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Breaking the cycle of addiction

Stepping off the rollercoaster

I eventually realized, for my own wellness, that I needed to get off the turbulent roller coaster. I had a weekly appointment with a counsellor and I attended Parents Empowering Parents (PEP). I didn’t always like what I heard from the therapist or at PEP. What I did come to realize was though was that they would help me get off the roller coaster and be ready to walk with her when she decided to get off.

I was always on edge when the phone rang, not knowing what I would be subjected to on the other end. Would it be another emotionally fueled verbal attack? Or a plea for money or food? The PEP facilitator's advice was to respond with: “I love you, but not your behaviour” and end the call. This was extremely hard, especially when I was already feeling vulnerable and emotionally attacked by our daughter.

November 21st is a day I will never forget. That is the day I received a call from my daughter. She was incarcerated. Most parents would be horrified and, without PEP, I might have been too. Instead, I got a good night’s sleep because I finally knew where she was.

While our individual stories at PEP are different, they all have one thing in common: addiction. The adage that addiction does not discriminate is true. But so is another one: as long as they are breathing, there is hope.

We never gave up hope and today...

Today, I can honestly say that my dreams for my daughter cannot be described with a single word, sentence, or paragraph. My dreams did not include higher education—but hers obviously did! Today I am proud to say that she has been accepted into a doctoral program!

Hope. It is powerful. It is life-giving.

Today, she humbly guides others through their journey while walking her next path. And we have recovered and are healing.