Lived Experience


My husband and I were recommended to attend the Family Programme when we visited Silkworth to find out about available help for my son. My son is 20, is dependent on alcohol and at the time living with us. Frustratingly, being an adult, my son cannot be made to get the help he needs, it’s up to him.

We were really struggling with how to help my son.

The Family Programme was a life changer for us as the course recognises that we are unable to help my son, so concentrates on how we can help ourselves. I found introducing boundaries particularly useful. These got a negative reaction from my son, but were very positive for me! Once a decision was made and a boundary set, there was no further need to worry about it and a huge weight lifted. The course gave me a real sense of empowerment and made me re-focus my energy on looking after myself rather than worrying about my son.

A simple truth sticks in my mind:
You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it.

Accepting this took a while, but once it sunk in, I found that the guilt I felt started to lift. My stress levels have most definitely reduced and I feel much more in control of my life.

I found the meditation at the end of each session very powerful, so much so that I have started to practice mindfulness ‘sitting’ at least once a day, not for very long, but it makes a huge difference to my peace of mind.

I have purchased two recommended books both of which I have found very beneficial and highly recommend. I also regularly read the poems handed out at the end of each session which reinforce the teachings learnt on the course.

Our current situation is that my son is now living in a home for young men with problems, where we hope he is engaging with the help available. I have not had any contact with my son recently which I find very sad and frustrating. Although I think about him many times a day, and still get feelings of sadness, anger and frustration, the Family Programme has taught me to keep looking after myself, to trust the system and most of all to let go (the hardest thing to do as a parent). I strongly recommend the Family Programme for anyone living with co-dependency.