My adult son has been living with me for the past few years, since he returned from overseas. He promised to stay a few months only but as a result of his alcohol and drug use, this didn’t happen. One day after a particularly disturbing occurrence which left me feeling helpless, a dear friend suggested that I contact Holyoake.

The thought of pouring out my ‘tale of woe’ to a stranger filled me with dread. However, from the very first counselling session I felt a huge weight lifting from me.

I was offered alternative ways of viewing my situation, encouraged to be patient with myself, and advised to participate in the Parent’s Program. I soon found myself looking forward to connecting with people who understood my frustrations, and were experiencing similar difficulties and emotions.

I realised that I could not change my son’s alcohol or drug habits, as much as I loved him. Only he could do that. In fact, I learned that if I wanted change to occur, then it was I who would have to change. This included reassessing my expectations of ‘success’ for my son and for me.

I sincerely thank the dedicated staff of Holyoake and the parents I met. My son’s struggle continues to be problematic, but I no longer mirror his ups and downs. I have reconnected with friends and have re-established a life of my own.

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