My eldest son, the apple of my eye, beloved of all the family, was a top sports man and high academic achiever at school… But I started to see changes in him which I just knew were not right and eventually his addictions gradually came to light. It has been an excruciating road to travel, 13 years to date.
In the course of this journey I sought the counsel and support of Rosemary. I have to acknowledge that at times I did not want to hear what she had to say, as I just wanted to get my son fixed, for someone to tell me how to achieve that. I am a loving, committed mum. I’d stop at nothing to find a specialist or to get help for him. The really hard, humbling thing was that I needed to get help myself. I had to realise and, harder still accept, that this was my son’s journey and I was often powerless at times.
Rosemary listened – it sounds simple, but it is a rare gift. She allowed me to get my hurt and pain and stress out. Then slowly she started helping me find my controllables, to accept that although I could not fix the situation I could find a way to cope better with the chaos (and not grind to a halt in the process).
It took a long time for me to stop trying to be the fixer but gradually I accepted that it didn’t mean I loved my son any less when I stopped trying to do it all for him. It just meant that I could find ways to calm the chaos in me and around me. By doing this for me and my family I was also helping my son in the best way I could by finding my bottom line, by defining clearly how I could support and love him. That meant I was not enabling him to remain addicted.
With Rosemary’s support and expertise, I found a more balanced place to deal with the stress and chaos that were part of my son’s addictions but that I had been adding to by trying to help and find answers for my son. I couldn’t have undergone this process without Rosemary’s insights, tools and counsel. When I have dipped back into old habits of enabling, she has patiently held me to what I know to work. Her support has been a game changer for me.
So often we are on a mission to fix our loved one in the chaos of addiction or any kind of crisis. I have learned, at times reluctantly, that when I react and stay stuck in the helping cycle, I become part of and add to the collateral damage. Rosemary has fearlessly and patiently supported me to face truths I would have preferred not to face. In doing so she has helped me to become part of my son’s solution rather than part of his problem.