My life has had many twists and turns, but this one was really quite unexpected.

For years now I have been worried sick that drugs would claim my son’s life. He went down this horrible path about ten years ago and things just got worse. I tried everything to help him, but nothing seemed to work.

Our relationship got so bad that he walked out six months ago and I lost all contact with him.

Desperate for help, I reached out to Holyoake and joined the Parent’s Program. Walking into a group was hard at first, but I soon formed bonds with my fellow parents and group leader.

I soon realised that I was so focused on my son’s problems, that I had neglected myself. I wasn’t sleeping well, didn’t exercise and gained weight. I had become reactive and critical about everything. The counselling sessions also made me aware of my unresolved grief over the recent loss of two people who were close to me.

Most importantly, my counsellor helped me accept the fact that I couldn’t really change my son. But I could change the way I responded to the situation. I had done my best as a loving mother and now had to trust him to care for himself as an adult. I had to let go.

As I understood this, I stopped judging my son and stopped blaming myself for his choices. Very soon, he sensed the change and became more open to reconnecting.

As I continued in the Parent’s Program, I felt stronger and more self-assured. I made time to meet with friends, and my weight is no longer an issue.

The biggest surprise has been the change in my son. We now have a trusting relationship and meet regularly. He has full time job and we both feel better about the future.

I am grateful to Holyoake because I’ve learnt so much about changing my approach, not judging, listening, looking after my health, and letting go.

I know many parents are in a similar situation. If you are among them, please reach out to places like Holyoake. It could be a life changing experience.

Click here for more information about our counselling programs