Cathy shares her story


Move Through the Stress and Anxiety Caused By Your Child’s Drug or Alcohol Use


Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~ Anne Lamott

Are you concerned about your teen or young adult?

Can you relate to any of the following?

You are consumed with your child’s experimenting or being dependent on drugs or alcohol. You lay awake at night worrying about what is going to happen next. You feel stuck and frustrated because you’ve tried a number of different things, but nothing seems to make a difference.

You don’t know how to support your child in a loving way without being drawn back into enabling. You would love specific information on how parents enable their kids, how to recognize enabling and what the difference is between enabling and supporting your teen or adult child.

You know you should be taking better care of yourself, but it is hard when you feel that you are drowning in pain. You are looking for information on what you can do for yourself which will help you cope with an addicted loved one. You are trying to survive having a child who abuses drugs or alcohol and wonder how you can make it through one more day of crisis?

Almost 10 years ago, I discovered that my daughter was addicted to drugs. One of my sons had been on a slow burn for years using marijuana to get through life. I, too was a confused, frustrated mom and was looking for answers. 

I was stressed, anxious and didn’t know where to turn for help.

I began by talking to other moms who had gone down this same road with their kids, but it was challenging, because my friends could not relate to the pain that I was feeling. I felt the shame of it all. I made the decision to reach out for help, by talking to professionals, friends and attending support meetings. Some of the information worked for me and some did not. 

About four years ago, after a career in education, I decided to start writing online about the drug use of so many of our kids. The writing was therapeutic and the idea of helping others was rewarding. I reached out to other parents who were in the same situation and felt less isolated and alone. 

As time went on both of my kids found a better way to live, each following their own path. I felt we had walked through the dark days of watching drugs dominate our lives.

This issue of substance use with so many of our kids continued to bother me. So I decided to became a certified coach and participated in a life changing training that gave me tools, strategies and new ideas that could help any family.

Positive change can be the tipping point for your family to heal and be on a better path. None of these need to block your path, but know that real change and healing can be challenging, so be aware of some things that could hold you back:

  • Fear of something new
  • Being out of your comfort zone
  • Resentment
  • Feeling that you are not the one that needs to change
  • Shame of having to admit that you have a child with a drug problem
  • Being overwhelmed
  • Inconvenient
  • Too much to do
  • Anger and frustration
  • Talking about it with others feels bad
  • Don’t want to have to think about my child’s drug/alcohol problem
  • You are assuming that things will change on their own
  • You don’t want to be associated with other moms whose kids have drug issues, because after all what does that say about you.

Change can make all the difference! Your life can improve. The worrying, chaos and continual crisis can ease when you are willing and ready to make the effort.

First, give yourself credit for all that you have done to help your child. The sleepless nights, the phone calls, the discussions you’ve had to help your child be on a better path.

Find ways to help yourself through this difficult time. Think about what will really make a difference for you. How can you make yourself feel better now?

Here are three questions to consider:

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