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As a mother, what was it like for me?

That’s a big question.  Today my answer would still be the same as it was 3 years ago.  Treatment offered something I could not. No amount of love/tears could replace the work necessary that treatment could do.  It is like a “cure”; but comes with the harsh reality of surrendering.  Like peeling back an onion layer by layer.

Our relationship had deteriorated. I had to let go.  Kinda hard when you think being a mother (and I always considered myself strong) you can protect your “cubs”.  But, I could not. So I picked up a book, The NA book and read it cover to cover; I read a book on co-dependency.  Both good reads.

I was learning about Addiction.

But how did we get here?  There were signs! But going from soccer games, grad functions, and family gatherings to a treatment centre? I was never angry.  I was sad and worried. I worried a lot. This happened to other families but not to mine. Had I done something wrong to cause this.  This phase was not going away. Tomorrow would be better….it was getting worse. Desperation set in.   I can no longer keep her home safely.

I felt isolated. My own energy was at an all-time low.  There was really no one to talk about this to.  I was off work, because I could not concentrate. It became a summer of excuses. Cancelling last minute plans to ensure we were around to “catch” our daughter. The overwhelming sense of relief came the day she got admitted.  Her bedroom was empty; I missed her, but I could not go back to the way it was.  Letting go was the best decision for her and our family.  It was the right thing to do.

The moment my precious beloved daughter got dropped off at Westminster House, the healing began.

I remember the day well. Summer 2013. Fortunately, a bed was available, “take it while its available”.  I remember the words well.  She was greeted with open arms, open hearts and unconditional acceptance.  Emily had found Westminster House thru going to a meeting. But she required in-house programming and a daily routine. Life had become “chaotic” “hectic” and mostly “unmanageable”.  We were fortunate that she had agreed and was ready to heal.  The staff had the experience that was reassuring for a broken mother and a family torn, but strong!

The stress and strain had taken a toll on our family. We would not have stopped at anything for our daughter who was so lost. Like any mother, you love your children like no other.  She was my youngest, my baby.  Our life had come to a full halt though. We sought the help of our GP and psychologist. We navigated a system to acquire the support necessary.

All this stress started to heal slowly once we started to attend the weekly OnGoing Recovery family group meetings. I cannot speak highly enough of the family counselling. It was a safe place to be heard. We attended faithfully. I cried a lot at first.  My husband and daughters came.  It became our full on world.  We met with other parents who were broken, but as the weeks went by there was a transformation starting to take place.  I was getting healthy and stronger.  I remember seeing my daughter through the curtains, peeking out to see if she could get a glimpse of us. (no family contact at first). We would see her on the weekends and go for coffee. She was working hard. She was changing.

With each passing week, we could see she was different. Not so self-involved.  She was more giving…her language had changed.  She looked healthy; she was now being honest.  Honest for the first time in a long time.  My daughter was back; she adhered to her step program.  It is a medicine.

We attended her 30 day, 60 day, 90 day and 1 and 2 year Cake celebrations.  We are truly blessed to have our daughter back. She is growing into a confident young lady, continuing to live her life through Recovery daily.  She is pursuing university studies.  We are so proud of her. Our love for her never changed but only stronger. Our family relationship is real.

I have spoken openly to many about the disease of Addiction.

I hope by sharing this today with others can only help to break down the barriers. At the time this happened I wanted to crawl under a rock, I was shattered, our family circle broken.  Today, 3 years later I can honestly say, we have survived!!

I bear no shame about having a daughter go into treatment.

I love her more today than ever.  Our relationship is honest and based on truth.  Yes, it was tough and there were times I had some serious doubts if we would all make it.  But we have and am so grateful to Westminster House!

We love you lots, Emily!  Thanks to Westminster House and staff for making a difference in our life.

Julie B

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