love Can Turn Your Parent’s Drinking Problem Around

What a tragedy it is when a child feels abandoned by a parent who appears to choose alcohol and other irresponsible behaviors over her own children. Such was the case for Courtney and her mom, Michelle, when Courtney reached out to Dr. Phil to get help. It wasn’t always like this, however. Before the divorce, Michelle was a homemaker for her family and had a great relationship with her daughter and two younger sons. Courtney and Michelle were two peas in a pod, but when Courtney’s parents got a divorce, Michelle turned into a completely different person whom her daughter no longer recognized. In a tear-jerking, heart-wrenching episode on the Dr. Phil Show, Courtney gave her mom an ultimatum – either get help or lose her relationship with her children.

“What are you trying to hide?”

Facing her daughter on the show, Michelle admitted, “My entire life has always been smoke and mirrors. I’ve always been the life of the party, Courtney…I’ve always acted like that to hide something completely bigger that you and the boys don’t know about…” Dr. Phil asked, “So what are you hiding?” Michelle replied, “I just wish I would have died in that accident…I wish I would have died three more times that I thought about it since then…I just can’t get a rein on these feelings.” What have alcohol and drugs done for you?

Out of Control or Out of Touch?

Choking on her tears, Michelle most likely did not realize how painful it was for her daughter to hear those words, “I wish I would have died in that accident.” Michelle was accurate in saying that her entire life has always been “smoke and mirrors,” which is how most people with an addictive mindset would approach painful emotions. Drinking was the coping mechanism that unplugged Michelle from the pain of losing her children after the divorce. But did she really “lose” her children? Did they “abandon” her, as she claimed? According to Carlton Munson and Sandra L. Knauer, authors of a book on addiction and compulsive behaviors, emotional intimacy requires reaching out to others, but addiction turns the individual inward, making the situation worse. When Michelle felt like her children were moving on with their own lives, instead of reaching out to them, she turned inward and felt abandoned by them. The thought of losing her children was too painful for her, so she turned to alcohol because she “just couldn’t get a rein on these feelings.” Though her life was spinning out of control and she miraculously escaped death, she still turned inward and wished she had died rather than consider how her decisions (and words) have impacted her family.

It’s Not Over Yet!

Love is truly an action word, and it was the love of a daughter that saved Michelle’s life when Courtney reached out to Dr. Phil, who has helped intervene for thousands of families who don’t know where else to turn. Recommended by Dr. Phil, New Method Wellness has played an instrumental role in turning families around with their comprehensive care for substance abuse treatment. New Method Wellness is a premier dual diagnosis treatment provider which applies holistic methods and evidence-based clinical practices in a luxurious “home away from home” setting in San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, and Capo Beach. Recognized for their long-term recovery outcomes and high success rates, New Method Wellness has appeared multiple times on the Dr. Phil Show and will appear in an upcoming episode on the Emmy-nominated A & E’s Intervention.

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