Many of us struggling with addiction are also grappling with the difficulties of divorce. One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is a custody battle. These can be painful, overwhelming and confusing times for everyone involved. We’re not only grieving the loss of our marriage and our partner, but we’re also fighting for what we feel is best for our children. Custody battles can be filled with anger, spite, bitterness and resentment. The term “custody battle” implies war and strife. Families have often been torn apart during custody battles and the well-being of the children and family is often neglected.
All of these factors can literally drive us to drink, use drugs, or engage in other addictive behaviors. We’re filled with so much rage, frustration, and impatience that we feel we need our drugs of choice simply to cope with the pressures of the situation. We use them to ease our persistent worries and calm our intense anxiety. We use them to manage our debilitating depressions. We feel as though there’s nothing we can do, no recourse against our partners, no way to amicably get through the proceedings. Triggers arise consistently, and for many of us, custody battles can go on for years.
It’s easy to feel powerless, especially when there is little or no communication between partners or when the custody battle is contention-filled. Our anger can be overpowering. If we turn to our drugs of choice, it will only compound our pain. Additionally, we can cause ourselves considerably more hardship because our drug use and our history of addiction can be used against us in the proceedings. Our sobriety is at risk while we’re in the midst of so much strife and conflict. However, it’s possible to stay sober, use our recovery tools, and overcome this difficult time.
Healthy detachment is essential during these times. Stepping away from worry and toward acceptance is one of the first steps. This helps us focus our energy on solutions more than on the problems at hand. We want to be able to work through these issues with as much grace and calmness, for our sake and the sake of our entire family. We want to prioritize our inner peace and that of our children. Meditation, prayer, writing, visualization, therapy, support from friends in recovery, and energy healing are all wonderful tools to employ. We want to remind ourselves that we will get through this and that our families will survive. We want to get to a place where we can accept the issues that have caused us so much pain so that we can embrace calmness, gain clarity, and remain firmly rooted in our recovery.
Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you get back the life you love. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.