Monkey On Your Back
Monkey On Your Back
by: Donna M.
If you have a monkey on your back, you have a problem, often an emotional problem that makes your life difficult for either a period of time or for a life time. To have a monkey on your back originally meant to be angry, it later became a term used to say that someone is addicted to drugs.
Our children’s substance use disorder is a monkey that they will carry on their backs throughout their life, because addiction is never cured, It’s treatable. The monkey is on our kids backs when they are in active addiction and even when they are in recovery. The monkey is the allergy in their bodies and the obsession of their minds.
The Allergy: The action of drugs and alcohol on a person with a substance use disorder is a manifestation of an allergy; Our children are allergic to drugs and alcohol, they can never safely use them in any form at all; once the habit is formed and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.
The Obsession: When our children are abstinent, they behave like people who do not have a substance use disorder. When they relapse something happens, both in their body and their mind, which makes it virtually impossible for them to stop. If you ask your child why he/she started self-medicating again they may not understand why either, however, typically they will provide you with all kinds of excuses.
In order for your child to keep the monkey off his/her back it is important that he/she builds a solid foundation of recovery with people who have walked in their shoes and know what it feels like to be them.
Parents also have a monkey on their back; typically it’s their child’s addiction and the consequences of it. When parent’s reach their enough is when they are able to take the monkey off their back, remove themselves from the circus so that they can move forward living their life while detaching with love.