The Empty Nest Syndrome

The Empty Nest Syndrome doesn’t seem like subject matter that belongs on an alcohol and drug website. Anything that has the potential to bother me enough to think of taking a drink or a drug belongs on my site. When my children were young and I would hear of older people going through empty nest issues, I would think, I can’t wait for the kids to grow up so I have time to myself. I do enjoy having time to myself and sleeping later if I want. I also find myself sad, somewhat depressed and oddly enough a little angry as well.

The “Boomerang Generation” are the kids that left home and then returned due to financial problems. It is expensive to live on our own even with two incomes. My youngest child has left home and then returned many times. She has always been the one that needed me the most and that was true until about two months ago when she moved down south. I didn’t think she would stay there but she really likes it and has no plans to come back home. The oldest daughter is going through a divorce. When I first heard about her plans to split with her husband I figured she would really need me. That has not been the case. She is going through this time with grace and rarely do I get teary phone calls.

Obviously the Empty Nest Syndrome is not a medical problem but it can cause feelings of sadness and depression. We can find ourselves with a loss of purpose and a sense of rejection. The constant worry about their welfare drives us crazy. That is exactly where I am right now and for me that can mean turning to a drink or a drug to not feel this way.

I need to figure out who I am aside from being a mother. I didn’t become a mother until I was 23 so what did I do for fun before that. What were my dreams and goals? What are my dreams and goals now? It is time to establish a different kind of relationship with my children not based on their need for me. I don’t have any plans to drink or use drugs but I am reminded once again that I have to be vigilant with my disease. It is always waiting for me.

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