Finding community with OPLM was my saving grace when my son was struggling. I feared judgment but I found acceptance instead. I knew I was no longer alone.
Parents helping parents can lead to families more effectively navigating the recovery journey. Find out how parent-led support groups can make all the difference.
Parenthood is a beautiful and rewarding journey, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. As parents, our primary concern is the well-being of our children, and when they face difficulties, we often experience a whirlwind of emotions – pain, fear, and stigma.
“Why do I need to focus on my self care? I’m fine, because finally, my son is out of the house, he is in a robust program and soon, he’ll be back home and everything will be back to normal.” – I was perplexed why the family therapist at this program kept bringing up selfcare for me.
It was painful for me to see our son struggle with anxiety, depression and his attempts to self medicate with substances. I was confused and could not relate with what was going on. Our relationship continued to deteriorate and the more exasperated I became and the more I pushed him to ‘snap out of it’, the further apart we moved. It was a little more than 3 years ago that our son went to the first really effective recovery program.
It’s been more than 4 years since my daughter returned home from wilderness therapy and residential treatment. It seems like a blur, but also seems like it was yesterday we were anticipating her return and the next chapter in her and our family’s lives.
When I think back to the time when our older son was struggling with his mental health and substance dependency, those experiences feel at times like they happened a long time ago – other times, it feels like a nightmare that I had just woken up from. I clearly had no idea how to deal with the fear of losing our son to the point where the sense of helplessness was numbing. When our son entered the first effective treatment program 3 years ago, I started to be hopeful in spite or because I had been in denial that I had been traumatized by our son’s struggle.
This Christmas and Valentines turned out to be very special to me this year. My son came home to spend Christmas with us before he began his very first semester at the University of Arizona. He had bought us all gifts, without any prompting from me, with his own money.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about the idea of what it means to feel safe and protected. This is an area that I have always been curious about since I was a child. As a child I never wanted to be alone.
When I decided in November of 2022 that I would not be contemplating resolutions for the New Year, I found some curiosity about resolution.
“…not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is (human*) connection.” That is how Johann Hari ended his TED Talk on “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.”
Drugs make him numb out
They prevent him from feeling
I’m scared for my son
An online search of “mental health during the holidays” brings up a barrage of articles from sources including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mayo Clinic, and Harvard Medical School, […]
The term “stigma” has a long and complicated history, and countless definitions to describe it. Researchers across time have broken down stigma into differing types, including internal and external (or […]
In 2014, two bombs were thrown into our family: Addiction and Mental Illness. It was like the chicken and the egg. Which one came first?
While everyone initially resisted our family’s transformation (including myself), I think we can all now agree that we are stronger and more connected than ever.
My admiration of walking in the woods, as serpentine as it might be, did not translate to my expectation of a recovery path. Nope. Not one bit.
Gratitude is a gift I give myself. Even in the darkest of times, it is waiting there for me to open it and explore what’s right in front of me so that I can appreciate life’s beauty.
Need Help Now: Let us point you in the direction of other resources. If this is an emergency, please call 911.
If you or a loved one is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call 988.