“Remember that we deal with alcohol- cunning, baffling, powerful.”
Chronic relapse help for her daughter
I had an occasion recently to be on the phone with a distraught mother seeking chronic relapse help for her daughter. Tearfully the mother described the progression of her child’s alcoholism, and with much candor and courage detailed the impact the disease has had on her entire family.
She told of the little girl she raised, and of the hopes and dreams she had for her. She described her daughter as a teenager and how beautiful she looked when she went to the Senior Prom. She described the unfortunate demise of her child’s life as the “death of a dream.”
“I don’t know what happened, I don’t know where I went wrong as a parent, but somewhere along the way she changed, and now I don’t even know who she is anymore,” she shared.
As our conversation continued, our talk turned to what type of program and lifestyle changes were needed to combat alcoholism and addiction, especially for the chronic relapser. As we discussed Texas drug rehab centers, I emphasized the components of extended care…length of stay, 12 step immersion, therapy, aftercare, sober living, monitoring and accountability, as well as a host of other strategies. And ultimately we discussed the fact that we are never cured of alcoholism and addiction.
These conversations are difficult but necessary. Family members must be armed with the facts about the disease from which their loved one suffers. They must be encouraged that alcoholism and addiction are not their fault, and are not causal. They must be shown that there is a way out, and that recovery, for the entire family, is possible.
As our conversation came to a close, the mother thanked me for my time and for my candor. She told me she did not have the strength at this time to begin the intervention process. This is familiar and understandable. Alcoholism really is a family disease. I suggested she begin to attend Al-anon and to seek the assistance of a family therapist. And I assured her that when she was ready, help would be here.
After all, helping others really is the point and the mission. And on that point I am clear.