parent of addicted child

I heard Emma on Radio 4 this morning, and was very moved. I thought, as someone coming from a different direction, I might offer a few comments. Parents are people, children are people. Sometimes a little thing someone says makes sense of a chaotic world, as Emma's interview did for me. I lived through a period of thirteen or more years with my daughter who was seriously addicted to drink and drugs, but who has now come through it. In that period, which was very bad, the family was on the point of being wrecked time and again. My daughter was in hospital, narrowly escaped gaol, contracted Hepatitis C, was injured and harmed herself, and was extremely unhappy. I ended up in a mental hospital for six months, lost my job, split up from my wife (and then rejoined her again). Emma made the point that it is all but impossible for families to be united when there is an ordeal like this; nobody has the same view at any time, everyone thinks there is a right way to talk about it, think about it, or act. This is what crisis feels like - not a single problem, but many, with no obvious answer. Professional help may be useful at times, but is often not there when you need it, and it is pot luck which professional gets involved. What worked? For me, the refuge of a mental hospital took me out of circulation; this was much more effective than drugs or counselling. Just not being around - where I wasn't much use anyway. For my daughter, hitting rock bottom - there were two low points - one, bottling a bloke and injuring him badly and ending up in court on an assault charge - and getting Hepatitis. These two together, plus some unknown way in which she began, at 25, to realise she had to go in a different direction. Most addicts seem to need to his some really bad point (which might be fatal for some) before they can turn things around. And then, a dog. She got a dog, which was something to love and take responsibility for. The dog has become the most positive thing, and is really what lies behind her recovery. Thanks for being here. Peter

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