She Has Her Life Back


I remember stumbling through my life in a constant and lonely panic.  Not my whole life – but for the preceding 10 years – starting with nagging worries and escalating to helpless panic which to me felt as if I was running through the streets with my dying child in my arms, screaming and begging for help, but everyone I turned to just shook their heads.

I had watched my child over the years go from being a problem drinker, with vehement denial all the way, to becoming a completely incapacitated alcoholic.  We could not even communicate. There was also much trauma in the background for which I had tried to help by listening and by many trips to a counsellor for her.  But nothing helped and gradually the alcohol became her life and all else was lost. Although she was making appointments with Drug and Alcohol services and even keeping them sometimes, when I tried to contact them, often leaving shaky desperate messages, there was no response, or, if there was, it was only to say that they could not speak to me about my daughter as she was over 18. These were the regulations. “But”,  I said, “you need to know some things and I need to know some things and I need to know what to do!!”  Nothing and no-one could help me. I read every article I could lay my hands on, spent hours poring over all the research information I could find on the internet.  I bought books to try to learn some way or ways to understand this illness and what help was needed, what hope there was and what path to follow.  Little did I know.  In my ignorance, I could not help her.  Again, I watched helplessly as she walked away from me, confused and bumping into shop windows.

One day, I came across a pamphlet circulated by Silkworth Lodge.  I can’t remember how it came to me, possibly in the JEP?  No matter – it advertised a service to help family members, carers and anyone affected by the addiction of a loved one.  I grabbed onto this like I was reaching for a shining rope I had been thrown while desperately trying to keep a drowning person’s head above water.

I visited the address given as soon as I could and poured out my heartbreak to Wendy who listened and understood.  I joined the first group of people affected by a loved one’s addiction and went through the course compiled and presented by Wendy including notes, readings, videos, explanations and questions and I found out so much more about the mind of an alcoholic, how the 12 step programme for addicts worked and how to begin to take control of my situation and about the best way to help my daughter.  I suddenly had support and a fountain of knowledge and wisdom and care and compassion for my situation as well as the support of a whole group of people who knew what I was going through because they were going through it too.

I slowly began to cry less and to feel stronger and more and more resolute about the direction I now knew I had to take to help my daughter save herself.  It was very hard in the beginning but each time my confidence slipped and I felt adrift again, Wendy and the group would listen and work through the issues and help me to realise and ground myself again, to be able to get up and continue building up my strength in order to build up my daughter’s strength.  I found out how to help her to help herself.

It has taken awhile but my daughter and I have come through this nightmare, and are now happy, strong, close and stable and the emotional traumas are in the process of being dealt with and accepted.  Her mind is now healthy and strengthening every day.  She has her life back!

Thank you Wendy and Silkworth Lodge.

– Mother of a newly recovering addict