What crisis brought you to recovery?
We knew our daughter was struggling while away at college, but we weren’t sure what was happening. In May of 2019, she booked herself into a detox program and told us she was addicted to Xanax and needed help. I was so afraid, but I knew in my heart that she needed help. A church colleague provided our family with excellent advice. She moved to a residential program for six weeks then to a sober living house for one year. She followed the rules and worked a program, but was not very committed. Unfortunately, when she transitioned to independent living she relapsed right away. That was a very scary time. Thankfully, the network she had created was looking out for her and we were able to get her help before it was too late. That’s how we found Turning Point’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which is amazing, and I highly recommend it.
Had you ever heard of a Family Recovery Programs like Al-anon or Nar-anon before this crisis?
Yes, I had heard of them, but I had not known anyone personally that participated in these groups.
What have you learned about the importance of family member recovery?
I have learned so much! I learned to focus on myself and how to change my behavior. I also learned that I had an unhealthy co-dependent relationship with my daughter that was not helping her, myself, or my marriage. I learned that we are all in this together and that the education and support is critical to my own mental health. I learned better communication skills, how to ask for help and how to support others. My daughter likes hearing about what I am learning, and we share and reflect together.
Does the recovery program that you are a member of have online meetings to accommodate during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Yes, Turning Point’s family program continues to be offered online and I am so grateful. I work full time and it would have been difficult for me to attend on a regular basis. We have people from across the country, thanks to this online offering. Many times, I join when I am on vacation because it helps keeps me grounded. I also belong to a parent group, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL). That group met online for several months and is now meeting back in person.
Did you have any reluctance in accepting your need for your personal recovery?
Yes, in the beginning I thought this was my daughter’s problem and I did not see why I needed my own recovery. Thanks to the great educational resources and advice from my support groups, in addition to my personal and couples therapy, I learned that I needed to look inside myself and make my own changes.
What would you tell family members who are considering their own recovery?
Be patient, be loving, be kind. It’s going to take time…a long time. You will be ok. You can’t control your loved one’s actions, but you can control yourself. One day at a time. There is hope.
Have you experienced any stigma surrounding addiction and recovery?
This was difficult at first and then I surrendered. This is our life now and we are very proud of our daughter. I hope that the stigma will go away as people realize there are many kinds of addictions, they probably know many people on this journey and just don’t realize it.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I am so thankful to Turning Point of Tampa. The staff are top notch and despite the pandemic circumstances, they rallied and found a way to give their patients the treatment they needed to be successful. They also provide exceptional family treatment that continues as long as families want to participate.