I think it’s fair to say that most parents would shiver at the thought of losing their children… forever!

Not so long ago, I lived with this very fear every single day. My adult son’s life was being torn apart by alcohol and drugs. He seemed to sink deeper and deeper while I felt completely helpless.

Fear and anxiety took over my life. I felt hopeless as everything seemed to crumble around me. I felt like a trapped animal with nowhere to go. I was also isolating myself from my family and friends. I just could not go on.

It was at this time that a dear friend urged me to contact Holyoake.

Well, I thought I had nothing to lose. So I called Holyoake and came to meet a counsellor. I had to do this to see if it would make a difference and if they could help me make things right.

To be honest, I never thought counselling could help. But during that first session, it helped so much to just let everything out. I was crying and very emotional… it was like a purge. And I felt so much better.

The counsellor then advised me to join the Parent’s Program. I was hesitant at first, but decided to give it a go. That first group session helped me so much. There was no pressure, just an amazing sense of being part of something bigger. In a strange way I felt relieved that other parents also experience pain and grief about their children.

I learned something new during each session. I discovered so many things about myself which was not what I had expected. Holyoake helped me to acknowledge my own feelings and taught me new ways to get strong again.

I learnt how to control my anxiety by following strategies and new ways to think things through. I have seen change in myself and as a result I now see the relationship with my son with a fresh perspective. I don’t feel as guilty because of the bad choices he has made.

I don’t love my son any less, but I accept that it is his life and I can’t control his choices. I will continue to hope that he will seek help like I did.

I want to thank the counsellors at Holyoake and all the parents in the group. Without them, my nightmare would have continued and I would not have woken up to appreciate each new day.

Click here for more information about our counselling programs.