Today I have the pleasure of speaking with a good friend and fellow colleague, Lisa. After meeting at a modeling job and getting to know each other on the job, Lisa and I both realized that we share a similar struggle: living with a parent who is an addict.
Many people with parents who are addicts feel ashamed about their struggle. Our hope is that sharing our paths with an audience will encourage people to start talking more openly about addiction and the impact it has on people.
After a recent move to the East Coast and surrounding herself with positive people, Lisa is the happiest she has ever been. But growing up in southern California she didn’t have such a charmed life. Lisa’s father has struggled with a heroin addiction dating back to his high school years. My own father has been struggling for the last ten years with a crack addiction so I can relate to the frustration and helplessness that comes from having a parent with an addiction.
Even at her darkest time as she ran with her sister to the church across the street to pray as her father held a knife to her mother, Lisa found strength and peace through her faith and spirituality. At the end of the day, addiction is a disease and as much as we can try to fix the person, we can’t make them change. It’s something they have to realize for themselves.
After years of draining herself of energy and happiness, Lisa has realized that while she loves her father very much that she has to first and foremost invest in her own happiness. By feeding her mind, body, and soul with a healthy lifestyle and surrounding herself with positive people, Lisa is finally detaching herself from the codependency that comes with loving an addict and is on a path to healing.
My hope is that anyone listening to Lisa’s story who either battles an addiction or lives with an addict can find solace and comfort in knowing that they are not alone. It’s never too late to change and its never to late to seek help.
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